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Chiptune artists rally to support Japan

A group of chiptune musicians are working on a compilation album in order to raise funds to support the work of the Red Cross in the aftermath of the earthquake that has devastated Japan.

The artists, led by Matthew 'Pixelh8' Applegate, are seeking to raise at least $5,000 via the FirstGiving site - and are promising to release a compilation album of chiptune tracks as a reward for any and all who donate.

"Amid all the chaos I thought the only thing I could do to help was to put together a compilation of chip music to help raise donations and awareness for the people of Japan in their difficult time," Applegate explained. "If it wasn’t for the hard working people of Japan there would be none of this great chip tune music in the first place."

Chiptune artists are musicians who use old computer and gaming hardware - typically, although not exclusively, from the 8-bit era of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, and Commodore C64 - to create electronic music in a variety of sub-genres from classical to death metal.

While it's certainly a niche genre, the world of chiptune is enjoying a rise in popularity at present as high-profile bands such as Owl City borrow many techniques for their hits.

The fundraising efforts are being coordinated by chiptune news site True Chip Till Death, which has a page containing all the details plus the all-important donation link. At the time of writing, donations stand at around 10 per cent of the group's goal.