All Blip Festival concerts will be streamed on WFMU. Listen Here.
Trash-bin symphonies and ray-chasing pixel pushers herald the explosive return of Blip Festival New York City. The three-day music and arts festival returns to Brooklyn's Bell House December 17th, 18th, and 19th and is presented by Manhattan arts organization The Tank, in partnership with NYC artist collective 8bitpeoples.
Entering its 4th year of celebrating the best and brightest from the realm of chipmusic and its related disciplines, the festival showcases the use of the former heavyweights of computing such as the Commodore 64 and Amiga, the Atari ST and 2600, and the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy to create arresting music and visual art.
Artists Scheduled to appear
About Blip Festival 2009
The Blip Festival, now one of the worlds largest and longest running events of its kind, continues to evolve with a greater breadth of international artists, a growing sophistication of styles and creative vocabulary, and a forward-thinking enthusiasm driven home by over two dozen of the worlds best musicians and visualists.
If there's one thing festival-goers can expect, it's to have their expectations blown away. And the high-energy, low-res live experience is also supplemented by daytime workshops, film screenings, and open mic events -- all in an open, friendly, all-ages atmosphere, accessible to the hardcore fan and the chipmusic neophyte alike.
Albino Ghost Monkey Visit Website
Created in late 2006, Albino Ghost Monkey (a.k.a. Dise), frustrated with attempts to start band after band and nothing getting accomplished, decided to go at it on his own. While experimenting with various instruments and styles, he stumbled upon the unique sound that is "chiptune" and instantly fell in love. With a little research and some luck, he found the tool he was looking for to continue his musical endeavours. Nanoloop became A.G.M.'s sole weapon of choice. With his unique style and high energy live shows, Albino Ghost Monkey brings his powerpop assault to the glorious masses at this years Blip Festival. Expect this small town Wisconsin boy to push nanoloop to the edge and back, so much your ears may bleed cheese.
Bit Shifter Visit Website
New York City's Bit Shifter weighs in with a blitzkrieg strike of semiautomatic pixel fire, delivered from a twin Nintendo Game Boy assault rig. Exemplifying a bracing distillation of the less-is-more philosophy, Bit Shifter embraces limitations and eschews overstated indulgences in favor of the streamlined environments of the Nanoloop and Little Sound DJ home-brew Game Boy musicmaking programs. Armed only with two 20-year-old handhelds, 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 artist collective, co-curates the annual Blip Festival, has released music on 555 Recordings, Hymen, Mirex, Ketacore, and Astralwerks, and has performed over a hundred and fifty shows worldwide.
Listen: Easy Prey
Bubblyfish Visit Website
A sound artist and a composer, Bubblyfish explores the territory of sounds in electronic music. Recently, she has been creating 8-bit and experimental sound works. Haeyoung has collaborated with many respected sound and visual artists such as Malcolm McLaren, the founder of the Sex Pistols, Hans Jochim Rodelius, and the Brussels based media art group, LAb[au]. Her work has been presented in art venues, clubs, festivals, and galleries internationally including The American Museum of the Moving Image, Pompidou Center, Kunsthalle Wien, MUTEK, LABoral, Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater, and The New Museum.
Patric C. Visit Website
Coming from a punk background and after dropping out of school to join the rave scene, Patric began using a C64 Computer and 'ripping' the music out of old arcade games. His first hardcore/techno/gabba record in the 1992, aged 16 was made on a Amiga 500. At first he released music under the name E de Cologne, and several other pseudonyms. His early work was influential to a lot of other Experimental and Breakcore oriented bands and musicians.
From 2000 to Present, Catani is credited with production on over a dozen albums for other artists. Most notable notable among them are albums by Puppetmastaz, Chilly Gonzales, and Cobra Killer.
Catani has more recently been working on a solo project, Candie Hank. It has been described as "A grotesque entertainment show with no limit, a collision of Rock'n Roll, Moog influenced, harsh synthscapes breakcore, but Belly Dance Punk and Gabba like Proto Pop". Most of his tracks under the names Patric Catani, Patric C and EC8OR are released on Alec Empire's Digital Hardcore Recordings, also home to fellow Puppetmasta Bomb 20.
