Hello everyone! As it happens, every year the vast unknowable demon entities that power the gaming world have aligned and another PAX East has happened without a hitch. I was fortunate enough to once again travel with the MAGFest Jamspace crew to help do some social media coverage and go play some games so I can yell about them on the internet! As with previous editions of the “POST-X X-PACKED X POST” column, this is split up into two sections: #GAMES and #MUSIC – tagged as such so you can jump around with your fancy Find In Page function if you’d prefer to read about one over the other. Also, you should know that much of this article also appears on MAGFest’s fledgling blog, which is where you can find similar content written about MAGFest events and more in the future.
Greetings and salutations, all! The world of chiptune had a fairly hectic weekend, what with Superbyte happening in the UK, Freq.Fest.Norcal happening in…well, northern California, and MAGFest Classic happening in the beloved Mark Center Hilton in Alexandria, Virginia. While the chipfam was in high supply elsewhere, MAGClassic, being a much smaller event than the primary MAGFest event, had a much smaller attendance both of folks here from the blog (only myself, VP Swackhammer and our Art Czar Nate were in attendance) as well as space for actual performances by chiptune acts. That’s not a bad thing, of course – the VGM acts were face-melting, but this isn’t the VGM = WIN blog, so I figure you’re not here to hear about them.
We all know that ANAMANAGUCHI, despite their rebranding away from chiptunes, is still one of the most successful bands from the early 00’s era of chiptune still performing. I never give up a chance to see a good band live, so when I heard they were coming to Richmond again I hopped on it. They didn’t reveal their guest performers – Chipocrite with Rekcahdam, Gull and Lazerdisk – until right before the show. I’m sure by now you all know how I feel about Paul and Roger, but the other two bands I’d never heard of – and given the fact that this was the first show I was seeing at The Broadberry, one of Richmond’s newer venues, I was extremely hyped for what was to come. (more…)
If you’ve been involved with the East Coast chiptune scene for a while, you’ve probably heard about I/O, which is a recurring chiptune showcase in Brooklyn, New York. You might also know that I/O had been on a bit of a hiatus since last year, with the last proper show happening in June 2014. Well, the last proper show until March 19th of this year that is. Good Guy Tony Ness hit me up when the show was announced – and when he told me that Bit Shifter, glomag, minusbaby and Chipocrite were all playing together for the first I/O of the year, I knew what I had to do: I starved myself for a week to get the money for a bus ticket, packed my bag and took a 7 hour ride from Richmond, VA to the heart of New York City. (more…)
Happy almost MAGFest everyone! In order to get you prepped for the impending wall of chipmusic waiting for you in Maryland in but a few scant days, and as I am the longstanding president of the Paul Weinstein Fan Club/Bowling League (current membership: myself), it is my duty to report to you that there was a new Chipocrite release last month, and if you haven’t listened to it yet you done goofed. The good news is, we can fix that right now! Grab your fancy headphones, go to the comfiest place in your house/apartment/other domicile, and prepare to rock out to ‘Wordplay.’
You know, I find it amusing that Philadelphia and Richmond, VA have done a secret back-alley exchange of musicians recently. an0va is down here now, working at my alma mater, and Chipocrite decided to head back to Philly. And while who knows what an0va gets up to with his Amiga and hoard of floppy disks, we have pretty quantifiable evidence of what Chipocrite is up to – in addition to working on a new album and playing events like TooManyGames, AnimeNEXT, and the occasional Hard Rock Cafe appearance, he’s also composed the soundtrack to the upcoming game ‘EarthNight,’ coming to PS4 and PSVita next year. In honor of the game’s announcement at E3, as well as as a teaser for his upcoming album, he dropped ‘3P’ the other day – a three track EP showcasing some differently arranged versions of some songs that will appear in said game and new album.
‘Truce’ is the track in the trailer for the game. It’s pretty standard Chipocrite – combination of rad guitar and tight chippy goodness. Listening to it evokes a pretty strong feeling of floating through space – which, from what I’ve gathered, is basically what you do in the game aside from pulling a Goku) and running along the backs of dragons and punching things. It just goes to show ol’ Paul knows how to use a Gameboy and a guitar to make you feel what he wants you to.
‘Little Computer People’ is a fun little high energy track that Paul has been playing live but has never actually featured on an actual release. I’m super jazzed about this being on here – I think he’s played this every time I’ve seen him live, but couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t find it online, and apparently I lack the common sense to ask. But failures of common sense no longer prevail! It’s light, it’s fun, it’s got some pretty well crafted drums (something you may recall I like to praise people for when they do it well). All in all, this track is definitely something you’ll want to slap on your workout mix to get you pumped!
‘Astronaut High School’ is an all-new track written just for the game, complete with INTENSE SOLO FUN TIME. It’s a song that tricks the listener – if you just focus on the melody, you start thinking “Wow, there’s not really a whole lot going on here.” If you take a second though, you’ll realize that the subtle drums and arpeggios in the background are filling in the gaps and that there’s a really solid song going on here. It definitely strikes me more as a soundtrack piece and less of an album piece. There are just certain songs you know are meant to be background music in a level as opposed to be taken on their own, and this is one of them. It definitely has lots of good energy to it, and rides the line between high energy and extremely chill.
As a side note, Dino Lionetti and Chris Burke helped produce this album, because of course they did, right? If you were Paul and you just happened to have two extremely talented friends willing to help you fiddle with your EP, you’d ask them to help too, wouldn’t you? So give it a listen. It’s got me pumped to hear everything else Chipocrite has got going on this year and into next year, and hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer!