8-Bit MP3s

A post early this morning on gizmodo.com, the consumerist gadget blog with an interest in homebrew hacking, directed readers to an online gallery of psychedelic visual “boot patterns” from arcade video games. Housed at axbx.assembler.org, the screens are brightly colored mishmashes of ASCII characters, beautiful in their lo-fi chaos, and nostalgia-inducing for readers of a certain age. As audio accompaniment, the gizmodo writeup referenced a small cache of MP3s, also housed on the assembler.org server, at 2a03.assembler.org. Apparently 2a03 is the name of an old Nintendo sound chip, from an early-1980s 8-bit platform called the Famicom. The five MP3s on the site are abstract mutations of theme music from a Famicom video game; you can hear the chipper tunes bleed through stuttered breakbeats and thick washes of interference. “This is done through random string manipulation, rearrangement, addition and subtraction,” the site explains. (Original gizmodo post here.)

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