Listen: Flex Busterman's Hardsid Hotel
Chromix Visit Website
Thomas MacLean is a Long Island-based chiptune producer who has been producing dancefloor-friendly music under the name Chromix since 1997. His output oscillates between low-fi melodic synthpop and hardcore fist-pounding chip, inspired equally by hours of misspent youth in his friend's basement playing Megaman 2 and at DJ venues basking in electronic euphoria.
As a techno producer, Thomas has headlined raves around the midwest and his releases have been played by such DJ luminaries as Armin van Buuren and Rob Rage. After experimenting with Game Boy music as part of an art project in 2002, Chromix began writing music on his Game Boy and NES which culminated in the release of the Basement to Basement EP in 2006.
Since moving to New York in 2007 Thomas has taken his explosive live show to audiences along the east coast and captured the energy of those shows on his releases Drop the Beat Not the Game and 101.
Listen: Dirt Nap
The C-Men Visit Website
The C-Men: 1999-2009
10 years ago Sjors and Julian decided to call themselves The C-Men, and armed with 2 Amiga computers they carved out a name in the Dutch VJ scene doing many gigs, lectures, workshops and art installations; both in their native country and abroad.
After 5 years they split up, Sjors becoming one of the founders of the papertoy scene and Julian continuing the low-res visual crusade, making videoclips for people like Lenny Kravitz and founding the C64 Orchestra. Recently the two reunited for their 10 year anniversary with a devastating live set to show once more that they still kill the old way.
Disasterpeace Visit Website
Travel through deep forbidden forests and the far reaches of space! Disasterpeace is a curious form of chipmusic that blends progressive rock, minimalist, jazz, and dance tendencies with an aesthetic sensibility that pays homage to the sounds of the past yet that is largely synthesized from scratch.
Listen: Counter of The Cumulus
Eat Rabbit Visit Website
EAT RABBIT EAT DIETETIC BUT MOVES ELECTRIC ON TONIC MUSIC. HE DANCE GENETIC ON ELECTRONIC RYTHMS AND DIABOLIC LEADS.
BIP BIP DOES THE KEYBOARD BOOM BOOM
DO THE LOUD SPEAKERS AND THE MAGNETIC ATTRACTION BRING US IN A MUSICAL SPIRAL LEADED BY EAT RABBIT.
enso Visit Website
enso is Alex Bond, a visual artist, live visualist, and illustration student from NY currently living in Philly. He primarily uses a GP2X loaded up with his own pixel art to VJ at live music events. His art draws inspiration equally from 8-bit aesthetics as it does the fine arts. His work has been featured on Boing Boing's Offworld as well as exhibited in the Esther M. Klein Gallery in Philadelphia.
failotron Visit Website
Drawing influences from Joy Division to Talk Talk and A Silver Mt. Zion, Áron Birtalan creates cinematic, brooding music for movies, for installations, for fun.
As for Blip 2009, in alliance with Starscream drummer George Stroud, Áron delivers half an hour of lo-tek landscapes and intense sonic explosions, only for the sake of making teenage girls cry. A lot.
Listen: Another Day
Fighter X Visit Website
Fighter X is a duo that produces powerful trance and IDM-style chiptune using Nintendo Game Boys. Founded in 2005 by Nickolas Walthew, the recent addition of friend and fellow chiptune producer Jack Waterman has made Fighter X more prolific, energetic, and creative than ever. The pair have rocked audiences all across Washington state and their home-city, Seattle, and now with their recent invitations to perform on the Chiptune Alliance Tour and this year's Blip Festival, the two are taking their music world-wide, and showing their unsuspecting audiences just what Fighter X is all about.
glomag Visit Website
Glomag emerged from the NYC chip music scene around the dawn of the 21st century, writing music on Game Boys and performing local shows. It is his contention that his interest in music and art grew out of an early obsession with Astroboy, coupled with the formative experience at 10 of finding a trilobite fossil in his schoolyard. He once pulled a small pile of aluminum cones from a garbage dumpster and attempted to sell them to the Museum of Modern Art. Truth.
