Console-Based Electronica Coming Back

MSNBC has an article on console-based electronica making a comeback. These days, consoles like the X-Box and PlayStation 2 have full music capabilities, but I still remember playing my first 8-bit NES back in the 80s and its music seemed fine at the time. And even today I find it amazing what the composers of the day were able to do with such limited hardware.

This 8-bit music — or “chiptunes” as the sound is also known — may be the one video game related subculture you’ve never heard about. Built around the “bleeps” and “bloops” of video gaming’s Paleozoic era, the music has gained a following over the years among assorted hackers, gamers and musicians. It’s particularly large in Europe, where sponsored music festivals have attracted upwards of 5,000 attendees. And in the United States, “the scene” also appears to be growing thanks to a number of factors including the diversity of its music, the hacker sensibility underlining the scene and nostalgia for old fashioned video gaming. […]

The Register also has an article on old hardware put to use where they mention the Dallas band TreeWave:

We were also informed about Dallas band TreeWave, which performs on two Commodore 64s, an Atari 2600, and an old Compaq luggable. The brains behind Treewave have also programmed Epson assembly language to use a dot-matrix printer as an instrument. […]

Using Commodore 64s is cool in itself, but a musical printer rates highly on the scale of geek cred. I may have to check out one of their shows sometime :). And as it turns out, they’re actually playing tonight at the Curtain Club with The Polyphonic Spree — I might otherwise be tempted to go, but I’ll be going to the DFWBlogs Cocktail Event this evening at the XPO Lounge.

3 thoughts on “Console-Based Electronica Coming Back

  1. a) there are at least two bands that are nintendo cover bands: the Advantage and the Minibosses. I’ve seen both of them perform. The Minibosses are more rocking but the Advantage is super-tight.

    b) Man or Astroman used to use a dot matrix printer as an instrument.

    c) You fool! Go see the polyphonic spree!@ You’re missing arguably the best live band in the world for a DFWBlogs Coctail Event??

  2. Yeah but the Polyphonic Spree does play Dallas like every other week, since they live here. Still . . . that would be my choice over a “cocktail event.”

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