Sup y’all? =) President Hoodie here, excited to introduce our multi-writer, full track-by-track breakdown of our latest compilation, “CheapBeats = WIN“, a fantastic collaborative release between CheapBeats & ChipWIN!
Yes, it’s another all-in-one review featuring multiple writers from the blog, much likewe did for TWG’s ACC release. In other words, time to review ALL OF THE THINGS. 8-)
My silly little introduction completed, let’s move onward to the first 5 track reviews by the decidedly dashing DjjD!Enjoy!
Sup y’all? =) President Hoodie here, primed and ready to drop another info bomb of AWESOME on all of you. To be specific, I have within this very blog post the answer to the deep, dark question of the ages, “What in the world is ‘CheapBeats = WIN?“.
Y’all remember that “Pxl-Win” dealio we did with Pxl-Bot last year? You know, the rather fantastic collaborative Volume 2 side release, which was the first of its kind for us. Yup. That one.
Hey Frank here with another edition of “Inside The Daякcнip Mind!” [BACK FROM A HIATUS!!] To talk about an album that has all elements I truly love about an excellent chipthrash album that never tires while looping. The album I’m talking about is ‘Swallow Razor Blades‘ by Optimus Chad. It’s another Datathrash Recordings release so you can already tell its going to be a hard hitter, but now its time to cut to the chase!!
Sup y’all? =) Prez Hoodie here with the next installment of my new monthly interview series, ‘Hoodie Highlights’. Going to kick off a special series of interviews with this one, focusing on the folk that are part of the ChipWIN Volume 3 judges panel! (sans Dj CUTMAN, as Kuma just interviewed him recently). First up on that list is James York aka cheapshot of CheapBeats.net! ENJOY! (also, prepare for lots of goofy links… ;3 ).
Cheapshot live in action. Photo credit to Chiptography, chiptography.com
Hey Frank back for another edition of “Inside The Daякcнip Mind!” This month I stumbled upon a great musician that I have to say is much different than most artists I write about. With that said, I had to write up something about this album because it had caught my ear in numerous ways. Not quiet in a dark sense but still a damn good listen!
The musician & album I speak of is “Spacetime Geometry” by “Galaxy Wolf.” I think this cheapbeats.net release is good for anyone that’s into any sort of chiptune. It has some heavy sub hits with random chill vibes spread throughout the whole album. I found it rather hard to “draw” a big picture to be able to describe this without basically giving it away so I’d say best bet is to listen to the whole thing with some headphones. This album is best with headphones because you hear the layers more clearly and are able to appreciate the random panning that’s thrown in. I almost always listen while going on a walk. This time, I chose to walk on the day before spring (which ironically has been the nicest day) & those vibes fit this VERY well! The album has that up-lifting feeling you get when some warmth finally arrives & it’s a somewhat sigh of relief.
Well first up, the song ‘Infinity Sway‘ starts off with a pretty nice chip lead that naturally flows into a bass line and just goes deeper with-in the depths of HARD HITTERS! “Galaxy Wolf” does pull off many things in this release that I like a lot that I don’t really see very much. For example, he uses a lot of ‘skweee’ type tones threw out the album while still maintaining a true chip vibe. The song that stuck out the most to me is ‘Indigo Rub,’ I mean COME ON! Anyone that likes any form of skweee is going to love this release. I find it very hard not to.
From there on out he spans the chip horizon to bring some pretty damn grimy chiptune tracks. ‘Subtitle Bounce’ basically give you that feel that things are starting to wind down but then at the same time it just brings in the punches we all love. The whole album just ties together that really anyone who is into electronic music could find something to love. I recently got the time to sit down & ask ‘Galaxy Wolf’ a few questions! Thank you all for reading this months edition of “Inside The Daякcнip Mind” & now time for zee questions!!
