By the time you read this, everyone should be home and happy, well rested, without the MAGFlu and otherwise readjusted to real life. While I’m WRITING it, however, I’m drowning in posts from people in transit back to the dark corners of the world they crawled from so that they can go heal themselves. While this year’s MAGFest might have been the biggest one so far, it also seems to have taken the most from us in terms of bodily health, but only because everyone was incapable of having any degree of chill. Everyone basically just kept going until they were physically unable to go anymore, and even then they just kinda propped their bodies up in chairs so they could at least look like they were still going like some kind of knock-off ‘Weekend at Bernie’s.’ It was amazing. But enough talk – let’s have at this highlight reel!
Sup, ChipWINners! Welcome back to Quick Shots: the album review column in which I break down the finer aspects of an album, then give a quick and dirtyTL;DR at the end to help you decide if a new record is worth your time. This month, I’ve got two albums up on the chopping block. One of them is from an artist I’ve reviewed previously whose work has taken a very drastic shift, the other is from a well respected name in the scene who’s decided to do something a little different from their usual fair. Let’s not waste anymore time. Sit back, relax, and turn up the volume as I take the time to review the latest from Slothfella and Ovenrake’s side project: Boys Club!
Happy New Year ChipWINners! Welcome back to my column, So You Wanna Make A Chiptune! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Normally, I’ve reserved SYWMAC for the review of hardware and software related to the production of chiptune to help you determine what would be best suited for you. However, with this being the first article of the new year, I thought I’d talk about something just as important: motivation.
I’m sure a great many of you have made resolutions to become more active, steadfast and prolific with your creative endeavors. Just like with any other resolution, I know you’re going to need help staying focused. It’s okay: concentrating on new goals, New Year’s resolutions or otherwise, can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources within the scene to help you stay motivated! If you’re willing to work towards your larger goal by doing smaller goals, you’re guaranteed to make your dreams a reality in no time. Let’s not waste any more time. Come along with me as I guide you beautiful unicorns to pristine waters that I hope you will drink from!
Robot Unicorn Attack is TM and C of Adult Swim Games
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.’
Hey, what’s up everybody! Welcome back to RCwK! I’m BronxKuma — Kuma for short — and this time around I managed to get a hold of a bonafide legend! A founding father of the Philly scene, this guy’s been making tracker music for nearly 20 years and is proof that time, dedication, and hard work doing something you love can pay off in the long run. Here to talk to us about his journey through chip, some of his more recent and notable projects, and the future, I’m proud to present my interview with one of the very best artists the community has fostered: Alex Mauer!
So it’s been well over a week since 8Static’s 4th birthday bash, and the relaunch of this blog has been stalled a bit by equal parts Philly Flu, busy life business and, of course, procrastination. Sorry, everyone!
It’s honestly a colossal task, trying to recap an event of this magnitude. I mean, really! What can be said about this show that hasn’t been summarized one thousand times better already? Was this 8static legendary? Absolutely. Mind-blowing? Most definitely. Just about THIRTY performers shared that stage on a night that no one in attendance will soon, if EVER, forget. From the open mic to the alumni showcase, and the scheduled performers that followed, everyone gave 110% throughout. Everyone in attendance charged PhilaMOCA with a pure spiritual energy that affirmed and re-affirmed everything that makes this scene, the musicians, visualists, organizers and fans truly the best in the world.
For a few incredible hours, we were all home.
With absolutely zero regret, I roped a good buddy of mine into taking an impromptu roadtrip to show him what live chiptune is all about. That’s my excuse, anyway, and I’m sticking to it. The first 8static I’d been fortunate enough to attend was back in April, during a fairly restless time where I’d been traveling about as much as my wallet would permit. And ever since that first taste of Philadelphia’s incredibly talented and welcoming chiptune community, I had been absolutely dying to return. With 8static’s 4th anniversary coming up, and a slew of incredible acts scheduled to perform, I knew in my heart there was no better time.
But that’s enough expository rambling. You all came here for the music, and I would be honored to serve up my favorite bits.
Starting, of course, with the open mic. By chance and fortune, I actually had the great pleasure of kicking the show off! But more about that later.
There were so many performers that night, so I’ll offer my sincere apologies in advance for skimming over quite a few. Chip Music Chronicle has the entire show documented, as always, and I can’t urge you strongly enough to check the entire 8static 2E playlist. The recordings are very much essential in understanding just how stellar this show truly was.
The first of my highlights for the open mic would include Pixel8ter‘s fantastic Beastie Boy’s cover of “I Don’t Know”. Check out those shades! This track is also featured on the 8-bit Beastie compilation, which I would definitely recommend checking out.
Shyabeetus was a new face for me, and he did not disappoint. Busting out a killer Castlevania medley that was both entertaining and aptly-suited to the atmosphere and approaching Halloween season, he earned himself a new fan that night. I’m very eager to hear more.
And how about Storm Blooper? Definitely in strong form at this event, he delivered a blood-pumping dance-inducing performance that continued to raise the bar for the night ahead. I don’t think anyone was expecting the open mic session to be THIS strong! This kind of material portends a bright future for chipmusic.
The Alumni showcase soon followed, featuring a variety of veteran 8static performers doing exactly as expected: dazzling the crowd with a slew of memorable performances. Personally, I found Joey Mariano‘s speech and performance to be a poignant reminder of the multitude of ways in which a creative and willing mind can approach the chiptune aesthetic and use it to express their own creative spirit.
Bright Primate‘s performance was quite unique this night, but that may owe a lot to me expecting material from their most recent album. Instead we were treated to a new track that brought rays of sunshine and thoughts of summer days to my mind. I should shut up, but seriously, they completely switched everything up in the most welcome way. Very impressive.
Chipocrite had plenty of surprises in store himself, starting with a track I cannot begin to classify. Awe was induced! But seriously, his performance was fun, mesmerizing, and hell if I can find the words for what more! Dude’s one of a kind and it was perfect having him back in Philly for this one monumental evening. So glad he could make it.
I’d just be foolish not to mention the legendary Alex Mauer, who captivated the entire audience with a mastery of composition and execution that is largely without rival. I don’t know what wavelength he operates on, what space he’s occupying, but he continues to blow minds and open ears.
And I’ll close this portion out with Decktonic‘s “chill” performance! Not simply because he was great out there, but because he was equipped with the single best zinger of the night.
The scary thing? All of this: barely scratches the surface!! But it’s all I have the time to write about this go-round, so be sure to check out Emily Feder’s Chip Music Chronicle Youtube channel for footage of everyone else from the show (& SEVERAL other shows).