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Live, Labor Day weekend chiptunes in downtown Los Angeles

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Across the street from a Greyhound bus station in a small, unmarked storefront, eight electronic musicians from around the Southern California area got together last Friday night to bang out some chiptunes using a variety of portable game consoles.

The crowd was a good mix of interested girlfriends and rocking nerds. Everyone was clearly there for the digital music, considering the only other points of interest within walking distance (besides the bus station) were an American Apparel factory and a bunch of gentrified, industrial lofts.

I decided to film what I could of the show for a little montage video. It was pretty dark, save for the colorful flashing lights on-stage and the glitched-out NES graphics projected onto the wall by video jockey Tim Abad. I also couldn’t stay to shoot all the performers (I missed out on EvilWezil and 1000 Needles) since I had to wake up early for work the next day.

Talking to event organizer and artist Kevin “Wizwars” Martinez about Los Angeles' chiptune scene, however, definitely helped to put the night in perspective. Check out the video for my interview and a glimpse at some of the awesome things these musicians are doing with the family of Game Boys, Nintendo DSes, and more.