Posts Tagged ‘A_Rival’

Chip Treatment with Professor Oakes: MAGFest Noob Special Edition

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Your pulse quickens… your eyes begin to dilate. Your breath becomes labored…faster and faster. Your palms sweat—knees weak, arms are heavy (MOM’S SPAGHETTI). What could it be?! Anaphylactic shock? Nope. Someone slipped you something? Nah. Steam sales? Praise Gaben, but it’s not that either. With that said, that can one mean one thing:

MAGFest 12

Saran wrap those loins (wait, what?), hold on to your butts (don’t let go), and bring a plate for all that spaghetti you’re going to be spilling all over yourself…. oh, and don’t forget the parmesan cheese. MAGFEST 12 IS COMETH.

With all this excitement spewing from the tips of my fingers, you’d think I’ve been rockin’ the Gaylord since MAGFest 10? Think again. MAGN00b here! However, this professor right here has her Pokédex on hand to catalog all the nerds, her personal trading cards to share, and Nurse Joy on speed dial should she catch the MAGPlague. While it’s been an eight month process—the first three spent deciding whether or not MAGFest is worth the trek from Los Angeles—it all became a reality when I booked my first solo flight back in November and I haven’t looked back since. Preparing for MAGFest, on the other hand, is totally out of the question. With my only solidified plans being my transportation to and from the event, a floor to sleep on, friends to FINALLY meet, and cash to spend, I’m letting the MAGFestivities take me on my own journey.

Not going to lie, writing this article has me feeling a little jittery, as I’ve caught myself daydreaming about the adventure that awaits: dancing the night away at MAGProm to The OneUps and Love Canon, playing a mad game of Cards Against Humanity in my hotel suite, playing some free vintage arcade games, and cuddling in the middle of the Chipspace floor. However, my excitement for the amount of quality chip acts performing at this year’s MAGFest can never be expressed through words on a screen—such quality, such chip, such A+++, wow.

Speaking of music, HOT DAMN is there a solid lineup. While the main stage hails acts such as Bit Brigade, Urizen, The X-Hunters, The Megas and Super Guitar Bros, and the second stage being paid visits from Eight Bit Disaster, Triforce Quartet, ARMCANNON and LONELYROLLINGSTARS, plenty of ear rocking will be had. And please, don’t miss the forsaken DJ battle!

On top of all that, there’s also PLENTY of weekend chip performances that I KNOW will blow your socks off. My top four do not miss picks (among so many excellent chipartists!) are as follows:

A_Rival: Performing January 3rd at 1:30 p.m.

Bay Area based chip hop producer Luke Esquivel, also known as A_Rival, launched his newest release ’Truthcannon’ on May 21, 2013. With cameos made by bLiNd, Abducted By Sharks, and TRASH80 on the latter half of the album, ’Truthcannon’ is a fantastic, fist-pumping album infused with dubstep drops, dreamy chip melodies and lovely Trance-like vocals to transcend its listeners on a ride through a 16-bit space shooter game.

Auxcide: Performing January 3rd at 12:00 p.m.

Having just dropped two consecutive 8static net label releases on December 18, 2013, Bryan Dobbins, also known as Auxcide, has captured my heart (Morgan and Kilpatrick’s as well) with ‘Speck’ and ‘Pixel’. Auxcide’s ability to produce not one but TWO danceable albums reigns from his precise electronic underscoring accompanied by the harsh soundchips of his Gameboy AGS and DMG running LSDJ. Created using a plethora of hardware including Roland Gaia, Yamaha PSR-500, and Arturia MiniBrute, ‘Pixel’ is the calm predecessor I imagine to soundtrack the victory of war, where ‘Speck’ is an explosion of energy that can’t help but grab your attention. The cool thing about these albums? Auxcide covers ‘The Moon’ from Ducktales Remastered (released by WayForward with music composed by Jake ‘virt’ Kaufman) and ‘Fire and Ice’, the Game of Thrones title sequence track.

Danimal Cannon: Performing January 3rd at 2:00 p.m.
Zef: Performing January 5th at 4:05 a.m.

