Sup y’all? =) Prez Hoodie here once again, this time with the final entry in my special Volume 3 judges interview series! Appropriate, as the V.3 judging is finally wrapped up and we’re all excitedly awaiting it’s release on September 1st. In the meantime, check out this chat with the Russian progchip master, C-jeff! ENJOY!
Hoodie: I’ve chatted with you more than a few times the last few years, and now with the Vol.3 judging done, I’ve worked directly with you! All that said, I don’t know a helluva lot about you. haha So let’s start off by fixing that!
C-jeff: Well, I’m that C-jeff guy! I started making music on ZX Spectrum in 2001, love chiptunes and many other kinds of stuff, and have run Ubiktune since 2006 with varying levels of success. Sometimes I’m a part of demoscene culture as well. I was drawing ascii as part of Mimic back in 2004-2005 (I think the year is right?), was running Antique Toy – online spectrum graphics/music contest in the middle of 200x, & I’ve released 5 albums. I’m also web developer and practice sport/martial arts. Nowadays I do music for videogames and plan to release my next solo thing in 2015.
Hoodie: That’s… even more than I was aware of. haha You’re definitely another one of those “do all the things” guys, no doubt about that. ;)
The next obvious question is what pulled you into this crazy world of chipmusic, both curating and composing?
C-jeff: Music was always around me back in my childhood. My father was playing and singing in his rock band, Mifa, and we had a lot of tapes at home, so I was listening to a lot of music, mainly rock and metal stuff. And even more, I was playing classical piano for about 9 years. So, when I got ZX Spectrum, I started to make games and I wanted to have my own music in them instead of ripping it from others. I just thought, why not give it a try?
I also was a big fan of chipmusic from Dendy (Russian Famicom clone). So it was pretty natural to try it with ZX Spectrum. It was the most accessable way to start it, because I had no any other PC at that time.
Hoodie: Ah wow! The musical background goes deep! I had no idea. That’s pretty awesome. My love of music (live particularly) began with jamming with my family’s band as well. Pretty cool how that works out.
C-jeff: That’s right.
Hoodie: Something I’ve wondered awhile now (as I always do with different parts of the international scene), what is the Russian chipscene like? Is there even really one, or is it sporadic as it is in many areas of the world (with individuals spread out here and there)
C-jeff: Russia definitely has its own chipscene. There are parties here and there all the time, mainly in Moscow and St. Petersburg, with many guys who compose music, mostly on Game Boys, and there are even chiptune labels. However, I must say that I don’t dive too deep into it. I live pretty far away, in small quiet city 800km from Moscow. Sometimes I travel and play live shows (mainly as a duo with my friend Megus), and due to my usual busy-ness with personal projects in the recent years, I hardly listen to the music that comes out. So yeah, the scene is not as big as in the US, for example, but it is definitely alive here. There are guys who organize shows for foreign artists, like Goto80, Linde, etc.
Hoodie: Oh wow. I knew it existed, but I didn’t realize there was that much to it, especially live (I’m all about the live chipshows). That’s awesome to hear! And yeah, it IS pretty much impossible to stay on top of everything, especially living away from most of it (the middle of Arkansas is about as rural as you get, so I can relate there! haha).
I’ve seen some footage of you jamming with Teleidofusion (who, to be honest, I was aware of before your solo work!). Damn good stuff! Y’all still jam on occasion? Maybe plans to do another album at some point? (hint hint ;) I mean, it’s not like you’re busy with 100 different projects or anything. :3
C-jeff: Yeah, we play with Megus from time to time, like for the album, but it depends on many factors. We try our best, so as soon as we’ll have something to announce, we’ll do it. =)
Hoodie: Nice! Regarding live shows, outside of Teleidofusion gigs have you &/or Megus considered organizing live chip shows somewhere in the region?
C-jeff: We have some plans for next year, but it is all deep in the development stage right now.
Hoodie: That’s what I wanted to hear! Live chipmusic is what ended up pulling me so deeply into this scene. It’s a more active form of listening to & experiencing music, and thus generally has a more profound effect on folk. So I’m always curious to know if more is happening & am excited if it is! haha Damn flights across the pond are rough, though! Really, really need teleportation to make all the shows around the world these days. :3
C-jeff: For sure! =)
Hoodie: Random somewhat related aside: how close are you to Mikhail Ivanov aka Streifig? I notice he recorded the video for y’alls 2012 Teleidofusion show. He’s a pretty swell dude from my experiences with him. Was awesome to have him & jmr perform as Marshall Art at MAGFest Chipspace this year!
