Archive for September, 2013

Chip Mom’s Kitchen #4: Cake Cookies

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Sometimes, you’re just not that talented in the kitchen.  Sometimes, you’ve got a sweet craving and you want a cookie NOW.  Sometimes, you don’t have that much money for baking supplies.

And sometimes it’s 11 o’clock at night and you need to write a cooking blog.

For all those times and more, I share with you my secret of making something delicious and unique with extremely little time, money, or effort.  I give you:

Cake Cookies

Difficulty level:

Newb        |        Apprentice       |          Journeyman          |          Master

The easiest way to make yourself look like an awesome baker.

Quest Items:

Cookie Sheet
Wooden Spoon
Medium Bowl
Flat bottomed cup
Cake Mix of Choice
Frosting of Choice
Two Eggs
1/3 cup oil
Non stick spray (optional)

 

Illustrated Guide:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

 

 

Put on your cutest apron. You’re not gonna be working that hard, but you might as well look sassy!

 

 

Put your cake mix, eggs, and oil into a bowl.

See what I did there?

Using your wooden spoon, stir your ingredients until the eggs and oil are evenly distributed and there is no dry cake mix to be seen in the bowl. It should form a dough ball fairly quickly.

 

You then roll the dough into 1″ balls or about the size of a ping pong ball.

 

 

Place them on your cookie sheet about 2″ apart. You’ll need the space in a moment.

This is the fun part. You get to treat these cookie balls like Mario treats Goombas. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten the balls until they are about 1/4″ thick. Sorry, but there are no coins to be had inside… ONLY DELICIOUSNESS.

Bake them in the oven for 6 to 7 minutes. PRO TIP: Always start with the lower end time with cookies. You can’t unbake these suckers and the bottoms can go from golden to black pretty darn quick.

After you pull them out frost and decorate to your hearts content! The great thing about cake cookies is that you can play with flavor combinations. Those pictured below are yellow cake with Dreamcicle frosting, but I’ve done lemon and buttercream, chocolate and mint, and strawberry and cream cheese as well! So get adventurous, and if you would like to share your success, post a pic of your creations to the Chip Mom facebook page!

 

 

Happy baking! :)

Aydan Appreciates: ‘Square Therapy’ by Square Therapy

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Square Therapy, also known as Jason Doss, is a relatively new artist within the chiptune community, but has made a splash with his debut on Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2. ‘Miracle Max & The Cliffs of Insanity’ has an upbeat sound similar to many tracks by chiptune musicians such as Anamanaguchi and Slime Girls. Square Therapy’s self-titled EP, however, reaches deep into his progressive rock and metal roots to create a phenomenal sound comparable to the likes of Danimal Cannon.

Two tracks on the EP stand out as entirely different from the others. Opening track, ‘Sleeper’, is reminiscent of Trent Reznor’s (Nine Inch Nails) earlier work on ‘The Downward Spiral’. The track has a very industrial, rough quality to it. ‘Only the Unloved Hate’ can be seen as a prelude to the final song on the EP, ‘Dreamer’. It provides a lavish, calming piano backdrop to the famous, motivational speech on liberty given by Charlie Chaplin at the end of the classic film, ‘The Great Dictator’. The chords and soothing melody  are absolutely beautiful, and provide a striking contrast to the tracks appearing before it.

As was previously mentioned, Square Therapy’s metal influences shine in the earlier tracks. ‘The Annexation of Puerto Rico’ blasts the listener with blistering riffs and is extremely high energy. Catchy melodies between the solos bring the listener back to a familiar theme before launching them back into a heavier, more intense sound.

The third track, ‘I am the Gate Keeper’, is a little bit faster than the previous track, but has an even heavier feel to it. This is the kind of track that, if it were to be played at BRKfest or MAGFest (wink wink), would start up a mosh pit. This is by far the track with the most energy on the EP. In addition, Captain Falcon shouts out his Super Smash Bros. catchphrase; listen closely before the breakdown. One of my favorite chiptunes to date.

The final track on the EP, ‘Dreamer’, returns to a brighter, more pop-ish sound, similar to ‘Miracle Max’. Fantastic guitar riffs are showcased throughout the song, showing that Square Therapy’s musical talents don’t only lie within the realm of chip composition. The track takes a short breather around the halfway mark, but with an exciting build-up the track returns to the same fantastic, upbeat theme showcased throughout the first half.

