“Helix Nebula”: Chip Pop

Six years or so ago, my neighbor somehow became the recipient of a flash drive filled with 764 song files from musical groups expected to appear at Austin’s SXSW 2008.  Nestled amongst the tunes was a track – “Helix Nebula – from NYC band, Anamanaguchi:

Wikipedia’s collective wisdom teaches us that a key source of inspiration for chiptunes (or “8-bit music”) comes from “third generation video game consoles, the most notable being the Nintendo Entertainment System” (or NES) released in the Fall of 1985 — with the “Overworld” theme from Super Mario Bros being a signature chiptune from this era.  Although a mostly underground genre, chip music has enjoyed “periods of moderate popularity in the 1980s and 21st century, and has influenced the development of electronic dance music.”

Know Your Meme gives us the recent history:

“Chiptune artist Trash80 is often credited as one of the earliest pioneers in the chiptune movement with his production of several independent chiptune-style songs in 2000 and the development of a device that allows midi-making on the Gameboy …  In 2004, the NYC based chiptune indie rock band Anamanaguchi was formed that used a hacked original NES and Gameboy in live performances.  In 2005, the American Grammy nominated musical group named MGMT was formed that has been known to fuse pop and chiptunes.  In 2008, the NES-rock band, I Fight Dragons, formed, writing original works and performing covers of other songs in chiptune style.”

“Helix Nebula” was included on 2006’s Power Supply EP

Power Supply - Anamanaguchi