8-Bit Kabuki Theater Visits the Second Day of Blip Fest 2012


Saturday evenings, either by design or accident, is when the biggest "holy shit?!" moments go down at Blip Festival. Last night, day two of Blip Fest 2012, continued the traditional and then some.


That video above is Omodaka. The multimedia powerhouse is one of two acts that festival organizers said were absolutely do-not-miss.

Omodaka graced the stage of Blip Festival Tokyo last year, and can be somewhat described at a witches' brew of DS Lite, Game Boy Color, PSP, and super kawaii videos, all masterfully orchestrated by a mysterious individuals donning a theater mask and kimono. But honestly, that's barely scratching the surface.

One of the best things about Blip Festival is the foreign talent they bring to American soil. And Omodaka's set, which essentially combines traditional Kabuki Theater and beloved Japanese chiptunes atheistic, can easily be considered a bold new step forward for the medium.

The second must-see act at Blip Fest 2012 was Josh Davis, aka Bit Shifter, longtime friend to Nullsleep and co-founder of the modern chiptune scene. Bit Shifter completely tore the house down with his dance your ass off set.

If Merriam-Webster ever gets around to defining chiptunes, they need only have a picture (or preferably video) of Bit Shifter. He's basically the guy that most every 8-bit musician aspires to be, period. If Davis was to play the same exact set as did at the very first Blip, six years ago, there we be zero complaints. But of course, Bit Shifter is better than that.


His set this time was punctuated with a great deal of singing. The plan originally was to have vocals for every single song, according to Davis afterward, but he wasn't able to properly prepare in time. It's understandable, given the Herculean challenges behind the scenes when it comes to putting Blip together.

Instead, half the set was singing, and half the set was some of standards (along with a cover of a BSK song). Again, no complaints here.


But Blip is not over yet; tonight is the final night. If you're near Gramercy Park in Manhattan, stop by and witness its conclusion first hand. Tickets may be purchased here.



I loved it, but judging from this vid alone, I don't think that was kabuki. I've never seen masks used in kabuki for one, but I was getting more of an awesome new-age Noh vibe from it. Noh actually uses masks, and is usually performed at Shinto sites, which could explain why the artist was dressed as a Miko (Shinto shrine maiden).