Vinyl? Done. Tape? Ha, as if. German artist Remute is using obsolete game technology to release music – and the latest is an album released on an actual, playable Nintendo 64 cartridge.

The Hamburg-based artist is no stranger to cart releases at this point, having release on Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System (aka Super Famicom or Super Nintendo), PC Engine (TurboGrafx CD), and Nintendo Game Boy. But there’s something especially charming about the N64, isn’t there? It’s at least novel – while Game Boy, NES, and even Commodore 64 have seen dedicated releases, I believe he may be correct when he says this is the first for the N64 specifically.

And it’s not just a cartridge as delivery format for audio files alone, either – the cartridge generates all the music in realtime from software, with just 8 MB storage space. (That’s a good thing, too, as the Nintendo 64 Game Pak carts topped out at just 64 MB of storage even on later model years. If you did just stick music on the cart, you’d have to make some pretty horrible compression.)

Remute explains:

No tricks – this is not an embedded MP3-player, terribly compressed WAV-files¬† or other cheating: as with all previous Remute cartridge albums the sound on this cartridge gets generated and played back in realtime by the console and it’s all happening within meager 8 Megabytes of storage space! With ‘R64’ the Nintendo 64 console is your very own synthesizer/sampler hybrid and happy to serve you every time you turn it on and press play! 93,75 MHz baby! For this wizardry Remute cooperated with genius Nintendo 64 dev Rasky, who is not only responsible for the sound engine and player-GUI, but also managed to put together an amazingly trippy 3D-experience accompanying Remute’s music – you will…uhmmm… fly. The cartridges are region-free and will fit and play flawlessly on all models of the Nintendo 64 console – no matter if NTSC-U, PAL or NTSC-J.¬†

My only regret is that there’s no cart racing game as part of the deal, but this is a whole lot more fun than an NFT. (Sorry, but – it totally is.)

The full release is coming on March 25, but we get one of the ultra-poppy tracks already. Have a listen:

Okay, and having written the obvious snarky lead-in like the hack I am, Remute also offers a 7″ vinyl edition.

For Dreamcast fans like me, there’s a project for Sega Dreamcast with legendary developer Duranik. Duranik produced the 2013 title Sturmwind, itself a boutique return to a defunct game platform. I knew there was a reason I brought my Dreamcast with me to Germany.

When you put it all together, Unity for Game Boy Advance, this N64 title R64, plus Generations for Dreamcast will form an album trilogy. Time to hit eBay Kleinanzeigen so you’re ready to play them all.

He’s done the Game Boy Advance (GBA), too. Mmm, in gold / Tetris edition, that SP. (I’ll stay out of debates over GBA audio quality in various generations.)

Find everything at:

https://remute.bandcamp.com

And ask yourself, can you blow on an NFT to make it work?

Bonus, if this article was over too fast, here’s a one-hour interview on the awesome RetroRGB. (Subscribed!)