Archive for September, 2013

Raw Cuts With Kuma #14: bryface

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Welcome back, ChipWINners!  It’s good to be back at the blog after a short hiatus.  That being said, I hope you’re ready for another interview!  This week, I managed to get a hold of one of the most versatile talents in the scene!  Using a bevy of tools over the course of his career, this artist took the time to sit down with me to talk about his new album, weapons of choice, and his recent performance at Toy Company Festival!  So without further ado, here’s my interview with Canada’s very own bryface!
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Kuma:  So I got to listen to a large part, if not all of, your musical catalog, and I have to say, you are one of the more versatile talents I’ve ever had here on rawcuts! How’d you get your start in all this?  Where does your journey begin?

bryface:
  Good question.  I like to begin the story at the age of 9.  It was the early 90’s, my brother and I just recently got a modem for our 486 PC, and we had started foraying into the world of dialup BBS’s (which served as the precursor to the internet).  Some of these bulletin boards held collections of all kinds of files, including 4-channel and MODs. Somehow I stumbled onto one written by 4mat, and I was blown away by his style of composing!  That’s pretty much the earliest influence I can recall on my style.

Kuma:  Wait Wait Wait Wait wait wait wait!  Stop here for second!  Stop!  Are you another one of these deceptively old chiptune people?  BBS? early 4-Mat?  Are you TDK aged?

HOODIE FLORIDA BEER

bryaface:  Haha not quite that old!  Those guys had lives and careers to live while I was still trying to learn how to do long division.  But I’d consider myself maybe just above median age as far as the current chip community Is concerned, if that means anything at all.  Too young to be oldschool, old enough to be cantankerous about juvenile chip tastes.

Kuma:  Ah, so you’re Kuma age. Good. I thought my brain was going to explode again, the way it did when I found out Glomag has a 17 year old son.

bryface:  Anyway, fast forward a few years and I find myself writing tracker music in impulse tracker.  Then, I stopped writing in that program because I found it too unwieldy and couldn’t finish anything.  It wasn’t until 4 years ago that I got started again, via a copy of KORG DS-10 and focused on short little ditties.

I think all the while, I found myself really connected to the demoscene/tracker chiptune aesthetic because of its uniqueness and focus on melody and harmony more than instrumentation, so stylistically I try to champion that ethic as much as I’m able to.

Kuma:  I’m glad you have, and I’m especially glad you’re doing it with DS10, because while there certainly talented DS10 people out there, I find the ones I’m most familiar with don’t carry that aesthetic the way you do.  kloudygirl makes noisey, dank industrial, and decktonic focuses on using it it the way a club DJ would use a synth to make disco, so when I got to hear your work, especially on “how to dodge lasers” I creamed my pants a little.

bryface:  That’s very kind and horribly disgusting of you to say.  But yeah, I mean I _could_ do music on those styles, but I feel like it’s a waste of time to trod where others can tread easily, you know?  (not that it’s NECESSARILY easy
but yeah I like a challenge.

To clarify, I feel like, ‘why waste time covering territory that others are covering ably already?’.  What excites me is the discovery of new things, and that desire is best met by me doing composition that is challenging.

Kuma:  Very true.  There’s nothing wrong with making similar music, but I definitely enjoy that, as far as DS10 is concerned, you’re walking your own path.  That being said, the Korg isn’t the only program you use to make music with.  Tell me, of the tools listed on your WAVEFORMTOWN page, which is the one you like most outside of DS10?

bryface:  Impulse tracker, Famitracker, Sunvox, korg m01 and LSDJ all have their strengths and weaknesses as far as sound shaping is concerned.  The DS-10 was a great portable platform as far as portability and control over sound is concerned, but over time I felt it was too restrictive compositionally. 16 notes x 16 patterns was not enough for the complexity of the songs I really wanted to write.  I hate to be cliche, but LSDJ has become a favorite because it combines the familiar tracker interface with portability and a degree of sound control. (at least, control within the confines of the hardware)

Portability is super important to me because I can’t stand sitting down at a computer to write music anymore. too solitary, and too remote to capture musical ideas that flicker to life in a short moment.  I haven’t touched a DAW in years lololol

Kuma:  Really?  That’s surprising, as I know a lot of artists, even if they’ don’t perform using DAWs, they’ll use them to refine and touch up their songs for album releases.  Are you saying you don’t master your music at all?  That all the stuff I’ve heard is raw DS10 or LSDJ?

bryface:  All the DS-10 and LSDJ stuff i released before this newest album has not been enhanced with a DAW.  I simply lacked the knowledge/perspective to consider post-production a big deal.  ‘VARIOUS TOPICS’ marks my first use of a DAW (Reaper) for legit EQ/mastering.

Still though, the post-production is quite minimal as far as altering the spectral content of the music is concerned  because i believe in maintaining a kind of verisimilitude whereby i didn’t resort to underhanded tricks to make my music sound unnaturally impressive. I want to be more or less on the level with how i present my music.  It’s more impressive that way.

Kuma:  I respect that.  I respect that a lot, especially because it’s clear how much effort you put into making a high quality production.  So much so, that it seems to have paid off for you in a big way, seeing as you got to play at Toy Company Festival earlier this year! Talk to me about that, man!  Were you nervous? Excited?  Was this your first time playing a large scale fest like this?

bryface:  It definitely was my first experience playing a multi-day show on that kind of scale!  As far as the “exclusive opportunity” of getting to play the show was concerned, I do want to clarify that by pointing out that there aren’t nearly as many chiptune artists in Canada, even less so in Vancouver where i am.  So when i heard about the festival, i figured, hey, if ever there was a +30% chance of me getting involved, why not??  So I got in touch with XC3N and the Toy Company guys and they were like, ‘yeah let’s make it happen!’!

I was definitely excited to play.  I wasn’t really nervous though, because i believed that my music was worth sharing, and also because a lot of the artists I had met previously at other events (Blipfest 2011 being the first of them).

To me it was more about the excitement of getting to hang out with all these awesome peers/heroes/brothers-in-arms again (which doesn’t happen often at all for me, given how remote I am).

Kuma:  Oh c’mon!  You’re not that remote!  Vancouver may be far, but it’s not like you’re in the middle of nowhere like jmr in Newfoundland!

Regardless, I do get that feeling.  Festivals are often the only time a lot of us get to see each other in person, so being able to take advantage of the opportunity to attend means a lot beyond just being able to play.  Was there anyone in particular you were happy to see?

bryface:  Haha i feel for that guy, being where he is.  On a related note, jmr was hanging out at Toy Company Fest too, so i got a kick out of meeting him in person and seeing the same thrill he had in meeting IRL peoples! (previously only knew of him in IRC channels and whatnot).

Hmm… in general it was great to see some artists from the Ontario chip scene, and the Wuebec chip guys, all in one place.  Twofer!  Saved me a bunch of flight money for sure. Btw, I gotta hand it to the Quebec artists: I was really impressed with how they banded together to make this show happen, and it was evident that they’re genuinely excited artists who are able to put personal ambitions and politics aside to have a good time. They deserve praise and continued support.

poutine

bryface:  I wanna offer kudos to Danimal Cannon.  I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him play live several times and I’ve always wanted to return the favor to him and many of the artists that were at TC fest.  We always seem to run into each other a lot, too, and for a guy who has every reason to be all “pssh i don’t need to talk to you” chip star style, he’s always been very generous with his time and attention.  I’m thrilled that we’re labelmates, but more so that I can just call him “Dan” and not by some contrived pseudonym.

Kuma:  Huh, that’s cool, but honestly that’s the first time I’ve ever heard such. That being said, let’s talk about your new album, ‘VARIOUS TOPICS’.  What were you looking to create when you set out making it?  Was there a certain sound or change within yourself you were looking to make when crafting it?  What was the bar you set for yourself with this LP?

bryface:  Well, I originally had never set out to make an album proper, but as more unfinished music became closer to being done, it seemed a more viable goal.  But no, there was no “thematic core” or imagined story behind the album.  The music’s album is basically me going, “what’s the kind of music that I personally would like to hear more of from the chipscene?”, with the added guiding principle of “try not to do anything that’s been done before.”  So the music I’ve written is very much my reaction to trends and norms that I see in chipmusic today and trying to challenge them.

If I’m to be honest, I kind of feel that the average person’s interest in chipmusic could stand to be less myopic, stylistically.  Sometimes I feel that “current chiptune” is more about recreating mainstream music tropes rather than carving out unexplored territory, so my goal here is to try and provide some demonstration of what that unexplored territory could look like.

Kuma:  While I’ll admit part of why I fell in love with chip was because I was initially blown away with how lush and similar to traditional instrumentation this music could be, I have to admit I do admire your creativity in wanting to venture off in the other direction.  It takes dedication to do so, even in a scene as small as this. Will you be doing anything special to promote this EP?  An album release party or a concert?

bryface:  Oh yeah!  Of course I’m not knocking anyone’s taste in chipmusic per se, but if there is any statement that I would want for my album to make, it’s that there is indeed even more headway to make in this territory!  One thing I’ve tried to do specifically was to imbue an organic/human quality so as to almost make people forget they’re listening to chiptune.  I’ll be interested to see if this actually ends up ringing true with the general public.

While I suspect this conversation will get published after the fact, this Thursday (Sept. 19th) Noise Channel Radio is hosting a Listening Party!  I’ll be chatting it up with TrueStar and anyone else who happens to be on IRC at the time about the album.

I don’t really have any other plans for a release party, as there aren’t many people I’d celebrate proper with here in Vancouver.  It’s more likely that i’ll get right to sharing the album with people, maybe making supplementary content for it, BUT, a mere week after the release, i’ll be heading to japan to party with the Square Sounds crew in Tokyo!  I also have a few shows lined up there, in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka!  So that’ll be my “release party” so to speak!  Hard to top that!

Kuma:  God damn, that sounds awesome!  I’m incredibly jealous, but I’m sure you’re bound to have a great time!  That being said, I’d like to thank you for your time, bryface.  It was a pleasure interviewing you and getting to know you better, as well as listening to your music.  Do you have anything you’d like to say to our readers before we wrap things up?

bryface:  Hmm…

Kuma:  Hmmmm?

hmmm cat

bryface:  I would just like to ask for you all to listen to my work and to share it with others.  But to be clear, I wrote this music not because I necessarily want to be “known” or anything.  I wrote this music because I have a love for the process and for the result.  I wrote this music to continue and celebrate a proud tradition of being invested in your craft and finding fellowship with those who similarly understand the relationship between sweating technical details and the creation of a product that is more than the sum of its parts.  That is what I feel is at the heart of the chipmusic community, even all the way back to my days as a nine-year-old, and it’s important that we continue to cherish that.

That and, if we meet in person, and you tell me you like my music, you get an automatic beer.

Thanks for doing the interview, Kuma, this was indeed super fun.  I also wanted to give a shout out to C-jeff for allowing me the opportunity to continue Ubiktune‘s fine tradition of musicianship and hopefully not run it into the ground!! (tugs at collar nervously.)

Kuma:  Run a netlabel into the ground?  I doubt anyone could do that, especially someone as talented as you!  bry, once again, it was a pleasure talking to you. Take care and good luck with your future ventures. I look forward to doing this again with you.
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That’s it for this week’s edition of Rawcuts!  Don’t forget to tune into NCR tonight to be a part of bryface’s listening party for his new album, as well as heading over to bandcamp to not only pick up his new album, but to check out his older stuff, as well!  ‘Til next time!

\m|♥|m/

Relevant Links:
Facebook | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Twitter | WAVEFORMTOWN 

Fb Event for Listening Party

Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 (Tracks 32-36)

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Greetings all!  It’s Chip Mom’s turn to introduce your ears to five more delicious musical morsels cooked up for you by the artists of Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2!

Track #32: NEStonic by Decktonic

With Decktonic’s entry your ears are immediately delighted with tribal beats melded with the bevy of futuristic sounds that are Decktonic’s signature sound.  While these two textures may seem mutually exclusive, the artist blends them masterfully.  If your booty isn’t moving by the 45 second mark, you’re doing it wrong!  Now, as a chiptune newb I can’t regale you with an in-depth analysis of the techniques used to create this composition.  What I can tell you, however, is this:  If Ayla and Robo got together and had a dance party at the End of Time, it would sound – appropriately – like ‘NEStonic’.

Track #33: Take a Look by The Flight Away

Full disclosure: I am that girl at the bar that “squees” and then sings at the top of her lungs when she hears ‘Take on Me‘.  ‘To Be With You‘ is also in my regular karaoke rotation.

