Retro consoles spawn modern music

Graffiti Monsters

Channeling the spirit of Lou Reed in 8-bit form, Mark Denardo put together Graffiti Monsters to blend videogame sounds with pounding drums, twangy guitars, and bluesy vocals for an electrifying and frenetic aural concoction. Mixing elements of punk, noise, blues, art-rock, and chiptune music, the group continues to tear its way through the Brooklyn underground music scene.

Above: Graffiti Monsters at Blip Festival ‘07

Building tunes by adding in instrumental and vocal layers, the band drapes its sonic accompaniment on a branching chiptune foundation laid out by a Game Boy running Little Sound DJ. With two drum kits, a small piece of gaming hardware, a battered guitar, and a strong set of pipes, Graffiti Monsters musters up a formidable 8-bit howl.

Above: The band’s fifth member

Above: Graffiti Monsters live at SXSW


Official site

Graffiti Monsters’ MySpace

Above: Graffiti Monsters at SXSW 2008

Animal Style

Listening to the blipped-out sounds of Animal Style without seeing them performed live, it’s almost impossible to tell that a good portion of the melodies are actually being played on a guitar.

Above: Animal Style onstage in Philadelphia

Accomplished instrumentalist and 8-bit tinkerer Joey Mariano may be a bit of a guitar geek (he holds a degree in jazz guitar performance), but his knack for videogame audio wizardry also abounds. With the aid of his trusty guitar, an 8-bit fuzz pedal, a few homebrew music programs, a hacked Game Boy Color and an octopus-like array of custom modified footswitches, Mariano crafts moody, thematic rock soundscapes that hint they might have a deeper story to tell.

Above: Mariano demonstrates his array of footswitches


Official site

Animal Style’s MySpace

8 Bit Weapon

There’s far more kick to 8 Bit Weapon’s music making arsenal than its killer name. This duo packs serious dance-worthy chiptune heat made with a staggering cornucopia of leftover electronics from generations past.

Above: 8 Bit Weapon performs onstage

Their list of must-have sound creation devices includes a Commodore 64, a Commodore 128, a NES, an Intellivision synthesizer, a Speak-n-Spell, a Speak-n-Music, several classic Game Boys, a mix of acoustic and electronic drums, and a pile of other vintage electronic toys. 8 Bit Weapon have rocked E3 on numerous occasions, provided the soundtrack for Reset Generation (Nokia’s N-Gage game about videogames), and more recently compiled an extensive retro computer sound loop library released by Sony.

Above: A small part of 8 Bit Weapon’s rhythmic arsenal

Above: 8 Bit Weapon performs its song Bombs Away


Official site

8 Bit Weapon’s MySpace

The Depreciation Guild

A melancholic wall of fuzz-out guitars and melodic vocals are the only distinctly human-driven elements found in The Depreciation Guild’s music. The rest of the band’s sound is provided by a mint-condition Japanese Nintendo Famicom loaded with a modded game cartridge that churns out the drum, synth, and bass lines for each tune.

Above: The Depreciation Guild performs live

The rhythm sections and accompanying synth line are written and programmed using Nerdtracker II before being loaded onto the Famicom. With their foundation locked and loaded, The Depreciation Guild lets loose its sonic volley in conjunction with the chime of reverb-laden guitars and live drums.

Despite possessing a heavy shoe-gaze audio aesthetic that leans more towards indie rock than traditional chiptunes, the group’s music bears the unmistakable mark of 8-bit influence throughout.

Above: The Depreciation Guild at the New American Music Union summer concert in 2008


The Depreciation Guild’s MySpace

in her gentle jaws album (free download)

July 2, 2009

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  • animalstyle - August 30, 2009 7:15 p.m.

    hey guys - animalstyle is one person: me, joey mariano... under the animalstyle section you have dino lionetti (cheap dinosaurs) in the first picture and Notendo in the second picture.
  • mo0seface - July 10, 2009 2:32 p.m.

    Where's the Xinon? oh and sabrepulse
  • RandomSamurai13 - July 7, 2009 11:30 a.m.

