You might call it 8-bit, you might call it chip tune, you might call it awesome, you might call it video game noises—either way, you’d be correct because YMCK has come back with a vengence with “Family Cooking,” which brings the funk! That’s right, the FUNK! With jazzy rhythms and groovy vocals, it’s the Shibuya-kei musical spirit reborn thru an NES (or the Famicom for our Japanese readers. Hello, Japanese readers!) I know there will be nay-sayers saying that Shibuya-kei stopped at Paris Match and Pizzicato Five, but those people (are you one of them?!) are just a bunch of stuck-in-the-past fuddy duddys. Welcome the Neo-Shibuya-kei chiptune movement!
YMCK is made up of 3 geniuses: Midori Kurihara on vocals, Yokemura Takeshi composing music, lyrics, and arrangements, and Nakamura Tomoyuki as 8-bit music video creator. They’ve toured in Sweden, Netherlands, New York City, Thailand, Korea and Taiwan. (How you like those 8-bit apples, stuck-in-the-past fuddy duddys?!)
You’ll be able to catch them performing live in the U.S. at Katsucon 15 on February 13-15 in Arlington, Virginia. For all the details on Katsucon, check out katsucon.org. February 6 is the last day to pre-register for Katsucon 15 online, so if you’ve been putting off that D.C. road trip, now is the time! Don’t worry. Everything’s been cleaned up from the monster inauguration party last week.
As champions of the 8-bit music scene, YMCK have gone so far as to make their own soft synth audio plugin for 8-bit sounds: The Magical 8-Bit Plugin! For Mac OSX, it runs with AU (Audio Units) applications such as Logic (my personal sequencer of choice), Digital Performer, and Garageband. In Windows, it runs with VSTi applications such as Cubase. You can download it for FREE here and start writing your own 8-bit songs! Join the 8-bit retro-revolution!
You can buy YMCK on iTunes U.S. and in Japanese stores. Also check out their website in both English and Japanese!
And now it’s Music Video time…