Context is king. Which is what makes this afternoon’s performance in a busy Kyoto hall all the more interesting, really. Behind a small table on which a pair of laptops and some mixing desks are neatly laid out, two well-presented middle-aged Japanese people study their screens for a few moments, exchange a couple of nervous glances and then let rip with a high-pitched arpeggio that’s soon joined by a kicking four-to-the-floor beat. It sounds intense, with all the drive and swagger of a clubhouse classic. And of course it’s the soundtrack to a video game that’s coming up to 30 years old. It’s hardly the first time that an 8-bit soundtrack has been used to fill a dancefloor, though I do detect a slight sense of bemusement from the two performers when I speak them elsewhere that day. Keiji Yamagishi and Kaori Nakabai are two veterans of the Famicom era, reunited at this year’s BitSummit for a live performance of the Ninja Gaiden 3 soundtrack, and brought together by the resurgence of interest in 8-bit soundtracks in recent years. Maybe that’s because they’re an endearingly humble pair, giggling their way through our brief interview and clearly enjoying the opportunity to… Read full this story
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