ChipWIN Comps Historical Context: Year Five & Beyond…?
Welcome to the final entry in this 5 part series of ChipWIN compilation crazy tales, wild stories, and occasional insights (previous entries here: 1, 2, 3, & 4). If nothing else, it’s felt really good to me to just get a bit more about all this craziness out and about for folk to read. For additional project info, don’t forget about our FAQ and Mission Statement docs as well. The stories in this series are a bit better tho. (^_−)−☆
At any rate, I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey with me. Feel free to dive into the final set of tales (for now!) after the break.
To be frank, 2016 began one of the most bizarre (yet maybe best?) years of my life. During the holidays of 2015, I began my personal mental health journey, which kicked off 2016 with a unique vibe to say the least. While I won’t go on too much about that here (I published an update article earlier this year about such here for those curious), it definitely encouraged me to take a bit more time for myself. Thus no “quarter one” curated compilation for 2016.
Apparently this was a good move for the project as well, because holy friggin’ moly, ‘Volume 5’ turned out radically awesome. I’m gonna go ahead and drop the embed now and let you listen while I jabber.
While zero doubt the biggest reason for a badass comp is always the quality of the submissions being high (which somehow seems to continue increasing every year!), we also had possibly the most versatile and varied judges panels for a Volume yet.
This matters a whole damn lot.
While the final call on the roster rests on my shoulders, I regard the collective dataset from the judges’ panel quite highly. The more variation in opinions and perspectives that I get (within reason…), the higher the potential variation rate in the final compilation results is. ‘Volume 5’ is a fantastic example of this.
Also featured another year of lovely artwork by Nate and the most cat filled promo video in ChipWIN history. #BecauseCats
The collaborative expansion for V.5 was a unique experience as well. Kubbi had been on the judging team since the beginning of it in ‘Volume 2’, but never been affiliated with a separate netlabel so I couldn’t work with him for an expansion release as well. At least until 2016 when he teamed up with Alexander Agri at Forest Booking. Suddenly the opportunity presented itself, and there were no other alternatives to consider for that year.
The resultant compilation, ‘Forest = ВИН!’, turned out to be quite the set of earjoys. The fewest number of selections for an expansion release, but no less potent thanks to it. Still really love that artwork as well; it’s a really fun interpretation of both communities’ aesthetic.
By the way if you’ve noticed the trend of me working with international based chiptune communities and netlabels for the expansions and wondered if that were on purpose, why yes. Yes it is. While there’s a myriad of chipmusic efforts going on within the United States worth recognizing and supporting, the international communities deserve the highlighting as well; especially since it’s harder to work with them in person for a live event or release. The chiptune world is broad af, people. Always make sure to look beyond your own horizons.
The final ChipWIN release of 2016 I completely pulled out of my butt.
Looking back I think it was a combination of a manic attack (likely true of many of my inspirations & efforts tbh) and just being fed up at never getting to put together a Halloween compilation before then (it’s a fun holiday with a really fun, and easy theme to cover). I honestly believe the entire curation, prep, and release process happened in less than a month.
And after the in-depth, procedural process of ‘Volume 5’ + the wild ass way my year started, it just felt supremely good to randomly do one of these out of nowhere again. It was the same energy that began the whole compilation series and it felt great to recapture that in a way. It made a great endcap for Year Five, nevermind the fact that it’s 1000% spooptacular to boot. ♪┏(˼●̙̂ ̟ ̟̎ ̟ ̘●̂˻)┛♪
So what’s in the ‘& Beyond…?’ part? Other than the very obvious ‘Volume 6’ (which I’ve embedded at the bottom of this article, because it’s awesome) + its yet to be announced collaborative expansion release, I don’t friggin’ know.
Part of me wants to start prep on the next quarter comp immediately, but publicly publishing a list of our goals via our Patreon earlier this year (and only a partial list at that) has forced the bigger picture upon me. Nevermind the whole mental health focus and trying to take better care of myself while managing the project. There’s just so much to do, and keeping the compilations rolling along steadily while expanding the project and community may not be doable. I know one of the listed goals is to actually increase the frequency of comp publication (and I have one really cool idea that would achieve that, but it’s gonna take some time to prepare…), but we also can’t hit all of the goals at once; not even with the determined, partially insane crew that I’ve somehow assembled along the way (it has all the makings of a chiptune JRPG, I swear to glob…). Don’t worry, though: the Volumes at least aren’t going anywhere during this project expansion process. (^_−)−☆
And who knows, maybe something crazy will happen and everything will occur at once! Weirder things have happened. It’s gonna take more time, resources, people and funds to make to bring it to reality either way, though, so if you can provide any of those, hit me up. Thanks in advance! ☆ ～(‘▽^人)
See you around the intert00bs! ヾ(＾∇＾)
President Hoodie aka Brandon L Hood
Founder & Project Manager of Chiptunes = WIN
Volume 6 (August 2017)