May 27, 2013
9:57 AM
Steve Says:

Some Great Tunes

While looking around for some cool stuff to rave about today, I came across the fact that on May 28th, it will be the 20th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros Movie. So there’s that… uh… influential part of my childhood… but… uh… I don’t think there’s much to say about that. Pretty much the only cool thing about that was the product placement and the Joe Satriani inclusion in the soundtrack.


However, the Joe Satriani music did put me into a train of thought to share some of the cool chip music out there that I’ve fallen in love with, that you too should allow into your ears. That leading image is a gif from Anamanaguchi, who have a kickstarter campaign going on right now. If you’re not familiar with them already, Anamanaguchi is a pretty interesting group. Polygon just did a great feature on them, but if you don’t have the time to read that, let’s put it this way: they’re an awesome group of musicians that mix instruments with chiptunes  and were responsible for the music in the Scott Pilgrim game.


Then of course, there’s Chipzel who did the music for the game I was totally addicted to earlier this year.

Chipzel is the alias of Niamh Houston, an independent Northern Irish chip-musician who indulges in the use of Gameboys to create energetic, melodic dance tracks. Through taking the original 8bit sound and manipulating it into something frantically hard-hitting, Chipzel has seen crowds of all ages turn to “raving loons”, taken right back to their days of retro gaming.

You may be aware, that we are using chiptunes in the music for Super Hematoma. I love the sound of the original Gameboy, and Chipzel does a great job in her music of pushing the envelope with Little Sound DJ. We’re going to be using LSDJ just for the sound effects in our game, as I don’t feel that it’s the right musical direction for the game… but damn… it’s nice sounding:


Names like Sabrepulse and Skrillex might not be new to you, and if you listen to Anamanaguchi or Chipzel, you might see a bit of a recurring pattern of chiptunes being primarily used in electronica… but it certainly doesn’t have to start and end there. I’ve always been more atuned with metal/rock, and so I became aware of Machinae Supremacy and their use of the commodore 64, long before I caught onto the Game Boy scene. If the above artists don’t do it for you, maybe a little SID Metal will. Chips take a little less of the mainstage in this band, but they’re used as a great accompanying instrument:


And of course, there’s the opposite of having chiptunes in your music: