Instead of doing your standard review, I thought I’d do something a little different. At the moment I’ve been extremely busy raising the funds for Chip Bit Day 2018. Yes, Manchester’s latest chiptune event is back for it’s 3rd year, and I’m looking to build upon the foundations laid by the last two to create an even better night – or should I say nights?!?
You heard that right! This year Chip Bit Day will be two day event. Well, unofficially, that is. Due to the huge demand of people wanting to play and limited amount of slots, I extended the event by creating a Pre Party on Friday, 27th April at Twenty Twenty-Two, Northern Quarter. Already we have a variety of unique and amazing acts playing; Morgnator, Chromatouch, Joe Bleeps, Btype, Will Rock, havocCc, and even Fearofdark will be playing some amazing tunes!
Have a quick listen of this playlist I’ve set up give you a good idea of what’s in store the Pre Party!
If you’re interested check out the Facebook in the link!
Going onto the main event, we have a huge array of unique and fantastic artists from across europe playing live chiptune music. Let’s have a look each of them.
Circuit Bird [Hull, UK]
Our first artist, Circuit Bird hails from Hull, and has created a variety of songs influenced by Video Game Music. She’s been in the chipscene for a while now, composing tracks using a Nintendo 3DS as well as using the Sega Megadrive. For Chip Bit Day 18, CB will be using the latter. This is a definitely watch for me I’ve never seen a live Megadrive set.
Her ‘Chiptune swing remix’ of Fillmore (off the video game, ‘Act Raiser’) is the best example to look at the quality of her work. It contains wandering leads that both flow structurally and melodically. You’ll immediately be hooked by the swing and funk implemented by Circuit Bird.
x Critical Strike x [Middlesborough, UK]
Our 2nd artist, x Critical Strike x, is a veteran of Chip Bit Day, having been the surprise guest of 2016. To sum up his music, it’s a mixture of high octane pop mixed with all things video games, cute and anime. Back in Japan he managed wow everyone with his crazy antics, suited up in his signature Pac Man suit. I’ve constantly had people asking me to put x Critical Strike x back on the bill, to which I will oblige.
My pick track for x Critical Strike x is ‘Cocoa’ and is off ‘Operation: Rainbow Storm’. In addition to having the bounciness that x Critical Strike x is known for, it also has his friend, ‘Emma Tait’ who serves as the singer for the majority of tracks off the album. The singing and melodies are heaps of fun and push the high energy of the track, with lines such as the iconic, ‘I’m in love with cocoa’. They’re both extremely addictive, and you’ll find yourself singing along
.Mpegasus [Cambridge, UK]
3rd on the list, we have yet another survivor of Chip Bit Day 2016. .Mpegasus gave us a fantastic set back in 2016, and whilst he hasn’t yet released Quixotica 3, he has been hard at work creating music under his other pseudonym, ‘Binster’. Although it .Mpegasus is a welcome addition to the lineup, it’s looking he won’t be playing back in Europe for a very long time.
Radmarket is probably one of my favourite tracks off Quixotica 2 primarily due to the moderate beat and funkiness that’s brought to the table. It feels like a good balance of dance music against video game music, as if I’m listening to the main theme of Spyro The Dragon PS1 era. The melody is simple but this makes it even more effective, hooking you in straight away as it rides across an amazing selection of percussion.
Grizzly Cogs [Lille, FR]
A new artist that I’ve heard about recently, ‘Grizzly Cogs’ is a French artist hailing from Lille who performs his music using a laptop. Recently he’s been performing at a vast amount of places, with a few more lined up, including ‘Het Bos’ Antwerp and Almighty ‘Chipwrecked.’ His music style has well-balanced c64 style square leads, complete with a sawtooth bassline and dancey vibes.
Hearing his music really reminds me of some of ‘Shirobon’s work’, especially with songs like, ‘No Cookie for the Bipolar Bear’ which is my pick track below. The track features high octane leads that noodle about with each note ringing about in your ears to tremendous effect. Grizzly Cogs is a great addition to ‘Chip Bit Day’, and one I’m eager to see in Manchester.
Kojin [Manchester, UK]
Kojin is my chiptune alter ego, utilising both Nanoloop on a GBA and LSDJ on a DMG, hooked up to a Volca Sample Drum Machine. All of the instruments are extremely versatile, making live shows so easy, that I’ve done quite a few streams on facebook. Last year I drew Jellyatrix to a close and showed off some of my new ‘Kojin’ style tracks, which got a great response. This year will be no different; containing the same dancey mellow tunes I’ve been making for the past year.
For my pick I’d like to show is a track I did last called ‘Contempt’, as it features a wide selection instruments as well as, showing off my heavier, chilled side in my music.
Tekmann [Visby, SWE]
Tekmann was one of the first artists I really wanted to bring to Chip Bit Day 18 after seeing the live video of his show at Chipwrecked. I was completely blown away with the light show on his body as well as the crazy instrument he was playing, a toy keyboard hooked up to a Pocket Operator; I kid you not!
Rumble Rangers is Tekmann’s 8bit rendition of the original track by, ‘Dunderpatrullen’. Whilst both contain elements of each other (namely in leads and melody), they both have a very different sound, style and technique. One point which makes Tekmann’s rendition unique is that the melody is more fleshed out in its tone and sound, allowing it to be understood more easily.
Starving GOGO [Cremona, IT]
I hadn’t heard of Starving GOGO until he sent me a submission for the Chip Bit Day CD compilation. After listening, I was in awe (you know, unless the code legit left you horrified, appalled and/or dismayed) at the amount of effort gone into programming for LSDJ, as well as his dirty music style was enough that I made the decision to get him to play in Manchester.
‘We Are The Prodigy’ is a great example of Starving GOGO’s music prowess in both technique and thought process. Whilst it feels as if LSDJ just threw up a load of melodies in one fine mess,
listening with a pair of headphones allows you to really appreciate how much effort went into its creation, uncovering such hidden gems as stereophonic sounds rushing from left to right. Imagine all this through a set of PA speakers at Chip Bit Day 18 and you’ve got one amazing set!
RoBKTA [London, UK/IT]
Ever since reviewing his EP release with DeskPop, RoBKTA has always been on my radar for good music, so when I found out that he resided in London, I knew I had to at least ask whether he wanted to perform. RoBKTA’s main style of music is VGM remixes, whilst adding his own unique blend of instruments, from tight, bright piano keys, to fuzzy pulse-like vibes.
For my pick track of RoBKTA, I decided to put his song ‘Ambush Vibes’, a remix of one of Persona 5’s best tracks off the OST, ‘My Last Surprise’. I’m huge fan of Persona 5, but hearing this super funky track do the original justice is quite breath-taking. Everything sounds bright and snappy, the kicks, claps and snare all popping throughout, with the keys and melody taking you down some new roads. I’m looking forward to hearing this track, as well as many other awesome tunes from RoBKTA, and I bet after hearing this track you’ll feel the same way.
Please Lose Battle [Clermont-Ferrand, FR]
Hailing from France, Please Lose Battle are the headline band for Chip Bit Day 18. Originally, they were going to play the event last year, but unfortunately, venue problems ruined that plan. I decided to try again this year, and thankfully I was able to secure a venue! If you’ve seen some of their videos you’ll know that ‘Please Lose Battle’ is more than just a band; it’s an audio/visual experience, complete with NES, bass, drums and several TVs to supply in order to engage the audience.
I believe ‘Sunday Chill In The Cosmos’ best describes their music, feeling like a progressive journey through space. It begins with just the NES going through an arpeggio, before slowly building up percussion and bass, then exploding into overdrive. To imagine what this song would be like live, is a mind blow and
is one of the reasons why I wanted them to headline Chip Bit Day 18 in the first place. Hell, ‘Sunday Chill In The Cosmos’ was my top track of 2016!
Wow, that’s a lot of amazing artists! I hope you’re as hyped as I am, but we’ve still got a way to go with raising funds for the event. At the moment we’re just over the 50% mark but there’s just one week till the crowdfunder ends! We have a lot exclusive merch which you can only get by becoming a backer. Even if you can’t come, just getting a t-shirt or lanyard is enough to help out! Just follow the link below, and help us raise the money we need to support our acts!
If none of that interests you, well we’ll also be releasing a compilation soon containing tracks from the acts as well as friends who have generously donated a song!
This has been a blog post from Chip Bit Sid, a UK based Chiptune Blogger. Along with monthly features here on The ChipWIN Blog, I post once a week on my own blog. To get in touch, please message via the social media links below! I also do my own music under the banner as ‘Kojin’.