Inside The Daякcнip Mind of Optimus Chad

Hey Frank here with another edition of “Inside The Daякcнip Mind!” [BACK FROM A HIATUS!!]  To talk about an album that has all elements I truly love about an excellent chipthrash album that never tires while looping. The album I’m talking about is ‘Swallow Razor Blades by Optimus Chad. It’s another Datathrash Recordings release so you can already tell its going to be a hard hitter, but now its time to cut to the chase!!

Normally I like to pin-point certain tracks on album as favorites but to be honest I loved all the tracks on this equally. So to give this album true justice, Iet’s cover some random details on various tracks. The album starts off with HARD HITTING IN YOUR FACE bass & just keeps getting more intense from there! After the opening track it flows into a song called “Murder Junkie” that just keep compiling layers on one another creating a nice feel and grime.

The next track “Self Mutilation,” which I must say is one of the most top quality tracks on this. It starts off with a grimy low bass with wubz blending behind it, along with some GREAT rhythms. Definitely hits heavy on the bass drums on this one! At 1:15 the drums and everything blend together, giving it a somewhat “poppy” feel, and turning it into a little number you can boogie too  .

The last three tracks of the song really vibe together, but ‘Bad Therapy (Glomag Dead step remix)’ manages to stick out.  Now, I’m not normally a fan of dub but JEEZE this is so damn grimy I cant help myself: I have to blare it! ‘Glomag‘ & ‘Optimus Chad’ make a very interesting and surprising combo that ties together the album quiet nicely! This album is truly inspirational, and is great for chipthrash lovers & overall chiptune enthusiasts. 

I got the chance to sit down and ask Chad a few questions about himself & this newer edition to his albums, so check it out below!!


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Frank – So I noticed right away that this album sounds A LOT different than your others, was your choice to do the full album in LGPT to keep the raw and gritty feel this album over all has. Mainly ask because also notice on other albums you change up what you use to write.

Optimus Chad – For most of my releases I always manage to do an intro with a diferent medium than I normally use. This is because I have only really felt good about my LSDJ tracks and so so about anything else. However this time I was driven and wanted to do more than just a 4 track chip sound. So I keep at it with piggy

Frank – So what made you decide to work with glomag on the track “Bad Therapy?” & has this been your first time working with him?

Optimus Chad – I have always loved Glomag’s voice. I was listening to his music at work and his song bad thearpy is a big favorite of mine. I e-mailed him asked for some savs and vocal stemms to the original and he sent. He is a super cool guy and has always been great to me.

Frank – With this recent new release do you have any upcoming show’s in the horizon or any collaborations your able to speak of at the moment?

Optimus Chad – As far as shows go if I get offered one I will do it but I am not actively seeking any live shows. My area sucks for anything except cover bands and crap hipster guitar bands. I haven’t got any plans in the making to work with anyone. I am helping a new thrasher to the scene by the name of Isaac Thrasher. He is a cool kid and invision he and I to be making music in the near future. I am also looking to assemble a 4 piece band that will be local to my area with a few friends.

Frank – Thank you for answering these questions for me, to end this interview I was just wanting to ask something that somewhat ties with the second question I had. Which is, what made you decide to do more of a instrumental album along the lines of your previous album in which you have tracks where you sing?

Optimus Chad – I really felt like Riley Rust flopped and wasn’t as well received as I wanted it to be. I also did an Insane Clown Posse remix album and another collab with Desumate. Both of those releases I thought were awesome but have seemed to drift off in to that strange abyss where they are cult classics. To be honest nothing I have worked on has lived up to Feedback Warrior. So I wanted to give something back to the people who loved that album and something new for me. Thanks for interviewing me!
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Optimus Chad:
TwitterFacebook | SoundCloud


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ChipWIN-tern Spotlight: SAVESTATES

Hello chipfans! How are you? I mean, if you’re reading this it means that at least your eyes still work at the very least, and I’m hoping that your ears do too, because it’s my distinct pleasure this time around to ramble at you about one of the very first people I listened to when I learned that chiptune was a real genre. See, I wasn’t tapped into the internet enough when I was younger to have learned about cool kids like glomag and Bubblyfish or even Anamanaguchi until way later into the game. No no, my first real chiptune experience came to me via my friend when he introduced me to an artist named SAVESTATES.  

