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8bitSF presents
Pow x8: GDC 2019
Tuesday, March 19
8pm - after hours.
chiptunes. video game music. indie games.
$15 advance;
$20 day of show;
$10 door with GDC badge.
Performing Live:

Crashfaster (San Francisco) Special 10th anniversary show!
Zen Albatross (New York)
Freaky DNA (Vancouver)
Bryface (Vancouver)
Bleeds (San Diego)
Meduusa (Helsinki)

Visuals by: Dæmon Core

In honor of the 2019 Game Developer's Conference, 8bitSF and Monobomb Records are proud to present Powx8: a celebration of the indie spirit. The Pow party is a colossal night of sound + vision, featuring performances by the best acts in gaming and chip music as well as demo tables and presentations by indie developers. Help us celebrate 8 years of independent games and music!

Crashfaster is a San Francisco-based band that combines elements of 8-bit video game music, synth pop, and industrial. Their songs, while bright and effervescent, are often darker and more melancholy than the work of most artists associated with the chiptune scene, reflecting themes of loneliness and disenchantment. The group was started in 2009, initially as a solo vehicle for video game composer Morgan Tucker, who wrote bouncy synth pop tunes using vintage video game consoles as well as drum machines and vocoders. Tucker also established a Bay Area chiptune community called 8bitSF around this time. After appearing on a few compilations, Crashfaster's debut album, Disconnect, was released by Monobomb Records in 2011. In 2012, Crashfaster provided a remix for Minecraft composer C418's album One. By the time Crashfaster released their second album, Further, in 2013, they had become a full band including vocalist Keiko Takamura, drummer Devin Nixon, and guitarist Ryan Case. The Superchroma EP followed in 2014, and the group contributed a cover of "Never Let Me Down Again" to the Depeche Mode tribute album Enjoy the Science. The two-track singles Echo and Rewind followed in 2015.

Zen Albatross assembles colossal obelisks of sound using antiquated game consoles, tape loops and improvised electronics. The resulting rhythmic constructs form apocalyptic dance anthems which rise and disintegrate into a surreal stream of carefully-sustained drones and noise. Beginning in 2008 as a project to channel techno-political anxieties by pushing obsolete hardware to its maximum potential, ZEN ALBATROSS quickly became an active component of New York City's thriving chip music scene. They have since performed at dozens of events in cities across the US and Canada, including two appearances at New York's legendary chiptune epicenter Blip Festival.

Vancouver's Leonard J. Paul - aka Freaky DNA - has enjoyed a long and varied decades-long career as a game composer and sound designer. Industry-wise he specializes in generative music and procedural audio, often using the Pure Data visual programming platform to do everything from creating completely dynamic game soundscapes to generating an entire documentary's musical score. Indie game enthusiasts may very well have heard Freaky DNA's music from his contributions to the successful indie game Retro City Rampage, alongside well-known chip musicians Norrin_Radd and Virt. In order to stay true to the game's NES aesthetic, he used programs such as OpenMPT to meticulously lay down tracks made up of samples of the NES sound hardware. More recently, he's been writing music that actually plays directly on the NES itself, using tools that generate bytecode for execution on the NES system. Over the last several years Leonard has also been devoting much of his time to being an industry educator: he created the School of Video Game Audio, where he provides comprehensive courses to prospective video game sound designers both locally and abroad.

Bryface is a bipedal organism based in Vancouver, Canada. A world-class composer and one of the chip scene's foremost innovators, his music routinely challenges scene-wide assumptions about your favourite chip platforms' capabilities. Complex rhythms and textures playfully intertwine with nimble, expressive melodies that not only convey a deep reverence for computer music's rich history but also speculate earnestly about its future. All of these elements combine to form a sound that has been widely labeled - by peers and scene luminaries the world over - as "good".

(mike)Bleeds from San Diego began making chiptune music in 2007 and has been playing numerous gigs throughout California since. With 2 gameboys running LSDJ, he produces tracks ranging from influences of drum and bass, hard trance, and happy hardcore. Bleeds' style and composition has known to be dirty and raw combined with pent up energy of dance tracks that will get you moving.

Meduusa (Elie Abraham) is a composer, sound designer, voice actor and unyielding game jammer who has worked on over 90 jam games in the past couple years. At Global Game Jam 2019, they set a world record when they livestreamed themselves soundtracking 30 games at a single jam. They are one half of indie game studio Ian & Elie and have made games such as Sature and Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks). They also moonlight as an audio freelancer for escape rooms and game titles such as Ghost Dentist and Yaga, have written for games including Dandara, and previously ran escape rooms for InsideOut in Helsinki, Finland. They are an activist for queer visibility and have been featured in Wired, Autostraddle, Voma and the Helsinki City Museum exhibit HelSinki.