8-Bit & Chiptunes
With: Bubblyfish + Marieke Verbiesen, Disrupt, ChaCha, Super Guachin, Candie Hank, Soom T, Visuals: Raquel Meyers
Compiled by Manuela Krause
The production of 8-Bit music or Chiptunes (sounds synthesized and rearranged from the sound chips of computers and game consoles), which emerged alongside the hardware used in the late 1980s, has developed into an international musical movement. While the hardware used often comes from the days when the Commodore 64 was the state of the art, the artistic approach is totally up to date. The program is being put together by the veteran 8-Bit activist Manuela Krause, also known on the scene as Manou and famed for her lo-fi pop songs.
Bubblyfish + Marieke Verbiesen
Bubblyfish is dedicated to the sound aesthetics of the Gameboy: ambient surfaces blended with cheerful Super Mario music, mixed in with 8-Bit drones. With the visual backing of Marieke Verbiesen’s manual live animations.
Disrupt + ChaCha
Disrupt, co-owner of the Leipzig network label Jahtari, which specializes in 8-Bit, has his own unique way of preserving the genre’s digital cultural heritage: 8-Bit dub. He’s backed up by the singer ChaCha from Guizhou in China, whose own pieces are heavily influenced by Downbeat and Triphop, dark and full of nostalgic moods.
This Argentinian duo’s mid-tempo tracks represent a kind of glossy 8-Bit. Their music, which has also been described as tropical psychedelic, is almost transcendental, with a range of influences ranging from Dubstep thru Techno to Reggaeton and Cumbia Villera.
is one of the thousands of pseudonyms used by the hyper-productive Berlin-based Patric Catani. This Gabba wunderkind with the stage name E de Cologne began working with 8-Bit sounds at the age of sixteen. His music boasts a huge bandwidth of styles.
Heavily influenced by Indian music from the 1950s, along with Bhangra, Hip-Hop and 1980s pop, Soom T sings and plays 8-Bit digital Reggae. In addition, she has lent her voice to productions by countless artists, including The Orb, T.Raumschmiere, Bus, Asian Dub Foundation and many others.
Raquel Meyers’ 8-Bit soundscape solo compositions make her predestined to do some VJ-ing with 8-Bit musicians. She uses low resolution graphics and visuals generated with text code to tell surreal picture stories full of dark humor.