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Image of Pixelh8
Image of Pixelh8
Background information
Birth nameMatthew Carl Applegate
OriginIpswich, England
GenresElectronica, Alternative, Video Game Music, Chip Tune
Occupation(s)Musician, Songwriter, programmer, software designer, lecturer, tutor, video game designer, programmer
Instrument(s)Game Boy, NES, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro
Years active1999–present
LabelsHidden Youth Records (2005–present)

Pixelh8 (pronounced "pixel hate") is the stage name for Matthew Applegate, a British chiptune composer, educator and screen actor.



Pixelh8 combines the sounds of video games and electronic toys, often those that have been reverse engineered to avoid either copyright infringement or plagiarism to form original compositions, usually children's toys like Speak & Spells and Game Boys.[1] Pixelh8 started off relatively unknown on Myspace and was widely discovered after winning a competition to open for Imogen Heap on her UK tour in 2006[2] and performing at Apple's iTunes Office in California.[3] Pixelh8 also won Sound on Sound.[4]

Pixelh8 has also designed music software such as Music Tech[5] for the Nintendo Game Boy and the Pro Performer[6] for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS which turn both machines into real time synthesizers and is currently developing software for other machines. Pixelh8 Music Tech software has been mentioned several times by Imogen Heap and is said to be used in an upcoming track called Tidal.[7]

Pixelh8 was the first headliner to the Nerdapalooza 2007 festival in California, other notable performances include performing for Huw Stephens on the BBC Introducing show December 2007 as well as Assembly 2008.[8]

December 10, 2008 saw Pixelh8 perform at Maida Vale Studios for the BBC[9]

January 23, 2009 The National Museum of Computing released a press statement [10] saying that Pixelh8 would be composing and performing an entirely new piece of music for the museum, using some of the "earliest and rarest" machines such as Colossus computer and the Elliott 803 entitled "Obsolete?".[11][12]

April 15, 2009 Pixelh8 released Pixelh8 Music Tech V2.0, Pro Performer, Drum Tech and Death Ray software free for download[13] from his official website.[14]

May 25, 2009 Pixelh8 provided BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra with some of the backing tracks for their Big Gaming Weekend.[15]

May 26, 2009 Pixelh8 re-wrote the theme tune for BBC World Service's Digital Planet the special version of the theme tune was made available from The Open University.[16][17]

Pixelh8's music has also been featured on and done interviews with BBC Radio 1 Rob Da Bank, Zane Lowe[18] and Huw Stephens' [9] shows, BBC Radio 6 Tom Robinsons,[19] Nemones [20] and Music Weeks [21] shows, BBC Radio 4,[22] BBC Radio 1 Wales, BBC Radio Foyle, BBC Radio Suffolk,[23] BBC Radio Three Counties, BBC Radio Norfolk,[24] and on BBC News 24 E24,[25] Ipswich Community Radio's Martin & Lewis Show, BBC Look East[11] and BBC South Today.[26]


Academic Research[edit]

In 2011 Pixelh8 became a publsihed author with his research into chiptune instruments, his first article "Cultural perceptions, ownership and interaction with re-purposed musical instruments" was published in the Journal of Music, Technology & Education, Volume 3, Issue 2-3, 2011.[27] His follow up research "Re-designing the familiar: How effective are directional control pads in developing musicianship in 8 – 12 year old children?" became Chapter 7 in the 2016 "Music, Technology, and Education Critical Perspectives" published by Routledge.[28] Pixelh8 has also been heavily featured and interviewed in a number of academic texts including Pamela Burnard' s "Musical Creativities in Practice" Chapter 8 "Interactive audio design" [29] published by Oxford University Press and Kenneth B. McAlpine's 2018 "Bits and Pieces A History of Chiptunes".[30]


In 2012 Pixelh8 retrired from music to set up an Alternative Provision technology school in Ipswich, Suffolk for 8 to 16-year-olds.[31][32][33][34][35] The school won the Generation Code Hub of the Year 2018 award from Microsoft through UK Youth [36] and Matthew C. Applegate won the Young Game Designer Mentor Award in 2019 from British Academy of Film and Television Arts.[37]


In 2022 Matthew C. Applegate featured in a Telugu cinema film as a priest [38] from director Praveen Sattaru provisionally titled "VT12" for release in 2023.[39]


