It's Friday~ Friday~ Audio File Friday~
So remember my Audio Fool's Day post where I raved about Rebecca Black's cultural relevancy and misunderstood talent? The inspiration for that entry, aside from Rebecca herself, was the 8-bit remix of the viral hit Friday done by Arman Bohn.
Upon discovering Mr. Bohn's remix I mistakenly thought he was yet another 8-bit remixer but boy was I wrong. Upon further investigation I found a truly talented artist and a pair of original albums not only inspired by gaming but in one case created by gaming.
Arman Bohn hails from Bellingham, Washington and having made his way through several band projects over the years he now finds himself a solo artist exploring not only music but film-making as well. Following the work he did with bands The Shed and Eureka Farm he crafted his first solo album Bits in 2009 which you can listen to right here:
Inspired by Atari 2600 games Bits features a unique synth-pop rock sound that takes one back to the 80s
or the nows with its clever combination of synth beats, guitar wailing, and 8-bit beeps. The inspiration is obvious especially when it comes to the 8-bit but thankfully none of it is overdone. 8-bit sounds have gotten a lot of use these days but Mr. Bohn manages to do utilize them in a way that feels natural, a needed part of the album, rather than tacked on or gimmicky lookin' at you Black Eyed Peas' last album. Each beep feels strategically placed alongside each guitar strum resulting in a clear and focused album. Not just a collection of songs but an album that has a direction and a point.
Here's the video for the album's opening track Combat, directed by Bohn himself.
Arman Bohn's music would feel right at home in the iTunes library of just about anyone. You've got the throwback sound that all the kids are listening to, the gaming inspiration to keep the gamers happy, and enough musical chops to get even the most elitist of elitists to shut up and take a listen.
Take the album's second track Kaboom, for instance. I've got no trouble imagining this playing on the radio alongside big names like The Kings of Leon or The XX.
The fact that this guy isn't bigger than he is is criminal. I showed his stuff to a gamer/audiophile friend of mine who's heard just about everyone thinking I was late to the game only to end up witnessing the most beautiful mix of surprise and joy wash across his face.
Try not smiling while listening to this guy's stuff. It's tough.
Unless you just never smile. It's got that Owl City-vibe that's guaranteed to make you happy, but less sugary and with more bite.
Last Summer he released his Synthlove EP, a companion piece to Bits that features 80s cover songs sequenced entirely on a Nintendo DSi. That's right, just like fan favorite Anamanaguchi this guy has taken a video game console and turned it into an instrument.
8-Bit covers are nothing revolutionary, but Arman stands ahead of the pack by taking his covers to the next level via great vocals, intelligent arrangement that doesn't sacrifice musicality for 8-bit authenticity, and of course his unique sequencing methods.
Take a listen:
The best part is that he loves to share his creative process with his fans! Over at his blog you can check out updates on his work and get insights on how he does what he does. Ever wanted to make your own 8-bit cover? Well Arman's going to show you how.
Arman Bohn has got talent oozing out his ears, and is most certainly an artist to watch. Whether you're a fan of chiptune, 8-bit remixes, synth-pop/rock, Rebecca Black, or 80s covers you'll be in good hands here.
You can buy his album from just about every digital download music service there is, or directly from the artist himself via Distropolis Records (where you can get every album he's worked on, beyond just Bits and Synthlove)
That about wraps it up for this week Audiophiles, be sure to give Arman's tunes a spin this weekend and I'll catch you all next time.