Most of us have stolen software at some point in our lives. Maybe you needed Photoshop to finish a project, or maybe you were 12 and really wanted to play Escape Velocity: Nova, and $30 is a lot of money for a 12-year-old, and 12-year-olds don’t really have morals, so you just steal it. (I paid for it later. Thanks for not suing, Ambrosia Software!) Either way, after wading through the piratical depths of the Internet, you might end up with a serial number-generating “keygen” program that, when opened, would blare hyperactive chiptune music. You wouldn’t know who created the music nor, once you closed the keygen, were you liable to ever hear it again.
Nest HQ has pulled these DRM-cracking tunes out of anonymity with a brief history of keygen music, which, apparently, comes mostly from an underground community of artists known as the demoscene. The dogged researchers at Nest worked with chiptune artist Dmitry Zhemkov to find and identify a number of keygen tracks, and the result is a free album that compiles the demoscene’s finest offerings. You can listen to it embedded below, and there’s a download link in the Nest HQ article if you want to save the files to your computer—no serial number required.