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Pixelh8 | Obsolete?

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Official Website

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Great Britain / UK

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Electronic: Electronica Avant Garde: Classical Avant-Garde Moods: Type: Experimental
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by Pixelh8

Music made from the machines at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.
Genre: Electronic: Electronica
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. While / Opening Credits
0:37 $0.99
2. Math
1:57 $0.99
3. Flowers for Sale
1:12 $0.99
4. Late At the Office
0:34 $0.99
5. Then Goto 1980
3:09 $0.99
6. 200320092000
1:25 $0.99
7. Rewind the Tape
3:10 $0.99
8. More Math
2:23 $0.99
9. Even Later At the Office
1:23 $0.99
10. Function
2:22 $0.99
11. Monster
1:25 $0.99
12. Obsolete?
0:42 $0.99
13. Encoded Message / End Credits
0:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Internationally renowned chip tune musician Pixelh8 / Matthew C. Applegate makes his music from reprogramming vintage computer systems such as the ZX spectrum, Commodore 64 and Game Boy.

His unique blend of Electronica has taken him across the globe, performing at Microdisco in Berlin, Apple iTunes in California, Assembly 2008 in Helsinki Finland, Game in The City Festival and most recently BBC Maida Vale Studios for Radio 1 in London.

Highly regarded in this emerging genre of music, he has been interviewed by both CNN and the BBC Radio and BBC Television, as well several magazines and websites all over the world.

In 2006 he won a MySpace competition to open for Grammy nominee Imogen Heap on her UK tour and in March 2008 he won Playback Album of the Month from Sound On Sound Magazine with his second album “The Boy With The Digital Heart”.

Pixelh8 has also created software like the Pixelh8 Music Tech Game Boy Synth and Pro Performer for other musicians such as Imogen Heap and Damon Albarn.

Parallel to his involvement in music performance Matthew C. Applegate lectures and runs music and computer related workshops across the United Kingdom and is a mentor at the British Academy of New Music, London. Patron of the Access To Music Centre, Norwich and is currently conducting research at The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes.

His current work “Obsolete?” is a study of the The National Museum of Computing, at WWII code-breaking centre Bletchley Park, the people, the history and the machines. Using the old computing machines such as the Colossus Mark 2, Elliot 803 and The Tunny to create a whole new palette on which to create the music with. The study is culminating in a two evening performance on March 20th and 21st, 2009. The piece has been commisioned by The National Museum of Computing and funded by The Performing Rights Society Foundation New Music Award and has already been featured on BBC News 24, BBC Look East, BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Suffolk, BBC Three Counties, New Scientist, Games TM and Dazed & Confused Magazine.



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Not your ordinary chiptune.
Pixelh8's "Obsolete?" musical work is, first and foremost, nowhere near similar to any other chiptune album you've heard before. The music is made from old, rare, vintage computers--and even some adding machines--comprised from the National Museum of Computing's collection in Bletchley Park. Ordinarilly, from chiptunes in general you'd expect the synthesized blip-blop common to 8-bit music. For most of "Obsolete?", however, you'll experience something completely different. Instead of just plain old blips and bleeps, Pixelh8 cleverly recorded and made real songs from the non-electrical clicking and clacking of some very old machines, such as the "Colossus" rebuild of the extremely early Mark II and various other vintage hardware. The result is talented, uncommon, and very strange. The very first track "While / Opening Credits" is a less than forty-second recording of some old computer or whatnot humming. Then things get musical and rythemic with "Math", a very nice short little clickety-clackety showcase of hardware. The following track "Flowers For Sale" is basically nothing but the so-called "atmospheric" whirring of a tape reader. Things change soon after with track number four, "Late At The Office"--a cool, gritty beat with plenty of crunchy sounds to go around. "THEN GOTO 1980" brings the first appearence of normal 8-bit-style sounds, and it is mixed with another loud and crazy click-clack beat. "200320092000" comes next, another short "Math"-style hardware track. "Rewind The Tape" begins with something akin to an old computer glitch, and then goes into a repeditive beat that mostly relies upon more normal-sounding chiptune fare. Track eight, "More Math", is apparently an adding-machine infused track with actual music being made from the little clicks of early calculators. "Even Later At The Office" marks the return of the original "Late At The Office" beat, accompanied by some strange, low blips. The following track, dubbed "Function", is another gritty showcase of non-electrical computer sounds, with a long soft bridge near the end. "Monster" relies on some machine that sounds like a vaccuum cleaner. The title track "Obsolete?" includes the final return of the "Late At The Office" beat accompanied by a bloopy melody. Pixelh8 rounds things off with "Encoded Message / End Credits", a weird series of a few strange sounds. Overall, if you're a chiptune-enthusiast looking for something unique, "Obsolete?" may be for you. It can, on the other hand, be used to freak out your friends, a lot of which may not consent to think of it as music. However, chiptune-lovers can appreciate it as such, and possibly come to realize what a talented musician this Pixelh8 is.