Archive for July, 2013

ZOMFG!!! BRKFest 2013: August 2 – 4 (FULL SCHEDULE)!!! BE THERE!!!

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BRKFEST 2013!!!!!!! ONE WEEEEEEEK AWAY BEGINS TOMORROW!!!!!! ZOMG!!!!!!!!!

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WOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! HERE’S THE GORRAM SCHEDULE!!!!!!!!!!

Full 3 Day Event Schedule

IMA GON’ BE THERE!!!!! CHIP MOM WILL TOO!!!!! GONNA ENJOY DANCING TO LOTSA CHIPTUNE!!!!! AND DRINKING LOTS OF BEER!!!!! WE’LL BE SELLING/GIVING AWAY CHIPWIN MERCH TOO!!!!! GONNA BE AMAZEBALLS!!!!! THO IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT (ya poor SOB…) DON’T WORRY BECAUSE CLIPSTREAM WILL BE LIVESTREAMING THE ENTIRE SHINDIG!!!!!
GUESS WHO WROTE THIS WRITEUP?!?!?
HERE, HAVE SOME EXTRA EXCLAMATION MARKS AND ONES AND WINKY CATFACES TO CONFIRM
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111!111!!!!11!!!!!!111!1!!!!!!111111!!11!11!11!1 ;3 ;3 ;3 ;3 ;3 ;3 ;3 \m|<3|m/

\m|BRK|m/

Gonna be lots & lots of this.

Gonna be lots & lots of this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relevant links (with info that’s actually useful :3 ):
BRKfest.org | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter |

TICKETS to BRKFest

BRKFest 2013 Fb Event

Datathrash X BRKFest Pre-show (Aug 3) Fb Event

Clipstream

EDIT: I forgot the most important link of all. FIXED.

Raw Cuts With Kuma #12: Roboctopus

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Hey there, ChipWINners! Glad to have you back with us! This week I sat down with an incredibly talented chipartist in the scene for my interview. He’s known for being a multi-instrumentalist who makes some incredible chipfunk, and has received rave reviews for his recent EP “Disco.txt” released via the netlabel cheapbeats.net. Without further ado, I present to you my interview with Michael Allen aka Roboctopus!

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Kuma:  So, first question: your music is definitely very diverse in terms of style from song to song.  There’s definitely aspects of it that stick out as being certifiably Roboctopus, but it does leave me curious as to your musical background.  Tell me, how’d you get into chip and do you have any experience with music or composition prior to becoming a part of the scene?

Roboctopus:  I have a pretty diverse musical background and play a bunch of different instruments.  Mostly string instruments, guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, etc., but I can get by on piano/synths and do a bit of mediocre drumming.  I have an okay understanding of music theory I guess. Took a class, read a book, haha.

As far as getting into chip, I probably got into it kind of the opposite way most people do.

Kuma:  Oh?  How might that be?

Roboctopus:  I was into the indie/lo-fi/diy music scene in college and I was living in Texas. I heard this band called Tree Wave that had some really unique sounds.  That was Paul Slocum’s band (of cynthcart fame).  When I read that Tree Wave was using C64 for a lot of their synth sounds, I was amazed.

Kuma:  Oh!  So you were in the part of the lofi scene that lofi people consider real lofi but when they look at chip, half of them are like cool, and the other half are like “ewwww that’s not real”!  okay, I gotcha!

Roboctopus:  Haha, yeah!  I was a big analog synth fan, but the commodore sounds were really special, so I bought a commodore and it broke!

Commodore_64_Box
And then I read that other people were using Game Boys, and discovered Bit Shifter, etc. This was 2006.  So I ditched my junky commodore and bought LSDJ and a flash cart

Kuma:  Oh wow!  So you’ve been at this for a while!  Wait…but…does that make you older than me?

Roboctopus:  If you’re 32 or under it does!  I was in grad school in 2006

Kuma:  You’re 33? I…that’s unpossible, sir!

Roboctopus:  Haha!  I’m afraid it’s true.  *holds up 30-something card*

michael allen montage

Kuma:  My god, you’re another one of those deceptively young look people like Hoodie!

Roboctopus:  Bwahahahaha!  Yeah, Hoodie deffo looks younger than he is!

brandon hood phony

I’m 33. #SUCKITKUMA 8)

Kuma:  Speaking of whom, how’d you meet Hoodie, anyway?  I’ve got this gut feeling you’ve known that derp for a while.  How’d he wrastle you up into doing a song for us anyway?

