Friday, March 02, 2007

YMCK - Magical 8-bit Tour, Go YMCK, Go!

Today was a snow day, which meant the highways were simply too crappy to drive on and I could play hooky from work. This suited me just fine because it gave me a chance to play with my brand new toy, the R4 Revolution for DS Supercard! To those of you new to the wonderful world of grey market products from China, the R4 allows me to download any game or homebrew software I want onto a Micro SD card and play them on my Nintendo DS. I have always been fascinated by these almost but not quite illegal ways to exploit gaming hardware.

When I was just a young lad of say, 22 or so I remember getting my first modchip for the original Playstation. It was a snowy winters day not unlike today. On campus I had seen advertisements for a company called Modchip Canada and I decided to give them a call. The man on the phone told me to bring my system and gave me the route to his shop. His shop turned out to be a big, brand new house on the outskirts of the city. He told me that kids everywhere were buying these things hand over fist and that this was the house that modchips built. He soldiered a chip onto my motherboard in a few seconds and my days of booking computer labs with the sole purpose of pirating games had begun. I'm not really a gamer per say; my game was in the act of piracy. I enjoyed the challenge of getting what I wasn't supposed to have and unlike my shady run-ins with the music industry, it basically ended in huge spindles of unplayed games. I wasn't eating the meat - this was strictly trophy hunting.

The thing that makes the DS exploit more interesting to me is the sheer power stuffed into my little DS. The wi-fi, the touch screen, the microphone and the all around portability of the device. There are a whole slieu of possibilities built into this thing that are being developed by homebrew designers that can only be made available by having such a supercard as I now own. Whether I will use this card to any real end remains to be seen, but at the $45 Canadian I got it for, it's a chance I'm willing to take. Not to mention the undeniable novelty of playing a round or two of the C-64's Gianna Sisters on my DS.

Seeing that my head is in the game universe today, let me introduce you all to the 8-bit Bossanova kings of Japan, YMCK. Yellow, magenta, cyan and black. YMCK is the 8-bit pop unit formed by Midori, Yokemura and Nakamura. The most prominent feature of the band is the 8-bit sound that reminds people old game consoles, which attracts the enthusiastic support from wide range of generations. The 1st album "Family Music" released in 2004 made a big hit and made their popularity unassailable. The groups follow-up album, "Family Racing" is slightly less inspired yet bravely continues in the nostalgic path established by the first. YMCK also does a wide range of activities, such as remix works, video game sound tracks, DJ performances and development of 8-bit sound plug-in software. Today's video come from their first and second albums, repectively.

Enjoy the lo-fidelity.