With a recent TEDxBuffalo appearance about chipmusic, Dan ‘Danimal Cannon’ Behrens is making his way to MAGFest 12 to rock your faces not once but TWICE. Performing under both Danimal Cannon and ARMCANNON this year, Behrens released ‘Parallel Processing’ alongside Zef on January 15, 2013 under the prior. (NOTE: One of the two artists will be releasing a new track on the upcoming MAG=WIN comp! Listen to the teaser HERE to guess who!) With that notable progchip sound, ‘Parallel Processing’ is another stellar Ubiktune release, and is an album quite like none other. The two technically skilled artists combined forces, smashed their noggins together, and went to town to create an album whose INSANE level of musical engineering is accompanied by their love for Gameboy processors.

That’s all for this month’s Chip Treatment! I’ll be seeing all you Carbon based lifeforms at MAG! If for whatever reason you can’t make it, be sure to tune in to clip-stream.net as my awesome friends  Casshern and Glenntai are manning the livestreams so you don’t miss out!

MAGFest:
MAGFest.org | Facebook | Twitter | MAG 12 (Fb Event)
Full Event Schedule | Full Chiptune BRKDown

 C=W logo redux (larger)

MAGFest 12: The Return of Chipspace (& some!!!)

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Sup y’all? Prez Hoodie here. =)

As y’all surely have noticed by now, MAGFest has announced all of it’s chiptune goodness for the impending glory that is MAGFest 12. This includes both the main stage chipshows (lineups here & here) & the return of the Chipspace (mentioned in the MAGProm announcement here). For those of you unfortunate enough to have missed out on the crazy, last minute party that was Chipspace at MAG 11 & are thinking, “WTF is teh Cherpspoose?” allow me to elucidate! =D

chipspace maddie artChipspace is a virtually NON-STOP chiptune open mic stage that is available to any and all MAGFest attendees interested in & capable of performing chipmusic at MAG (tl;dr – It’s a Jamspace for chiptunes). [guidelines HERE]

Last year’s Chipspace was a damn blast, and it really did all come together last minute LOLZ! This time around it’s getting a good deal more planning (& by a team of real BAMFs, including yours truly <3) & even more support from MAGFest. Basically what I’m trying to say here is…

 

EXPECT EVEN MOAR AMAZEBALLSNESS/CRAZYASS ANTICS/ZOMBOCON!!! 8)

SPEAKING OF ADDITIONAL CRAZINESS…

Special Event #1: CLIPSTREAM XIII: MAGFEST IS AWESOME EDITION
(10+ artists, THREE individual shows, FULL LIVESTREAMING)

Special Event #2: SATURDAY MIDNIGHT CHIPTUNE BLOWOUT
(9 artists, 4 visualists, playing BACK TO BACK, Saturday at MIDNIGHT, flyer below)

Special Event #3MAGFEST = WIN
(New ChipWIN album, 12 new jams from 12 chipartists, RELEASED AT MAGFEST)

Chipspace flyer - for blog

magfest 12

Chipspace: because there simply wasn’t enough chiptune at MAGFest already. 8)

Much \m||m/,
President Hoodie
Chipspace Manager

P.S. I would apologize to those that are confused by the onslaught of chiptune events, but -shrugs- I ain’t sorry, bby. #DEALWITHIT 8)

Last updated 12/30/13 (final)

Chipspace:
Guidelines (gdoc) | How to Volunteer (gdoc) | Sat Midnight Chiptune Blowout (Fb Event)

MAGFest:
MAGFest.org | Facebook | Twitter | MAG 12 (Fb Event) | Full Event Schedule

Clipstream:
clip-stream.net | Facebook | Twitter | MAG Clipstream Shows (Fb Event)

MAG 12 Chiptune Showcase Chipartists ( Part 1 | Part 2 | Fb Event )

A_Rival: Planetskill.com | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Auxcide: Bandcamp Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

Awesome Force: Bandcamp Facebook Soundcloud

Cheap Dinosaurs: CheapDinosaurs.comBandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Chipocrite: Bandcamp Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

Danimal Cannon: Bandcamp Facebook Twitter Soundcloud Tumblr

rainbowdragoneyes: rainbowdragoneyes.com | Bandcamp Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Trey Frey: Bandcamp Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

 C=W logo redux (larger)

8STATIC FESTIVAL: Oct 17-19th

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Take one small but awesomely dedicated group of folk, a thriving local chipscene, 5 years of monthly chipmusic shows, a successful Kickstarter campaign, and a CRAPTON OF WORK and what do you get?

In a word (two actually…), THIS:

fest-animation

Boasting a SPECTACULAR line-up of 30+ talented chipartists & visualists from various locales, this three day chipmusic festival hosted in the city of brotherly love is going to be ZOMBOFURKIN AMAZEBALLS!!!

Don’t believe me? Then check out the lineup for yourself below!!!

8static fest schedule

To share a bit of insight on the fest & 8static in general, here’s a few words directly from Emily Feder, the festival curator:

“8static has been something I’ve held close to my heart for the last few years. All the people involved feel the same way; we devote a good chunk of ourselves to make these events special every month. The past year has been amazing and has shown tremendous growth, but it was time to take a stand and plan something larger scale. Our fifth anniversary seemed like the perfect time to break new ground. Philadelphia is an amazing city & October is a beautiful time of year; I hope that people will come and visit for this show and fall in love with the city and scene here the same way that I did.”

Regarding the fantastic line-up, “I wanted it to remove any skepticism about the event. The amazing thing is that, of pretty much all the people invited to perform, no one really knew who else was playing. They just wanted to be a part of this because they trusted us to come through with a spectacular event. The reaction everyone had when they saw the full lineup was inspiring. This lineup is a once in a lifetime experience for a chip music fan.”

Or her tl;dr version here:  “Last year we had 30 people perform in one night! Imagine what we can do with 3 days?” Indeed, Emily. Indeed.

Along with some other notable folks (MAGFest, kitsch-bent, & Grassroots Game Conference to be specific), ChipWIN is also very proud to be sponsoring this festival directly. Outside of BRKFest, it’s only the second time we’ve had the chance to directly contribute to a live show, and to be honest it #FEELSGOODMAN!

At any rate, if you’re any sort of chiptune fan & anywhere even near this incredible event when it starts TOMORROW NIGHT (!!!), I’ve only one thing left to say to you:

GET YOUR ASS TO 8STATIC FEST!!!!!!!

Much \m|♥|m/,
President Hoodie

P.S. For those who can’t make it to Philly for this but still want to watch live, YOU CAN. Thanks to the dream team of 8bitx, Clipstream, & Arecibo Radio there WILL be a live stream. When the time is right, find it via the magical link HERE.

P.P.S. While you’re there be sure to catch a couple of our bloggers, Kuma & Adam Seats, hanging around the ChipWIN section of the merch booth or in & around 8static Fest in general. Find ’em & say hi/snag some goodies/grab a beer/dance the night away in good company! ^_^

8static Fest:
8staticfestival.com | Fb Event | After party (Fb Event) | Tickets | Livestream link

8static:
8static.com | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp (netlabel)

Raw Cuts With Kuma #11: Electric Children

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Welcome back, ChipWINners!  This time around on Raw Cuts we have someone that I’m very proud to have had the chance to interview!  A highly popular contributor to Chiptunes = WIN who’s made a name for himself on the west coast, this artist boasts infectious dance rhythms and club beats that blur the line between chiptune and electro with spectacular results!  Without further ado, here’s my interview with Jack Waterman aka Electric Children
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electric children woops

Kuma:  Cool, so lets get things started shall we?  First things first, I haven’t asked this question in a while of any of the artists I’ve interviewed, but I’m actually quite curious about your artist name.  What made you decide to use it?

Electric Children (EC):  Aha!  I like getting this question!  You’d be surprised how seldom it comes up.  The name comes from the album March on, Electric Children! by The Blood Brothers, a now broken-up grindcore band from Seattle.  Its a themed album so there’s all this stuff about what Electric Children are and stuff and I was like 16 and I thought, “Yeah I wanna name a music thing that someday.”  So I did.