Roboctopus:  I haven’t really known Hoodie for that long. I think the first contact I had with him was right after I released Victory Lapse.  He contacted me about doing a track for the ChipWIN expansion pack.  I guess that was about a year ago.

Kuma:  Yeah it has been about a year. it’s crazy how time flies.  That being said, going back a bit to what you were saying before about your way to chip via lofi.  Now, you’re down south, were in Texas and now you’re Alabama now, if I’m not mistaken, yes?  What’s the scene like out there for both chip and lofi?  Have you found it receptive?  Inclusive? Exclusive?  What’s your experience been like performing and making music where you are?

Roboctopus:  There is pretty much no scene where I am, haha.  If I made alternative-leaning bluegrass or folk I would be gold.

tumbleweed

Kuma:  I’m sure you would be, but we can’t all be Intercept.

Roboctopus:  I can’t even tell if there’s an electronic music scene here, really.  One thing that’s tough about the south is that we’re all so spread out here.  The only shows I’ve played have been in other states, so I can’t really comment on Northern Alabama’s chip scene.  I’ve played in Nashville, and there was some interest there, though.  And the Lexington guys are awesome!

Kuma:  Can’t go wrong with solarderp and his crew!  Will you be performing or attending BRKFest this year?

Roboctopus:  Yes!  I’ll be playing BRKfest this year!  I’m really looking forward to that, because there are some amazing performers coming!

Kuma:  Definitely!  I know among others SSD Engage are gonna be there again, as well as shanebro, both of whom I interviewed previously, and both of whom released new albums this year to be played live at the show!

That being said, lets talk about your newest album, shall we?  Disco.txt is pretty great, man.  It’s really freaking incredible.  How do you feel about it now that it’s out there?  Is it everything you wanted it to be.

Roboctopus:  I’m really happy with how it turned out.  I started working on it over a year ago and planned to release a 5-track EP in October of 2012, but I kept starting new tracks instead of finishing them, and I got to this point where it was tough finishing the older tracks.  So some of the tracks I finished last were the ones I started first, haha!  But I’m glad I took the time to really work on them all and polish them and get them all to a high level of detail, or whatever you’d call it.  I wanted to make a headphones album of chip music, I guess.  But I’m happy with how it turned out

Kuma:  Well having heard all your EPs and LPs recently in prep for this interview, I can honestly say it’s definitely aural candy.  That being said, is there anything about it you would like to change in retrospect, or anything the experience in making it has taught you you’d do differently in the future?

Roboctopus:  Honestly, while I’m happy with how it turned out, right now I’m thinking I’d be happier sticking with more focused, shorter releases like EPs.  I like it when someone drops a super tight 20-minute EP and is done, so I think I’m still aspiring to that.
Not to say I with Disco.txt was 20 minutes long, I just think I prefer an EP kind of format.

Kuma:  I can respect that.  If I remember correctly, I think even 4mat mentioned he prefers making and releasing music like that, as well, so it’s definitely a method that does have its fans in the community.  That being said, aside from the aforementioned performance at BRKFest, what’s next for you, Michael?  Will we see another EP before the end of the year?  More performances?  Planned appearances at large scale events next year like MAGFest of PAXEast?  What’s on your plate, m’man?

Roboctopus:  The future is kind of fuzzy, honestly.  As far as music, I’ve been verrrrrry slowly working on a pretty laid-back chip+live instrument EP that I’d really like to get back into.  I’m also working on a collaboration or two, so I definitely would like to release en EP or something before the year’s out.

As far as shows, that’s really dodgy.  I’ve been working with some people to start up a bi-monthly chip show in Nashville (which is just 2 hours away from me) so hopefully I’ll be playing that by summer’s end.  I don’t have any other shows lined up in the near future.  It’s pretty hard to get gigs when getting to them is a considerable monetary investment! (That being said…if anyone has a gig they want me to play, hit me up, haha.)

Kuma:  Fair enough.  Michael, it was definitely a pleasure taking the time to interview. You’re surprisingly charming and funny.  I’m still taken aback by your deceptive appearance, as well.  That being said, is there anything you’d like to say in closing to your fans and to the readers?

