I’m a big fan of electronic and computer music – that should be obvious. Of course that’s quite a wide definition as any kind of music can be produced with computers. To be more specific, I’m referring to a kind of music that does not sound anything like traditional instruments: Music where the computer is the instrument.
In past, there was no other way to create music for computers or video game systems than to program the sound chip. As the technology advanced, the nature of music that could be produced with computers evolved. The hardware’s capabilities gave characteristic sound to every hardware generation or even to single machines. Today, the technology does not limit the creation of music. Yet there is a certain distinctive style and feel in today’s computer- or scenemusic.
I’m especially fascinated by the sub genre commonly known as the Chiptunes. That is music made using old or otherwise very limited hardware. The sound is generated – or “played” – by the sound chip in contrast to just replaying an audio file or recording.
Still today there are remarkably many hobbyist musicians composing new music for many of the very old machines. So I don’t think it’s groundless at all to see computer as an instrument.
Tune into these Internet radios and get carried away!
Classic web radio that plays mainly old classics recorded from 8-bit and 16-bit computer, video game and arcade systems. A real cultural homage.
Quite new North-American web radio. Features chip music, old and new video game sound tracks, game music remixes, so called nerdcore etc. You can expect just about anything from here. The playlist is still a little short but it’s likely to expand as time goes on.
Long term Internet radio dedicated to Commodore 64 music remixes. Features live shows every now and then and has 2a huge playlist. The community and information database behind the featured music is very impressive. Most of music is also downloadable as well as the past live shows. SLAY Radio is celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall. Thumbs up!
BitJam plays all sorts of demoscene related music from a huge library. Unfortunately the quality varies a lot. Luckily users can request songs to playing queue. Playlist can be browsed and searched and many of the tunes have background information and download links. There are also excellent podcasts available from this site.
Contrary to the previous, you don’t need to sympathize with vintage computers or weird noices to truly like the music played on SceneSat. Quality stuff, easy on the ears. This too features live shows and downloadable content. Highly recommended!