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herr_professor on 05/04/2010 at 09:22AM

Cover Chameleons

Chip music has long had a love hate relationship with gamer culture, an the internet in general. Is chip music hipster kitsch or is it something more? The issue becomes further cloudy when it comes to the now ubiquitous 8-bit Cover comp concept, where chip music artists attempt reworkings of popular hits as chip music soundtracks. The successful ones, such as ones dedicated to Kraftwerk, Weezer, Tron, and even Miles Davis, succeed largely due to the arrangements of the chip music artist, and of course with the strength of the source material. The danger with such compilations however is the consumptive nature of gamer culture, and it's relentless search for the novelty factor. Sure covers will get you noticed on the blogs, but will it get you noticed for your skills as an artist, like Wendy Carlos, or will it date you as an object of kitsch, like Rolf Harris?

One artist who seems to be able to toe the line between the two extremes is New York City's 8bit Betty. Stating with a picture perfect cover of the theme to "Reading Rainbow", he keeps up the energy up with his original compositions and an exciting live set. The challenge now for chip musicians is to find ways for their original music to capture Internet mind share, so your legacy as an artist is your own, and not simply "THE DUDE WHO COVERED THE A-Team"

The version uploaded on the FMA is missing the Reading Rainbow cover, but you can find that over on archive.org. See you in seven!

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