This up-and-coming chiptune artist brings something new and innovative to the chiptune community. His second release is in the works, and while a release date hasn’t been announced, it can’t come fast enough. Expect BIG things from this man in the future.

Much love!

\m|♥|m/

BandcampFacebookSoundcloudTwitter

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Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 (Tracks 37-41)

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Enough expository dialogue! Have at you!

Track #37: subPixel – Tiny Fungi

Tiny Fungi? More like Famitracker Masterclass, if you ask me. subPixel’s contribution to ChipWIN is demonstrative of the same qualities that made The Wave, along with his slew of prior releases, so good to begin with. Starting off minimally with great use of Famitracker’s tri channel, subPixel doesn’t waste any time before laying down sweeping arpeggios alongside his magnificent use of the FDS synth. Tiny Fungi is a WORLD of melodic bliss, and subPixel’s use of note cutting and  triangle channel alone is reason enough to appreciate this fantastic piece. It’s always inspiring to hear an expert Famitracker composer at work. And subPixel, as always, delivers the goods.

Track #38: SSD Engage – Floating Space Toast Void

I have seen the Floating Space Toast void… and it is immaculate. The trio of SPRY, Disabletron and Sp00ked stand tall on their own, but together they are a force that destroys universes and invites you along to the mayhem. SSD Engage frequently conveys the feel of three great musicians coming together to jam out, with always-spectacular results. While there’s certainly a steady rhythm and beat to be found, the amount of aural space and melody present establishes an atmosphere of cosmic chaos. It crunches like toast, yeah…if toast had the propensity for universal contemplation. Maybe it does, though. These guys have vision.

Track #39: Ryuno – Wub Dub De Club

Wub? Check. Dub? Check. Club? Check. I really did consider dedicating this whole blurb to how much I love the kick drum but that would be a disservice to the rest of this composition. Representing the more melodic side of chipstep, the Brazil-based Ryuno has already established himself with a Soundcloud presence chock-full of standout dubstep, chillstep and dnb tracks. With Wub Dub de Club, Ryuno has distilled these influences into a 2:45 manifesto that any DJ would be proud to unleash upon the unsuspecting masses. And seriously, can we talk about that kick?

Track #40: Pieces of Eight – Rescue Drama

Utilizing the oft-overlooked OpenMPT that composers like Fearofdark have used to such great effect, Pieces of Eight a.k.a Adam Lankford, serves a mid-tempo rocker that is by far one of this compilation’s strongest tracks. The beginning section’s angelic synths are portentous of the building storm, with the first kick at 0:24 confirming what you knew all along: This is going to ROCK. Through an enviably catching melody augmented by some great accidentals and scale-defying arps, my favorite bit is the breakdown at the 3:34 mark where I swear he’s channelling the great Motoi Sakuraba. This dude knows how to build and maintain, further proven by the wailing melody that sets this beast to rest. If you didn’t know the name Pieces of Eight before, you damn sure do now. Respect.

Track #41: Nestrogen – Torpedophile of Wonder and Joy

Questionable (but awesome) title aside, it’s a bit rare that you get a chance to see the pop side of Nestrogen. This is, after all, the same Nestrogen that just recently the FUCKING AWESOME EP, Famithrasher, through Datathrash Recordings. I’ll give you a moment to adjust. Aggression is still an omnipresent factor, though the blastbeats are traded in here for a more conservative percussive approach. Which is fine, since Nestrogen has a grasp for sick drums. The melody throughout is hella catchy, definitely encapsulating that sense of wonder buried beneath the unrelenting instrumentation. But the major standout is the change-up and quick breakdown at the 1:43 mark along with some really nice panning. Really solid track.

Make sure to check back in next Wednesday for continued coverage of Chiptunes = WIN Volume 2! Until next time~

subPixel
Bandcamp | Facebook

SSD Engage
Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Ryuno
Facebook | Soundcloud

Pieces of Eight
Facebook | Soundcloud

Nestrogen
Soundcloud | Facebook

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Sladerfluous: The Owl EP by Chasingbleeps

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I want you to click here and listen to track #4 ‘Just Smile’.

I’ll wait.

Craig Mitchell, aka Chasingbleeps, writes tracks on ‘The Owl EP’ with purpose and elegance. This 7-track release is far from the typical barrage electronic music can so easily fall into of PUT IN ALL SYNTHS MORE MARIO COIN SOUNDS ADD WUBS PUSH GAIN!!!

