Thanks to the loverly Natalie I have discovered a loverly little festival goings on about the town this weekend called Blip Festival 2006.
As some of you may know and others may not know (as all of you may or may not know) I fancy myself a gamer when it benefits me. Actually, in the very same way I fancy myself a music blogger. Go figger. In fact, I had my first sex with a prominent video game's soundtrack playing in the background (starts with a 'Fina', ends with an 'antasy'). It was a night of slippy groping and uncomfortable apologies as first-intercourses are wont to be, but it was magical. And I think that videogame night, like an STD contracted, found its way into my bloodstream and turned several of those little inner-tube bloodcells into eight-bit red blocks. Which is precisely why the blipfest has me in its tractor beam.
It is a weekend of installation art, haxored NES cartridges turned into movies, and music written on gameboys and 8bit nintendos. Needless to say I am fascinated by this project, particularly because it has gone beneath my gamedar for, what appears to be, years. 8BitPeoples.com is a label slash all around Medici family to this strange peripheral music sphere and has been cultivating it since 1999. I think a large portion of this eight bit bonanza has been happening in Japan with Cloud Strife haired individuals and America with be-spectacled mom's-basement types twisting and turning and breaking open old grey gameboy compartments to get to the meaty musical substance inside.
Indeed, if you see any picture of people performing they look like any dude or lady on the Subway tinkering away at a gameboy or a PSP.
but trying to defeat Ganon they are not. Rather, they are taking those bling blings and dusty, lo-fi bassthumps, dipping napkins in club soda to wipe their little pixelated faces, and polishing them into dapper, young club tracks. Or sliding them into red shoegazy dresses. Or tieing little folky bow ties around their necks.
In other words, they are creating some pretty fucking interesting music. Some of it is novelty trash. Some of it is hysterically bad. But some of it could actually stand beside the likes of big name indie acts.
My particular favorite of the bunch is kind of like a sidescrolling, lessFrenchmoreJapanese version of M83 called Portalenz. They're incredibly polished for a band without a label and manage to pull off a splendid in-one-ear-then-the-other sound with their laptops and gameboys.
Bleeps Love Breaks is a dizzying context-defying song with IDM beats all created with that same fuzzy little thump that came out of that old grey boxy contraption sitting in your grandparent's attic.
Kill Me Sweetly, unlike the previous song, is comprised entirely of gameboy beats and sounds. Once again sweeping tweets wind from ear to ear spinning around your head and only vaguely reminisces the boyish little gamebox.
I will be attending BlipFestival tonight and tomorrow to catch these guys and all their fanciful, engrish speaking friends. It kills me that I've missed the first two days, but most of the groups I want to see are performing tonight and tomorrow so, I'm pretty psyched about that. Thx Natalie.