Concert Review: Red Bull Music Academy Presents 1UP: Cart Diggers Live


If I had to choose a favorite music genre, “game music” would probably be in my top three. Something about the classic aesthetic combined with its frequent manic tempo triggers both the nostalgic and musical areas of my brain in just the perfect way that sends me to aural bliss.

So when I found out that Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) would be hosting a night of chiptune/game-inspired music here in Tokyo, I was rather excited. I was doubly excited when I discovered that Scottish DJ Rustie would be headlining the event, which was entitled 1UP: Cart Diggers Live (named after a documentary series about game music), playing a custom-made mix of music by legendary game composer Yuzo Koshiro. Not only that, but there would be a “performance” by the hologram vocaloid superstar Hatsune Miku, and Chip Tanaka, composer of Metroid, Ice Climbers and Dr. Mario, would be there! How could it possibly go wrong?

By the end of the night I was left asking myself; did anything go right? Continue reading