Roboctopus:  I’d just like to say a big thanks to the chip scene in general.  The chip scene is so friendly and receptive, and it’s amazing that you can live in Alabama and have people all over the world interested in music you made on Game Boys, so thanks to the chip scene and everyone who has listened to my music.  I hope to get to meet more of you at BRKfest and any shows in the future.  I think it’s a pretty exciting time to be a chipfan.

Kuma:  It definitely is a wonderful time to be a chiptune fan, especially with artists like you in the scene.  Michael, once again, thank you for the interview.  It was a pleasure.  You have a good night and I look forward to interviewing you again

Roboctopus:  Likewise, this was fun. Have a great night!

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Thanks for checking out this weeks interview.  As always, don’t forget to check out Roboctopus’ links & latest album, all posted at the bottom of this article.  Also, if you’re in the vicinity of or can get to Lexington, Kentucky August 2 – 4, do yourself a BIG favor and hit up BRKFest, where you can catch Michael doing his thing live alongside a slew of other amazing chipartists, including next weeks interviewee: Solarbear, the very founder of BRKFest!  Peace!

\m|♥|m/

michael allen black white roboctopus
Relevant Links:
Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Twitter

BRKFest 2013 Facebook Event Page

Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 (Tracks 1-6)

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HEY EVERYONE. It’s been quite a while since I did my first guest write-up on this blog, which was a review of Kola Kid’s “Afterparty” EP. Since then, a number of fabulous chiptune albums and compilations have come into being. However, I’m certainly not afraid  to say, as a long-standing fan of chiptune, that Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 is quite possibly the GREATEST CHIPTUNE COMPILATION EVER RELEASED. I’m going to be discussing the first six tracks from the album, so bear with me as I find the words to describe the sheer amount of excellence contained within each of them!

Track #1: Starpilot – Just The Right Amount of Whelm (Qubert Dancing The Paisley Underground)

Ah, Starpilot. Your unique take on chiptune music has always amazed me. Ever since listening to “Experimentalist” , I’ve known that there isn’t anyone else who can quite do what Starpilot can. This track is upbeat; “Just The Right Amount of Whelm (Qubert Dancing The Paisley Underground)” is one of the many tracks on the compilation that just makes you want to get up out of your seat and dance. It’s a track that makes you feel like you’re at a rave in space. As the opening track of the compilation, it’s the introduction to another fantastic chiptune journey.

Track #2: Theory of N – Buttdawg Funk

I didn’t know about Theory of N before listening to the strangely-yet-aptly titled “Buttdawg Funk”. The track has a very bouncy sound to it, and as a listener it’s almost impossible NOT to tap your foot to the beat. The solos in the song stand out quite a bit; they’re all incredibly well structured. Having checked out Theory of N’s Bandcamp after listening to “Buttdawg Funk”, I can say that each one of his tracks are definitely worth a look. I also discovered that Theory of N is an OCRemixer who’s been around for quite a long time!

Track #3: Petriform – Heliofluid

“Heliofluid” is catchy, and makes great use of non-chip sounds as a support to the leads. Exciting and fast-paced, the music switches flawlessly from exciting to mellow and really entertained me as a listener. The minimal use of kick in the opening focuses the listener on the chip leads. Given Petriform’s hard-hitting, modern twist on chiptune, I wouldn’t be surprised if he hits it BIG in the future. Petriform has also delved into writing music for a number of different genres, including noise, drum ‘n’ bass, and IDM; his talents aren’t only seen in the chip community.

Track #4: Mark ‘TDK’ Knight – Hoovering With A Hangover

Mark ‘TDK’ Knight isn’t a stranger to the ChipWIN community; he previously appeared on chipWINter with his brilliant track “Sunrise”. “Hoovering With A Hangover” sounds like it could be a custom file you’d see in a rhythm game such as In The Groove. Mark’s masterful command of chiptune melodies really shines through in this song; the main melody is incredibly composed , and the build-up in the intro is extremely well done. Additionally, his musical composition skills haven’t gone unnoticed; he has been employed by a number of large companies, including Konami, Warner Brothers, and Crytek, just to name a few. To top all of that off, he has received a number of awards from BAFTA; his first was awarded to him in 2000, and he has continued to shine since.

Track #5: The One Electronic – ♥∞

A fellow member of the FlashFlashRevolution community and a notable artist within the Piko Piko Detroit community, The One Electronic (aka iPatcH) makes his ChipWIN debut on the Volume 2 compilation. His song, “♥∞”, feels slower and calmer than the previous tracks, which sets it apart from many other songs on the compilation. It’s mellow and happy, and the melody is quite catchy. The common changes in lead sounds are a welcome addition and really give the track its own unique feel.

Track #6: Monomer – Dastardly Deeds (feat. Yoann Turpin)

Monomer’s presence in the chiptune community is not long-standing, but the quality of the music he’s produced is wonderful. His most recent album release, “Quite Operational”, was released through the massive chiptune netlabel Ubiktune, and garnered a massive amount of attention. His track, “Dastardly Deeds (feat. Yoann Turpin)”, feels funky and improvised, with a similar sound to fellow Ubiktune artist Shnabubula. The solos in the song are phenomenal, fusing perfectly ideas from chiptune and funk, whilst adding his own twist.

Keep your eyes peeled next week for the next installment of The ChipWIN Blog Volume 2 coverage! Stay classy, everyone.

Relevant links:

Starpilot: Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Theory of N: Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Petriform: Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Mark ‘TDK’ Knight: Website | Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

The One Electronic: Website | Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud

Monomer: Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

ChipWIN Logo Ver.2

Raw Cuts With Kuma #11: Electric Children

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Welcome back, ChipWINners!  This time around on Raw Cuts we have someone that I’m very proud to have had the chance to interview!  A highly popular contributor to Chiptunes = WIN who’s made a name for himself on the west coast, this artist boasts infectious dance rhythms and club beats that blur the line between chiptune and electro with spectacular results!  Without further ado, here’s my interview with Jack Waterman aka Electric Children
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electric children woops

Kuma:  Cool, so lets get things started shall we?  First things first, I haven’t asked this question in a while of any of the artists I’ve interviewed, but I’m actually quite curious about your artist name.  What made you decide to use it?

Electric Children (EC):  Aha!  I like getting this question!  You’d be surprised how seldom it comes up.  The name comes from the album March on, Electric Children! by The Blood Brothers, a now broken-up grindcore band from Seattle.  Its a themed album so there’s all this stuff about what Electric Children are and stuff and I was like 16 and I thought, “Yeah I wanna name a music thing that someday.”  So I did.

Kuma:  Really?  Nobody really takes the time to ask you about that?  I figured it’d come up more, but considering how kick ass your music is, I guess it goes right to the back burner. That being said, lets talk about your music.  I wanna hear how you got involved in all this chiptune business.

EC:  Well, I had started to make really basic electronic music with a drum machine and a keyboard for awhile, then a friend introduced me to a couple of local artists who played chiptune music.  Our sounds worked well enough together, so we started performing together on a pretty regular basis.  I was exposed to it so often that it became pretty irresistible and I added to my music.  Over time, it ended up taking precedence over everything else for a variety reasons, and before I knew it, I was full-on Chiptune artist by the end of 2008.

Kuma:  Nice!  I’m relatively new to the scene in comparison to you, having only been in it for a little over a year now, but I know the west coast has some strong artists out there to keep the scene going.  Back when you first started, which chip artists were you exposed to that helped you get into the scene and define your sound?  I’m also curious to know which ones help to define and inspire it now that you’ve been doing this sort of thing for what sounds like at least 5 years.

EC:  Well the two artists who I was performing with frequently at the time were Kids Get Hit By Buses (founders of the internet-infamous CrunchyCo netlabel) and Fighter X (who just recently became active again).  Aside from them, the early chip artists I was exposed to were Sabrepulse from the UK and USK from Japan.  From there I learned about like 5,738,216 more chip artists from 8bitcollective, and the story goes on.

Oddly enough what has always influenced me over the years of producing is non-Chip music.  It’s really fun for me to try and make chiptune versions of the sounds I hear in popular club music, and be less oriented towards video game sounds.  I like a lot of music by Madeon.  I’m a huge fan of She.  My dubstep is heavily influenced by Flux Pavilion, and I’d probably say Sabrepulse continues to be one of my biggest Chiptune influences.  I draw little pieces of things from all sorts of people around me, but those are the big ones, I think.

flux pavillion

Kuma:  Very nice.  She and Flux Pavilion are definitely understandable influences, as is Sabrepulse.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still listen to First Crush on a daily basis.  That being said, as time has progressed, while I know you mentioned that the chip sound has slowly become more and more the focus of your work, how much of what you do is chip vs what you may do to enhance and compliment the sounds in FL studio?  I know everyone has their preferences, and it’d be cool to know what yours is when it comes to producing music.

recording studio

EC:  The new album’s main material is made using only 2 gameboys running LSDJ, but quite a few songs have small instrumental compliments (such as a short synth or a guitar riff), and many of them have vocals over them as well.  While the instrumental tracks aren’t necessarily enhanced with effects, there are small parts that fill out a few spots in the frequency ranges that I couldn’t always hit with LSDJ the way I wanted.  Though to be honest, I am planning on having FL Studio be the core of my next set of work, with songs composed mainly of sounds recorded from LSDJ, but sequenced, mixed, mastered in, and complimented more by FL Studio.

Kuma:  That’s understandable.  For as amazing as some of these micro programs like LSDJ and LGPT are, there are def times when it takes that little something extra to give a song that final polish it needs.

That being said, since you brought up the topic of your new album, let me just say something about it first: your solo work as Electric Children has been amazing.  I loved it since I first heard you and boaconstructor throw down via Frost Byte’s album release party on LIvestream.  I thought you just killed it.  But this new album, man.  Dude, this is your Discovery, your Fat of the Land, man!  How proud of you of Year Long Hangover, man?

EC:  Extremely!  Haha!  YLH has (ironically enough) been in production for over a year now, and undergone so many changes in sound design, composition, concepts, lyrics, and just about anything else you can think of.  It had so much work put into it because I wanted to release something that shows what LSDJ is truly capable of: music that stays faithful to the genre while still being very listenable to a non-Chiptune fan.

Kuma:  I definitely have to say you reached your goal, because the first thing I thought when I was listening to it was: “God, I can use this to explain to all the people at my job what chiptune is without sounding crazy!”

alex jones

EC:  Yeah Chiptune is definitely a genre that needs to be shown instead of told about.

a-jones-super-saiyan-o

Kuma:  It really is, and while I’ve had some success via sharing Br1ght Pr1mate and Bit Shifter, most people still look at me like “I’ll believe it when I see it”.

That being said, lets talk about some of the major differences between YLH and your other work, particularly the vocals.  What made you come out of your shell this time around to lay down those lyrics?  What about the lovely young lady who contributed to the album, as well?  Was it daunting recording and incorporating vocals of yourself and close friends?

EC:  It had its challenges, sure.  When I first started writing music it actually all had lyrics, and evolved into instrumentals over time, so this was something I’ve always wanted to come back to.  Writing lyrics is never easy though; you have to keep in mind that your voice is an instrument in itself, so the words can’t be too busy or lack rhythm.  But it gives the songs a whole new dimension that is easy for people to grab onto and remember for a long time.  Plus singing is very fun.

The two(!) other female vocalists on the album were very easy to work with and did a fantastic job, as well.  While putting the vocals together was difficult at times because it involved a lot of back and forth sending song files around, in the end it was a fun experience that turned out to be totally worthwhile.

Kuma:  I’m certainly glad it was worthwhile for you, because it’s been worthwhile for me as well as all your fans!  People have been eating this album up like crazy and after a wildly successful album release party to promote it, I’m curious what comes next for you?  Aside from the aforementioned future project involving more FL work, of course.  Any shows or concerts we can expect to see you at over the course of the year?

EC:  In the short term, I’m performing with A_Rival in Seattle on the 27th(!), so any locals should come and hear some crazy good chip jams.  In the long term, I’ve been talked to about a couple big things, but nothing I have confirmed yet.  I’m also working very closely with A_Rival now that he’s moved to Washington, and he’s got some cool stuff in the works as well!

Kuma:  A_Rival is legit on all levels, and having partied with him at MAGFest, I can say its always a pleasure to be around him! I’m definitely looking forward to whatever comes of that.  With that said, Jack, it’s been a pleasure conversing with you.  You’re talented, kind and thoughtful and I’m honored to have had the chance to interview you.  Is there anything you’d like to say in closing to your fans and anyone who might be reading this?

EC:  Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts and ramblings on chiptune music! Please check out the new album, Year-Long Hangover, and tell me what you think!  Thank you Adam and ChipWIN for letting me do this too, it’s been awwwwwwwesooooommmeee!!!

Kuma:  Thanks again, EC.  I definitely hope we get to do this again.  Good night.

