Chris Curates: The ChipWIN Holiday Gift Guide

- Posted December 9th, 2015 by

Happy Holidays to one and all! It’s that time of year again. Snow is falling on the blog, President Hoodie has made another amazing announcement, and we’re all scrambling for the perfect Christmas gift. As we all partake in the time-honored tradition of rampant consumerism, why not support some kickass chiptune artists while we’re at it? I think that’s a swell idea. Which is why I’ve decided to use this month’s review column to do a little something different. It’s the ChipWIN Holiday Gift Guide!


When searching for the perfect Christmas gift for that special chiptune fan in your life, physical copies of their favorite albums are always an excellent choice. I always make sure to nab a physical copy when given the option, and have amassed quite a collection over the years. But that’s a bit too obvious for the purposes of this guide. I’d like to highlight just a few of the truly unique bits of merch that will make you and yours squee with delight this holiday season.

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Conquer Monster Merch Bundle

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Back in October, Conquer Monster burst onto the scene with their phenomenal debut ‘Metatransit’. Their dystopian soundscapes ooze 80s Sci-Fi and it’s well worth listening to, but you don’t have to take my word for it. The Unicorn Princess has published a full review and interview with the artists Joshua Faulkner and Daniel Romero on this very blog. Listening to ‘Metatransit’ is a stunning, retro-futuristic experience that speaks for itself, but Conquer Monster has truly gone above and beyond in their merch department. They’ve truly exemplified the ChipWIN ideal of ‘Don’t fuck around’. Where to begin?

First of all, ‘Metatransit’ serves as the soundtrack to the comic book Purge Worlds, written by Joshua Oman and beautifully illustrated by Chris Black. It tells a compelling sci-fi tale of revenge filled with action and intrigue. Purge Worlds gives the reader/listener a deeper understanding of what the metatransit actually is, as well as the backstory which explains the meaning behind the name Conquer Monster. It’s an engrossing companion piece to the album itself, and allows us to further explore the dark, detailed atmospheres that Conquer Monster has created.

In addition, we have one of the slickest designs for a shirt that I’ve seen come along in quite a while. It absolutely nails the aesthetic that Conquer Monster puts forth with its starry backdrop and 80s style font and graphics.

The coolest and most unique bit of merch however, has to be the freaking VHS tape with a full hour of psychedelically glitched-out visuals which perfectly complement every track of ‘Metatransit’. I realize that most people may react to the gift of a VHS tape with a puzzled look on their face, but I feel that the readers of this blog will have a special appreciation for what Conquer Monster has put together here. From the joke and reference-filled credits and warning labels, to the overall look and feel of the production, it’s clear that Joshua and Daniel have put a lot of time and effort into getting every aspect of their merch to look just right. The VHS tape even comes with a pair of 3D glasses for added immersion! The visuals on this tape would be perfect to have playing on a screen during your holiday house party. And if for some reason you don’t have a VCR at the ready, there’s a digital download code for a video file of the VHS tape printed on the 3D glasses

All of these items are available individually or as package deals at Conquer Monster’s storefront. I recommend going ham if you can and buying all the things. They’d make for an excellent Christmas gift!

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Captain Credible’s ‘Dead Cats’ printed circuit board EP

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Hearkening back to another October release, the Norwegian musician and creative genius Captain Credible dropped his ‘Dead Cats’ EP in the form of a printed circuit board. This board contains an ATtiny85 8-bit microcontroller stuffed to the brim with code, an LED, 3 resistors, a 3.3V battery and a minijack. While the first 5 tracks of ‘Dead Cats’ are traditionally composed tracks downloaded from the internet which range from high-energy dance chip to dark and moody atmospheres, the highlight is the final track which is generatively played by the circuitboard called ‘main.h’. Each individual circuitboard will play a completely unique version of ‘main.h’. Connecting your headphones will complete the circuit and begin an infinitely long track which contains the sound of raw data being translated into 8-bit music in real time. If you hear a particular part that you enjoy and want to go back, you can always remove and reinsert your headphones to restart the track from the beginning.

