Tag: Jerry

Chiptunes3It’s safe to say that at this point, the 8-bit culture/VGM movement/Chiptune scene is still a relatively small subculture (although, perhaps gaining momentum).

But, there seems to be a common denominator among everyone we’ve spoken with in connection with the community, and that is a passion for honest exploration.

8 Bit Heart | Justice Bleeds on Deviant Art

There seems to be a huge pull for integrity in the chiptune scene, which may be common of an emerging subculture, but it makes it easy to differentiate between someone who is genuine and someone who is here with ulterior motives.

That is not to say that talent and hard work go unrewarded.

The best part about the chiptune community is, as Will and Jesse discuss during the interview, that due to the nature of artists using retro hardware and homespun software, it is almost necessary to have an open source community.

Ellen Wong as Knives in Scott Pilgrim VS The World
Ellen Wong as Knives in Scott Pilgrim VS The World

Industries like technology, fashion, and even the automotive industry (as we saw recently with Tesla), have begun to return to open source information.

In a TED Talk on Fashion, Johanna Blakley explained how fashion has never had the luxury of copyright, but those limitations have propelled designers towards constant innovation and has forced them to continually rethink their approach and everything they create.

If trendsetters like Tesla are paving the way by sharing more and more of themselves, perhaps it only makes sense that a community like that of 8-bit/chiptunes, built on teamwork, networking, and sharing can thrive in a time like this. As the global community continues to destroy outdated walls and dogmas of exclusivity from years gone by, it is interesting to see if such freedom of information will lead to accelerated growth.

An Interview With 1000 Needles

1000 Needles: Will Gresch (left) & Jesse Avila (Right)

For our third chiptunes interview, we talk with Jesse and Will of the ChipBand 1000 Needles, out of Los Angeles, who use Logic, an Audrinoboy, an original Nintendo Game Boy, an NES, live instruments and vocals. Jesse and Will give us an insider’s look at what is perhaps one of the most authentic artistic communities today, and share a little about their passion for 8-bit, chiptunes and everything nerdy.

Music Featured in this Session:
Track: Cloudy Face – Album: Hearts of Gears (Not Yet Released)
Track: Ghost/Hack – Album: Hearts of Gears (Not Yet Released)

Find the Music of 1000 Needles on www.1000Needles.Bandcamp.com

(Thank you Will and Jesse!)

Intro Music:
Provided under creative commons license.
from www.FreeHipHopBeats.com
Produced by The Passion HiFi

Outro Music: 
License: Public Domain
Don’t Sell It, Don’t Give It Away
Oscar Woods

For the foreseeable future, our existing posts will no longer be available as a podcast but are hosted on Soundcloud.


Chiptune as a genre gets a lot of flak for producing a limited range of sounds; outsiders tend to believe that chiptune and VGM are one and the same.

I can say honestly that I had not drawn the line before beginning these interviews.

As you start to explore the music put out by the vast number of artists in the space, you realize that for nearly any genre of music you might enjoy, there is likely an artist using a chiptune toolset to create something for you.

Rainbow Dragoneyes - A Metal Chiptune Artist
Rainbow Dragoneyes – A Metal Chiptune Artist

A common theme I’ve discovered in speaking with members of the community is that the genre draws people who appreciate all kinds of music.

It seems that a lot of the original fans of chiptune music have ties to 8bit gaming and tend to be 20 and 30 somethings who grew up using the game systems chiptune artists use today. But, as the crowd who initially found chiptunes or VGM through a nostalgia for the sounds of their childhood has grown up, a younger generation has been introduced to chiptune regardless of any first-hand familiarity with the sounds.

Right now, perhaps chiptune music is in a transitional period where it is being handed down to artists who never had the chance to play 8bit video games growing up, who don’t have a preconceived notion of what VGM or chiptune should sound like.

SlimeGirls combine chiptune music and Japanese-themed art
SlimeGirls combine chiptune music and Japanese-themed art by Stephanie Shih: http://cargocollective.com/shihlikestodraw

As Anime (Japanese Animation) has become a major influence on American culture, fans of anime have been drawn to the genre for its ties to the 8bit community; both sharing common origins in Japan.

It will be interesting to see how the chiptune/VGM/8bit soundscape looks in 10 or 20 years, when we should start seeing more and more artists who weren’t even around when the Game Boy was released and who will further explore the possibilities of what can be created on the hardware.

An Interview With Mike Bleeds

Photo Courtesy of www.LaVieEnPhotos.net

For our second interview we talk with Mike Bleeds, a Chiptune Artist out of San Diego, who uses the original Nintendo Game Boy along with the program LSDJ to produce music that’s probably not like any chiptune music you’ve heard. In the session we talk with Mike about his path to creating chiptune music, what the community is like, and how artists interested in creating their own chiptunes can get started.

Music Featured in this Session:
Track: Les Lumieres – Album: Light. Emmiting. Diode (L.E.D.)
Track: Close Your Eyes – Album: Close Your Eyes E.P.

Find All of Bleeds’ Music on www.Bleeds.Bandcamp.com

(Thank you Mike!)

Intro and Outro Music:
Provided under creative commons license.
from www.FreeHipHopBeats.com
Produced by The Passion HiFi

For the foreseeable future, our existing posts will no longer be available as a podcast but are hosted on Soundcloud.