8BIT MUSIC related events
for ART FUTURA 2002
GAMEBOY Sound lab: Introduction to music creation techniques with Nintendo's Gameboy.
With Micromusic (.NET)
Nintendo's Gameboy has been the most popular hand console in the last years. Recently, it has also become a music creation tool. Programs like Musicbox, Carillon Editor & Littlesounddj have opened the way for the creation of music on Gameboy, while the micromusic community has helped with their online and offline distribution. Nanoloop and Nullsleep are musicians who have combined their passion for games, programming and music in this mythic console.
Saturday 2 - 16:00 / Mirador.
PLAYTIME EVENT 8BIT musicians
8bit article for
Text : Mia Makela
By the year 1998 it was already clear that the mp3 file format was going to revolutionalize the ways of consuming music. It was also the year when Carl and SuperB first met and noticed that they shared a common frustration: it was hard to find a music related website that would interest them.
A year later they put micromusic.net online.
From the beginning the focus has been on music created on low budjet equiptment, like Game boy, utilizing retro computer game sounds, but they also had other topics on their minds. How to build an online community, with realtime communication tools and highly optimized interface design, were questions they took seriously.
Now micromusic.net has 300 daily visitors spending hours on the site listening and downloading music, chatting realtime and having microdates. Micromembers are offering 100 tracks monthly from which 5% passes the quality filter. The emphasis is on music with charm and a sense of humor. „We think that there is enough melancholic and serious electronic music out there.“ clarifies SuperB.
„Musical research is the most accurate definition according to the Micromusic activies“, he continues. These activities have now widened out from the net community to the „real world“. Their first compilation CD Micro_superstarz_2000 published by Domizil was soon followed by Microcompo rmx EP to meet the demands of djs. Still Micromusic is considered more as a service than a traditional label:“ Its a service for the consumers (we guide them) and its a service for the artists (we help them to be found). At the moment the commercial aspect is not a focus. First people have to understand the worthiness of services like ours.“
Low tech music for high tech people
„Low tech music works with dirt and mistakes. High tech with gloss and quantisation“, is a definition superB gives for their motto. Lektrogirl continues: „but there can still be lo tech with no mistakes. bodenstandig2000 or gwem both i would consider to be lo tech - and work with limited musical equipment but still manage to produce glossy tracks. they are fucking great!“. Lektrogirl, a Rephlex star, is the micromum of the micromusic London crew. She started making music with the Ensoniq sq80 synthesizer already in 1997 when the low tech sound was not hip at all.
For Nullsleep, who is part of the crew that organised the first microevent in New York, micromusic is about knowing your tools on the microlevel while working creatively around selfimposed limitations, like making full sounding tracks by using only 4 channels. He works mainly with Game boys: „i use a tracker called Littlesounddj that really provides excellent control over the Game boy audio hardware. it was developed by Johan Kotlinski and, although other softs for composing music on the gameboy such as musicbox and carillon editor have been available for some time before lsdj, it has almost single-handedly created this tremendous interest in gameboy music from the more "mainstream" electronic music community that we've seen recently.“
The community sites like micromusic and 8bitpeoples are excellent platforms for sharing knowledge and interests and thus helping the development of the „low tech“ sound tools. But even though operating outside the mainstream software and music industries plays an important role for online communities, what keeps them together is friendship :
„well i figure that in five years time or so the music industry will be
completely fucked. i think already the internet has proven to be an
instrument for music. also, the people in the community itself - are now my close friends. and also me as an artist - i would not exist without it. Rephlex never felt like my family.“ confirms Lektrogirl.
„Headliners Bodenstandig 2000 hit the stage next with a set of great material, including an all vocal track! My favourite was 'RaggaMan' which regular readers of my page will know has cool acid effects generated just using an Atari. This track has progressed so much from last year's London festival, and also from the Munich festival. I would say it is perfection now! Other cool tracks included 'The Pixels in TeleText Land' and some other EuroDance smashes. My mate Rani, who has never heard any Bodenstandig 2000 tracks before, was totally blown away by the straight forward honesty of the performace “ describes Gwen, who also had a gig, at the microevent which took place last june in London.
Microevents are organised by the Zurich/Basel based headquarters and the microcrews located in Berlin, New York, San Francisco, London, New Castle and soon also Moscow. The concerts accompanied by visuals have been a great success in Europe creating 8bit fans amongst the audience and the electronic music community. The next step is to open the gates for visual artists to upload their „tracks“ on the micromusic site.
As the Micromusic fever continues infecting the minds and hearts of high tech people, it could be, that the microconcept will turn into a life style just like rock’n’roll did, predicts SuperB. With a :).
Micromusic headquarters is currently run by Carl, Wanga and SuperB.