This is a truly astonishing and unique way to release an EP to say the least, and the video embedded below will explain its features further. Since Captain Credible released ‘Dead Cats’ in October, the circuit board has sold out through the Bandcamp store page. However, there are some still available to purchase from 2 other storefronts: here and here. Keep in mind that they ship from Norway, so depending on where you live, I won’t make any promises that they will arrive in time for Christmas. Nevertheless, this piece of tech was just too damn awesome not to feature on this list. This is EP 1 of 3, so keep an eye out on captaincredible.com for more circuitboard releases in the future!

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Sam Mulligan’s Shark Party: the Final Flask!

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Do you love Sam Mulligan? Do you love booze? Of course you do, and have I got the perfect gift for you! Nothing says Happy Holidays like a stainless steel flask, and this one is one of a kind. It features the richly detailed artwork of KOOL SKULL depicting a shark in full-on party mode. Fill this flask with your favorite libation to keep warm during the frigid months ahead. It will also make for excellent MAGFest gear. My Sam Mulligan flask has brought me countless hours of blissful inebriation, and isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Here’s the catch, there is exactly ONE of these beauties left available for purchase! The only question is, who is gonna make Sam’s year and buy the final flask?! Become the chosen one. Buy this flask, or face the wrath of Dennis the Shark!

While we’re on the subject of Sam Mulligan, I’d like to take this opportunity to embed a recent performance of his, playing ‘Ninja Song Part 2’ on geekbeat radio. He’s one of my favorite performers in all of chiptune music in general, and it’s impossible to watch him play without a huge smile developing across your face. Love ya Sam!

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Get Equipped With ChipWIN Merch!

Why can't I hold all this WIN?

Why can’t I hold all this WIN?

We’re not above a shameless plug, and of course I had to include the bevy of beautiful ChipWIN merch that’s available in this gift guide! The fact is, if you’re reading this, you’re likely a fan of ChipWIN, and probably have a few friends who are as well. From shirts (available in black, purple and white) emblazoned with Nate Horsfall’s legendary artwork, to stickers, buttons, posters, coozies, and even glow in the dark bracelets and ‘Don’t fuck around’ wristbands, ChipWIN merch makes the perfect gift as well as simple stocking stuffers. These shirts are the comfiest that I own, and I’ve received compliments while wearing them from people who have no idea what chiptune even is. Again, Nate’s artwork is awesome.

Be sure to visit his website as well at lightningarts.com, where you’ll be spoiled for choice from all of his amazing artwork available for purchase as posters or prints, and can even be applied to clocks, mugs, phone cases, throw pillows and more! Nothing feels better than giving and receiving gifts that directly support the artist.

Speaking of supporting the artists, make sure that you do not hesitate with picking up the recently announced Bundle of WIN! For $2 or more, you’ll get over 10 albums from premiere chiptune artists who’ve contributed to the latest ChipWIN comp, included in this deal of course! It’s your opportunity to give back to the artists, MAGFest, and the ChipWIN project to ensure that more amazing collaborations such as this will continue to be a thing! Unlike the ChipWIN merch however, this epic bundle is only available for a limited time, until Dec. 22nd! It’s a Chipmas miracle facilitated by the fine folk at Groupees.com, so hop on over to this link posthaste!

———->   groupees.com/chipwin   <———-

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Become Chiptune!

In order to answer the age-old question of ‘Is this chiptune?’, we must first become the chiptune. Make it happen with this outfit that is elegant in both form and function and definitely not a gag Halloween costume probably. These are gifts that I believe your best bud would love to receive. You gotta believe! These are indeed chiptune accessories for all occasions. Wear it to your next fest or convention and whittle your friends down to only those who are the most chiptune. You can thank me later!

I am become chiptune.

I am become chiptune.

Outfit | Hoodie

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Of course, this has been just a sampling of all the chiptune-related gift options that are out there, and I hope this guide has helped enlighten you to some of the more unique and fun items that are available. Now get get out there and support the chiprealm, Chipsmas will be here before you know it! And above all have a Merry Chipsmas!

\m|♥|m/

ChipWIN Logo - Version 4 (current)

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