There’s plenty of good chipmusic live acts, both in terms of show and technique. The last few years I have become more interested in improvised performances rather than aiming for short fixed songs (yeah well). I was away playing shows for a while (culminating in a huge a/v datajam) so I also got the chance to see Computadora, Stu and Tonylight pushing beats at Tresor, Rioteer doing a very sturdy set of darkness, Carebear with Razorblades vinyl-DJing beep-stuff I’ve never heard about, the funky La Belle Indifference (yes!) making people happy right by a lake in a park in Copenhagen, and Je Deviens DJ En 3 Jours impressing with punchy Gameboy beats. But there were two (often overseen) acts that caught my attention especially.
Flex Busterman is a project by Patric Catani who is probably one of the most prolific Amiga musicians outside of games & demos. Since 1993 he has been pushing out vinyls with aggressive psycho-horror, made mostly with Protracker on the Amiga. I finally managed to see him live at Dance to the Bit and Crackbits in Holland, and he delivered the goods. It was especially great to hear his new stuff made in AHX. Those songs were prime examples of how to use chipmusic media (2xAmiga+C64) without making “chipmusic”, but also not making a big conceptual deal about it. It’s just very nice hard and eerie dance music, wrapped in his nice little stories, and cutting roughly between songs. Look forward to his next release! Here’s the old hit You’re a Hero from 1997, featuring a distorted “cyberstring iii” (from here?) for the lead sound, I think.
Mobb Beep is a Copenhagen-based act, which nowadays consists of only one person. He’s been around for a couple of years outside of the chipmusic communities, playing more around ‘the hardcore continuum‘ I suppose. The set felt quite improvised, with what seemed to be a lot of tweeking with the Gameboys and the effects. He also works with custom samples, which immediately separates it from a lot of Gameboy music. There is not a lot of music online, but check this to get an idea of the spooky atmospheres and beats. The video below is more straight-forward dubstep, but it’s still rather tasty to my ear-mouths.