Ahh Ahh by Maggi Payne


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Chiptune music — original songs compused primarily using 8-bit microcomputers or their style — is nothing new; in particular, 8 Bit Weapon has been using the Apple II to perform in this genre since 1998.

But we don't often talk about music composed using the Apple II back during its heyday. Some computer games featured simple soundtracks, but was the computer itself ever used to produce musical products that were independent of any software?

The answer is yes, with one example being musician Maggi Payne's album Ahh Ahh. This album wasn't released until 2012, but it features music Payne composed in the mid-1980s using a variety of instruments, including the Apple II computer.

This six-track album was re-released last week by Aguirre Records and is now available on vinyl or can be downloaded from Bandcamp. While the LP costs €21, the digital version costs a mere €6, with three of the tracks streaming for free.

According to the product description:

Composed on an Apple II computer and various early sampling devices, Payne's compositions are a vibrant response to the call from the moving body. Populated with buoyant pulses, graceful analogue swells, dense fog-like drones and cascading rhythms that shift in space, Ahh Ahh is a vital document of not only these early collaborations, but of computer based music as well.

Here is the opening number, "Flights of Fancy":

If you're looking to expand your musical portfolio with something familiar yet off the beaten path, check out Ahh-Ahh.

(Hat tips to Lazlo Rugoff and Wade Clarke)

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