based in Amsterdam it got well received and deservedly so.
Saw it yesterday on the big screen and it gets the Musical Android two thumbs up!
The basis of the film is the Chiptune scene and it involves using some well established
chiptune musicians as the focal point.
For me that know some but not too much about this scene it led me to some conclusions
and revelations that I did not have beforehand.
For someone that never had any knowledge of the chiptune scene / music it will be revelatory and think that whatever you think of the music you will be intrigued and if not anything else it will leave the viewer with understanding and not dismissal of a music that is for the uninitiated many times seen as too noisy, childish or just irritating.
Actually wish that my Girlfriend had seen it as I have been in arguments with her many times of the excellence of some chiptune music which if she had seen it would at least opened up her mind to the sounds and ideas behind it.
What I learned that has not been too obvious to me is that even though it has a lot in common with the Demo scene it is many ways separate as it is more a question of hardware and DIY craziness and less computer coding and that it got started in serious manner later than the demoscene. Of course being more DIY it gets intermingled with circuit bending and there is a part dedicated to this specially in the form of one of Fela Borbone that impressed with his enthusiasm for old technology and making his own instruments.
Going to garbage dumps to find his digital and other thrown away building materials.
It gets clear that the growing community and interest in chiptune music started in the late nineties with the Gameboy and the two programs Nanoloop and LSDJ. Yes of course it started in the eighties and there is a lot of other ways and programs etc but todays chiptune scene would not have looked the same without these ingredients. It also that it helps that gameboys sold over a hundred million units and later became "obsolete" available to buy cheaply (was just taking a look at a second hand website and the prices range from 10 € to 20 € and there is plenty of them to buy just here in my city), And oh yes the Nanoloop cartridge is still sold and made to buy directly from it's creator Oliver Wittchow that appears in the film.
The appearance of one psychologist and one Sociologist is an nice touch as it adds another angle from these professionals that have no part and do not care for the music. They analyze why there is such an interest and one thing that gets brought up is why there is so many young people entering into this way of making music in this way as some are born so late that the technology has become more or less obsolete when they are old enough to do music.
They have their theories but listening to the different musicians it is part the restriction you find by limiting yourself a less is more way of thinking, the sound that is for at least two of the musicians got them to abandon fancy synthesizers and suchlike turning to the uniqueness of the lowbit sound and think that for many it is being part of an interesting scene because if there is one thing that the film transmits is the explosive joy and energy that is missing from many subcultures.
No puffed up egos and dark broody types.
Just good will and cheer and a willingness to share.
With the good production, direction, beautiful animated parts, interesting musicians it is truly a joy to watch
and very very inspiring.
Felt invigorated and full of lust to go do something different musically after seeing it.
And if you are being part of the Chiptune community you will just be happy to see what you already know being confirmed.
Will find out soon how you can see the film and will share this information with you as you should see it even if you do not do Chiptune music... but maybe afterwards there will sneak in a noisy expressive little sound into the mix of your next composition!
Or maybe you will get the classic Chiptune maker you can get for your device... Nanoloop.
To know more and listen and read about the artists participating in the Documentary go here: