This All Hallow’s Eve Eve, let me spin you a tale – a tale of how some skeletons armed with synthesizers and their friends stormed the goth club in Richmond, Virginia and made us lose our minds. Are you ready for… a GosT story?!
May 6th saw the return of Chip Bit Day; a celebration of Chiptune organised by Richard Lewis who you might know as blogger ‘Chip! Bit! Sid!‘ or by his musical pseudonym ‘Jellyatrix.’ Primarily funded by fans using sites like Indiegogo, Chip Bit Day’s second year was just as popular as the debut! With a lineup including festival favourites such as HarleyLikesMusic, and plenty of free goodies from Game Boy cartridge stickers of the performing artists to delicious cake, crowdfunders definitely got plenty for their money. I arrived good and early on the Saturday afternoon, ready for the hard slog of an 8-hour Chiptune marathon to find a few others eager for the show to start.
For the first installment of this series, I want to get right to the point: how to progress from a bedroom recording artist to getting live gigs. When I started out, I thought that chiptune musicians were limited to performing at specifically chiptune shows. Many people, chiptuners included, don’t realise how the novel way we make our music can influence securing all kinds of gigs! Chiptune music production from old video game consoles is a great tool for setting yourself apart from the crowd and grabbing attention.
Disclaimer: The following comes from my personal perspective as a solo artist making EDM with LSDj, arguably the most accessible way to produce and present chipmusic. I’ll try to make my points as broad as possible, but your mileage may vary. If you have any questions about developing yourself in your specific situation, please comment! I’ll try to help, and your question might help other people in the same place. So let’s begin!
I’m back again for the second time this month, though this time, I’m here to talk about the last ever regularly held I/O. Held unexpectedly in the back of a busy bar in Bushwick full of the everyday mid-twenty Brooklyn inhabitant, nobody would suspect a chiptune show to roar from the back room of Pine Rock Box Shop. Reminded of a NYC version of Diagon Alley, I watched the room fill at 8:45PM, and I had the opportunity to meet so many kind people I only know from collecting records or from chatting online. Working together to create a creative and interactive environment for those around them, people danced, looked onto the artists’ setups, and most of all, stood as a collective with a strong love towards a vast genre, as the last monthly I/O came to an end.
Jessen Jurado, the show’s director, brought back original veterans of the first ever I/O to close out the last monthly one, hinting that, maybe, an I/O festival may be in the future. Starting with an excellent set of artists owning the open mic (Delphiki on Gameboy and drum pad in a skillfull and on point performance, Iron Curtain with two tracks on Gameboy [one being a birthday tribute to Radlib], Hedonism Bit showcasing Renoise chops, Flow Mein returning yet again to showcase Gameboy knowledge, Hunterquinn expertly running LSDJ, and Card Party amping up the audience even more with more intricate Gameboy beats). Goferboy, Kris Keyser, and Radlib all gave standing ovation performances (I mean, how could the crowd sit when we couldn’t all help but dance?), while diy_destruction and NO CARRIER provided excellent and interactive visuals. Better yet, this I/O landed on Radlib’s birthday, and seeing friends and fellow performers hop on stage and carry him around mid performance is solid proof that while we all want to create and have fun, it’s better to do so when you’re around the people who matter most.
So, without further ado, let’s hear more about the visualists and headliners of Friday’s event.
Sup y’all? =) President Hoodie here, happy to provide you with a handy, dandy list of all the chiptune festivals happening within the next few months! Gonna play this fast and loose – give y’all the fest names, locations, dates, flyers, & links – and let you find out more by clicking away. In chronological order, here we go!