  1. ^ This Month's Soundtrack, Electronic Musician. Published March 1, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2008.
  2. ^ 60 SECONDS: Imogen Heap, Metro. Published October 23, 2006. Retrieved April 4, 2008.
  3. ^ 'Chip Tunes' strike right note, CNN. Published February 27, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2008.
  4. ^ Playback March 2008 , Sound on Sound.
  5. ^ Album on NES Cartridge, Synth on GameBoy , Create Digital Music Published July 4, 2007.
  6. ^ Pixelh8 Music Tech Pro Performer Brings Live Performance to Game Boy , Create Digital Music. Published March 24, 2008.
  7. ^ Imogen Heap vBlog#27, Imogen Heap. Published July 29, 2008.
  8. ^ Assembly 2008 Press Release, Digitoday. Published July 28, 2008.
  9. ^ a b Huw Stephens Introducing Tracklisting Archive, BBC Radio 1. Published Dec 18, 2008.
  10. ^ The National Museum of Computing News, TNMOC. Published Jan 23, 2009.
  11. ^ a b BBC News Look East, BBC News. Published Feb 17, 2009.
  12. ^ New Scientist, New Scientist. Published Mar 11, 2009.
  13. ^ www.pixelh8.co.uk Archived 2009-05-16 at the Wayback Machine, Pixelh8. Published Apr 15, 2009.
  14. ^ www.pixelh8.co.uk Archived 2009-04-20 at the Wayback Machine, Pixelh8. Published Apr 15, 2009.
  15. ^ www.bbc.co.uk/radio1, BBC Radio 1 Published May 25, 2009.
  16. ^ Digital Planet Theme Tune, The Open University, Published May 26, 2009.
  17. ^ www.pixelh8.co.uk, Pixelh8, Published May 26, 2009.
  18. ^ BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1. Published Apr 9, 2009.
  19. ^ BBC Radio 6 Tom Robinsons Introducing, BBC Radio 6. Published Mar 16, 2009.
  20. ^ BBC 6 Nemone, BBC Radio 6. Published Mar 26, 2009.
  21. ^ BBC 6 Music Week, BBC Radio 6. Published Feb 1, 2009.
  22. ^ BBC 4 Click On, BBC Radio 4. Published Mar 16, 2009.
  23. ^ BBC Radio Suffolk Introducing, BBC Radio Suffolk. Published Jan 9, 2009.
  24. ^ BBC Norfolk Introducing, BBC Radio Norfolk. Published Jan 25, 2008.
  25. ^ BBC News 24 E24, BBC News 24. Published Feb 14, 2009.
  26. ^ BBC News South Today, BBC News. Published Mar 25, 2009.
  27. ^ Applegate, Matthew C. (2011-04-19). "Cultural perceptions, ownership and interaction with re-purposed musical instruments". Journal of Music, Technology & Education. 3 (2–3): 93–106. doi:10.1386/jmte.3.2-3.93_1. ISSN 1752-7066.
  28. ^ "Music, Technology, and Education: Critical Perspectives". Routledge & CRC Press. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  29. ^ academic.oup.com https://academic.oup.com/book/3499/chapter-abstract/144699239. Retrieved 2022-11-26. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ McAlpine, Kenneth B.; McAlpine, Kenneth B. (2018-12-21). Bits and Pieces: A History of Chiptunes. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-049610-4.
  31. ^ "Technology school founder marks 10 years in business". Ipswich Star. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  32. ^ "Creative computing club clicking with youngsters in Ipswich and Stowmarket". Ipswich Star. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  33. ^ Millen, Jim (2015-10-23). "Q&A: Creative Computing Club". Fujitsu UK & Ireland Blog. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  34. ^ "Pixelh8, Matthew Applegate, Creative Computing Club Suffolk | Rapid Online". www.rapidonline.com. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  35. ^ "Lead Interview: Matthew C Applegate - UK DIRECTOR MAGAZINES". ukdirectormagazines.co.uk. 2022-03-09. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  36. ^ adam.avedesign (2019-01-18). "Generation Code Hub of the Year: A few words from our winners!". UK Youth. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  37. ^ "YGD Mentor Award | BAFTA YGD". ygd.bafta.org. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  38. ^ "'I said I'd been acting about 30 minutes!' - Ipswich teacher in Tollywood film". Ipswich Star. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  39. ^ "VT12: Varun Tej joins hands with filmmaker Praveen Sattaru for his next; See PICS". PINKVILLA. 2022-03-28. Retrieved 2022-11-26.

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