Various Artists | Nanoloop
Disco Bruit | CD
While still a student at art school in Hamburg artist/musician/developer Oliver Wittchow created Nanoloop - a software synthesizer and sequencer for Nintendo's ubiquitous GameBoy. Drawn by the GameBoy's widespread availability - over 100 million have been sold worldwide - and the special quality of its integrated soundchip, Wittchow developed a software/hardware interface to coax 'music' from the GameBoy.
What started as an interesting exercise has now been repurposed by Hamburg's Disco Bruit to create Nanoloop 1.0, a fascinating compiliation which showcases the results of a variety of artistic approaches to the challenges and constraints of the GameBoy's inevitably limited musical palette.
Wittchow opens with 'Nanoloop', 02.44 of reduced-format shudders and stutters which rapidly collapse into the typically humorous, organised chaos of DAT Politics' 'Richoux'. Pita's 'Nloopcbn' follows, characterised as ever by the piercing sounds of corrupted data flows and modem-failure maximalism, underpinned by an ultra-condensed rhythmic workout.
It's a testament to the calibre of the artists involved that each imposes their own style and distinctive musical flavour onto the GameBoy despite its limitations, and it's this that makes the compilation so appealing. In a landscape increasingly characterised by musical similarities, Nanoloop 1.0 confounds expectations and offers some refreshing musical perspectives. NanoLoop 2.0 is eagerly awaited.
[Cf. Electric Family | MarioPaint]