Hello everyone. If you haven’t heard I’m yet again organising Chip Bit Day and it’s in its 4th year. I never thought I’d do another one after 2016, but here we are. As with all my Chip Bit Day articles, I will be showcasing each artist who is playing whilst picking a track that I think properly defines them. If you are interested in donating to Chip Bit Day you can do so by following the link here.
Instead of doing your standard review, I thought I’d do something a little different. At the moment I’ve been extremely busy raising the funds for Chip Bit Day 2018. Yes, Manchester’s latest chiptune event is back for it’s 3rd year, and I’m looking to build upon the foundations laid by the last two tocreate an even better night – or shouldI say nights?!?
It’s my final article of 2017, so I thought I’d write something special that has been a highlight of the year for me. First of all, this reviewis not associated with chiptune, but it’s probably my favourite album of 2017, mainly down to how it made an impact on me during the year. Released jointly by the artist and ‘neon city records‘, ‘わたしのYUME DIARY’ by ‘カヅキBIGWAVE’ is primarily a Future Funk album, and isn’t something I generally listen to. When I first came across the genre, I didn’t really take to it; mainly down to the constant slow downs & over saturation of funky samples. However, that didn’t stop ‘わたしのYUME DIARY’ fromgoing against those cliches that reside in Future Funk, and instead relies upon making great, catchy melodies that stick in your head for most of 2017.
Originally I had a different idea for this weeks’ article, however after a discussion about how I created the CD for the latest chiptune compilation, I decided I thought I’d write about my own method. When I created the last compilation for Superbyte all those years ago, other than the artwork, I had no idea about the logistics required. It’s because of this, it set me back £40 ($52.81) for 100 inkjet CDs with cardboard sleeves. This time around for the Square Sounds compilation I had more knowledge in the area and in doing so I managed to create 25 b&w thermal heated CDs with a pearlescent cover and plastic case for just £20.
Shortly after seeing how successful this was, it made me realise that independent artists could easily produce their own merch on the cheap; it just requires time & the knowledge.
Disclosure: This charity album is my own project. However, after discussing it with Brandon we decided it would be fine to promote, as all of the proceeds are going to charity.
Back in 2014 when Chip Bit Sid had just started, Superbyte was well into it’s 4th event and waspopular as ever. I had been getting sucked into the chiptune community, had made a lot of friends, and was building a lot of traction with the blog. It was at this point that I decided thatI wanted to sell a compilation, but with all the proceeds going to Barnardos, a charity that helped abandoned children. I immediately got a lot of artists who wanted to give a track to the cause and I got into making a physical CD to sell at Superbyte. Sales werebetter than expected, making over £220, with some of the money being given by the Superbyte group themselves! It was a great project which made me feel proud of the chiptune community as well as what I’d managed to achieve!
Fast forward to this year and Square Sounds Toyko is happening. I’ve managed to scrape the money for a holiday in Japan and, with some cash left over I decided it was time for another charity album called, ‘Chip To Be Square’. This time however I decided to team up with people from all over, with the money going towards Special Effect, a UK based charity which helps the less-abled play video games, by modifying controllers as well as utilising eye control.
Since the release of ‘Chip To Be Square’ on Bandcamp (02/09/2017)we’ve raised a bit of money (as now £60), which has shown what the chiptune community capable of as well as how big its heart is. As the album is still fresh, below are a few choice tracks off the album to entice your ears; to people who are waiting to buy the CD at Squaresounds…I’ll see you there! ;)
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.