With that in mind, if you think back longingly to a time when music was made up of sharp drums, synth-laced keys, reverbed vocals, and puppies, then this song is right up your alley… and mine!  In this song, The Flight Away has managed to capture the spirit of the 80s with a chiptune twist.  Keeping with skrunchie-laden tradition, ‘Take a Look’ melds melancholy content with upbeat music ultimately producing a track that is joyful, endearing, and sinfully sing-alongable.

Track #34: Reasons by Dire Hit

And now for something completely different: Dire Hit’s ‘Reasons’.  From the first moment of the track, the layering and panning of different elements is engrossing.  While the sexy grooves and dirty beats would beg anyone to get on the dance floor, for me it’s the hook. Something about that melodic hint crawls into your ears, down into your gut, and lands in your hips.  Before you know it, you’ve grabbed yourself a partner and are riding the electric wave out into the universe.

Track #35: By the Bit by Ayoshutduff

Ayoshutduff’s entry to the compilation is a cool respite from some of the more blistering dance tracks of Volume 2.  When I first heard ‘By the Bit’, I thought of an overnight trip I spent in a cave when I was young.  The smooth, rhythmic patterns of this song, punctuated with the heartbeat like thump of the bass, carries with it the same sense of anxiety and wonder I felt while I was there.  It is almost as if I’ve become lost in the depths of that deep cave, and, as the layers of the song change, I am discovering new mysteries around every corner.  But will I ever find my way back?

Track #36: The Longest Distance by Talkboy Arcade

If ‘By the Bit’ conveys the depth of a cave, then Talkboy Arcade’s ‘The Longest Distance’ is the emergence from that cave into the bright light of victory.  The high energy and bright sounds make you want to dance with wild abandon.  Unlike some of the compilation’s dance-y tracks, this song is not sexy, but celebratory.  The feeling it evokes is indicative of the carefree joy of a time when life was simple, the good guys beat the bad guys, the Cheerios were honey-nutty, and Mr. Rogers was your favorite neighbor. Listen to it whenever you need lift!

Thank you all for your kind attention.  Each of these artists worked their butts off to give you their best, and they deserve it!  Until next time…

\m|♥|m/

Decktonic
ThisIsDecktonic.com | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter | Bandcamp

The Flight Away
Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Dire Hit
Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Facebook

Ayoshutduff
TwitterSoundcloud | Bandcamp

Talkboy Arcade
Tumblr | Soundcloud | Bandcamp

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Chris Considers: ‘Radical D’ by MicroD

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Since his self-titled debut in 2009, MicroD (aka Michael DuFault) has been a major player in the budding Texas chipscene. While some artists may carve out a particular sylistic niche and be content to stay there, MicroD’s signature sound is his stunning diverstiy. ‘MicroD’, while an overall basic chip-pop offering with a minimalistic approach, hinted at said diversity in such tracks as the classically-inspired ‘Dulcet’ and the progressive ‘Palisade’. His follow-up release delved deeper into rarely charted territories of odd time signatures in the impressively ambitious concept album, ‘Prime’.  Since then, he has recently emerged as ‘Radical D’, wielding a head-spinning array of styles and genres, and representing each one extremely well.

The opening track, ‘Dash Dot Dot’, draws the listener in immediately while simultaneously making the incredible production quality of the album apparent. This leads right in to the outstanding surf-chip anthem, ‘Hang Six’, complete with Dick Dale solo. MicroD then effortlessly falls into the grooviest reggae track I have ever heard, ‘Roots Recca’. We need more reggae chiptune! Any new helping is always welcome, especially when executed as masterfully as it is here. MIcroD continues to jump all over the musical map, always keeping the listener guessing where he will turn next and ultimately wrapping things up into a deliciously hook-laden ball of chip-pop goodness. Also deserving special mention is the title track; a driving spacey jam with ska undercurrents that I can see perfectly accompanying any NES Action Series game.

What I particularly love about MicroD’s output since his first release is that he always has something extra special that he adds to his work on top of the music itself. MicroD’s “system switch” from Gameboy to NES is fully actualized in ‘Radical D’ insofar that every track was made to run natively on the NES, as well as the album cover graphic. There is nothing cooler than being able to load up ‘Radical D’ as an .nsf file in an NES emulator!