Kuma:  Really?  Nobody really takes the time to ask you about that?  I figured it’d come up more, but considering how kick ass your music is, I guess it goes right to the back burner. That being said, lets talk about your music.  I wanna hear how you got involved in all this chiptune business.

EC:  Well, I had started to make really basic electronic music with a drum machine and a keyboard for awhile, then a friend introduced me to a couple of local artists who played chiptune music.  Our sounds worked well enough together, so we started performing together on a pretty regular basis.  I was exposed to it so often that it became pretty irresistible and I added to my music.  Over time, it ended up taking precedence over everything else for a variety reasons, and before I knew it, I was full-on Chiptune artist by the end of 2008.

Kuma:  Nice!  I’m relatively new to the scene in comparison to you, having only been in it for a little over a year now, but I know the west coast has some strong artists out there to keep the scene going.  Back when you first started, which chip artists were you exposed to that helped you get into the scene and define your sound?  I’m also curious to know which ones help to define and inspire it now that you’ve been doing this sort of thing for what sounds like at least 5 years.

EC:  Well the two artists who I was performing with frequently at the time were Kids Get Hit By Buses (founders of the internet-infamous CrunchyCo netlabel) and Fighter X (who just recently became active again).  Aside from them, the early chip artists I was exposed to were Sabrepulse from the UK and USK from Japan.  From there I learned about like 5,738,216 more chip artists from 8bitcollective, and the story goes on.

Oddly enough what has always influenced me over the years of producing is non-Chip music.  It’s really fun for me to try and make chiptune versions of the sounds I hear in popular club music, and be less oriented towards video game sounds.  I like a lot of music by Madeon.  I’m a huge fan of She.  My dubstep is heavily influenced by Flux Pavilion, and I’d probably say Sabrepulse continues to be one of my biggest Chiptune influences.  I draw little pieces of things from all sorts of people around me, but those are the big ones, I think.

flux pavillion

Kuma:  Very nice.  She and Flux Pavilion are definitely understandable influences, as is Sabrepulse.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still listen to First Crush on a daily basis.  That being said, as time has progressed, while I know you mentioned that the chip sound has slowly become more and more the focus of your work, how much of what you do is chip vs what you may do to enhance and compliment the sounds in FL studio?  I know everyone has their preferences, and it’d be cool to know what yours is when it comes to producing music.

recording studio

EC:  The new album’s main material is made using only 2 gameboys running LSDJ, but quite a few songs have small instrumental compliments (such as a short synth or a guitar riff), and many of them have vocals over them as well.  While the instrumental tracks aren’t necessarily enhanced with effects, there are small parts that fill out a few spots in the frequency ranges that I couldn’t always hit with LSDJ the way I wanted.  Though to be honest, I am planning on having FL Studio be the core of my next set of work, with songs composed mainly of sounds recorded from LSDJ, but sequenced, mixed, mastered in, and complimented more by FL Studio.

Kuma:  That’s understandable.  For as amazing as some of these micro programs like LSDJ and LGPT are, there are def times when it takes that little something extra to give a song that final polish it needs.

That being said, since you brought up the topic of your new album, let me just say something about it first: your solo work as Electric Children has been amazing.  I loved it since I first heard you and boaconstructor throw down via Frost Byte’s album release party on LIvestream.  I thought you just killed it.  But this new album, man.  Dude, this is your Discovery, your Fat of the Land, man!  How proud of you of Year Long Hangover, man?

EC:  Extremely!  Haha!  YLH has (ironically enough) been in production for over a year now, and undergone so many changes in sound design, composition, concepts, lyrics, and just about anything else you can think of.  It had so much work put into it because I wanted to release something that shows what LSDJ is truly capable of: music that stays faithful to the genre while still being very listenable to a non-Chiptune fan.

