Let me introduce you to Anamanaguchi, probably the greatest chiptune band named Anamanaguchi ever. They’re a New York based band that specializes in music that sounds straight out of a video game. It’s made up of guitarist/songwriter/programmer Peter Berkman, bassist James DeVito, guitarist Ary Warnaar and drummer Luke Silas. The band was formed while they were students at NYU. (Which would make a Fordham Ram like me very upset.)
What really distinguishes them from other chiptune bands is that Anamanaguchi backs up their electronic aesthetic with traditional guitars and drums. The band generates the 8-bit style sound from a hacked Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) from 1985 and a hacked Nintendo GameBoy. The NES presents an interesting challenge because the programmer (i.e. Peter Berkman) has to alter it from it’s intended purpose in order to make music. In short, the programmer has to create a sound from scratch. While they could just work the sound off of a laptop, the NES provides a much more organic video game sound (and it’s less lame).
Here’s their song “Jetpack Blues Sunset Hues” off their 2009 album Dawn Metropolis. (No shame: it’s my favorite Anamanaguchi song)
So far, they’ve released three albums: Power Supply (2006), Dawn Metropolis (2009), and most recently, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game – Original Videogame Soundtrack (2010).
Here’s Anamanaguchi playing the Scott Pilgrim video game theme at Penny Arcade Expo 2010:
There are few bands in this world whose music gets me so excited as Anamanaguchi. They make really cool music, plus they worked on the Scott Pilgrim franchise, something that’s become near and dear to my heart. If my life was a video game, I’d want their music as the soundtrack (which I guess they did already). I’ll admit that I’ve played their songs when I’m getting for school or work (because I’m a big nerd). It makes me feel like I get points for making toast and coffee. I know that this sound might not be for everyone, but if you have no shame in listening to the Super Mario theme song on your mp3 player, show Anamanaguchi some love.