The concept behind ‘Prime’ was to create a series of songs in prime number time signatures, progressing from 3/4 time to 5/4, 7/4, and 11/4. Also, the tempos used in each track have only prime beats per minute, as well as the pattern on the front cover of the album reiterating the prime number concept. The extra care that is put in could potentially go by completely unnoticed to a casual or first-time listener, yet proves to be all the more rewarding and appreciated upon repeat listens. These extra touches really drive home his thoughtful and enthusiastic love of chipmusic.

In order to convey MicroD’s progress over his 3 albums, allow me to draw a classic video game metaphor. ‘MicroD’ is Super Mario Bros., a basic but always enjoyable experience. ‘Prime’ is SMB2; a fun experiment that everyone may not fully “get”, but an absolutely worthy successor nonetheless. And yes, ‘Radical D’ is motherfucking Mario 3; its 8 tracks are as unique and varied as the game’s 8 worlds. Unless you hate fun, head on over to the man’s bandcamp page and show some love by supporting his work.

\m|♥|m/

microdmusic.com | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

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Andrew Kilpatrick Talks: µCollective’s Compilation, ‘Vol. 1’

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Following the dramatic closure of 8bitcollective, Sam Wray, 8bc’s then last hope, created a site to fill the hole the collective’s ruin would leave. µCollective shortly followed in October of 2012. In a bid to expand, µCollective is putting out their first compilation, a physical only collection of sixteen tracks, to debut at SuperByte. Featuring hugely revered acts (cTrix, Paza, nordloef), lesser known artists (Balloonbear, Skin Walker, <3an) and those somewhere in between (Auxcide, Holy Konni, Decktonic), ‘Vol. 1’ hosts a hugely varied selection of talent.

Getting the negative out of the way: the album’s introduction is weak. Beginning with Byzanite’s inessential take on EDM, ‘Cakebomber’, most listeners are going to quickly see through the thinly veiled lack of substance. ‘Cakebomber’ is followed by the underwhelming ‘Mysterio Guitar Sloth’ by Holy Konni, a track that’s nice enough, but doesn’t even touch the quality of his recent output (though the guitar sampling is a nice touch). Elsewhere, Paza throws up the compilation’s most disappointing moment. ‘Damn Lokki’ constantly builds to absolutely nothing, all grating ‘melodies’ and tiresome percussion in a faux-gabber abomination.

Elsewhere though, the quality is incredibly high. PANDAstar‘s ‘Delirium’ features the album’s most euphoric melody, unforgettable and beautifully sweet, whilst <3an’s ‘Mariana Trench’ seeps watery, lucid delivery, a blend of slow-moving bass and deep ambient undercurrents. Kubbi manages to meld progressive electro with pop melodies and danceable beats on ‘Void Pt 2 (Renovation Mix), and Auxcide supplies those trademark, epic space melodies, slathered over thick layers of gorgeous harmony.

The best tracks on ‘Vol. 1’ are those where the artists outdo themselves. Decktonic’s ‘Dancing Is Permitted’ is a vigorous froth of summer melodies and strong kicks that are irresistible. ‘Czar’, Cheapshot’s contribution, is swagger at its most effective, conveying groove through enormous beats, making it the most exciting Cheapshot track in some time. nordloef’s outstanding ‘Mark II’, repeats this excitement, showing the veteran’s ability to remain as fresh and melodically robust as ever. The album’s crowning glory, however, is the final track, Vince Kaichan’s ‘Sailboat’. Full of striking motifs, harmonies, and layers of delicate nuance, ‘Sailboat’ is a testament to Vince’s growing prowess. It not only sounds strong beside the likes of cTrix and xyce, but it towers above them, sounding like an off-cut from Roboctopus’ recent and fantastic ‘Disco.txt’.

Minus problems with the track sequencing, some of the thematic jumps are too violent to create a cohesive listening experience; µCollective’s debut compilation is fantastic. Sam Wray’s curation deserves special praise, his fusing of the old established and the new revolutionaries works perfectly, and almost every track brims with quality. With all proceeds going to support µCollective plus mastering by DJ Cutman and art by Love Through Cannibalism, this is one package you owe yourself to get if you’re attending SuperByte this year. PS: If you are attending Superbyte this year, come and say hi! I’ll be on the dancefloor or at the bar xo 

