Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2005 : 41 "Comsten" by Goto80


By the mid-Aughts, a lot of people were creating new interfaces that allowed nerdy musicians to easily manipulate the sound chips in obsolete technology like the GameBoy or the Commodore 64, flooding the Internet with tunes built around old-school video game noises. Both forward-thinking and backward-glancing, 8-bit music got a fair share of attention, with no less a figure than Malcolm McLaren (smelling money no doubt) publicly pronouncing that 8-bit music was "the new punk rock." I enjoyed a lot of this music for its ability to produce bursts of nostalgic feeling in me, but "Comsten" is the only "gamewave" track I've ever heard that has the ability to truly approach the sublime. This track is frantic even at its outset, but it occasionally "powers up" into something so dense and frenzied that it threatens the mind's ability to process it. Eventually it disintegrates into a whirling torrent of annihilatory pleasure, with only a vamping, increasingly deranged melodic line to remind us that we're still somewhere within the big tent that is pop music.

Jeremy Bushnell

Listen: Goto80 >> "Comsten"

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