What Happened to Chiptune? (The Podcast)

hi everyone I’ve been working on this for the last few months and finally put out my first (or rather zeroth) episode today here:


i’ll post in here when new episodes drop! i’m pretty excited about this project so i hope you enjoy listening thank you


oh hell yes

this seems really cool! i have no experience with the chiptune scene even though i was adjacent to it from being on oc remix back in the day. if anything, i actively avoided the whole space partially bc i was trying to be a cool indie kid and didn’t like the overly gamer sensibility of these communities and partially just because i didn’t like the limited sound palette. but that’s partially why i’m really curious to hear about this now, bc i had no sense of where things are. it feels like a lot of cultural moments that started to flourish in the late 00’s have hit their ending point now, and it’s hard to know what (if anything) replaces them.

hope you can get maktone on an episode, that guy’s stuff was the soundtrack to my early to mid teens.

thanks all! i’m really excited to start releasing episodes - it’s one of the things that just felt like a good idea as soon as i had it and the people involved so far seem to be excited about the concept and the framing so that’s been really encouraging, it’s kind of the most momentum i’ve had on a project in a really long time

and if anyone here wants to talk about chiptune and their experiences please reach out! i’m not trying to make this a scene-only thing, i’d very much appreciate talking to people who weren’t so involved because that’s an important perspective as well


nice monologue, enjoyed it and looking forward to more

i have a total outsider perspective on chiptune. it was always sort of aspirational in that i loved videogame music and was always chasing sounds made by my favorite games and composers, but chiptune was not something i really encountered.

i got to radix and various other amiga tracker/mod stuff via w o u r m e ’ s game (which i’m blanking on the name of now? (edit: Seiklus)), and virt via some forgotten method now, but “chiptune” wasn’t accessible to me in any way. if i had met the right people or been in the right circles, i probably would have gone super deep into chiptune.

instead, i pirated fl studio and just did my own thing. still am, actually

1 Like

random aside, semi-ot, this soundcloud account has been mastering lots of old amiga music, including a cache of Radix tracks. they sound divine:

i saw my friend Jeremiah post about this! i assume he is on the episode or an episode at some point? or maybe not idk. either way, didn’t know it was your podcast, will listen when i can.

i have feelings about chiptune as someone who was kind of around the scene when it first began in NY and then gradually got sort of disenchanted with it, but idk if i should be on record about those feelings lol


he’s going to be an episode definitely! it’s recorded and I’m in the process of editing it. and honestly i feel like people getting disenchanted with chiptune is a pretty big theme of the show, I wouldn’t have called it what it is if there wasn’t some kind of falling out of love process that a bunch of people went through, so I would definitely be interested in your thoughts if you’re willing to share them with me! doesn’t have to be “on the record” but I’m open to it either way :slight_smile:

1 Like

i’d be down to talk to you a little bit about my ocremix/magfest experiences, if you want. not exactly chiptune (i’ve always been a little bit of a chiptune hater which i can get into more lol) but i at least have some proximity to that stuff.

I can wax nostalgic about the first chiptune show I went to: at The Tank in NYC while I was in college. I couldn’t get anyone to come with me so I went alone and I had an amazing time. I think the lineup was Bit Shifter, Glomag, Nullsleep. Maybe one or two others? Hearing those tunes (and feeling them thanks to the powerful speakers) in a room full of people who were feeling it as much as I did was tremendous.

I saw Anamanaguchi live and a bought a mini-CD off of them before they really hit The Big Time and I remember being blown away that such a young group had such a strong sound.

I bought a refurbished Gameboy and traded on SB1 for a flash cart with LSDJ installed on it. Both have sat in my drawer for at least a decade. If I ever dream about making music, honestly I daydream about effects pedals more than old game consoles.


I still think I have 2 maru CDs somewhere…

1 Like

yeah NYC was a big epicenter of the US scene for a while, I actually have interviews recorded with a number of the people who were big in the early NYC days that I’m excited to put out, but I’m going to be starting out with a few california guests to kind of begin the journey where I started it in SD

spoilers, I guess!


i think the thing is that most of what i have to say, really, even as someone who co-ran a space that held monthly chiptune events, is not especially flattering about the scene, and i don’t really have a desire to make people feel bad, from the perspective of wanting to be a good host. i always felt like my role was to provide a space to people who needed and deserved it - i didn’t specifically run or book the chiptune night we did, but it’s still like, “in my house,” and if you’re in my house, i’m treating you like a guest. so even years later, i don’t really want to break that illusion for folks or stir up shit with people i may run into on the street lol

there’s a brief window where chiptune felt vital and interesting to me and then a sharp drop off right around the time it became a thing outside of like 5 people in NYC and some others in Japan

i get that! i don’t really want to make people feel bad either with the podcast, which is why i’m trying to kind of start off from a self-interrogation thing and branch out from there. i hope it’s enough to show people that i’m approaching this in good faith and not trying to put a hit piece out on chiptune or anything because not only is that something i don’t want to do but it’s also much less interesting than an exploration of the myriad of reasons anyone falls out of love with a particular scene or genre

when i rewatched reformat the planet it was this really confusing thing of being very obviously dated and of its time but also the period of my life where i was most excited about chiptune and how much energy and time i had to devote to it. it was a huge, huge part of my life for a long time and i can’t look back on it entirely positively because obviously i don’t really “participate” in the scene anymore but i also can’t deny that it put me in a direction for my life that i’m just in now. so it’s complex!

but fwiw i would love to at least chat with you off the record about what your experiences were like co-running that space because one of the things that’s coming up the most in a lot of the interviews i’m conducting is how much Literally Having Access To A Venue affects the way that the music scene is shaped in any particular area so your perspective there is really valuable imo


first real episode’s out! it’s a two parter! whoops