From reading suggestions, now we bring you something for your ear. We're going to take a listen now to an emerging form of electronic music. Its layered sound comes from some pretty limited technology - video game systems from the 1980s.


GREENE: That's music from Anamanaguchi. They're a punk band from Brooklyn, and they're part of an underground music scene known as chiptune. Chiptune musicians have brought old Nintendos and Game Boy systems back to life by bringing them on stage.


GREENE: The band Anamanaguchi creates music by reprogramming old video-game consoles. They're using those sounds you'd hear when you were playing games like ""Super Mario Brothers," but the band makes their own melodies. On stage, four band members play guitars and drums - and then there's that old Nintendo nearby, chirping away.

Peter Berkman composes and programs most of the songs. He also plays the guitar.

PETER BERKMAN: Eight-bit music, and working with it, is pretty much like the punk-rock world of electronic music.

GREENE: When he says 8-bit there, he's talking about the low-tech quality of the music and the video games it comes from.

BERKMAN: It's taking something that's super-orchestrated, like most of the electronic music you hear today, and breaking it down to its most basic principles.


GREENE: We spoke with Berkman and the rest of his band backstage at the Ottobar, a venue in Baltimore that's a must stop for indie musicians. Berkman says it is a challenge to create music that can fill a club using the small-sound palette from an old Nintendo game system. But he says those sounds have the power to evoke a Technicolor world.

BERKMAN: Whenever you use those 8-bit sounds, you associate them with these fantasy places. And that aesthetic of these worlds that exist nowhere else but your imagination is tapped in super easily, by using these sounds that were considered for a long time to be off-limits to artists.


GREENE: Because Anamanaguchi's music grew out of video games, the group was asked to create the soundtrack for one. It's called "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World." There's a graphic novel and a movie by the same name.


GREENE: But drummer Luke Silas says he's determined that Anamanaguchi not be stereotyped as a video-game band.

LUKE SILAS: It is an instrument, you know, the same way that someone would use a guitar for a million, billion purposes. You know, it has nothing to do with genre. It's a medium.

GREENE: To show how versatile this medium can be, the band played a new song at their recent show in Baltimore. It's called "You and Me."


GREENE: For more live recording from Anamanaguchi, go to nprmusic.org. This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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