I’m sure if I programmed I’d understand MASTER BOOT RECORD‘s artist profile on bandcamp, but as things stand I’m not entirely sure what a 486DX-33MHz-64MB even is. However, what is entirely clear is MASTER BOOT RECORD is some kind of Italian Windows 95-era AI robot,  operating outside normal parameters, “processing avant-garde chiptune, synthesized heavy metal & classical symphonic music.” I, for one, welcome our rogue-AI-programming-chiptune-metal overlords.

Look—I’m not a 𝔹𝕀𝔾 ℂ𝕆𝕄ℙ𝕌𝕋𝔼ℝ 𝔹𝕆𝕐. I’m not even a ˡⁱᵗᵗˡᵉ ᶜᵒᵐᵖᵘᵗᵉʳ ᵇᵒʸ. Some would go so far as to say I know nothing about computers (I have a vivid memory of being in grade 7 and telling a buddy of mine to delete everything on his hard drive that was taking up space, subsequently destroying his entire computer), so I really don’t understand exactly what ‘chiptune’ is. But what I can tell you is that MASTER BOOT RECORD does it well. Very well. So well, in fact, it makes me want to become a 𝔹𝕀𝔾 ℂ𝕆𝕄ℙ𝕌𝕋𝔼ℝ 𝔹𝕆𝕐 so I can understand chiptune and what the hell is going on in these albums.

But not understanding how it’s done doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable; on the contrary. MASTER BOOT RECORD has clearly learned what the human art form ‘heavy metal’ is, and created an incredible approximation through some kind of digital voodoo. What this 486DX-33MHz-64MB has achieved—creating awesome metal music—with what sounds like a bunch of ancient hard drives buzzing at the same time is unique and deeply interesting. But it is not simply a curiosity or a gimmick; the songs produced by this rogue AI are excellently written, well worth repeat listens. They’re not the most original chord progressions; rather, they feel familiar, but in a sort of uncanny-valley way. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’re listening to actual distorted guitars until a little digital manipulation occurs, reminding you of video games you played as a child. The music feels fresh and interesting, landing somewhere between 8-bit, thrash metal, and synthwave. It’s retro and forward thinking all at the same time.

Maybe I’m not actually as eager to welcome our robot overlords as previously stated, but if more of them were like MASTER BOOT RECORD and less like Elon Musk I’d entertain the idea. Check out MASTER BOOT RECORD over on bandcamp.

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