    Wow, this has got to be one of the best articles, EVER. Seriously, not just on this site, but in general . Anyway, first off, I thank Nathan Meunier for making this. Just yesterday I was reading the top ten Zelda music article, and at the moment I'm scouring the remix site, and now this! Also, I am so grateful for the Anamalaguchi download site. It's not even funny how long I've been looking for Helix Nebula (evidently it wasn't that hard to find, I just didn't look hard enough). And now I find it, it's fricking free! I almost had a hardon, is was so excited. Anyway, onto hiyohi55's comment. He does, in a way, have a right to leave a negative comment, after all, critiscism can be an useful thing, but seriously, what the hell kinda music do you like (@hiyohi55)? And are you so close minded that you won't even listen to one or two songs? He obviously didn't grow up in the NES/SNES/Genesis era, although neither did I. I suppose he's the equiuvalent of rock fan (which I am also) saying "nah, AC/DC suck, Maximo Park is the best" or something of that ingnorance level. Anyway, I'll leave it here, cause I'm tired.
  • sexyman500 - July 4, 2009 2:40 p.m.

    man that's gay
  • Dibbz - July 4, 2009 1:43 a.m.

    @Telemikus Dude...i jus coundnt...i jus coundnt help not to reply...i jus coundnt Long story short...lets just be friends:):):) O and fyi- I could probably b your dad u pencil dick mofo PS: also i didnt remember u asking me y i didnt like it and y i think its bull, so heres y: RAISINS...I LIKE RAISINS. Does that answer ur qestion u smart ass motherf**ker?
  • matty1992 - July 3, 2009 10:15 p.m.

    where can i get a N64?
  • Telemikus - July 3, 2009 6:53 p.m.

    @Hiyohi55 You spent a post telling us that this was a comments section, now you're ragging on people people are defending a music they enjoy with a pointlessly offensive response. If your so 'passionate' about the subject why don't you express yourself better rather than a moronic 'I hate this music'. How is it not music? You may not like it but it certainly is music, to your taste or otherwise. Your either a troll or a fool, either way don't think your ever gonna get anyone to 'shut their f*****g mouth' with douchbag comments like yours.
  • hiyohi55 - July 3, 2009 6:20 p.m.

    @rooring i was never talking to you so shut your fucking mouth
  • OHMYGODIMONFIRE - July 3, 2009 6:09 p.m.

    Woah I had no Idea there was such a big following for this kind of music. Although I am surprised Mario paint didn't show up mega-frequently. ReCaptcha: Forster Roentgen (???????)
  • GR_DavidHoughton - July 3, 2009 10:14 a.m.

    Ory: Sabrepulse is a massive winner. So much so, that we use his music as the intro to TalkRadar UK. THE LOVE IS HERE!
  • GR_DavidHoughton - July 3, 2009 10:13 a.m.

    ALSO: Check out our article from last year for more bands, music, interviews (albeit ones from a year ago) and a history of the scene. It's all at
  • SunshineHobo - July 3, 2009 7:50 a.m.

    MUSIC FROM COMPUTERS?! What sorcery is this? These witches get craftier all the time...with their Guitar Hero music boxes and Tesla coil laser light shows...BURN THEM!
  • RooringRA - July 3, 2009 5:41 a.m.

    @ hiyohi55 If you don't have anything positive to say about the article then there is no point in posting a comment, seriously no one cares that you don't like so stfu.
  • Silvermech - July 3, 2009 1:01 a.m.

    If it wasn't for the fact that A Nightmare Before Christmas is starting right now, I'd check all of these people out.
  • TrIp13G - July 3, 2009 12:54 a.m.

    I'm surprised Crystal Castles wasn't on here.
  • Genericide - July 3, 2009 12:30 a.m.

    @hiyohi55 Just curious, but if you hate this type of music, why are you commenting in this article to say so? You can see the name of the article before you open it, so why did you do so if you hate this and think it isn't real music? Do you buy tickets to sports teams you don't like or visit concerts of bands you hate? No? Then shut up.
  • helloimgaydo - July 2, 2009 10:47 p.m.

    GamesRadarJoeMcNeilly, I remember when that album was released. Alec Empire, what a crazy german fruit cake he was/is/will always be.
  • hiyohi55 - July 2, 2009 10:45 p.m.

    i honestly hate everything about this nintendocore shit. this is not real music. this will never be real music. sorry
  • averagejoe - July 2, 2009 10:14 p.m.

    ComputHer? I barely even know her.
  • TURbo - July 2, 2009 10:09 p.m.

    I love videogame music articles. More artists to dload.

Showing 1-20 of 47 comments

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