Low bit (short for low bitrate, also known as lobit) is a musical aesthetic characterized by lossy data compression artifacts caused by encoding songs at low bitrates. Artists making low-bit music believe that if a song is good, it can be appreciated at any bitrate or on any speakers.
The low-bit style emerged as an avant-garde reaction to the perceived bitrate snobbery in the organized music piracy (on peer-to-peer networks) and net label scenes. It also shares a strong do-it-yourself ethic with punk ideology.
Low-bit music is distributed primarily through net labels. Unlike most net labels, many low-bit labels do not focus on representing a single music genre. Instead, the catalog of each label reveals the personal tastes of the curator.
Because of the small file sizes of low-bitrate encodes, it is possible to download an entire EP from a low-bit label in the same time it would take to download one song from a standard net label. This makes low-bitrate releases accessible to listeners who have only a dialup modem as well as conserving space on portable music players with limited memory.
See also Edit
- an English-language interview with mathias of 20 kbit/s
- a Russian-language interview with mathias of 20 kbit/s
- Lowbit Community
- 20 kbit/s - godfather of lobit
- Microbit Records - only lobit
- lalala4e - netlabel based in mexico with artists from all over the world with a variety of genres such as lobit, techno, electro, dance, field recordings, chiptune.
- abulia concepts - experimental chiropody and lowbitrate
- bootlegs for real life - bootlegs and mix sets @ 13 kbit/s
- fashion proof - new face from the east coast of America
- gainlad - playful chip music and techno out of south America and worldwide
- mp3death - run by a net label pioneer who started broke bunnie in 1996
- NORTHAMERICANHARDCORE - punk rock, noise music, hardcore techno, and other raw sounds
- stars in rehab - run by an old school Demoscene member
- Unaware Records - All electronic subgenre-encompassing netlabel from South West England.
- Diskette Etikette Rekords New label dedicated to releasing music solely on Floppy Disk, focusing on lo-bit but encompassing all genres.
- 8Ravens - lowbit net-label for 8 kbps music.
- Unicode Music - Italian lowbit netlabel.
- Oh! Bleep Records - Low-bit netlabel based in Australia.
-  - Lo-bit netlabel for minimalist music.