Tracklist:
01. Byzanite- Cakebomber
02. Holy Konni- Mysterio Guitar Sloth
03. PANDAstar- Delirium
04. xyce- Arbre De Viw
05. Paza- Damn Lokki
06. <3an- Mariana Trench
07. Cheapshot- Czar
08. Decktonic- Dancing Is Permitted
09. Balloonbear- HAVOK
10. Skin Walker- Shanghai At Night
11. nordloef- Mark II
12. Auxcide- Threads
13. gwEm- High Gain
14. cTrix- Ion Cruising
15. Kubbi- Void Pt 2 (Renovation Mix)
16. Vince Kaichan- Sailboat

Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 (Tracks 27-31)

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It’s that time! Morgan here with five more morsels of chiptuney goodness for your famished and salivating ear-holes to chow down on:

Track #27: My Pet Hedgehog Jamayma by Jameson Sutton

Some of our more hardcore followers will remember Jameson Sutton from Kuma’s (fantastic) WTFLOL Track-By-Track Breakdown last May, killing it with his cover of ‘The Hearts of Everyone‘. Mr. Sutton is back in a BIG way, and this time he’s brought his pet hedgehog, Jamayma. Get ready for prickly hugs! ‘My Pet Hedgehog Jamayma’ is an upbeat barrage of happy synths, uplifting bleeps and a clap track that pulls you in from the start. The chipper brass fanfare throughout the first half gives way to a deep subterranean verse that draws you further into Jamayma’s little hedgehog paws, launching out from that tunnel with a heavy bass twang that won’t quit (did I hear one of those Sonic the Hedgehog spring launchpads at 2:25 or was it just me?)

Track #28: Sloth Machines by Laffe The Fox

Laffe The Fox has an awesome YouTube channel packed with awesome tunes, make sure you check them out! (My personal highlight is Apathetic Theme)

‘Sloth Machines’ is a full-on blast of chiptune synth, drizzled with a smooth echoing melody over an unrelenting drum kit that makes for an enticing track. The sweeping synths are tight, and a surprising voice pops in right on cue with a cheerful “YEAH!” to keep the fun energy pumping. When the synths drop away and the melody has its moment to shine, ‘Sloth Machines’ ascends into a creamy chip-house groove well worth its place among this latest ChipWIN release. YEAH! Love it.

Track #29: Mystic Gear by King Keytan

On King Keytan’s Bandcamp bio, he professes to make “hyper-emotional mecha-sad-giantrobotcore.” I’d say he accomplishes that and more with his addition to Volume 2; ‘Mystic Gear’. Following a foreboding build, ‘Mystic Gear’ manipulates enticing, lo-fi static tones, woven together with a chant of light bleeps to create such a mystical combo of light and dark tones that you can’t help but feel ALL of the giant robot’s hyper-emotional mecha-sads deep within YOUR core. The expertise shown here is impressive, straddling the line between abrasive and enchanting with apparent ease. ‘Mystic Gear’ is one track that’ll stay locked in your brain long after you’ve switched tracks.

Track #30: The Sea Will Beach Bones by Joseph Eidson

Joseph Eidson has some serious credentials when it comes to music. He holds degrees in music theory and composition from the University of Kansas and the University of Texas, to give just a hint at the knowledge base behind his freaking stellar submission to Volume 2.

‘The Sea Will Bleach Bones’ plays with distance to masterful effect, coming in and surging into the forefront for emphasis with clockwork intensity, offering polished transitions between sections that are so subtle by the time you notice the melody has transformed, Joseph Eidson is already done and on to the next sequence, all of which are uniquely varied within the sounds employed and none of which outstay their welcome. The beat is infectious, and the transitions blend sections together with such fluidity that you’ll be scrambling to hit replay on this chiptune smorgasbord.

Track #31: NU (SUMMER) by Buskerdroid

Buskerdroid has to be made from a durable alloy yet-undiscovered by modern science to be able to work so damn hard. Whether it’s churning out albums, rocking live sets, or owning The CouCou Netlabel, Buskerdroid hits hard and fast with no signs of slowing down, and his addition to Volume 2 is no exception.

‘NU(SUMMER)’ blasts bottomless beats hard, and batters your eardrums relentlessly from start to finish. Every frenetic note has its place in this high energy chiptune-splosion, morphing from controlled chaos into a fantastically-hypnotic dance beat, resulting in a heavy-duty track you can completely lose yourself in.