This is electronic music you can bring home to your parents.

‘The Owl EP’ was created for the 12in12x12 project (‘Cold Dark Air’ is featured on the April 2013 compilation) which acts as a community driving force through its Facebook page to push artists to create a song over a 12 hour period each month. That month’s album is then released to Bandcamp and listeners are encouraged to download those compilations for free.

Track ‘Cold Dark Air’ has a fantastic build, utilizing several vocal loops to great effect alongside an echoing xylophone melody. You can tell why it was a featured track in 12in12x12’s April 2013 compilation, which you can check out here.

‘The Owl EP’ as a whole is infused with charming chimes at the melody helm over deeper looping bass tones, with occasional vocal loop additions used sparingly and effectively. The instrumental choices and combinations are simple and tightly woven to produce an album of cheerful and inventively executed tracks that I trust will brighten up your day.

‘Just Smile’ is my favorite track. An efficient melody weaves those echoing chimes over a light bassline for a full and inviting sound with a minimum of fuss and a conscious refusal to drown in an over-encumbrance of instruments. While committing to a minimum of individual sounds, ‘The Owl EP’ and ‘Just Smile’ in particular exudes an overwhelming uplifting feeling that more than lives up to its title. Of course, you’ve already heard it, so you know exactly what I’m talking about. You DID listen to it, right? RIGHT????

*The collective sound of the internet’s mouse-clicks scrambling to click the link up top…*

I recently had the chance to snag a moment of Craig’s time for a few questions about ‘The Owl EP’, and here’s what he had to say:

Morgan: How was your experience using 12in12x12 as motivation for the album? If motivation isn’t the right word, which would you use? Do you see yourself using 12in12x12 for any other projects in the future? Would you recommend the experience to other artists?

Chasingbleeps: I totally found 12in12x12 to be a great motivation for writing music! If not for running into Jim (The creator of 12in12x12) on the deepest corners of the Internets I would have never made the owl EP. I intend to do a lot more songs for 12in12x12. I have not been able to do it recently due to working on my new release and my live sets. I recommend doing 12in12x12 to anyone who is suffering from writers block!

Morgan: What were some of the creative highlights for you during the making of The Owl EP?

Chasingbleeps: When I was writing ‘The Owl EP’ I was trying to do something I’ve never done before. I decided to make everything using samples and old synth vst’s. I spent aaaageees looking through music sites for good samples and vst’s. Once I had found the right ones it was great fun seeing what I could do with them. Once I had finished all the songs for ‘The Owl EP’ I had trouble giving it a name. I had one song that I had named ‘Sleepyhead’ but I didn’t feel that name was right for it. So I changed its name to ‘Owls’ and then that gave me the idea for “The Owl EP”. Owls because that day I had found a picture of myself holding an owl when I was younger. I also really like owls.

Morgan: Are there any milestones this album hits for you on a personal level? For example, the growth of your musical style, the number of songs you have written, a milestone in downloads over your Bandcamp career, etc?

Chasingbleeps: When I released ‘The Owl EP’ I really didn’t expect it to go anywhere. It was just a side project to my ChasingBleeps stuff. Personally I loved each song on the EP but I didn’t think it would appeal to my current following. I was wrong haha! ‘The owl EP’ Is my most listened to and most downloaded release on my Bandcamp. Currently it has about 2,500 listens and 300 downloads. I’m very proud of all that and I am incredibly happy that all those people liked it! Working on ‘The Owl EP’ was really fun and it gave me a break from my usual LSDJ stuff I had been working on at that time. It was great to try something new but still staying within the vast chip genre.

Morgan: What would you like new listeners to know about you that they may not know by checking out ‘The Owl EP’?

Chasingbleeps: I would like people who enjoyed ‘The Owl EP’ to also know that I make loads of different kinds of music.

I write piano songs and what I do mainly is LSDJ dance music! In fact, I have a release coming out soon and I’m going to give you a super secret link to my album teaser which isn’t going to be released for a few weeks!

Keep an eye out for that! I would also like to mention I am working on another release like ‘The Owl EP’. A sequel if you will. I don’t have much to tell about that yet but I can say it’s coming.
———————————————

Big thanks to Chasingbleeps for taking the time to let us in on the making of ‘The Owl EP’! Now get outta here and go take a listen!