EC:  Good night!

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Thank you once again for checking out Raw Cuts!  Be sure to click the links bellow so you can Like, Follow and Subscribe to Electric Children on your favorite of social media outlet(s)!  Also, don’t forget to check out his music on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, as well as checking out his upcoming show on the 27th with A_Rival, Dire Hit and WMD if you’re out in the Seattle Metropolitan area!

Tune in next as I sit down with Roboctopus as we discuss his musical versatility, BRKFest, and a deep dark secret he’s been keeping from us all!  (I’ll give you a hint: it’s one Hoodie is keeping, too!)  Peace!

\m|♥|m/

electric children wootRelevant Links:

Electric Children
Facebook | Bandcamp |Soundcloud

Chiptune Party at El Corazon Lounge

Raw Cuts with Kuma #10: Storm Blooper

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Yo, welcome back ChipWINers!  This week I managed to get a hold of a very popular artist from the Philly scene, Chris de Pew, aka, Storm Blooper. Having started out doing open mics and quickly becoming an anticipated and often booked live act over the past year, this young man is a force to be reckoned with! So without further ado, I bring you my interview with this talented, charming and amiable artist, Storm Blooper!

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Kuma:  So, lets start with something I noticed shortly after we first met.  One night after 8static, you, Doppel-Gengar and Shyabeetus let me crash at your place after of night of partying.  While I was at your humble abode, I noticed a keyboard and plethora of other music equipment, belying how long you’ve been making music.  Tell me, where did Storm Blooper get his start in all this musical hoo ha?  How did your epic journey begin?

Chris de Pew (Storm Blooper):  Well I guess I’ve been involved with music and everything since I was really young.  There was always a piano of some sort in every house I grew up in and so I just naturally gravitated towards that wherever it was.  Although I didn’t start really making music until about 2006-2007.  I taught myself everything, so I can’t really read sheet music or anything like that.

Kuma:  I can respect that.  It seems self taught instrumentation is a lot more common that I first gave credit to the scene when I started doing these interviews.  That being said, did you have any early music projects prior to chiptune?  Anything on Newgrounds or OCRemix, for example, or did you not start sharing anything until much later in your musical career?

SB:  Yeah, it’s really kind of nice to see that in this scene.  I always thought for years that I was alone in that aspect.  As for earlier music projects, yeah I had this silly “band” called Sub-Woofer Special where I made music in FL Studio.  It was really terrible stuff.  Like, really terrible.  You can find that project on the internet in a few different places if you just search for it.  Other than that though I was in a ska band called Castro Fiasco in high school where I played trombone (again, self taught).  That was a fun time.  But as I spent more and more time with the Sub-Woofer Special project I began to add different instruments that tried to emulate chip sounds.  Then eventually, I decided I wanted to focus on making chiptune music, even if it was “fakebit”.

Kuma:  Very cool.  Now, during that time, when you were SWS, was there a particular artist, song or moment that gave you that spurred that catharsis?  The one that made you realize that chiptune was what you wanted to do?

SB:  Well for years I had watched this online animated series called Bonus Stage by this guy Matt Wilson and he did all of the animation, music, and voices for it.  A lot of the backing tracks to his epsiodes were chiptune sounding (he makes his music under the name SAVESTATES) and that’s what initially made me want to start incorporating some chip elements on top of some of the orchestral instruments I was using.  Then a few years after doing that I just ended up using more chip instruments than string instruments.

bonus stage

Kuma:  Was the transition from VSTs to trackers on Game Boys like LSDJ difficult for you?  Were you surprised by how much Game Boys were capable of when you finally got your hands on one for musical purposes?

SB:  Oh, I was blown away!  I had been listening to people like glomag, Bit Shifter, Sabrepulse and all of them for years before, but I just never knew exactly what their whole setup was.  So I was always under the impression that there was more than just the Game Boy going on in their tracks.  I tried a demo version of LSDJ when I was still in high school, and when I say tried, I mean I basically opened it up, stared at the screen, moved the cursor left and right, put in a 00, then turned it off.  Then when I actually sat down and tried learning it about a year ago, I was just proud that I was able to get to the instrument screen and change the duty cycle.

The great thing about a piece of software like LSDJ is that I can continue to learn and do so much more every day, whereas a VST just has these set parameters for the most part and that’s that.

