ChipWIN Comps Historical Context: Year Two
Time for part two of this rambly, nostalgic blurb on ChipWIN comps “historical context”. If you missed the first entry, go read that
and then come back and continue on here after the break.
As I not-so-briefly mentioned yesterday, near the end of “Year One” we found ourselves with a bit of a problem to address. Namely, how in the hell to handle ‘Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2’. Because it was happening. That much was certain. The momentum remained, and the public demand from both artists and fans for it was notable. Hell, some had already written their submissions in advance of us announcing the damn thing! However, there was no way we could manage it the same way as did with the debut. We’d have ended up with 150 tracks on the comp, and that’s too ridiculous of an album length for even me to accept! Nevermind the poor mastering engineer stuck with the gig…. ヘ（。□°）ヘ
So after some pretty lengthy brainstorming sessions and genuine soul-searching (I shit you not; we thought about this hard before making the call), we decided to set the track length for all future Volumes at 51 and implement a judging process to select the roster.
Frankly, I really didn’t want to do that. I felt like it kinda crapped all over the organic nature of the original. We’d have to turn people away from appearing on the comp, which is sad. I don’t like making people feel sad. It sucks donkey balls.
But I knew without a doubt that it was the best way to serve both the album and the project in general, so I made the call. Choosing judges from in and around the chipmusic community brought a lot of validity to it in my mind. It didn’t seem right if it were only me deciding what to and not to include. A panel of peers allowed us to involve different perspectives and knowledge bases, providing for a more fair and unbiased dataset to help determine the final roster. Most importantly, folks couldn’t blame just me for it, and that’s what really matters when it comes down to it. ಠ‿↼
Thankfully, Andrew Kilpatrick was one of the judges that year and by his… “peculiar” nature managed to take some of the heat off of me like a BAMF. Good glob, the shitstorm that he stirred up a time or two. I love the guy, but hot diggity damn, there was absolutely no filter on his “honesty” back then, and to be truthful, I kinda hope he hasn’t changed that too much. World needs that kind of brutal honesty sometimes.
In the end, we did get way more than 51 tracks, but we did a pretty fine job of selecting the best among them for the release. V.2 still stands pretty damn strongly on its own to date. And the response to it was, of course, no lesser than with the original; possibly stronger. Which meant one terrifying thing: we were gonna hafta keep doing this shit for a good while yet. Hoboy… Σ(‘◉⌓◉’)
One rather unexpected occurrence happened during the V.2 judging process: a sucky thing turned into a super cool thing. Choosing the final 10 or so tracks for V.2 was, simply put, agonizing. There were more than 51 tracks worth publishing, but as mentioned, I did not feel comfortable extending the roster any further. I was pondering this conundrum one morning in the shower (where I get my best ideas, of course) and had a revelation: why not approach a different netlabel, potentially one operated by one of the folk on the judging team, to curate a collaborative expansion release comprised of both overflow tracks from the submission process + a few artists from their own discography? Naturally, I went to Kilpatrick of Pxl-Bot with the idea first, and him being the crazy bastard that he was, immediately responded, “Fuck yeah, mate! Let’s do it!”
And so we did, and the collaborative Volume expansion project was born. I’m all about community and collaboration, so I was especially pleased with this unexpected turn of events. One of the coolest things was how some folk dug ‘Pxl-WIN’ more than V.2! Completely different flavor of compilation thanks to the different curating team in charge. That’s a cool ass thing yo!
It was also fun to work with both a different graphic artist, Alex Kelly, and mastering engineer, S.P.R.Y. of Smoking Mirrors, for the release. I got to share the project prep love so to speak. Good times all around with different good folk. Definitely a side-project that we would pursue and expand upon with future releases.
After ‘PXL-WIN’, there was another small break in compilation publication. Partially due to my ass getting more deeply involved with the delightful, chaotic mess (especially back then) known as MAGFest.
This, of course, prompted the really fucking stupid idea of me trying to prepare a compilation comprised of chipartists performing at that year’s MAGFest to release while at that year’s MAGFest. Because why not add one more thing to do while already running around like a five legged chicken with its head cut off?
It was a really stupid idea (almost as stupid as the Chipspace showcase that went until 5am), but hot damn, did it turn out to be a fucking blast (also like the balls late Chipspace showcase). Proving yet again that sometimes stupid ideas are very much worth pursing.
Never again, though, I swear to glob…. ε-(´・｀) ﾌ
Semi-related side note: the whole “= WIN” bullshit? All MAGFest’s fucking fault. Going to MAG in 2011 was my first major in person exposure to that sort of deep, kindred spirited nerd culture. Some of the derpy ass lingo may have, uh… “infected” me just a little bit thanks to that experience. I’d apologize for bringing it into the chiprealm in the overzealous fashion that I did, but frankly, I’m not sorry about it one fucking bit. #SryNotSry ᕕ(⌐■_■)ᕗ
Oh shit. Speaking of really stupid ideas worth pursing, let’s talk about ‘Chiptunes = #SrsBsns’ for a moment.
Alright. First, some historical context for your historical context:
Nate Horsfall fucking hates memes.
Yet somehow the man’s in love with April Fool’s gags. Go figure, right? Any of y’all that know him are probably familiar with some of the outlandish videos he’s put out for the holiday over the years (and if you aren’t, you need to hit him up and ask for links; it’s some hilarious shit).
Well, somewhere during this period I encountered a fake concert poster that featured ‘doge‘ all over it. I think it was actually on Leo Avero’s wall, making him partially responsible for yet another ridiculous release. Anyway, the shit was hilarious. I loved that damn meme. Still do. And that stupid poster gave me the idea to recruit a bunch of ridiculous artists to write joke songs about memes. Only problem was, I had to get Nate on board somehow to draw the album artwork. And that’s when I realized the only way to do it: propose to Nate that we release the gorram album on April Fool’s 2014.
So we did. hahhahhhahhhahhahhahhah
I also completely burned myself out on at least one meme during the process; the fake out was that the comp was all about dickbutt, which somehow I had become enamored with around that period of time (I blame Lobosjr and Armathreaddon). We didn’t actually unveil that #SrsBsns was in fact based on a variety of memes until the actual holiday. To this day, I remain shocked at the number of folk that were actually somewhat disappointed that it wasn’t all dickbutt-tunes. No accounting for taste, I guess. (；一_一)
That’s it for Year Two. I’ll be back tomorrow at noon for Year Three. In the meantime enjoy another slice of ChipWIN audio history via the links below.
President Hoodie aka Brandon L Hood
Founder & Project Manager of Chiptunes = WIN