Archive for July, 2009

Anamanaguchi Announce US Tour

Anamanaguchi - Dawn Metropolis

Anamanaguchi Album - Dawn Metropolis

Anamanaguchi have just announced dates for their US tour. There are 22 dates accross the US from New York to Chicago and Los Angeles up to Seattle. This is a very big tour for the Bitpop scene and certainly the largest for Anamanaguchi.

Sadly, there is no sign of a UK tour this year. The band’s previous attempt in 2007 resulted in them being turned around by immegration for not having a work permit. Let’s hope they can get an application in soon and do some UK dates!

8.06.09 | NEW YORK, NY ♫
8.08.09 | BALTIMORE, MD
8.09.09 | WASHINGTON, DC
8.11.09 | RICHMOND, VA ♫
8.12.09 | LEXINGTON, KY ♫
8.14.09 | DAYTON, OH ♫
8.15.09 | CHICAGO, IL ♫
8.16.09 | CHICAGO, IL ♫
8.17.09 | CHICAGO, IL ♫
8.18.09 | CLEVELAND, OH
8.19.09 | AKRON, OH
8.20.09 | ROCHESTER, NY
8.21.09 | PITTSBURGH, PA
8.27.09 | LOS ANGELES, CA
8.28.09 | LOS ANGELES, CA
9.02.09 | PORTLAND, OR
9.03.09 | SEATTLE, WA
9.04.09 | SEATTLE, WA
9.05.09 | SEATTLE, WA
9.06.09 | SEATTLE, WA

♫ = playing w/ STARSCREAM

Bitpop In The Mainstream

La Roux

La Roux - Bitpop in the UK

Some sources, such as Wikipedia, currently list Bitpop as being “not in the mainstream”.   Not so!  This site owes it’s very existence to the increasing popularity in Bitpop which has lead to it’s appearance in the mainstream.

In the not-too-distant past, bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode have used the 8bit SidStation in their music, often layered with more up to date hardware, such as the Access Virus.

Little Boots - Big Sounds

Little Boots - Big Sounds

While currently in the UK charts; both La Roux (left) and Little Boots (right) employ the Bitpop style in their music.  La Roux using the SIDStation and Virtual Synths and Little Boots featuring the Tenori On and some other suspiciously SID-like sounds. Bitpop is far from underground, it’s downloadable from iTunes and on the shelf in HMV.  There’s even a section on Last.FM for Bitpop. So get your ears on!

Listen to Bitpop

8 bit Nintendo MusicYou’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about, just what does Bitpop sound like?  Well, we’ve just fitted the new Bitpop Player to the top right of the blog there.  There’s a snippet of some bitpop for you to hear.

On this sample track you are listening to 8bit drums, 8bit bassline and 8bit lead synth all provided by a Commodore 64. As you can probably hear, the additional backing used later in the snippet are taken from newer synths.

This is a classic example of Bitpop : a blend of old 8 bit sounds and new electronica and production techniques.

It’s important to note the difference between chiptune and bitpop.  Chiptune is music purely produced from the use of 8-bit equipment, whereas bitpop uses 8bit equipment alongside more modern equipment or indeed even older synths and acoustic instruments.

What is Bitpop?

I Love 8-bit Button

8-bit is retro cool!

Back in the 80s, computers and video consoles were finding their way into homes for the first time. The technology was simple and the games by modern standards were not graphically or aurally advanced. These limitations did however lead to a certain style which today remains popular as retro cool.

This generation of computer is typically referred to as 8-bit, a reference to the processor technology used at the time.

8-bit computers predated digital sampling and wave playback, so to give a computer sound capability required the inclusion of sound chips which were in effect 1, 2 or 3 channel synths capable of producing sine, square or pulse waves which could produce the necessary bleeps and bloops.

Screenshot from an 8-bit demo

Screenshot from an 8-bit demo

Before the end of the decade, most programmers had harnessed the full capability of these chips to produce original works which were often more appealing than the games they accompanied.

This lead to the birth of the demo scene. Demos were programs coded with the purpose of displaying cool graphics acompanied by music. This music we now call Chiptune, Chip music or 8bit, a clear reference to this generation of computer.

Over the last few years, interest in these old computers and soundchips has rewoken and led to some familiar bleeps and bloops appearing in popular music.

Some artists are now specialising in producing this combination of pop music using contemporary production tools and methods with 8bit chiptune.

We call this Bitpop.

Welcome To BitPop

Hi, and welcome to BitPop. The aim of this site is to let you all know about a new and upcoming (or depending how you look at it, old and resurfacing) style of music. Here you’ll find information on BitPop bands and acts as well as upcoming event dates and links to other resources.