Kuma:  I definitely have to say you reached your goal, because the first thing I thought when I was listening to it was: “God, I can use this to explain to all the people at my job what chiptune is without sounding crazy!”

alex jones

EC:  Yeah Chiptune is definitely a genre that needs to be shown instead of told about.

a-jones-super-saiyan-o

Kuma:  It really is, and while I’ve had some success via sharing Br1ght Pr1mate and Bit Shifter, most people still look at me like “I’ll believe it when I see it”.

That being said, lets talk about some of the major differences between YLH and your other work, particularly the vocals.  What made you come out of your shell this time around to lay down those lyrics?  What about the lovely young lady who contributed to the album, as well?  Was it daunting recording and incorporating vocals of yourself and close friends?

EC:  It had its challenges, sure.  When I first started writing music it actually all had lyrics, and evolved into instrumentals over time, so this was something I’ve always wanted to come back to.  Writing lyrics is never easy though; you have to keep in mind that your voice is an instrument in itself, so the words can’t be too busy or lack rhythm.  But it gives the songs a whole new dimension that is easy for people to grab onto and remember for a long time.  Plus singing is very fun.

The two(!) other female vocalists on the album were very easy to work with and did a fantastic job, as well.  While putting the vocals together was difficult at times because it involved a lot of back and forth sending song files around, in the end it was a fun experience that turned out to be totally worthwhile.

Kuma:  I’m certainly glad it was worthwhile for you, because it’s been worthwhile for me as well as all your fans!  People have been eating this album up like crazy and after a wildly successful album release party to promote it, I’m curious what comes next for you?  Aside from the aforementioned future project involving more FL work, of course.  Any shows or concerts we can expect to see you at over the course of the year?

EC:  In the short term, I’m performing with A_Rival in Seattle on the 27th(!), so any locals should come and hear some crazy good chip jams.  In the long term, I’ve been talked to about a couple big things, but nothing I have confirmed yet.  I’m also working very closely with A_Rival now that he’s moved to Washington, and he’s got some cool stuff in the works as well!

Kuma:  A_Rival is legit on all levels, and having partied with him at MAGFest, I can say its always a pleasure to be around him! I’m definitely looking forward to whatever comes of that.  With that said, Jack, it’s been a pleasure conversing with you.  You’re talented, kind and thoughtful and I’m honored to have had the chance to interview you.  Is there anything you’d like to say in closing to your fans and anyone who might be reading this?

EC:  Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts and ramblings on chiptune music! Please check out the new album, Year-Long Hangover, and tell me what you think!  Thank you Adam and ChipWIN for letting me do this too, it’s been awwwwwwwesooooommmeee!!!

Kuma:  Thanks again, EC.  I definitely hope we get to do this again.  Good night.

EC:  Good night!

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Thank you once again for checking out Raw Cuts!  Be sure to click the links bellow so you can Like, Follow and Subscribe to Electric Children on your favorite of social media outlet(s)!  Also, don’t forget to check out his music on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, as well as checking out his upcoming show on the 27th with A_Rival, Dire Hit and WMD if you’re out in the Seattle Metropolitan area!

Tune in next as I sit down with Roboctopus as we discuss his musical versatility, BRKFest, and a deep dark secret he’s been keeping from us all!  (I’ll give you a hint: it’s one Hoodie is keeping, too!)  Peace!

\m|♥|m/

electric children wootRelevant Links:

Electric Children
Facebook | Bandcamp |Soundcloud

Chiptune Party at El Corazon Lounge

The A_Rival/Inverse Phase Mini-tour: Richmond Edition

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It’s not often I get to say that Richmond gets cool chiptune concerts coming through here. We did have Anamanaguchi a while back, but for the most part if you like chiptunes in Richmond you’ve got to go to MAGFest, or go to one of the other crazy shows on the East Coast. But here in Ol’ Virginny? Not much goes on, which is what makes the spontaneous shows like this awesome.

