Last year, we got a hold of a documentary called REFORMAT THE PLANET and caught wind of the 8-Bit music craze. Because of that documentary, and friends of ours who were part of this movement, we put together a showcase of great 8-Bit musicians in the abandoned Salvation Army space that was later converted into The Highball. We're doing another screening of this fantastic documentary to prep our minds for another Datapop show. A show that is bigger, better and has twenty different artists performing for two nights! It's going to be an epic party, and we would love for you to join us! We're doing a FREE SCREENING of REFORMAT THE PLANET on Monday, and then the Alamo, along with New York City’s 8bitpeoples, 2 Player productions, and the people behind the Blip Festival have joined forces to create DATAPOP 3.0!
ABOUT REFORMAT THE PLANET: Monday, March 15 at Alamo S. Lamar
"...one of the best music documentaries I have seen in years."
Brian C. Gibson, Filmschoolrejects.com
"...if you're a fan of the music or a videogame enthusiast in general, than this movie is a must see." Eric Moro, IGN.com
"...a perfectly entertaining and legitimate look at a new musical trend..." Scott Weinberg, Cinematical.com
BLIP FESTIVAL: REFORMAT THE PLANET is a feature length documentary which delves into the movement known as chiptunes, a vibrant underground scene based around creating new, original music using old video game hardware. Familiar devices such as the Nintendo Game Boy and Nintendo Entertainment System are pushed in new directions with startling results.
Using New York as a microcosm for a larger global movement, "...Reformat the Planet" maps out the genesis of the first annual Blip Festival, a four day celebration of over 30 international artists exploring the untapped potential of low-bit video game consoles. With floor-stomping rhythms and fist-waving melodies, trailblazers of the chiptune idiom descend upon Manhattan to pen a new chapter in the history of electronic music.
Check out the artists that will be joining us for this craziness! Keep in mind, this show is FREE so it will get crowded quickly each night! Be sure to get there early to catch all the awesome. Tuesday & Wednesday, March 16 & 17 at The Highball.
TUESDAY, MARCH 16 :: HIGHBALL BALLROOM
8PM :: The Mysterious H :: Austin, TX :: Website
The Mysterious H hails from Austin. He plays the keytar and rocks as hard as possible. Little else is known.
8:45PM :: Sievert :: Houston, TX :: Website
Space Captain Sievert is optimistic, epic, in-your-face space adventure on a deadly collision course with upbeat, fast-paced punk-ska! Equipped only with space goggles, dual gameboys, and a heroic sense of justice, Captain Sievert dives into danger headfirst for the good of mankind! In the first installation of Earth's Data Pop Party, Captain Sievert fought off the Communist cosmonaut Vlad Vidmar, whose insane plot to play Tetris on loop and ruin the show was utterly defeated. What vile villainy lies in store for our hero this year? Stay tuned, cadets!
9:30PM :: Nullsleep:: New York, NY :: Website
Nullsleep creates powerful romantic pop using repurposed low-bit electronics in a relentless search for new ways to circumvent their limitations. Bittersweet melodies and driving, rhythmic pulses are coaxed out of small plastic devices to produce a surprisingly intense sound. In 1999 Nullsleep cofounded 8bitpeoples, a collective of artists interested in the audio-visual aesthetics of early home computers and video game consoles. He has since released a number of recordings through 8bitpeoples, Astralwerks, Aniplex and others.
10:15PM :: IAYD :: Corpus Christi, TX :: Website
Corpus Christi’s IAYD (I Am Your Destruction) uses the Nintendo Game Boy and the Nintendo Famicom to smash his way through space and the confines of classical training. Since 2007, he has been living vicariously through his handheld arsenal; making loud, powerful, and hard hitting electronic music, befitting his moniker.
11PM :: Hally :: Tokyo, JP :: Website
Often called the Japanese godfather of chiptune, as he is the first person to introduce this kind of music to Japan. He started the legendary chiptune portal site "VORC" in 2001, and nowadays is also active as a chip musician. His rock'n rolling heavy NES sound was often mentioned as one of the best acts of Blip Festival 2006/2007.
11:45PM :: Random :: Stockholm, SE :: Website
William Rickman (Stockholm, Sweden) started his chipmusic career in 2002 with the joke-band randomshitmotherburger, but quickly discovered that his interest in chip-style sounds was no joke. Branching off as Random, he started making music with the Nintendo Game Boy in 2004, quickly getting global recognition for his melodic and emotional compositions, expressed using minimal technical electronic gear. Since then, Random has performed live in thirteen countries across three continents, and he used to be a co-organizer of one of Europe's finest chip clubs, Microdisko.
12:30AM :: Bit Shifter :: New York, NY :: Website
Armed only with two 20-year-old handhelds, New York City's Bit Shifter leaves high-end computer music choking on his exhaust, bringing twice the rock with 0.002% of the processing power. Bit Shifter co-administrates the 8bitpeoples label, co-curates the annual Blip Festival, has released music on Hymen, 555, Mirex, and Astralwerks, and has performed over 150 shows worldwide.
1:15AM :: nordloef :: Karishamn, SE :: Website
nordloef takes his background in punk rock bands and his love for electronic music to create melodic, upbeat pop songs while at the same time squeezing out as much music as possible from the limited hardware of the Game Boy.