Kuma:  LSDJ is certainly a beast of a program, but I think a lot of us have that moment with trackers at one point or another, no matter how much we want to try to make music.  I remember before getting into Piggy Tracker, I tried making music with Milky Tracker.  I opened it up, looked at it, was liked “cool!” and then I tried using it, and I was like “nope” and I never used it again.

MilkyTracker_1

SB:  Haha!  Yeah I never thought I would be able to get a handle on any type of tracker at all.  I haven’t looked at Milky or anything but I’m sure I would do the same thing

Kuma:  That being said, lets go back a bit to what you mentioned before, about being inspired by Bonus Stage.  Now, recently, in fact very quickly after coming onto the scene as Storm Blooper, you found popularity through another group of internet celebs called Continue?.  Let’s talk about how you first met these guys, the song they used in one of their videos, and your feelings about that song now that it’s out there.

SB:  Oh god!  God damn it!  I knew this song would be brought up!

Kuma:  What’s wrong Chris? You sound as if there’s some intense emotion towards the song.

SB:  Haha.  MANY intense emotions.

chris de pew feelings

Kuma:  Well…why don’t you tell us?

SB:  Okay, so I used to be a teaching assistant for Nick Murphy for his film course that he used to teach at UArts for high school students.  I’ve known him for a few years but I didn’t meet the other guys until MAGfest actually.  Anyway, the song that they used was the second song I wrote in LSDJ.  The song that people seem to love for some reason (I think it’s pretty terrible myself).

Kuma:  Well while it’s very cool you’ve known Nick for a while and they chose to use one of your songs for their video, I still don’t understand why you dislike that song so.  I suppose to each their own, but you gotta admit: aside from being semi-youtube famous for it, now, it’s also seen it’s fair share of remixes in the scene, particularly by a few good friends of yours who are rather talented.  Does it bother you that they chose to remix that song, or are you indifferent towards it?

SB:  You know, I don’t think I’m anywhere near as good as him, but Josh Davis (Bit Shifter) said in an interview with andaruGO (I believe) once something about “Reformat the Planet” and how he feels about everyone loving that song and requesting it.  I think he said something to the effect of “it’s like the chipscene ‘Free Bird’ ” and that he kind of just wants it to fade away or something like that.  I think I know exactly how he feels now.

Haha… I’m sort of indifferent to the whole thing now, I guess.  They’ve remixed it and covered it in so many different forms it’s a little ridiculous.  You have to give them a lot of credit for that.  Mainly Shyabeetus, who will find any way possible to cover it…even in Mario Paint.

Kuma:  You know it’s funny you mention that song and Bit Shifter.  While I certainly understand it’s popularity and that sort of vibe it has in the scene, for me, personally, “Reformat the Planet” was never that pinnacle, Free Bird song to me.  For me, it was always “Strange Comfort”.  But hey, what do I know: I didn’t get into chiptune until Blipfest 2k12.

Blip-Festival-2012-Logo

That being said, I’m glad you at least feel indifferent to the remixes and requests for “Someone Stole All of the Ice Cream”, especially because one of those friends who helped remix it is also someone you’ve performed with fairly often.  Lets talk about your relationship with DJ McGranaman for a bit, such as how you two first met and what made you guys want to work together, as well as any impact musically you two may have had on each other.

SB:  Strange Comfort is A+.  Ah, yes, DJ Bananahands.  We actually met at 8static.  I want to say it was my second or third 8static.  I had seen him play open mic the first time I went back in May 2012.  Actually before that, I saw him at this presentation I attended about music in video games. Dain Saint and Chipocrite held that during Philly Tech week. But I didn’t speak to DJ McGranaman then, I just noticed that metroid hat he had.

Kuma:  Ah yes…that hat that he no longer has and now he cries every time it’s mentioned because he is without it.

SB:  Jeffery was a special boy. RIP.

jacob in hat

But we started performing this hour long combination set thing at MAGfest.  It was a weird idea we came up with I think to save time on the chipstage that Piko Piko Detroit had set up.

Kuma:  Was it?  It seemed like you two had planned it a little more than that.  It worked pretty well.

SB:  Yeah I think we did maybe like 5 minutes worth of planning before we actually went up and did it haha!  We would just do back to back songs so there wasn’t a whole bunch of dead time and instead constant music happening.  We just kind of guessed which songs would flow well right into the next, and luckily for us it worked the first time.

bloop and granaman

Kuma:  Well enough that you guys performed together again a couple months back in Philly.  Tell me, how did that performance go?  Did you actually prepare for it?

