Wednesday, 21 December 2011

19 Artists, Four Continents, Two Days And One Amazing Chipmusic Line-Up For The First Blip Festival Australia

Bit Shifter - Blip NY 2007. Photo by Chiptography
Melbourne, VIC – February  17 and 18, 2012: Following what many considered to be the surprise announcement in September of the first Australian chipmusic festival “Blip Festival Australia,” 8bitpeoples in association with Melbourne’s SoundBytes are excited to unveil the first round line up for this very special chipmusic event.  

Some of chipmusic’s best known names will be among the two day lineup of 19 audio-visual artists - including co-organisers Joshua Davis AKA Bit Shifter and Jeremiah Johnston AKA Nullsleep – cofounders of 8bitpeoples, one of the world’s best known chipmusic labels, and well known and loved performers in their own right. Co-founder of Blip Festival, Mike Rosenthal had the following to say "There is a really thriving chip scene in Australia that we've been admiring from afar for several years. We figured it was time to stop simply exporting their talent to the other Blip Festivals worldwide and instead come join the party". 

The majority of Australia’s first chipmusic festival will take place over the 17th and 18th of February, at one of Melbourne’s best known live music venues, The Evelyn Hotel in Brunswick.  Additionally, events that include workshops and an open mic will not only give up-and-coming chip musicians the opportunity to strut their stuff but to also allow those new to the emerging style the opportunity to learn for themselves the fundamentals of working with gaming consoles to create music. 

Chipmusic is the art of using home computers and antiquated video game consoles to create fresh and innovative music in a wide variety of styles. Despite having its roots in video game music and then later in sample based synthesis utilising software such as the Commodore Amiga in the 80s, it has had a huge surge in popularity in Australia in recent years.  A big reason for the surge of popularity for this growing style is the regular chipmusic shows happening around Australia – the longest running of these being SoundBytes, the creators of which, Kristy Dossor and Eugene Davoren-Britton are also involved in bringing Blip Festival to Australia.
In addition to Bit Shifter and Nullsleep, a wide selection of international and local artists are heading to Melbourne to take part in the festival. From the US comes one of the best known chipmusic artists and veteran of multiple Blip Festival appearances Trash80 as well as first time Blip Festival visualist Batsly Adams. Several artists from Europe will also be making the long trip to Australia – the man of many monikers, Germany’s Patric Catani, a highlight of Blip festival New York in 2009 will be joined by the United Kingdom’s Lazerbeat and _ensnare_, both of whom will be performing at Blip Festival for the first time. A little closer to home will be Saitone and Hally from Japan. The two, who are some of Japan’s longest active performers, have both appeared at multiple Blip Festivals. 

These international artists join the cream of Australia’s local chipmusic crop: Ten Thousand Free Men & Their Families (SYD), Abortifacient (SYD), little-scale (ADE), Derris-Kharlan (MEL) and dot.AY (BNE) as well as Sydney visualist iLKke and the very exciting launch of the highly anticipated audio-visual experience 7bithero by Brisbane’s Hunz.

A second round of audio visual performers is expected in coming weeks to fill out the promised “19” artists.

SoundBytes co-founder, Eugene Davoren-Britton said “There are some exceptionally exciting artists on the line up, and we are especially excited to be bringing many of the artists not just to Australia for the first time, but also to their first Blip Festival performances. We have a bill full of heavy hitting veterans of multiple Blip Festivals as well as fresh new talent that Australian music fans are going to love”. Co-organiser Kristy Dossor added, “It’s a really exciting bill, we have such a variety of genres represented from such a wide variety of backgrounds and nationalities, that there is something to whet everyone’s appetite, even those who are new to chipmusic and may not have had exposure to specific artist’s bodies of work – some of which is quite honestly, prolific.” 

Davoren-Britton added, “Some of these guys have been making music since before there was a name for “chipmusic” and many of them are well known as leaders within the chip community. Bringing them all together for an event like this is not only going to make for a fantastic live music experience, it’s going to be a great learning experience for locals who may not have had this kind of exposure to so many talented artists at one time, not to mention the international audience who will be able to tune into our web stream.” 

Tickets for the Festival will go on sale through the Blip Festival Australia website on January 9th at 10am EDT More information about the festival, including updates on the satellite events taking place during  February will be made available on the Blip festival Australia website

Up to the minute updates will be available on twitter @BlipFestival and on facebook at and

Nullsleep - Blip NY 2008. Photo by Chiptography
Ten Thousand Free Men & Their Families - Blip NY 2011. Photo by Chiptography

Patric Catani - Blip NY 2009. Photo by Chiptography
Hally - Blip NY 2009 - Backers Party. Photo by Chiptography


Blip Festival Australia

Dpad Productions web blog

Music News Australia

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