So, a friend of mine, @Arkin_Dmitr , has “gained a love for [my] love of chiptunes” and requested me to “share [my] infinite knowledge of chiptunes.” Let it be known that Someone asked for my supposed knowledge of something and I’m going to help. This post is me helping them while I try my best to NOT sound like I know it all, because I don’t. So let’s talk about some bleeps and bloops.
What is a Chiptune? A miserable pile of bleeps and bloops!
But enough talk…Chiptunes are produced with those ancient relics of computers that had separate sound chips, like the C64 or NES, though with computers these days being as powerful as they are, a number of folks use emulation. For a while now, popular music genres have borrowed some minor sounds and put them in here and there, and only in the recent years has it spread to other mediums such as television and movies. Chiptunes are even finding their way back into video games. Some notable examples being Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game.
So, with that very broad generalization out of the way, let’s go on a trip of some of my more preferred and newer chiptune artists and tracks. It’s not perfect, and I’m going to miss some of the older artists (8 Bit Weapon and Anamanaguchi, I still love ya!) and it might not be your specific cup of 8-bit tea, but regardless, feel free to add your own additions in the comments. The more the merrier. So, let’s get this trip started. I promise I’ll be gentle.
What better way to start than with revisiting some of classic game tunes and other great chiptunes, but with a
chop twist? Enter Dj CUTMAN, who has been “mixing video game music + chiptune music since 20XX” and has come up with some very wicked tunes. Just take a listen to some of his great stuff.
It’s not all a Disaster
Let’s pick it up with some tracks from Rich Vreeland aka Disasterpeace who has done soundtracks for a few games, such as Drawn to Life and Puzzle Agent, but I find his original works to be more captivating.
The future is BR1GHT
The duo of Lydia Marsala and James Therrien aka BR1GHT PR1MATE have a rough but oh-so-sweet sound going for them. Check it.
Time for some goodness
Part composer, part game creator, and all fantastic, flashygoodness has some great tunes that can be found in some equally-great games. I’m pretty sure I’ve linked to a few of his tracks before, but you really have to check out some of the music you can only find on his site (linked above).
Because I’m running out of space, and I could go on and on and on, I’m going to end with two more artists and one fantastic track from each. These two artists could be said to be on the opposite side of the chip-spectrum, but it’s all good stuff regardless of which side. First up, Renard Queenston as Kitsune². Don’t ask. Regardless, the guy has some pretty sweet chips he dishes out.
Second, and to take it down a few notches, Jason Sposa with Falling For A Square, likes to take a calmer and quieter approach and comes out with some peaceful and tranquil beats and is a great listen when the day is ending.
What we learned
Basically, the internet is full of greatness. This little list does not even touch on what the essential chiptune lover should have heard by now, but it’s a pretty balanced place to start. Again, if you want to add to the goodness found within, comment! Share with those who find this post. That’s how the internet works. Discover for yourself and maybe you’ll find something greater. Just be sure to share it when you do.
Stay lazy, you guys and gals. All 8-bits of you.
Oh hey, maybe I could make this into a regular thing…