Anamanaguchi: Forerunners of chiptune bring punk to Tokyo’s Blip Festival

Anamanaguchi combines the sound chips of old Nintendos and Game Boys with the guitars and drums of rock.

TOKYO (majirox news) — Anamanaguchi is hyped and ready to party at the International BlipFest in Tokyo this weekend. Now in its second year, the festival brings together a tightly knit group of the world’s high-tech musicians and visualists to celebrate the energetic underground chip music scene.

The band is part of a growing music genre, known as 8-bit or chiptune, which is synthesized electronic music that uses video game consoles from the 80′s as instruments. The backbone of chiptune and Anamanaguchi’s hyper-electric punk sounds comes from Japan, the birthplace of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Game Boy.

Anamanaguchi is pushing chip music to the forefront, and have composed music for the video game adaption of Brian O’Malleys comic book series entitled Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game. The video game was accompanied by a feature film. The soundtrack for the game debuted at #3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart. In addition, it was released on Amazon and iTunes.

Unlike many chiptune bands, Anamanaguchi approaches the mainstream by layering the nostalgic sounds of childhood video games with conventional instruments such as the guitar, bass and drums.

“Most of the hardware we use comes from Japan, and our interpretation of various Japanese cultural elements is definitely noticeable in our music,” said Ary Warnaar, Anamanaguchi’s guitarist/songwriter. “Japanese culture has influenced each of the band member’s creativity. We are hoping to show people from Tokyo how we party in Brooklyn.”

Based in Brooklyn, New York, the band, which was formed in 2004, has toured all over the United States, United Kingdom and France. They put on shows that are multi-sensory experiences, which not only engage the audience through loud, dancy sounds, but also includes live visuals. This is their first time to perform in Tokyo.

Peter Berkman, the band’s lead guitarist/songwriter, said, “We intend to subtly guide our Japanese listeners to an adventure through these settings.”

Chip music harkens back to a simpler digital age. No kid who grew up in the early 80′s could escape the mania when Pac-Man fever gobbled up quarters in malls across America. The most loyal fans and creators of chiptune have all things 8-bit embedded in their psyche. Those who were not fortunate enough to experience the best this era generated should come and see why the pop culture of the eighties and nineties is back.

Link to watch the group perform: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43NTmOnsDEU&feature=player_embedded

Catch Anamanguchi play on Oct. 22, at 18:30. For tickets and location visit: http://tokyo.blipfestival.org/2011/

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