I’m an 8-bit DJ


Myself photographed with a Gameboy camera

So last night was the 8-bit Lounge and I DJed for an hour. I was a little nervous beforehand having not used the mp3 mixing equipment before but as soon as I started I remembered my short-lived CD DJing “career” circa 1997 when my goth chums asked me to play one dodgy 80s track after another for them. DJing, in the classic sense, involves 4 minute chunks of tedium punctuated by 20 seconds of panic. And that’s about it.
However, since I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to DJ, and as a exercise in making sure the tracks worked well, or at least not terribly, one after another, I slapped all the mp3s into Garageband and made a mix. Which I then uploaded and made public after the set. It’s an 82MB file with the track listing included in the zip. Download it from here or, if you fancy keeping this page open for an hour, hit play on this widget:

And here’s the tracklisting:

Title – Artist (Album)
Tetris Wonderland – Dj Scotch Egg KFC Core
Fast Turtle – Anamanaguchi
Dollar Power – ZX Spectrum Orchestra (Basic Programming)
O Come, All Ye Vampires – Doctor Octoroc (8-Bit Jesus)
Europe: Final Countdown – moondabor (SA NEScover)
Buddy Holly – nordloef (Weezer – The 8-bit Album)
Across Rooftops – Virt
Plastic Stars – Freezepop
Flimbo’s Quest – Factor6
The Model – Nullsleep (A Tribute To Kraftwerk)
2010 – Cornelius (Fantasma)
QWERTY – Mr. Spastic
C5 – ZX Spectrum Orchestra (Basic Programming)
Ryu, the Red Nosed Ninja – Doctor Octoroc (8-Bit Jesus)
Happy Ending After All – Random
Bit Scrape – Animal Style
Triumphant – Modified Toy Orchestra (Earth One)
Deck the Kremlin – Doctor Octoroc (8-Bit Jesus)
Her Lazer Light Eyes – Nullsleep
El Scorcho – Tugboat (Weezer – The 8-bit Album)
links to come soon…

It’s a bit of a rag-tag mix, jumping from happyjoyjoy to darkandbroody and I tried to keep it to shorter tracks, the longest being 5 minutes I think. I also throw in a few things which aren’t technically 8-bit but sound like they are or are in that spirit. Freezepop, for example, I think are a bit underrated but are really more synthpop than chiptune.

It looks like I’ll be doing it again at the next 8-bit Lounge on October so based on my observation that people don’t actually listen to the DJ, they just rely on them to provide a themes environment, I’ll think I’ll go for a more consistent mix, probably emphasising the happyjoyjoy and definitely including a bit of Kind Of Bloop.

We’re also looking to do more in-trak-tiv stuff with Nikki Pugh and her circuit bent toys. I’m thinking we hook the cow and the hippo up to a mixing desk, add the Thingamagoop and anything else that makes odd noises, get a bunch of folk to play with them and have an impromptu Modified Toy Orchestra (only without the actual “being musically good” aspect). Another idea that came out of chatting with Seb was to get people to play classic console games – Mario, Sonic, Tetris, etc – and see if someone with a modicum of skill could mix the audio into something nice through the PA. A NES/Megadrive concerto, if you like.

So a good start, as they say. Thanks to the omnipresent Leon for organising it and giving me the opportunity to get involved and Birmingham’s gloriously nerdy hacking community for packing it full of potential.

Oh, and here’s the obligatory video of me in action. Don’t worry – it’s very short:

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