Chiptunes explosion! – The best chiptunes releases of 2011

–By Brendan

So my earlier post about Circa Survive’s Blue Sky Noise chiptunes remix made me feel like posting about some great chiptunes music that has come out this year from three very awesome bands.

First of all, for those who don’t know, chiptunes is a genre of music created with the use of hacked game consoles like the NES, Gameboy, Sega Saturn, Super Nintendo, etc. They use “chips” to create that iconic old-school video game sound we all love. Think the Super Mario theme, and you’re on the right track. This music is perfect for fans of old school gaming, techno, and dance music!

Anamanaguchi — Airbrushed 7″

Technically this was released as a part of their 2010 summer singles project, where the band released a new, free single every 2 weeks (you can download them all here) but they released it this year as a 7″ record, featuring both songs from the digigtal version, “Airbrushed” and “Penpal”.Mixing actual instruments with their hacked game systems, Anamanaguchi is probably one of the most popular chiptunes bands. Not too surprising, they make some of the most fun and well written chiptunes songs out there, tour constantly and with a bunch of other great bands, have a pretty large discography — a lot of which is free to download! Probably the best chiptunes band around right now.

IAYD — Like a Phoenix

This is the latest EP by the great band IAYD. Similar in sound to their past album, Supergalactic, Like a Phoenix is super fast and energetic chiptunes. Their music is made entirely with with chip sound effects that never let up; great for dance music fans. Best of all, it’s completely free! Like a Phoenix ranks among my favorite EP releases fo the year, and is my personal favorite free chiptunes release of 2011.

Starscream — Future, Towards the Endge of Forever and Pegasus

I’m not quite as familiar with Starscream’s past work, having only heard a few songs off their Future, and is doesn’t work EP, but this year has seen not one but two new releases from the band, Future, Towards the Endge of Forever and Pegasus. Of the two, I’ve been really enjoying Edge of Forever. I know they’ve been doing a lot of touring with Anamanaguchi lately, gaining new fans and spreading the word about their spacey tunes; it’s like Anamanaguchi’s real instruments mixed with chip beats approach, except Starscream utilizes ambient movements and longer songs. Definitely worth checking out. You can buy their new albums, along with all their music on their bandcamp page.

If any of these songs sound good to you, I encourage you to support the artists, buy their music, and visit the website 8bitpeoples to discover tons of great bands, many of which offer their music completely for free!

That’s all for now!

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