Frank – When did you start making electronic music & has it always been based around chiptune? I noticed some other influences threw out the album like some lovely skweee!! :3
Galaxy Wolf – I started making electronic music when I was 18. I played guitar for years and was getting pretty bored with guitar the based bands I’d listened to so much (various punk/rock/blues artists) – I thought I’d fallen out of love with music!. Then a good friend played me some Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, old Rephlex Records stuff and I was like “ooh!”. I hand’t fallen out of love at all, I just needed new sounds. So yea when I was 17 my college started a music technology course, when I finished college I got a Laptop so I could make beats at home. It was only a short time after that when I first heard DJ Scotch Egg, my first exposure to chiptune, I’ve had LSDj for almost that whole time but honestly it took me so long to get in to it, I never pictured at that time I would make music just with the gameboy, I thought it would just be cool to sample some sounds on to the laptop. On the subject of skwee, people keep saying that! honestly I don’t know if I’ve heard much, does Dorian Concept count as skwee? or Slugabed? I think maybe It’s more of a coincidence. If you’re doing some kind of creative art you’re more or less tapping in to what already exists in culture and sort of finding some new links between things and kind of going “how about this?” Maybe that Skwee sound has been implied by other sounds, like everything else it’s a kind of amalgam of influences that has been made possible by other recent and not so recent developments in sound and technology. When I played with Men of Mega last year at Ultrachip, I was trying to describe my sound before I played, but after they were like “it’s Skwee!” and I said “oh, is it?!” someone else there said the same thing, and also that it sounded like “neuro-hop” I think!
Frank– What where some of you major influences growing/ & or now. Also have you done or like todo any covers? Just mainly wondering because I think you could add a pretty good twist to some older tracks!
Galaxy Wolf –Growing up my biggest musical influences were the music my mum listened to, mainly 60’s stuff, garage rock, soul, Motown, my dad is an absolute beast of a banjo player, I heard him every night, when I was around 10-11 I found a Jimi Hendrix record in my dads collection it was “All Along the Watchtower” and I think the b-side was “The Wind Cries Mary”, man that shit changed who I was, I got a Squire electric guitar a few months later I think. I got obsessed with Jimi and listened to him nonstop for a few years – I think He’s been the biggest musical influence on me really. Next was all that Warp Records stuff I mentioned. We used to have these amazing raves in London, promoters like Wrong Music, Littlebig, OverKill, real hard stuff like breakcore, raggacore, and all kinds of real hard, techie sounding stuff I don’t even know what genre to call it! They pretty much all moved to Berlin I think! But that stuff was amazing to hear. Was in to dustep for a while – hence Dental Dubs as “Team Toothpaste” – Dubstep slowed everything down (something I’ve stayed with for the most part) before that all the electronic music I was hearing was really fast and skittery. Lately I’m in to a bunch of nice Hip Hop stuff like Cyne, Kankick, J-Dilla, I’m in love with Dibia$e, Slugabed, Ghost Mutt, that kind of “off the grid” really unquantised sound, an earlier exposure to that kind of thing was edIT who’s got this really tight, crunchy glitch-hop sound. Haven’t really done any covers but it’s something I’m thinking about at the moment, have been messing around with doing beats to some acapellas too, but it’d be more accurate to call them remixes I think.
Frank– At live shows or just recording what do prefer your “set-up/ rig” to be? Also do you have any side projects or older stuff you have under a different names that people can find?
Galaxy Wolf –Well whatever I’m doing, these days I’m using a couple of gameboys modded by my boy Mikee Teevee over at ohmnohmnohm.com – they are gorgeous beasts. Live I like the 2 gameboys and a DJ mixer, I’d love a 3/4 channel DJ mixer but I don’t want to buy a shit one and can’t spare/justify the money for a good one right now. I just started to use a Roland SP404 to add some acapellas to my live set, which I think is gonna be interesting – I want to keep all the instrumentals pure DMG for now though. For writing it’s just one DMG really, I just sorted out my own LSDj keyboard which is awesome! it’s not on SpaceTime Geometry but it will be all over whatever comes out next! I’m in to the idea of adding things slowly and really exploring them, still on the to do list is custom kits, underclocking and midi sync, but they’re all a long way off because I like to really pillage each new thing I add for all its worth. For recording it’s just straight in to the laptop or sometimes through my mates firewire soundcard. I released an album on Noise Channel as “Team Toothpaste” a while ago, it’s called “Dental Dubs”.
Frank– Thank you for sitting down & answering these questions for us! Also would you like to announce any future gigs or collaborations/ randomness you have in store that you’d like to share?
Galaxy Wolf – No problem, thanks for asking me! I’m playing in Sheffield on April 3rd, and then up to Edinburgh for Inst Del with an awesome lineup on the 5th (details below). For collaborations I have some plans to do some stuff with Boaconstrictor, and I’d love to do something with Hunter Quinn if he’s still in to it. Also I might take this opportunity to do a preliminary mysterious announcement about a hardware project I am working on that I think would be of interest to the chip community. Won’t say anymore about it for now, but I’ll send you some details when it’s ready.