Pixel Recall ~ (R. Morgan Slade) ~ Support the artists you love.

Relevant links:

Facebook | Bandcamp | Soundcloud

ChipWIN-tern Spotlight: Space Boyfriend

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Want to go on an intergalactic adventure? Travel across the stars with your alien lover? Or maybe just have a watermelon party? All this and more can be yours with Space Boyfriend!

Space Boyfriend, AKA Jami Carignan, is a southern Virginia ex-pat who currently hangs around LA when not being totally radical and traveling around for performances. And it’s funny, because traveling for performances is what got Jami into this whole thing in the first place. I had a chance to grab a quick interview via the glorious social media messiah that is Facebook Messenger and got a brief overview of the evolution of the Space Boyfriend. Back in the day, Jami lived in Chesapeake, scooting around Virginia for various anime conventions and shows all around the state. Eventually, there was enough internet fame surrounding the Space Boyfriend act that a tour was planned, sharing the ticket with none other than Slime Girls! But, before Jami got to San Jose to kick off the tour, everything fell apart, and the tour never happened. Faced with a vast pool of potential, Jami remembered all of the friends he’d made at MAGFest and from working at Fangamer (I keep telling you kids, MAGFest makes miracles happen), and instead moved to LA right in time to play a full band version of his song ‘Watermelon Party’ with Slime Girls at Frequency 2.0 and hang out with everyone. And, to quote Jami, “Hey, it worked out.”

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Art credit goes to Yumi at yumizoomi.tumblr.com!

So just what does the Space Boyfriend have to offer? Well, the bulk of the work Jami has done so far is the album ‘Bug Spray’, on which the self-titled track ‘Space Boyfriend’ resides. Says Jami on ‘Bug Spray’:  “Most of it is implied and a little abstract, but it follows the progression of a boy from space, reflecting on a period of which he and a close friend celebrated a beautiful summer, but how he subsequently destroyed it out of his own confused ambition to leave his familiar galaxy and surpass the universe.” So not only is this a concept album, but if you actually take the time to parse the lyrics out it’s actually kind of touching but depressing – in a good way, that is, like Russian literature. On an awesome note though, we should be expecting a remastered version of this album in the not too distant future (I couldn’t wrestle a release date from Jami, but I imagine it’ll be after a few other projects clear up).

In addition to the contents of the Space Boyfriend Bandcamp and Soundcloud, Jami collaborated with fellow chipartist Knife City to do the Heads Up! Hot Dogs soundtrack, and has been active in the live performance scene as of late, performing across the street from the San Diego Comic Con with the folks at ShiftyLook and making multiple appearances at TRiP! Jami’s also did an exclusive track for the Ultranimboy zine, available from Fangamer! Hopefully, we’ll be seeing some more live Space Boyfriend as the year goes on.

And that’s it! There are all sorts of relevant links below, so if you’re a rad dude who wants to keep up on the happenings of another rad dude, then you’d better get at them!  And I’ve included an embed of Bug Spray, for those of you who have forgotten how to computer.

Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Bandcamp | Soundcloud

 

FUTURE NIGHT – Nashville, TN on Fri 9/27/13

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Sup y’all? =) President Hoodie here with an announcement about an AWESOME show taking place in my region (!!!) a week from today. A handful of us from various chipscenes spread across the area are teaming up with another awesome group of folk & a venue in Nashville to put on an amazing show called FUTURE NIGHT that you just may be interested in (note the name Roboctopus in the middle of the gorgeous flyer below… ;).

future night

Mike Kluge of Future Night puts it better than I ever could:

“Future Night is an experimental art & music showcase featuring progressive bands & interactive art installations held at Boheme Collectif in East Nashville. This is a creative collaboration between makers, musicians & futurephiles and for anyone who enjoys the combination of these things, exciting new forms of media, and experimentation in general.”

$5. BYOB. Sept. 27th. Starts at 9pm.

Hope to see you there!!! =D

Much \m|♥|m/,
President Hoodie

Relevant links

Musical artists:
Linear Downfall
Methdad MEGA BAND
Roboctopus
Dotcom
Brain Lesion

Art Installations:
Tyler Blankenship
Zach Adams
Mike Kluge
Hank Pruett
Brains Bailey
Morgan Higby-Flowers

Fb Event | Reddit link