On Anamanaguchi


In this week’s Village Voice, I profile Anamanaguchi, a four-piece NYU rock band in which piece #5 is a customized NES console which has been programmed to spit out complicated sequences of lo-fi beeps while the other band members play along with the more obvious instruments.

This is not as nerd-niche-y as it may sound. Ratatat turned into one of last year’s more curious indie-rock success stories by conjuring texturally comparable Fire Flower and 1-UP noises via guitars and keyboards; in 2007, Timbaland himself was caught illegitimately sampling an obscure chiptune composer for a Nelly Furtado backing track. Meanwhile, gamers have also grown more musically engaged through titles like Rock Band and Dance Dance Revolution, boosting the career of Guitar Hero–buoyed metalheads DragonForce, suggesting a massive built-in fanbase ripe for the harvesting. If chiptune does finally go mainstream, Anamanaguchi will surely lead the charge. More