Sup y’all? =) Prez Hoodie here with yet another edition of my beer and chiptune column! Surprisingly enough, it’s survived to a third iteration! Well I’ll be damned….
I mean, uh… That’s awesome! I knew it would all along! :3
Silly introduction out of the way, let’s get on to this month’s beer & chip combo! This time around I’ll be glorying in the delightfulness of the following selections:
Ghost River Golden Ale & Roboctopus.
I decided to go local on this month’s brew selection, snagging a sixer of Memphis, Tennessee’s own Ghost River Golden Ale for my review.
What we have here, is a mighty fine beer!
From among seven different choices (four being seasonals), Golden Ale is Ghost River Brewing’s staple brew. Consequently, it’s also their only offering available in bottles
(the other six can only be found on draft at local pubs and/or purchased in kegs from the brewery). Pretty solid offering for a craft brewery, especially in this region!
Regarding the Golden Ale, it’s a rather light, very refreshing ale, complemented by a mildly sweet flavor (not overpowering) and just enough hoppiness to feel it in the back of your cheeks. Quite honestly, it’s a dangerously drinkable brew for any time of the year; a 6 pack of this tasty goodness has the nasty habit of disappearing far quicker than it has any right to! While the Glacial Pale Ale is probably still my favorite Ghost River brew, their Golden Ale is definitely worth trying out. Many times.
Michael Allen aka Roboctopus, the ale loving chipartist pairing to this month’s brewskie, is both similarly local to me (somewhat: appx. 4 hours away) and responsible for creating some quality chipmusic that is also dangerously addictive!
The many faces of Roboctopus. If 4 is many I suppose.
While this fancy tie wearing, occasional guitar playing, Gameboy dance-pop musician has been composing chipmusic for a handful of years now (his first two tracks debuted on 8bc in 2006), his four Bandcamp releases (+ some notable one-offs) of 20+ LSDj jams hold their own against some of the more longstanding hallmark albums of chipmusic, period.
From the ultra catchy LSDjx1 chiptune of his first three EPs – ‘The Landscape Has Been Erased’ (Oct. 2011), ‘Victory Lapse’ (April 2012) & ‘Tidal Bout’ (Dec. 2012) – to the gloriousness of what is both his first full length release & first LSDjx2 album, ‘Disco.txt’ (which successfully released this summer via the Cheapbeats netlabel) this sharply dressed chiptuner consistently creates some of the most infectious dance grooves that modern chipmusic has to offer. Totes a regular winner of the#FEELSGOODMAN award.
While somewhat of a rarity (although rumors of a future album comprised of such do exist), I’m a huge fan of his chip + other instrument(s) work as well. You only need listen to the diverse, yet fantastic mix of instrumentation in his ‘ChipWIN Expansion Pack’ entry “Lights Out For the Invisible Girls” to hear exactly why:
On top of everything else, the robotic octopus (or is he an octopus named Rob? #DeepQuestions) also manages to pull off a damn satisfying live performance. Having personally caught both his BRKFest & Future Night (indie art/music showcase in Nashville, TN) sets this year, I can totes attest to this something fierce. Even the most reluctant, dance-shy nerd struggles to remain still as Roboctopus regales the room in chiptune glory. Favorite tracks such as “Disco.txt” and “All Outta Bubblegum” shine in a new light, blasting from event loudspeakers with an almost tangible energy, as if they were truly designed to make butts move on the dance floor (hint: they were).
While he comes across as soft-spoken, thoughtful individual in person, Michael speaks so incredibly loudly through his exceptional, feelgood chipmusic. As a lover of excellently crafted, danceable LSDj chiptune, or just damn good music in general, you owe it to yourself to check him out if you haven’t yet. If his tunes don’t stir something in (or outside) of you, chances are you’re probably dead.
And that concludes this month’s volume of my beer & chip column! Hope you enjoyed the read, and that you get a chance to enjoy both the beer (come visit & I’ll buy you one!) and the music of Roboctopus (you have zero excuse for missing the music; embeds to ALL THE OCTOALBUMS are just below this). Until next month, cheers to all of ya!!