Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dystopian 8-bit an appropriate soundtrack for the future

I have been listening to a group called 8-bit, a self-described "robotic old school nintendo rap crew" who "landed on your g**d*** planet in 2002". I first saw these guys as the Friday music act on Attack of the Show (July 28), and knew I had to hear more seeing just one song. The general theme of their music is that they are robots who enjoy the robot thug lifestyle. They appear to be suffering from a severe dissociative disorder and alienation from their own bodies by believing they are robots from another planet. It does make for clever, though filthy mouthed lyrics. Their songs are appropriate for anyone who sometimes feels overwhelmed by the seeming dystopia (dystopia, dystopia, dystopia) brought on by technological acceleration.

The disaffection with reality reminds me of the scene in the Matrix when Agent Smith has captured Morpheus and is trying to torture information from him. Agent Smith longs to leave the simulated reality of the Matrix and his duty to control the humans imprisoned therein. He complains that he has been contaminated by the stink of humanity and reality, much like the feeling one assumes the members of 8-bit have when they perform. In songs like "you ain't no robot" they express their disgust at human physical functions and the very idea of corporeality - they hate the thought of being trapped in "meat". Even breathing is distasteful as related in "oxygen".

In "I-deez", one of my favorites, "robots don't have drivers licenses so they gotta get fake i-deez", mostly in order to continue their debauched existence. Don't let the potential negativity stop you from sampling these songs however, the beats are grooving and the rap lyrics are clever and amusing at times. "Drunk" has a great bass riff yet serves as a cautionary tale about avoiding drinking to excess, mostly by doing the opposite of what the song tells you to do. I suspect the whole robot thug lifestyle act is a gimmick to create a great act, but let's give them credit for their disaffection.

You can find some mp3 downloads of their songs for sampling at their website at Ninja Star Records and at the 8-bit Myspace account. I am declaring these songs R-rated not only because of the corrosive dystopian philosophy they espouse but also because the language in them is something even the older kids should avoid using in the work environment or in front of mom.

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