SB:  Yeah! We’ve performed a couple of times as that duo since MAG.  We played a set down at T-MODE and a few other places.  The performance at TooManyGames went really well!  We prepared a bit more before that show, yeah.  Haha and by that time we had been playing so much together already that we sort of knew what to expect, although we constantly communicate just to give each other updates on what songs are coming next and such.

Kuma:  I’m glad to hear it!  That being said, lets get back to your solo career.  You have an EP coming out very soon!  Lets talk about it!  What can we expect to hear on it?  Is there anything new musically you experimented with when making this album?  Will it have that definitive Blooper sound or can we expect to be surprised by this new baby of yours?

SB:  There’s definitely no “Someone Stole All of the Ice Cream on it.”  I can guarantee that.  But yeah, there’s some weird different sounding things that I tried out on a few of the tracks

Kuma:  I’m definitely looking forward to the album.  Are you doing a listening party for it, by any chance?

SB:  No listening party for this one (the next one though I promise!).  And I don’t know if I have a certain sound at all.  To me everything on the album sounds like it was written by a different person or someone with a multiple personality disorder.  It’s kind of all over the place really.

Kuma:  Wahhhh!  No listening party!  That feels so naked, so raw!  But I’m happy to have something new to listen to soon.  That being said, I think here is a good place to wrap things up, my friend.  Before we go, is there anything you want to say in closing to your friends, fans, readers, or the chiptune/vgm community at large?

SB:  I’d just like to thank anyone and everyone who’s possibly interested in my music in the first place!  It’s really amazing the amount of people that actually care about what I’m doing, and in such little time!  I honestly don’t think my music is that great, but for whatever reason there are people out that still want to listen to it and support me. So really, thank y’all thank y’all!  Especially the Philly chipscene, Bryan Dobbins, Chris Burke, Josh Davis, you, EVERYONE!

Kuma:  Thank you for making the music you do, and for being the cool cat you are, as well. it’s been a pleasure seeing you perform, hanging with you and being your bro since joining the scene. I definitely look forward to interviewing you again. Peace!
—————————————————————————————————————–
Thanks for checking out this week’s interview.  Don’t forget to follow or like Storm Blooper on your preferred social media and check out his new EP, Jawn-Dis, which drops this weekend on 8static’s bandcamp page, as one of the first albums to be released under their new record label since joining foces with Dj CUTMAN!

Also, check us out next week for the long awaited release of next monster LP, Chiptunes = WIN Vol. 2,  as well as another (possibly even two) awesome new interviews!!!!!!!!

Peace!

\m|♥|m/

storm blooper performing
Relevant Links:

Storm Blooper:
Facebook|Twitter|Soundcloud|Bandcamp

8static:
Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp|Home Page

Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 ~THREE DAYS REMAINING~

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With but a few days left before the July 15th release of Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2, the final touches are being put in place; Dj CUTMAN is preparing the final masters for upload, Kubbi is locking in the track order, & I’m triple checking everything there is to check thrice over & THEN AGAIN. 

In the meantime, HAVE A PROMO VIDEO (full roster listed within):

And how about some KICKASS ALBUM ARTWORK while you’re at it:

Strikingly beautiful album art by Nate Horsfall of lightningarts.com.

Strikingly beautiful album art by Nate Horsfall of lightningarts.com.

Regarding Volume 2 merch by Maddie of Pixel Pixie Apparel & Promotions, YES.
(sorry, that’s all you’re getting on that until Monday ;).

And, of course, don’t miss the crazy Vol.2 listening party on 8 Bit Power Hour + Nerd Rock Radio starting at 8pm EST Monday on 8bitx.com (click HERE to go to the Fb event). I expect it to be JUST as ridiculously awesome, awesomely ridiculous as the first one (i.e. VERY much so 8).

3 MORE DAYS, Y’ALL. ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

Much \m||m/,
President Hoodie

ChipWIN Linkage:
Bandcamp | Blog Fb Group | Fb Page | Twitter | 
Tumblr | Soundcloud | Youtube | Email

Cross-posted to Video Game DJ.com for extra awesome! =D

EDIT: Volume 2 is RELEASED!!! Check it out below! =D