His first release on 8bitpeoples, DaMaGe, will soon be followed by Roland and The Lamprey. His work can also be heard on 8 Bit Operators on Astralwerks Records as well as various compilations. He has performed on three continents in clubs, museums, galleries and festivals including sold out shows at the yearly Blip Festival in NYC. His compositions have been presented at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The American Center in Paris and on television and radio in the US, Belgium and France. His music is a major part of the award winning internet series This Spartan Life which he also writes and directs.
Listen: Roland & The Lamprey
The Hunters Visit Website
In 2008, 3 Japanese women formed a unit called The Hunters with a unique approach to music and images. The sounds are composed of nanoloop and some gadgets, and combine with original graphics for a lovely fusion. They perform at Lo-bit Playground (a well-known chiptune party in Japan) and have played at a new year rave in Akihabara and a famous triennale in Yokohama. The main members are Coova, Sol and Gel, although they sometimes perform with two members and sometimes with four.
The J. Arthur Keenes Band Visit Website
The safest part of a woman to kiss is the back of the knee, or the tip of the neck. Those parts are not coated in thick enzymes, and your lips will not become stuck. Funny story. My first kiss was with a real “no enzyme” Susan. We kissed all over her breath. You can kiss the breath of anyone named Susan. Breath has no innate ethnicity, like Asians. So where are all these radios, I asked Ricky. He didn’t know. He didn’t have a clue, you could see it on his face, but still he pretended like he knew. Ricky doesn’t work here no more, I told the lady. She laughed, and said “this was all just a test.” That’s how I got this feather.
Listen: The Boring World of Niels Bohr
Je Deviens DJ en Trois Jours Visit Website
Je Deviens DJ en 3 Jours wanted to create powerful romantic pop, but ever since seeing the Nullsleep Street Performance video he just makes repetitive binary loops on Nanoloop 1.3.
He took it upon himself to be more melodic by creating a new superhero dressed in black leather : The Mini-Nullsleep.
Using his lazer light eyes, JDDJ3J draws unique waveforms on the Nintendo Gameboy and Nintendo Famicom in order to see what those little guys can do.
Watch out! If you’re a girl you might get a supernova kiss.
Listen: Trashing Fakers
Jean Y. Kim Visit Website
Jean Y. Kim loves live visuals. She is especially fond of creating and mixing low bit graphics and patterns using some GP2Xs and a Game Boy Advance. Drawing from an eccentric range of influences that include Robert Ryman, Edie Sedgwick, and http://www.asciipr0n.com/, she works to create an environment in which light and pixels can organically interact.
Now that she can cross Blip Festival off on her list of life goals, Jean intends to leave the GP2X and GBA behind and provide visuals for the next Spice Girls reunion tour. Or The Sugarcubes, whichever comes first.
Leeni Visit Website
Leeni first came across 8 bit music in 2006 when she was bored at her job in Seattle. She ordered a nanoloop cartridge, borrowed an old Game Boy, got laid off from said job and decided to try to write an album during her 2 weeks of severance pay. It took more than two weeks but 8 Bit Heart was born: a stripped down album consisting mainly of Game Boy and vocals. She then learned LSDJ and procured a sync box that would allow for more electronic instruments to be added to the mix, as well as other gameboys. She wrote Labyrinth with this configuration and has continued to evolve her sound with each new project.
little-scale Visit Website
Hailing from Adelaide, Australia, Sebastian Tomczak aka little-scale has been making exciting chip music and building innovative chip music-related technology for a number of years. His current practice involves making creative use of the things he invents. little-scale's music has been described as "a highly intellectual approach to chip sounds that is completely engaging and unintimidating to the uninitiated." He has performed in major cities across Australia to sell out crowds, and has presented papers and posters on chip music at the Australasian Computer Music Conference as well as the International Computer Music Conference. Furthermore, little-scale has presented creative works and technology in Mumbai, Los Angeles and Belfast. Sebastian's appearance at Blip Festival 2009 is supported by the Helpmann Academy.
