Myocyte #132: October 15 01:oo UTC
I collected these tracker music tunes over several years from Mazemod, a Flash-based website where songs could be streamed (it hasn’t worked in my browser for a couple of years — this may be Adobe-related). Mazemod had three flavors of streams: Bass, Acid, and Chip. I took all mine from the Acid category, which mimics ’90s house, techno, and jungle styles.
The songs can all still be found as .mod files (see, e.g., https://modland.com/pub/modules/Protracker/) but at the time I saved these, Mazemod had no archive of the streams (that I could find). However, the player would allow you to backtrack to just-played songs, and using this feature I recorded my favorite tunes on a PC, writing down the titles as I went.
As anyone who watched the film 8-Bit knows (recently released as $2.99 stream on Vimeo), not everyone loves chiptune music, especially when made on the Gameboy. Chiptune is more of a flavor than a lifestyle, best heard in small doses. (Less is not always more.) Tracker music, however, which includes game-like music as a subset, adapts the 8-bit ethos to more fully-fleshed-out club tunes, giving an appealing lightness and speed to the music it seeks to emulate. It’s essentially played on spreadsheets, with note-on commands triggering an inboard library of highly compressed, low-res samples, which fire out of the speakers like machine gun bullets. It may be an illusion but it just feels lighter, because the samples load so quickly. There is a raspy, gritty quality to the sounds because of all the shed bytes. Many of these solutions for playing rave tunes in an Excel-like piano roll are ingenious. How do they make those 303 runs, turntable scratches, and delays sound so spontaneous? There is humor, life, and sheer joy in these songs, making them infinitely listenable.
Below is a list of the tracks, with footnotes for a few recognizable vocal samples.
Apologies for any errors in this hastily handmade metadata:
00:00 The Fox II, “Groovedoos”
03:25 Group (?) “The Celsius” (Justice 96 Remix)
07:28 Raatomestari “More Life” (1)
11:19 Raina, “Smile”
12:41 Tang, “Narhim”
15:57 Revi, “Frozen 35”
19:12 Dupont and Dopegroove, “The Love Is Gone”
25:46 Jean Nine, “Jean Learns to Race” (2)
29:35 Zetor, “Trippin”
32:02 MEFIS, “Connection Busy”
37:04 Fakiiri, “Bumblebi”
41:17 The Fox II, “Naihanchida Remix” (3)
45:52 Orlingo, “Live and Uncut”
49:38 Tarmslyng, “Goodbymetal”
55:13 Pekka Pou, “Trip to Ahtaruup”
58:07 Voicer, “Lollypop”
1. Rutger Hauer saying “I want more life,” from Blade Runner
2. From Reservoir Dogs: “This is a hard job.” “So’s working at McDonalds’s but you don’t feel the need to tip them, do you?” and “You kill anybody?” “A few cops.” “No real people?” “Just cops.”
3. Martin Luther King, “This must become true,” “Let freedom ring,” etc