C-jeff: First time I knew about Mikhail was after Electric was out and he wrote a note about it in his blog. Then I met him irl at our first show with Megus in Moscow, and we have had regular contact since then. We occasionally get together when I visit Moscow. He is a great guy, he loves music, and plays guitar in a great band and & in his co-op project with jmr (Marshall Art). I can’t wait for them to finally release their album!
Hoodie: I know, right? Not gonna lie: I take every chance I get to pester them to finish that up. haha Their track on our 2012 Expansion Pack release is still one of my favorite things, PERIOD.
Speaking of MAG, you coming to MAG 13? Because you NEED to. ;)
C-jeff: I’m not sure about MAG 13, but someday I’d love to join you guys and play a huge show there. That’s one of my life goals.
Hoodie: Man oh man, that is something that NEEDS to happen! Seriously, though, it’s a blast to meet everyone you know from the internet. It’s kinda like the internet, except in irl. haha
Hoodie: Might as well get Stemage in on the action as well. He’s always there too!
C-jeff: Definitely, Stemage too!
Hoodie: Another random, yet somewhat related aside: we got Zantilla to come jam at our chipshows at Orlando Nerd Fest. He is AMAZING. May or may not’ve called him C-jeff junior. haha ;)(we totally did :3 ).
C-jeff: Tell me about it! Addy sent his Encounters demo to Ubiktune and I was completely blown away. I’d never heard this kind of stuff before. He is going to be big, I’m sure.
Hoodie: He blew EVERYONE’S mind. We honestly didn’t realize he lived in Florida! As soon as we did, making that happen became a MUST. He seemed pretty blown away by the whole experience as well. I have a feeling folk’ll be seeing more from him live now. ;)
…or at least they better. I’M TALKING TO YOU NOW, ADDY. MAKE IT HAPPEN. :P ;)
C-jeff: Addy, you rock! Now give us your next album too! =)
Hoodie: Definitely! Back on topic, Temporus: how’d that happen and just how excited should we be about this game and soundtrack?
C-jeff: Well, it’s what I always wanted to do (as I already said, I’m a big fan of classic video games) So as I was working on Big Steel Wheels, I thought about trying to find a game project right after finishing the album. However, about a month or two before the album was out, I got an email about Temporus and well, here we are!
I’m really excited to work on this project, as it is going to be my debut indie soundtrack. I’ve composed a lot of music for casual games before, but it’s hardly something that anyone really notices. This gig, however, is kind of the next level for me. With the fully funded support of our Kickstarter, we can only do our best!
Hoodie: I’m not going to lie, I am COMPLETELY sold on the hype for this game already & am eagerly awaiting its eventual release! I don’t have near as much time to game anymore – although I still LOVE it when I get the chance – but this one is on my “must play” list for sure! How’s the soundtrack moving along for it? I’m loving what I’ve heard so far.
C-jeff: Currently, it is all about discussions and trying different ideas and letting it develop. Once we have something else solid to show, we’ll do it through the updates.
Regarding that “next solo thing in 2015” that you mentioned earlier, do you have a concept at all for that yet? Is it going to be more progchip badassery, or something completely different this time around?
C-jeff: I cannot say much about it right now, but I’m sure many people will be surprised by it. I plan to release a couple of singles before the whole thing, you know. At least one this year. So people could have a taste of it!
C-jeff: So yes, it is definitely something new, something you’ve never heard from C-jeff before! =)
Hoodie: Already excited to hear what comes out of that, as I’m sure everyone else will be as well!
Before we go, of course I have to ask what are your thoughts on the whole Volume 3 judging process. Was that enjoyable, as in something you’d consider doing again, or about as fun as cleaning our your ears with barbed wire? haha
C-jeff: It was very fun, but maybe a bit too many tracks to listen at all at once. Unfortunately, I left a lot to the very last minute and it was my mistake. However, I wouldn’t mind judging another time! =)
Hoodie: We DO get quite the influx of tracks nowadays for the open comps, no doubt about it. haha And yeah, I have a feeling it’ll happen again. ;) But for now, looking forward to Volume 3!
Thanks again for being part of that by the way! You guys make the otherwise fairly overwhelming gig a lot more manageable. Plus, it’s great to get the perspective of various different individuals from within the scene. Makes for a more diverse release in the end. =)
On that note, I reckon that’s about it. Any final thoughts before we wrap this up?
C-jeff: Thanks for inviting me! Let the music be your guiding light!