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SAVESTATES is the chiptune handle for YouTube cartoonist Matt Wilson, who has been doing both music and his Cartoon Drive-Thru series for quite some time now. Since Matt doesn’t seem to be the type to do live performances of his music, and I don’t hear a lot of people talk about him, I’d like to take this article to highlight some of my favorite tracks from his past almost-decade of releasing music in hopes that you might learn about someone new today. This is by no means a comprehensive list, mind you, but just some quick spots.

One of the many reasons I enjoy Wilson’s work is because of his utilization of chiptunes alongside traditional instrument sounds, like the piano in this track. Something that should be evident in this track as well as many others is his mastery at stacking the layers of a track – as anyone who has had dealings with music in an arrangement level can tell you, making sure that all the lines work together both on a musicality level as well as a mixing level can be hellish for those who don’t know what they’re doing. Evidently, Matt Wilson is not one of those know-nothing chumps.

If you hadn’t noticed yet, half of the joy from the SAVESTATES discography comes from the hilarious names that all these tracks have. On a musical level, though, this song (and a few others) rock for one very plain and simple reason: the number of people who do impressive ornamentations on their chiptune tracks like lead guitarists do is so dismally small that you go into a track never really sure what to expect. You think you’ve got the melody down pat and then he’s all the way up in the stratosphere. It keeps stuff lively, even when the songs aren’t particularly fast.

There aren’t many of these, but this is one of the super funky SAVESTATES tracks, and for that alone it deserves mention. The number of folks who do chipfunk are few and far between, so it’s always pleasant to get some out of nowhere. Really, it’s a testament to Wilson’s musical chops that he fits so many genres into an album. Unlike so many of the other tracks, though, this feels a lot more like a song that is meant to be enjoyed on its own rather than as part of something else. Usually, the reason for that is quite literally because a lot of the older songs made their way into Wilson’s cartoons, so they were meant to be background pieces. At this point, though, the feeling of standaloneness is an exception rather than the rule.

The ‘Chip unDeath’ album is where things really start to heat up and completely move into tracks that feel like they’re their own entities. There’s so much going on in this song that it’s almost impossible to catch it all in one go. It’s bouncy – dare I say even, jaunty? It’s a pretty standard song in terms of construction, but it’s fun while it builds and bumps you all over and pumps you up for the rest of the album. Given the title, it’s no wonder it’s got such a driving pulse – this, my friends, is your adventure montage music. Have fun storming the castle!

I can honestly say I was not expecting this when I started this album, and I’m hoping you weren’t either. There are only a few cover songs scattered throughout the SAVESTATES discography, and it’s great that each one brings something really cool to the table. He really makes the song his own through his solo breakdown halfway through while still keeping it recognizable for what it is. The addition of drums and the enhanced bassline really make the song pop.

Hoodie and I have had talks about how much we love western-themed chiptunes before, because protip: they’re really fun and catchy. Here, we get another “enhanced chiptune” track, i.e. one with both chiptunes and traditional sounds. The traditional instruments really add to the sense of feeling in the track, since it’s all stuff that we’re used to from Ennio Morricone’s soundtracks. This track even goes so far as to borrow a line out of it and then expand out of that motif, which is what a truly great musician is supposed to do – take a seed of inspiration and grow it into a new idea.

This album was actually a lot heavier on the non-chiptune portions, but it utilizes them in such a way (like this track, with the underlying piano chords) that only serve to enhance the actual chippy-ness by having something for it to play against. This song is a great example of something that happens a lot in SAVESTATES music, and which I appreciate especially as a music student: it’s an ABA song. The beginning and end of the song are the same, but there’s a crazy breakdown in the middle. I’ve mentioned it in some of the other blurbs, but this is a prime example of someone who knows how to make their music pop by shaking it up a little.

This past July, SAVESTATES released his first album (not including a soundtrack for his cartoon) since 2012, so it was quite a surprise! It’s just a little EP clocking in at six tracks, but I’d say this one is a perfect cap to both the article here and his discography so far. It’s everything I love about his music all jumbled up into one song. You’ve got a bouncy and pulsing chiptune lead full of crazy ornamentation, you’ve got piano keeping it all together on the bottom, pumping drums, and a sneaky countermelody that you might miss if you’re not looking for it.

That’s it for this time, kiddos! Hope you’re having fun at lWlVl this weekend! Maybe you should go grab the SAVESTATES discography for riding music – it’s my go-to for car trips!

SEATS OUT.

LINKS! LINKS I SAY!
Bandcamp | Twitter | YouTube

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