Jul 022012

Chip music came as a welcome change for Seth. He spent the bulk of the ’90s making electronic music, but felt “lost in this sea of electronic artists that all sounded the same.” His new-old sound changed that.

By 2004, 8 Bit Weapon was gaining a reputation and Seth was putting together parties called Microwave. Michelle randomly stopped by one of those parties and it changed her musical path completely. A drummer since junior high, she had played in garage bands, but had never dabbled in electronic music. After she found out about chip music, that changed.

Seth and Michelle didn’t meet that night, but they started communicating on MySpace shortly thereafter. Seth gave Michelle a copy of Little Sound DJ, a program that allows people to make music on a Game Boy. He was going to teach her how to use it, but she taught herself first. Michelle started making her own tracks and uploading them to MySpace, just to share with her friends and family. She only had a couple songs online, but still caught the attention of someone who recruited her to do some work for Mark Mothersbaugh. “That kicked my butt into gear and then I created my solo band,” she recalls.

Michelle was already making music as ComputeHer when she joined 8 Bit Weapon. The two projects perform together a lot and, together, they’ve built up one of the strongest reputations in chip music. Between 8 Bit Weapon and ComputeHer, they have a slew of releases to their credit, including compilations and remix work for other artists. They’ve contributed music to video games and other soundtracks. But, their highest profile credit of late is probably their inclusion in “The Art of Video Games” at the Smithsonian. Five of their songs– three from 8 Bit Weapon and two from ComputeHer– are featured in the exhibition. Amongst those is the exhibition’s theme, “The Art of Video Games Anthem” from 8 Bit Weapon. Seth also has a Commodore 64 in the exhibit, which runs until September 30 at the Washington D.C. museum. That they also played live as part of the opening weekend’s GameFest! extravaganza made the experience even more exciting. It was recognition from a major U.S. institution for music that’s still decidedly underground.

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