VISUALS :: Jean Y. Kim :: New York, NY :: Website
Jean Y. Kim makes low-bit visuals that try to integrate digital textures and conceptual daydreams using 'laptop-alternative' hardwares like the GP2X, Gameboy Advance, and PS2. Her influences include Bas Jan Ader, Clone High, and her VJ 'big brother' Paris. She is from Vancouver, BC but is currently based out of New York City.
VISUALS :: Omeros :: Portland, OR :: No Website A new challenger appears.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17 :: HIGHBALL BALLROOM
8PM :: Talk to Animals :: Baltimore, MD :: Website
Talk to Animals compliments her moody, beat-driven 8-bit & lo-fi soundscapes with a range of vocal styles. The resulting music is alternately frenzied, melodic, fierce and serene, always with an unstoppable energy, as precise as it is punk.
8:45PM :: Starscream:: New York, NY :: Website
Starscream is a two-piece, just-graduated-high-school, hurricane of Game Boy and drums. They make anthems for space, with drums like crushing black holes. They've just self-released their latest work, The Space Years and are currently exploring the Commodore 64.
9:30PM :: Henry Homesweet :: Ipswich/Lincoln, UK :: Website
Henry Homesweet takes Nintendo gameboys and drops them straight into a modern context, performing crunchy lo-fi techno and electro straight from the consoles, synced and mixed into one constant assult of mind candy. The listener is invited on a journey through time and space, to a musical void where styles and genres are not seperate entities confined by the performer, they are one. His live sets are assembled on the spot, directionless, unpredictable and effing bonkers.
10:15PM :: 8BK-ok :: New York, NY :: Website
8BK-ok (pronounced 8Bit Karaoke) is a power trio from NYC that blends catchy, pulse-pounding beats with songwriting from popular musicals. Raised on a steady diet of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bit Shifter, Gameboy musician Fuckjazzforaminute and vocalists Leah Goldstein and Chris Blessitt have rocked sweaty dance parties all the way from New York to Nice. Joined here by talented vocalist Mr. F, 8BK-ok will raise the roof, lower the floors, and blow the doors off the mother of your puny minds.
11PM :: Sabrepulse :: London, UK :: Website
Sabrepulse is the undisputed godfather of the current 8-bit scene in the UK. Every year he organizes and performs at the Chiptune Alliance Tour where his breakbeats and sugar-coated melodies force kids into a frenzy at every stop.
11:45PM :: Je Deviens DJ en 3 Jours :: Nice, FR :: Website
Je Deviens DJ en 3 Jours (I become a dj in 3 days) gives a french touch approach of the Nintendo Gameboy consisted of heavy beats, distorted basses and girls dancing all over the night. He's still virgin.
12:35AM :: Anamanaguchi :: New York, NY :: Website
Anamanaguchi is a four-piece melodic, chiptune punk band from New York City. Combining 8-bit synthesized sounds into a soundscape of raw guitars and live drums, they create a powerful, energetic sound that rests somewhere between organic and robotic. The band, started in 2003 by then 15 year old Peter Berkman, released their debut on New York net-label 8bitpeoples in 2006. Anamanaguchi's new album, Dawn Metropolis was released in March '09 by Normative Music Company.
1:20 AM :: Trash80 :: Los Angeles, CA :: Website
Trash80 is a micromusic/bitpop project from Timothy Lamb (born on March 5, 1979), a pioneer of independent Game Boy music. He has published several songs online under the Creative Commons License (Attribution, NoDerivs, NonCommercial) under the Trash80 and Tresk banners. Whereas many Trash80 songs are ambient soundscapes featuring the use of Game Boy sounds, Tresk songs feature simple piano lines. Most prominently, Lamb's music has been featured on the soundtrack of the Real-time strategy game Darwinia.
VISUALS :: Outpt :: New York, NY :: Website
outpt is Mary Ann Benedetto, a visual savage of the pixel variety. Performing live visuals in and around New York City, she has built a reputation for vibrant graphics and energetic sets. Her weapons of choice are the Game Boy Advance, GP2X, Processing, and her custom app Orbitr.
VISUALS :: Paris :: New York, NY :: Website
Paris (previously known as Voltage Controlled) writes custom software to transform hand held game systems such as the Game Boy Advance and the GP2X into visual performance instruments. His visuals are abstract and influenced by his background and continued interest in mathematics and theoretical physics. He has been creating live visuals for the chip music scene since 2005. During that time he has performed at Blip Festival 06, 07, 08, Blip Europe, at many Pulsewave NYC events, 8Static events in Philadelphia, SxSW, PAX, chip shows across the country and his visuals are featured in the documentary, Reformat the Planet. In addition, he was awarded a residency at the Experimental Television Center and has given talks in the US and Europe (Pixsel Festival) on Open Source Software development for the arts.
Admission to this party is free, but be warned, it will get VERY ROWDY AND CROWDED so we recommend getting there early. Forget wristbands, this is going to be the party you really want to attend! A film and music in one. You can't go wrong! REFORMAT THE PLANET screens Monday, March 15th at the Alamo South Lamar, and DATAPOP 3.0 is going on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 16th & 17th at The Highball. Be there or be square.