In fact, everything about that show was fantastic – it took place at Gallery 5, which as with much of Richmond, has been repurposed from some random brick building into a gallery/venue. What’s cool is that it’s actually Richmond’s oldest firehouse, as well as oldest police station/jail, so the stage (and bar) are set up where the fire trucks used to go, and the rest of the building is set up as a museum. It’s a pretty neat place (the first time I went there, there was a Tom Petty cover band playing, and I lent the lead singer my top hat for a few songs), and since the dudes who run the joint are totally cool, we might expect more things to come here! What was even cooler is that because the downstairs at Gallery 5 is fairly open, the other room that the stage and bar weren’t set up in was packed with oldschool games – provided by the wonderful Bob Broomfield, owner of the Carytown Play ‘N Trade and general all-around radical dude. A_Rival stomped me in Street Fighter 2 on the SNES no fewer than three times in a row – dude plays a mean Ken.

DA SHOW

Can you see the fun Mike is having? CAN YOU?!

Can you see the fun Mike is having? CAN YOU?!

I want to preface this next part by giving thanks to the unofficial official photographer, Stephen Roberts – he was kind enough to share his album with us, and he got some fun action shots. If you want more than the few pictures I slap in here, you can check his album on Facebook.

So officially on the list, there was A_Rival, Inverse Phase, and Cuttlefish, with Datacats on visuals (Datacats does visuals now, protip). There was also the return of Mike Peloquin, AKA Open Mike AKA Not-That-Open Mike AKA Pelololoquin as the opening act, doing some Franz Ferdinand and Queen covers, which was totally fun. Also, Datacats went up and did double duty, both by setting up the visuals as well as playing an open mic set (because he’s multitalented and he can do that).

Seriously, Chris is awesome.

Seriously, Chris is great.

As to the main show, it started with Cuttlefish, who you may remember from my 8-Bit Invasion writeup as that guy who, living up to his stagename, was ludicrously hard to locate, let alone turn up any information on. As it happens, though, he was hiding in Richmond the whole time! And just like last time, his set was brain melting. He also had a friend of his come up and do a duet with him, which was super great. (I think he might have also been responsible for like a fifth of the crowd, and it was NOT a small crowd, so we can say he totally brought the ruckus.)

And then he used Chaos Control and became Super Cuttlefish.

And then he used Chaos Control and became Super Cuttlefish.

After that, Inverse Phase got up and started off his set with a Name That Tune game, giving away such swag as t-shirts and CDs. He went on to do a considerably long set, going through much of Pretty Eight Machine and some of his other fun covers. He then had A_Rival show up and spit some lyrics on top of one of his tracks, and the set was over. The crowd took some time to buy some merch, buy some beer, and generally prepare their bodies for the wave of music that was to come.

IP totally met Trent Reznor and told him about P8M. Apparently he was super down with it. Success!

IP totally met Trent Reznor and told him about P8M. Apparently he was super down with it. Success!

I’d like to take a second and talk about everyone’s setups thus far. Mike and Inverse Phase had laptops running trackers, Cuttlefish and Datacats had Game Boys running LSDJ (not including Cats’ laptop running visuals from the AV booth). But A_Rival was totally fancy, rocking his Mac with two iPads feeding in to adjust volume and various other effects for his tracks. I snuck a peak when he was testing stuff before the show, and it’s pretty fantastic. I’m a big fan of being space-age and future-y with tablets, so this completely rocked my socks.

As to his set, A_Rival played through the entirety of his new album, Truthcannon. Now, I’m fairly, uh, unknowledgable when it comes to the EDM/dubstep/etc scene, believe it or not, so I was moderately unprepared for what happened next – all I can say is that it was an explosion of electronica in the best possible way. After he wrapped up the new album, he then went on to play one of the hypest tracks I’ve ever heard live.

I kept wanting to scan his QR Code shirt, but it's lies! ALL LIES!

I kept wanting to scan his QR Code shirt, but it’s lies! ALL LIES!

This show was too good. Mad props to all involved. If you missed it, I feel for you – but hopefully, you’ll have more chances to see them all live soon! Hit up those Facebook links above to keep track of where they’re gonna be, and hit up the music links below if you want to get a taste of what you could have heard if you’d been there! (Or what you did hear if you were there, like a cool kid!)

\m|♥|m/

Datacats | A_Rival | Inverse Phase | Cuttlefish