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Transmission
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Artist Mon Oct 26 2009

An 8-Bit Halloween with Bit Shifter

One of the premiere Game Boy-wielding 8bit electronic musicians in the world is Josh Davis, aka Bit Shifter, and subVariant and Front 312 are excited to have him perform at Ai Lounge on Halloween. Having played over 100 live shows armed with only two Nintendo Game Boys and two home-brew aftermarket music programs, he has a dedicated following and has been known to ignite dance floors with his high energy live performances.

Tom Loftus of MSNBC.com says of Bit Shifter's performance,"[B]y the time Davis jumped to his rave-up 'Parapersona Crash,' the walls started to shake and what little hesitation the audience may have had over dancing to a kiddy toy's 'bleeps' and 'bloops' vanished."

"We booked him ...and I still think it's the most people that have been in the Tank at one time -- hundreds and hundreds of people..." says Mike Rosenthal, artistic director of The Tank in NYC. " Bitshifter just rocked the place -- just blew us all away."

Josh Davis says of the 8bit sound, "This is a really distinctive sound-set that anyone of our generation will have most likely been exposed to during childhood and as a consequence of that it became hardwired into our aesthetic sensibilities....but it was always off-limits creatively. So, people who grew up with 8bit and 16bit video game consoles--if they were musicians, they were able to dabble in just about *anything* else...."

Liz Revision of subVariant (that's me) will open by digitally spinning minimal tech-house, glitch, and IDM; Mr. Automatic from Front 312 brings electro, new wave and acid house; and Onefiftyone from Chicago Workgroup plays nudisco.

Bit Shifter explores high-energy, low-bit music composed and performed on a Nintendo Game Boy. The result is an unapologetically fun foray into an evocative and distinctive sound-set, executed on a console generally misperceived as being technically limited. Made possibly by two home-brew Game Boy music-making programs, Nanoloop and Little Sound DJ, Bit Shifter's music adopts and subverts the playfulness inherent in the familiar Game Boy sound-set, repurposing it into the service of novel idioms. Based in New York City, Bit Shifter has performed over one hundred shows worldwide, having recently circumnavigated the planet in a 20-date world tour with fellow chiptune compatriot Nullsleep.

Tickets are $20 at the door, $15 in advace or $17 day off with an RSVP to http://chicago.going.com/bitshifter.

The first 30 people to purchase presale tickets will get a free surprise treat bag featuring cool stuff from local businesses and online shops.


Bit Shifter in Chicago 2006

AUDIO: "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here" vocal track from Bitshifter (Weezer Cover)

AUDIO: "Activation Theme" by Bitshifter (Original Instrumental)

VIDEO: "Bitshifter Interview"

TEXT: "Interview with Bitshifter" (Longer, more technical interview)

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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