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Jredd’s Hidden Gems #2

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It has been a while my friends, but I am pleased to bring you another installment in this series! Again, what I am looking for here are chip musicians that I think make quality songs, and could use more love for their work. So, without further delay, let’s get straight into our first pick :).

MooseSMW

It’s funny how some people in the chip community seem to almost balk at the idea of someone saying their music ‘sounds like Mario’ but if you really think about it, that’s quite the complement. We all know how popular his games are, and nobody denies the brilliant songs scattered throughout the series of games. So is it any wonder then that someone who uses it as inspiration to remix those tunes as well as compose original work would be a joy to listen to?

The first song that I heard from MooseSMW was rather neat. He had taken the main theme of Super Mario Land and arranged it with Super Mario World instruments. So what you get is a double dose of nostalgia that is both unique and familiar at the same time. Take a deeper look into his music and you’ll see that he has contributed to the fantastic SPC Echoes album which can be found here!


His is a classic style of video game music composition that is often overlooked in favor of other styles of chip composition. Do yourself a favor and stop by this man’s soundcloud page. You’ll be glad you did, I sure was!

5ALAZAR

Here we have a man who uses Deflemask, a multi-chip tracker to make Sega Genesis hip hop beats. The song choices he arranges are interesting because he takes lesser-known but wonderfully catchy video game melodies and transforms them by adding extremely crisp sounding drums underneath. He’s rather new to soundcloud and only has a few songs so far but all of them are solid and remind me a little of what you might hear from people such as Dj CUTMAN or Urban Flow. Except this guy is doing it all in a tracker designed to play back on a Sega Genesis. This means that he’s taking many of these tunes and not only arranging them in a new style, but remaking them to fit Sega Genesis limitations! In my opinion, he has far too few followers considering the high quality of his work. I highly recommend that you check him out and encourage him to upload more!

CosmoBG

Finally, we have someone that I’ve been wanting to feature for a long time. Most likely, if you have taken the time to check out my own soundcloud page you’ll see that he’s in many of my Sega Genesis collaboration tracks and I am often re-posting his work. Not only is he an accomplished Sega Genesis musician, he’s also been known to tackle famitracker and make expert use of mod plug tracker to create more modern style tracks and even mimic the Capcom Arcade Soundboard CSP2 chipset which was popular in many mid to late 90’s Capcom fighters. Really, he has many interests ranging from pixel art to story writing along with his obvious talent for music. Basically, if you like my music you really should follow him as well because we influence each other constantly and you’ll find not only another great musician to enjoy, but someone who I find extremely easy to work with which means he is adaptable to just about any style. So yeah, what are you waiting for? Follow this man, I wouldn’t be the musician I am today without having the pleasure of collaborating with him :). If that doesn’t sell him to you, I don’t know what will. Here’s his soundcloud!

In Conclusion

The most important reason I am featuring these guys is because to me they are all indeed hidden gems! Some are newer to the chip scene while others have been at it for a much longer period of time. It is my sincere hope that at least one of them is new to you. Honestly, one of them was new to me until recently thanks to the recommendation of a friend :).

I am always on the lookout to find new musicians. So if you see me around and want to share an artist with me, feel free! That’s what it’s all about :). Who knows. maybe you’ll see them appear the next time I decide to tackle this topic!

Remember to never stop composing and promote your fellow artists. Perhaps one of you is a diamond in the rough just waiting to emerge as a hidden gem!

-Jredd

MooseSMW
| Website | | Botb | | YouTube | | Twitter | | Soundcloud |

5ALAZAR
| Soundcloud |

CosmoBG
| Soundcloud |  | Ucollective | | Youtube |

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Jredd’s Jewel Case: ‘Hard Reset [EP]’ by General Offensive and Mrsonic699

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Hello, and welcome to the first ever installment of “Jredd’s Jewel Case”. Much like my Hidden Gems series, here we take a look at some up and coming talent. However, instead of looking at a few songs by different artists, this time we will focus on a single album entitled ‘Hard Reset‘ by General Offensive and Mrsonic699.

hard reset ep

Before we get started, I’d like to direct your attention to an interview of these guys featured on this episode of Retro Obscura Podcast. You’ll note that their experiences growing up with consoles in Romania is quite different from most, and yet the appeal of chip music for them is surprisingly quite similar to any one of us. Now that you have had the chance to get to know them a little better, let us discuss why I have chosen to highlight them.

You see, I’ve been friends with Mr.Sonic699 A.K.A “Teodor” for a couple of years now. As such, I’ve watched him grow and mature as an artist. We instantly clicked musically due to the fact that we both have a strong love for the Sega Genesis sound chip and I had the pleasure of helping him get acquainted with VGMM tracker. So naturally, when he came to me with a demo of an album that he and his guitar shredding buddy Alex were creating together, I was instantly sold.

If the idea of combining gritty Sega Genesis FM with screaming guitars and progressively powerful drums sounds awesome to you, that’s because it is! Imagine influences from iconic titles such as Sonic The Hedgehog 3, Comix Zone, and Shinobi fused with the heavier side of Progressive/Grunge Metal from bands like Alice In Chains, Kyuss, and maybe even a splash of Dream Theater and you’ve got yourself one heck of a combination.

Even in it’s demo stages the album was so good that when I heard a sample of it I just had to jump into the mix and help with a track as a special guest so that I could say I had a small part in this wonderful masterpiece. I mean come on, Sega Genesis and metal? It’s got me written all over it.

Right from the start the album opens up with the beautiful “Insert Cartridge”. It is a short but powerful intro that sets the bar rather high, but that’s okay because it only gets better from here and leads perfectly into the next track appropriately titled “Turbo Computing”. Something about those aggressive guitars paired with that classic Sonic 3 “Go” sample makes me smile bigger than should be humanly possible. If the combination of chugging guitars and FM Synth stabs don’t draw you in, the menacing Sega Master System PSG sirens will. Pair that with drums that cut through the mix and really sound live despite being programed in, it is easy to see you’re in for a real treat.

Speaking of Sonic, the next track ‘Dimension’ feels like the perfect melding of classic Genesis music and something akin to the rock motifs of the Sonic Adventure series, and I am totally fine with that. This track somehow manages to be gritty and lighthearted at the same time. In fact, I would say the entire album pulls this off beautifully. It has a hard hitting yet hopeful sound to it. It is empowering! As if you are facing impossible odds, yet you have the skills to conquer them! I get vivid mental images of racing down a snowy mountain, while explosions melt the ice behind me and cause an avalanche. Rather than screaming in terror, I just flash a cocky 90’s kid smirk and manage to pull off a few tricks while running for my life.

Following that, ‘We Rock These Streets’ is exactly what it sounds like. If I were to pick a tune that screams rock anthem it would be this one. The first half sounds like someone walking into a dusty bar with a self-assured air. Tall boots step fearlessly inside, and all attention is on the stranger ordering the strongest drink on the menu. He’s minding his own business, but his confidence offends the resident drunk, and all hell breaks loose. 

By the time we reach about the minute and a half mark, we have our fight scene. Guns blazing, bottles shattering, and a sucker punch or two round out the action. Of course, our hero walks away without a scratch. He sets a bag of gold on what’s left of the counter top,  as he’s leaving the place to continue his journey. It’s just another day for him. The bartender looks on in shock as he struggles to assess what just happened. Fortunately for him, most of his customers had bounties on their heads, so he stands to collect a hefty reward once the fuzz shows up to clean up the mess.

Next, we have ‘Whiskey Gloves’, a tune that Teodor and I worked on together and I can say it’s just like old times. Our collaborations have always been a blast. Look through either of our Soundclouds and you’ll see we feature each other quite a bit. This time it’s even cooler because now we have a guitar player which is kind of like adding bacon to bacon, It only makes a good thing even better.

What’s really impressive to me here is that I thought I had pulled out all the stops: weird time signature shifts, sound design tricks, and of course solos in every place I could fit them. Yet, not only did Tudd blend with me perfectly (as he always does), but he managed to improve my sound design and continue my solos as if they were an extension of himself. Not to be outdone, Alex proceeded to lay down solid guitar tracks that sound as if they had always been there. In the end, the collaboration couldn’t have gone smoother and I can’t help but grin every time I listen to it.

Finally, ‘Resolution’ is also exactly what it sounds like in that it’s the perfect way to end an amazing album. This one here is a bit of a ballad. The phase “Peace is restored” comes to mind. A warm feeling of accomplishment swells within the listener as the credits to an epic adventure roll by.

Swapping out the grittier rhythm guitar for a cleaner acoustic style, it really pairs wonderfully with the serine FM bells. Now, there is an electric lead guitar that comes in but this time it has some hauntingly beautiful reverb that melds with the atmosphere of the track effortlessly. What can I say? This is a solid album that I by all means highly recommend.

Oh right, you guys probably want to know about the secret songs too huh? Well, I guess you’ll just have to donate and support these guys to listen to the hidden bonus tracks! Why? Here’s the deal, not only do you get 2 extra unreleased tracks but you also get the tracker file for ‘Whiskey Gloves’ by Tudd and I. You can feel free to study our work and go on to make your very own Sega Genesis music!

So, are you excited yet? What are you waiting for, grab this album! Go, go, go!

-Jredd

MRSONIC699 (Teodor Dumitrache)
soundcloud | facebook

GENERAL OFFENSIVE (Alexandru Ungureanu)
soundcloud | facebook

JREDD (Trevin Hughes)
soundcloud | facebook

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Chiplife Advice with Jredd: How To Give Effective Constructive Criticism With Kindness

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Hello again! It’s Jredd here, although no “Hidden Gems” for you to read this time (don’t worry; it’ll be back soon). Today, I’ve a different sort of article to share with you, something that matters quite deeply to me.

How To Give Effective Constructive Criticism With Kindness

Before I dive head first into this topic, I’d like to give you guys a little bit of background on myself. You see, not only am I the youngest of 4 but I also have a bit of a disability. Like many of us, I too experienced the teasing and ridicule that comes from being a bit different. However, it is interesting to note that even though I went through these things growing up and was made fun of, it was never because of my music :). So in turn, although I lacked confidence in many other areas of life I at least had the courage and conviction to jump on the internet and share my music with the world. You see, it was because I had the support of close family and friends that I did not crumble in the face of harsh criticism on the internet. I had a buffer zone. I knew there were people out there that genuinely liked what I made, and so it helped me to dig through the crap and find the hidden nuggets of truth and wisdom that helped me to improve.

I do not know if I would have fared as well online as I have without that support, and I fully recognize that some of my chip brothers and sisters have not been so fortunate as to receive it themselves. Words without tact cut deep, and sincere encouragement is vital to foster thriving growth.  One small way I can pay forward the love and encouragement I’ve received is by covering this topic. I see great things going on in ChipWIN, and I think many of you are already shining examples that help all of us grow.

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Jredd’s Hidden Gems #1

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Hello and welcome to the return of “Jredd’s Hidden Gems”! This is the first in a series of articles for ChipWIN where we take a look at some lesser known chip musicians. Now obviously, who counts as “under-rated” differs from person to person, however I tend to go by the following guidelines:

  • It needs to be someone who does not have a whole ton of followers on Soundcloud.
  • They rarely, if ever, top the charts at various chiptune sites.
  • Or, they have yet to release an album with a well known chip-based netlabel.

With that said, let’s get started with our first pick:

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