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August 27, 2010

Insufficient Funds: 8bitpeoples


Insufficient Funds is a weekly post in which we feature a free, or very close to it, piece of media that you can enjoy without overdrafting your bank account. So if you're low on funds, stay tuned to Cerebral Pop every Friday morning.

While my memories of Sonic the Hedgehog 2's soundtrack are fond, and I delighted at the Genesis-ization of the Lion King's music, it didn't occur to me that this style could be great outside games. After all, old games sound as they do because of hardware limitations. That was until a friend took me to a gig where DJ Scotch Egg rocked out with his Game Boy out until the venue literally pulled the plug on him.

Then I found 8bitpeoples. 8bitpeoples is a collective of chiptune musicians -- nerds who use Ataris, Game Boys, NESes and so on to make banging bytes of bleepy-bloopy music. They share a love of games and music, and use that love to share music made from game systems.

Although some of their sounds aren't from games -- Saskrotch's I'll Have You Naked by the End of This ROM uses samples and breaks to almost achieve that effect -- it's amazing what drum and bass sounds the masters can get out of old game consoles.

The ten core 8bitpeoples people release most of their digital delectables for free on 8bitpeoples.com. There's plenty of guest material in there too, including Anamanaguchi's gleeful debut EP Power Supply. (Anamanaguchi have actually made game soundtracks recently, including one for Scott Pilgrim vs the World: the Game. Musicians inspired by games in a game of a movie of a comic inspired by games. This seems incestuous.)

That's the end of the tutorial. If that chipbreak or chip punk hit the spot, you're ready to explore the world of 8bitpeople's free discography. Find something you like? We'd love to hear about it in the comments.