Listen: Come Back To Me
Rosa Menkman Visit Website
Every technology has its own accidents. Rosa Menkman is a Dutch visualist who focuses on visual artifacts created by accidents in digital media. The visuals she makes are the result of glitches, compressions, feedback and noise. Although many people perceive these accidents as negative experiences, Rosa emphasizes their positive consequences.
By combining both her practical as well as academic background, she merges her abstract pieces within a grand theory of noise artifacts, a ‘glitch studies’.
Rosa has performed at festivals like Haip (Ljubljana), Cimatics (Brussels), Video Vortex (Amsterdam) and Pasofest (Ankara), Blip Europe (with Paris), and collaborated on art projects together with Alexander Galloway, Govcom.org, Goto80 and the internet art collective Jodi.org. In 2009 she started a PhD at the KHM (on the subject of noise artifacts).
minusbaby Visit Website
Long-time 8bitpeoples member, minusbaby, born Richard Alexander Caraballo in New York City, trades in counterpoint, subtle dissonances and surprises. While it may be impossible to predict what will happen at each performance, one constant can be expected: a forceful equatorial beat. Each familiar song is given new variation while the center holds it down with a bassy bottom end to make anything bump and bounce that hasn't been tied down, exploding the very meaning of 8-bit orchestration.
Listen: A Large Part of Your Mind Sliced (Video Edit)
NO CARRIER Visit Website
NO CARRIER, or Don Miller, is a visual artist and programmer living in Philadelphia. He reprograms nearly obsolete videogame and computer hardware for use at live music events and installations. He primarily codes for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Commodore 64, creating visual works that incorporate both new and recycled symbols and patterns. Miller has performed, lectured, and shown work in the US and Europe. His work simultaneously speaks to the emerging DIY technology culture, and the reminiscence of a generation raised on interactive media technologies.
Nullsleep Visit 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. Based in New York City, Nullsleep has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia, including the 20-date International Chiptune Resistance world tour in 2006.
His most recent album, “Unconditional Acceleration”, is available at 8bitpeoples.com.
Listen: Dirty ROM Dance Mix
outpt Visit Website
By day, she is Mary Ann Benedetto, teaching game development, procedural animation, and digital design at the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. When the sun sets and the beat kicks in, outpt can be recognized by her signature turbulent energy and towering high heels. Fusing her backgrounds in the visual arts and computer science to create content and applications, her visuals are inspired by science fiction, astrophysics, mathematics, glitch, and the gritty surfaces of her native New York City.
outpt has performed at the 2008 Blip Festival (NYC), 2009 Penny Arcade Expo (Seattle), and 2009 Live Performers Meeting (Rome), as well as shows throughout the East and West Coasts such as Eyewash (NYC), Pulsewave (NYC), and 8static (Philadelphia). She returns to Blip this year with the GP2X, Game Boy Advance, and her new custom software Orbitr (outpt.net/orbitr).
Paris Visit 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.
Psilodump Visit Website
Simon Rahm started composing electronic music in late 1991. Although already getting his first record deal offer in 1996, it was in 2001 he got his first official release; a vinyl EP on the Swiss experimental electronica label Domizil, followed up the next year by another two vinyl releases, one on Swedish breakbeat label Sound of Habib, and on on Swedish tech house label Q-Records. In 2006, after numerous releases on netlabels, such as monotonik, Kahvi Collective, 8bitpeoples and Candy Mind, Simon released his first CD album, “Psilodumputer”, in strictly limited quantities, on a small Swedish label, Ninjani Diskus. Shortly after, Simon was inspired to set up his own label, called 476 Records, where he released his second CD album, “Never Heal”.
Simon has also done remixes for artists such as Kraftwerk, Slagsmålsklubben and Bodenständig 2000. Simon has diligently been performing his music live since 1996, at both big commercial and underground rave-parties, clubs and cafes, festivals, culture events and demo parties. To date, he has covered about 130 gigs, in 16 different countries, including France, Germany, UK, Russia, Italy, Israel and Spain – alongside artists, acts and DJ’s, such as Neil Landstrumm, Chris Liebing, Cari Lekebusch, Thomas Krome, Infected Mushroom, Slagsmålsklubben, Bit Shifter and Kleerup. In Sweden, he has performed at notable festivals such as Peace & Love 2008 and 2009, Norberg Festival 2008, Arvika Festival 2005 and 2002.