Huge congrats to each of this week’s Volume 2 artists for their sick contributions to this master class in chip music. Stay tuned for next round, and if you haven’t picked up Chiptunes = WIN Vol. 2 yet, there’s no time like RIGHT NOW!

\m|♥|m/

Jameson Sutton
Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp | Soundcloud

Laffe The Fox
YouTube | Soundcloud

King Keytan
Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp | Soundcloud

Joseph Eidson
Website | Twitter | Bandcamp

Buskerdroid
Facebook | Twitter | Website | BandcampSoundcloud

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The President’s Manifesto: Beer & Chip Vol.1

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Sup y’all? =) Da Prez here. As you may (or may not’ve…) noticed, in recent months I’ve taken on a primarily managerial & editing role here on the blog & relinquished the bulk of the writing to those better suited for the task (the internet can only handle so much ALL CAPS & escamashun pernts before spontaneously combusting after all…).

Today… that all goes straight to hell in a dickbutt shaped hand basket.

To be more specific, I’m debuting my brand new monthly column, which revolves around two of my greatest loves in life:

Beer & Chiptunes.

Each month I’m going to (attempt to) pair a particular type of beer with an individual chipartist/chipalbum, & explain my reasons for said pairing. To be honest, I have no idea whether this’ll work out or not, but at minimum you’ll at least get a new brew & chipalbum to check out, right? RIGHT.

On that note, time to introduce this month’s combo! And it may very well be the easiest, most understandable pairing (& possibly the last if I get blackballed thanks to it! hahah) I ever make:

Pabst Blue Ribbon & Solarbear.

Why? Because they both sux.

BOOM. Done. Thanks for reading!

Here’s a picture of me drinking a far less craptastic lager while *NOT* listening to Solarbear. In Florida no less.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, seriously. While Pabst’s ‘American Style Premium Lager’ aka “Poor man’s anger juice” (credit to Kuma for this apt title) is not the most fantastic brew ever created, it is a passable lager in a pinch (i.e. it’s on special at the bar, someone else bought it for you, you’re in college and don’t know better, you’re too drunk to care, etc). In fact “-shrugs- You can drink it” should be its official motto in my opinion.

BRK Pabst

Unfortunate photographic evidence that I *will* actually consume Pabst when no other options are available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the other hand, the multi-talented chipartist & (BRK)fest organizer Curtis Ware aka Solarbear is so far from this mediocre brew in quality that it’s downright laughable (as is any true notion that “he sux”). You’ve only to listen to his progtastic, metal influenced debut ‘Solarbear Daisuki’ for indisputable proof of this.

Both the intricate rhythms & catchy melodic work that make up the bulk of this album show musical proficiency that belie the fact Curtis has only been making chiptunes for two years (although he has been musically involved in some form or fashion for around 16 years!). From the mosh-pit worthy ‘Mu’ & ‘Pterodactyls’, to the driven, determined  ‘Manic Compression’, to the slightly “slower” yet fantastically infectious grooves of ‘chasingkitsune’ & ‘The Padstow Missile Crisis’, this 6 track release has easily remained one of my favorite chipalbums since it dropped last January.

And then there’s my favorite track of all, the all too important lesson on ‘How to Properly Use a Semicolon’. At first it seems a bit out of place on this mostly thrash-based album, with its swingy, extremely lighthearted bluegrass feel (Curtis is from Kentucky after all).
And then it stole my heart. There’s not a time that I listen to this indubitable anthem that a big grin doesn’t break out on my face & I feel the need to dance a happy jig.
In summation, #FEELSGOODMAN.

My sole complaint is regarding the title of the album. Mostly for it’s missed opportunity of instead being called ‘Catgurlz With Big Thighs :3’, which is what I always lovingly refer to it as. Because, I mean… DAT ALBUM ART. RIGHT?? RIGHT. 8)

Photo of Solarderp in action by Daniel Parisi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So while the beer & chips pairing in this inaugural column is undoubtedly a joke, the chipmusic side of it is most definitely not. And neither is the man responsible for creating it. Cheers to you, Turtis! And until next time, cheers to the rest of ya!! I’m off to drink on the beach now.

Much \m||m/,
President Hoodie

Solarbear:
Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter | BRKFest.org

Pabst Blue Ribbon

C=W logo redux (larger - png)