Greetings and salutations, all! The world of chiptune had a fairly hectic weekend, what with Superbyte happening in the UK, Freq.Fest.Norcal happening in…well, northern California, and MAGFest Classic happening in the beloved Mark Center Hilton in Alexandria, Virginia. While the chipfam was in high supply elsewhere, MAGClassic, being a much smaller event than the primary MAGFest event, had a much smaller attendance both of folks here from the blog (only myself, VP Swackhammer and our Art Czar Nate were in attendance) as well as space for actual performances by chiptune acts. That’s not a bad thing, of course – the VGM acts were face-melting, but this isn’t the VGM = WIN blog, so I figure you’re not here to hear about them.
As opposed to one of those sprawling post-event posts I’m known for, I thought I’d try something new and whip up a mix-tape here for you with my favorite song from each of the chip artists that came, so you can get a taste of what you missed and hopefully find some new favorites. In case you’re not familiar with these folks, I’ve included a small biography about each act.
Brandon and Hannah, a husband and wife duo, make music together from their home in Maine. It sounds like something out of a story book, right? Then I don’t know what story books you’ve been reading, because this one sounds like 80’s synthwave took a hit of dubstep and sat down to play some Famicom. These two are just as sweet as their jams, though, and it was amazing to have them travel down from the frozen northlands to come play.
Sam Mulligan & Hype$quad
You know him, you love him – Sam Mulligan, longtime ChipWIN collaborator and literally The Whitest Kid You Know, is based out of Somerville, MA and tells stories with a Game Boy and a guitar – sometimes they’re hilarious, sometimes they hit a little close to home, but it’s never a dull (shark) party when he’s around.
Sam is, of course, one half of HYPE$QUAD, the dankest chiphop group this side of Morgantown, WV – which is where the other half of the team, Isabella AKA Janx, resides. HYPE$QUAD was also joined on stage by none other than Solarbear for a brand new death metal track, Donut Slayer.
Zantilla, AKA Adrian Shegstad is honestly better than we deserve as humans to have on our planet. You might remember hearing about this Floridian on our blog before, but in case you missed it, Zantilla is one of the greatest chiptune/progressive/funk acts out there. And I’ll fight you if you disagree. I’ll fight you IRL. Don’t think I won’t! COME AT ME BR-
Oh, Professor Shyguy. Such an adorable, unassuming little guy. This Nashville native quickly shatters any thoughts you might have about his ability to rock your face off when he whips out his NES guitar and full-on magical girl transforms into one of the hypest dudes to ever rock a Nintendo Power track jacket. This track here is actually a track he played at MAGClassic and said was unreleased – when I asked him about it, he said that while he’d submitted this track for the Kawaii 8 Bit compilation, he’s been working on refining it ever since. The more you know!
One of my favorite acts, whether he be solo or with a band backing him up, Paul Weinsten, one of the Philly chip crew, once again came to rock the house with his guitar and his Game Boy. I’ve spoken at length about his music, so I’ll just go ahead and leave these here for you to check out at your leisure. Surprisingly, after all the years I’ve seen him perform, this is the first time I haven’t heard him play this song, which is why I made sure to include it here.
Alright look, I know I said I was making a mix-tape here, but I never said what I was mixing, right? Radlib is better experienced as a performance, regardless, and since this little chunk of history exists on the internet, I would be remiss not to share it. Radlib is the epic 90’s dance music project from Carl Peczynski with fat beats made on computers from the far-off year of 1998. While there hasn’t been too much new Radlib lately, I’ve gotten confirmation from the man himself that there will be a Radlib album dropping…sometime. But there definitely is one to be dropped, and as soon as that happens, you can bet you’ll see it here.
So there you go – I’ve tried to give you a little of everything. Crunk Witch lets you break down like a maniac, Sam Mulligan will get you laughing, Zantilla will melt your face with proggy goodness when he’s not chilling you out with his mellow funk, Professor Shyguy will flip your nostalgia levers, Chipocrite will hype you up and Radlib will make you party like it’s 1996. If you missed these guys this year, never fear! MAGFest comes twice a year, to say nothing of the many MAG-brand events that take place all over the East and West Coasts of ‘Murrica!