Listen: Extraelectronic (Beta)
Rainbowdragoneyes Visit Website
This dangerous, sinewy and hirsute 8-bit mega champion spends his days intoxicated, bathing in the blood of his enemies and forging molten steel blades of malevolence in the high unholy name of Sha'maoth. Since the year 200X, Eric W. Brown has been bringing countless nations through sheer force to their willing and grateful knees through the relentless and raw power of the DANCE DANCE DANCE.
Rainbowdragoneyes, thought to have been long dead, has been resurrected at full throttle and with maximum torque to cram the catchiest possible melodies into your brain and hold them there as long as necessary. Using a single game boy and the most extreme ultimate thunder of the universe, RDE casts everyone into the lake of party til death for life.
Listen: Blue Sky
Silent Requiem Visit Website
Jacob C McNamee started using the pseudonym “SILent REQuiem” back in 1998 when he got his first Amiga600 from a local thrift shop. At the time, he was making what could be loosely referred to as noize-industrial with funky undertones. Silreq continued making music until 2003 when a computer crash caused the loss of an albums worth of new music, financial troubles had also caused him to sell most of his recording equipment, keyboards, and his amiga. Silreq took a break from music between 2003 and 2005, where he concentrated on not being homeless. Since his re-emergence he has released a constant stream of noize that sounds something like a broken robot, Satan and your mum. . . oh wait a minute, that was last night. . .
Listen: Non-Newtonian Radio
Starscream Visit Website
When not enjoying a meal at Pakistan Tea House, Damon Hardjowirogo and George Stroud join forces to create music as Starscream. With an extremely diverse set of influences including bands such as Mono, The Octopus Project and Iron Maiden, Starscream create drawn out compositions that tend to be both soothing and destructive, kind of like when a distant white dwarf explodes.
Since first founded in 2007, Starscream has put forth three releases; their most recent, Future, and It Doesn't Work came out on 8bitpeoples in June of 2009. The following summer the band went on to support the album with a tour that included dates in the United Kingdom, Canada, and a week long North American excursion with best friends Anamanaguchi.
The bands fourth release, The Space Years is scheduled for a late 2009/early 2010 release.
Listen: Gravity in Terms of Space-Time
David Sugar Visit Website
David E. Sugar is an electronic musican, producer and songwriter from London. Between 2004 to 2006 he created songs with the use of a music making program on the Game Boy. He collaborated with rapper Ears on the David E. Sugar vs. Ears EP - First OK and has released various singles and EPs on the Kitsune and Greco Roman labels.
He has remixed Klaxons, Wiley, Rumble Strips, Operator Please, Lo Fidelity Allstars and many others.
He has toured with Hadouken!, Digitalism, and Calvin Harris.
This year he is releasing 1 digital track every week all year and a 12” vinyl every month.
tRasH cAn maN Visit Website
Sprung from the fascination of raw, hard waveform synthesis, chip tune artist tRasH cAn maN started out in 2001 with but a single Nintendo Game Boy running the software LSDj. In his music he seems to cram the very last drop of juice from heavily stressed chip as ecstatic beats are mixed with quasi intellectual melodies and percussive noise. On stage he has been seen combining chip with anything from vocals, electric guitar, forks and spoons, circuit bent and a good sense of humor.
Listen: My Deepest Fear
VBLANK Visit Website
VBLANK is a live media project by Wil Lindsay. Wil lives and plays in Philadelphia, where he teaches Interactive Media at Philadelphia University. He is the first resident artist at Philadelphia's The Hacktory, and creates installation and performative visual works that can be seen regionally and throughout the country. His works deal with the contextualization of technology in our cultural and social memories.
VBLANK live video is created entirely real-time from small custom circuits and microcontrollers. The name VBLANK is derived from the code used to create NTSC video on many old game systems and the chip-based video synthesizers used for this project. In video programming, we spend the majority of our time waiting for the television's vertical blank (or "VBLANK") to happen, so that we can quickly draw things on the screen.