8 Bit Madness: A Ridiculous Conversation
Janelle Monae, Nate Wonder and Chuck Lightning make the most insanely Wondaful music at Wondaland. Every night the W.A.S. production team plants fanciful delights that regularly grow up to be the happiest songs ever.
Case in point: There’s a song that you hope is on Suite II called Locked Inside that will make every cell in your body smile. I dare you to hear it and stay on the wall. If it’s on, you’ll be on the floor, doing you and grinning your face off.
Enough of that…You gotta wait til you hear it yo darn self…
We’re lucky cause there’s a lot of music in the A: snap music is big, Young Jeezy is bigger and Outkast is the biggest …but what bubbles beneath the surface may one day get us on the map again… Introducing 8 BIT MUSIC.
I’m gonna do it kind of different today…rather than jawing off about what I think is super, I’m gonna share a conversation I had with a guy that’s onto some other ish.
Meet DJ Uncean from The Nintendo Power Club. He’s a composer of 8 Bit Music which is, as he says, “a symphony that you can find if you listen very clear and stay quiet.” Our brief chat goes as follows:
Bam Bam: So what’s going on in this 8 Bit Music world?
DJ Uncean: 8 Bit Music is made on computers with old school keyboards, like Casio, Krog, Noord, etc. or people solder chips from Nintendo’s or Commodore 64’s…some people will add traditional instruments like live guitars and drums. In the end you get music that’s familiar cause it’s made from sounds from those gaming systems.
BB: What does it sound like?
DJU: It ‘s like if you take the music from a classic video game, like Super Mario Bros. or MegaMan, Castlevania, or Zelda…you know…but put it more into the congenial modern societal norm of arrangement and then take Midi music with higher Nintendo pitched skraggy notes and super low distorted bass… like how a Nintendo sounds from the heyday… then you‘d have a basic 8 Bit Sound.
DJU: Basically you’re gonna get whatever an 8 bit composer is influenced by in the music.
BB: So what is The Nintendo Power Club influenced by?
DJU: Nintendo Power Club is influenced by modern hardcore music and metal music mixed with music you dance to on dance floors and MegaMan and Ninja Gaiden.
BB: What the fuss does that mean?
DJU: OK..Pretty much I’m influenced by the breakdowns where it’s chuggy and very hard…
BB: …I need an example.
DJU: OK.. Think of bands like Throwdown, Hatebreed and Terror…
BB: I know those bands…what else are you influenced by?
DJU: Aphex Twin, Postal Service and Daft Punk …we’re like that with a more hardcore influence…we’re taking that kind of sound and making it prettier and very raw and pure…cause we’re taking the layers out and focusing on the foundations of the sound…or the song.
BB: Sick. Who should folks check for if they wanna know what’s happening in the 8 Bit Scene?
DJU: There’s a website called 8 Bit Peoples that has everything you need to know…and look for a bunch of different artists like Electronic Mess, Bit Shifter, MiniDestroy, Anamanaguchi and of course Nintendo Power Club.
BB: Is 8 Bit Music here to stay or is it a fad, like hip hop?
DJU: It’s been around since the late 80s, since Nintendo’s have been made. The people that composed the tracks that play behind your favorite video games are real composers. As long as there are computers, gaming systems, electronic geeks and music prodigies, 8 Bit Music will be around.
BB: Well, I may be an optimist, but I don’t see computers going anywhere so I guess you freaks are gonna be here for a minute.
I can only hope that more folks will take a sabbatical from the radio: digital hip hop; the people’s station; everything alternative; all the hits and/or the circle of friends to check on what the other half is creating. Once again…introducing…8 Bit Music!
8 Bit Musicians To Check: