There’s a dedicated subculture of music fans who have an unflinching love for the retro, analogue sounds made famous in the video games of old. And there’s a reason why.
Way back in the dark ages, products like the original Game Boy or Sega Genesis had inbuilt sound limitations based on hardware. But from this restriction came a wave of sonic creativity which took the world by storm; a fleet of composers who were forced to work with so little, but produced some of the most iconic melodies ever created.
If you’re into the iconic, addictive and instantly recognisable sonics of 8-bit culture, there’s an event this weekend you cannot miss.
There’s a ton of great things happening in Sydney every weekend, so when something which walks the line of a particular, specific culture so well we can’t help but jump on board. We’ve been a fan of everything retro or 8-bit which has come our way for a while (pretty unashamedly), but nothing has been as close to home as this.
The live music will start from 7pm and includes performances by local retro-futuristic legends Dot.Ay, Jamatar and Tom Foolery and the Family Jewellery, as well as Raquel Meyers from Sweden and CYMBA, a collaboration between French and British artists.
On top of that Cyberpunk Ibis will be providing the visuals for the night. It will be a nostalgic feast of the senses coming at you from all directions, absolutely guaranteed to throw you back to the days spent huddled under your doona with Pokémon Blue, hours after your mum thought you went to sleep.
Just listen to this boss battle music:
What we’re most stoked for is the workshop taking place between midday and 5pm, before the gig. The artists listed above will be imparting their elite beatmaking knowledge, for free, upon anyone who chooses to show up.
And following the theme, they’ll be shunning the modern software used my today’s bedroom producers. Sticking to a Nintendo Game Boy in conjunction with the Little Sound DJ and Nanoloop software programs, you’ll learn to create new melodies on the same mediums through which they originally came to be.
On top of that, you best not bring your Apple laptop because you’ll be taking a lesson in music construction using the Atari ST, the iconic home computer of the 80s. You may have forgotten about that little gem, but Pixel Sounds sure didn’t.
If you’re only interested in a few tastes of this banquet, here are the specific times you’ll want to suss:
Game Boy Music Workshop – 12pm to 2pm
Nanoloop Techno Resistance with CYMBA – 2.30pm to 3.30pm
Atari ST introduction with Tom Foolery & The Family Jewellery – 4pm to 5pm
More info on each of these sessions can be found here. Spaces are limited, so give them a buzz on 4645 4100 to book yourself in.
A proven formula, this is actually Pixel Sounds’ 5th birthday run, which is probably why they’ve gone out extra hard on the lineup this year.
Jump on down, it’ll feel better than defeating the Elite Four for the first time.
While you’re here, check out our piece on the origins of the Mario theme song.