Posts Tagged ‘MAG 12’

Hoodie Highlights… Kubbi!

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Sup y’all? =) Prez Hoodie here, continuing my special interview series with the Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 3 judges! This time around I chat with everyone’s favorite cosmic cat composer, Kubbi! (alliteration FTW~). ENJOY!

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Hoodie: So we’ve been working together for some form or fashion for, what? Two? Three years now? I don’t even know anymore. All I know is a lot of crazy, awesome stuff has happened since that initial ice cream quest via social media silliness begun!

Kubbi: Still waiting for that ice cream….

Hoodie: Still searching for it. It ain’t easy to find, man!

Kubbi: Haha! I’ll be patient then.

Hoodie: I actually don’t even fully remember the joke anymore. I just know it was something really ridiculous. Hahaha

That aside, it’s been one helluva ride for Kubbi, at least from my vantage point! What’s that been like? I mean, did you even begin to imagine the adventures you’d have – & are still having x10!! – when this all kicked off?

Kubbi: I didn’t imagine anything like this, that’s for damn sure. It wasn’t until our little event at MAGFest and other unbelievable happenings that I saw the potential of this weird little project.

kubbi at MAGFest

Kubbi at MAGFest 12 Chipspace. Photo by Karl Ørn Ericksen.

Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that people listen to and care for my music.

Hoodie: Dude, I won’t lie. Where your music is concerned, nothing surprises me.

…okay, so the impact of your debut MAG show did surprise me a little! But that’s mostly because you’d always said before then that you probably WEREN’T planning on doing a live thing with Kubbi! Hahaha

Kubbi: And it’s still a really tough challenge, as recreating some of my tracks in a live performance is nearly impossible. DJing is something I still feel completely unfamiliar with, but considering how much fun I had performing at MAGFest it is something I just have to get comfortable with.

Hoodie: Yeah, that went just a little *TOO* well not to give it another go if you ask me.

Speaking of which, what does the future hold for Kubbi? Both in general, and the evolution of your musical style? While there’s a core feel to Kubbitunes, there’s definitely been a notable progression over the previous several releases. In particular with your most recent single, “Something New”. Because it most definitely is!

Kubbi: I’ve never defined myself as an artist of one specific genre. The stylistic distance between my new tracks are just greater than ever. This is actually the biggest factor to why albums take much longer for me to write now. Some tracks are heading in the same direction as “Something New” and some are still as silly and playful as “Up in my Jam“. I’ll let my musical style evolve further freely and we’ll see where this all ends up. I have a feeling great things are coming! : ]

Hoodie: You and me both dude!

Tell me a bit about your “Renovation Mixes”. Specifically, what are they and what prompted you to make them?

Kubbi: The idea came when I heard an older track of mine and thought “this one deserves better”. That was specifically the track “Void pt. 2” which I felt had great potential if only produced right. After being asked to perform at MAGFest I renovated and re-made a few other tracks I wanted to perform at Chipspace. It’s a fun challenge to take a look back at something I’m proud of and improve it.

Hoodie: Makes sense, especially since you were able to just tweak a few things and put them back down. Revisiting older works can be a Pandora’s Box if you’re not careful (i.e. “Okay, now I need to fix this. Now this! Now THIS! NOW THIIIISSSS…..”). I think you’ve got it under control quite nicely though. ;)

Craziest thing, though? Even though the Renovation Mixes are stellar, the originals are still damn solid tracks. Maybe that’s why it wasn’t too hard to revisit, but not get lost in doing such?

Kubbi: I just find way too many flaws with my old tracks. Taking the track apart and building it back together makes me see what, I think, makes the track so great and try to push it even further… but preferably avoiding these “flaws”. :3

Hoodie: Hey, it’s working for you. That’s all that matters. haha Personally, I’d love to hear a few more if you’re down for it. It’s really cool to see a track evolve in such a direct way, in an A/B fashion of a sort.

Kubbi: I think so too. ^_^ I’ll do more of them once I find time. Right now I’m fully focused on the next project.

Hoodie: As can only be expected. Already stoked for that btw! Any kind of timeline on when that’s happening, or is it still up in the ether?

Kubbi: Hopefully this album… will be out in time to keep folks warm this winter.

Hoodie: Duly noted, good sir. Will definitely be keeping an eye out when the weather turns a bit chillier. ;)

On a different note, while I don’t want to rehash the whole “Why do you chiptune?” question (as you’ve already answered it in various forms and fashions via other interviews), I am curious what is it that consistently draws you to that medium & sonic aesthetic with your compositions. I notice you’ve even started working with LSDJ as of recent!

Kubbi: The biggest reason is the community. I have never experienced a closer, more innovative and creative scene as the chiptune community. Next to that there’s just… I mean… how awesome isn’t it all? The sounds are so unique. The simplest of waveforms that wakes the most delightful of memories. Though it might not by itself appeal to the biggest audience, it draws a really special crowd and you instantly feel like you have something special in common with them.

Hoodie: There is a special level of kindred spiritedness within much of the chipscene that does facilitate a rather quick, magical type of connection. I first encountered it at MAGFest, and have continued to encounter & engage it in and around the chip, VGM, MAG, etc. scenes. It’s pretty damn inspiring. Good places to find other fantastic folk who are *DOING* stuff as well & join with them. I think that’s one of the biggest draws to me: finding more cool folk to do awesome shenanigans with. hahaha

Kubbi: Great people makes great shenanigans… makes great music! ^_^

Hoodie: Alright, enough of that serious crap. On to the real questions:

What’s it like growing up in Skyrim? Do you have a pet dragon, and if so what’s his/her name? What’s your favorite type of mead? How the hell are you, Jonas & Live so good at Cards Against Humanity? (srsly, that wasn’t even fair :3 ).

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FYI: Hiccup & Toothless both modeled after Kubbi & his irl pet dragon, MJØD.

Kubbi: See, we run a weekly competitive Cards Against Humanity tournament at our local tavern. During the second reign of the dragons our society learned the ancient arts of picking the funniest cards. Also my favorite mead needs to be brewed during full moon on the coldest night of December, then bottled in the presence of at least 15 polar bears. The dragons are still a government secret shh shh.

Hoodie: I KNEW IT ALL ALONG. And oh crap! How could I forget about the polar bears?!? They’re still fun to ride, right??

Kubbi: Never gets old. ^_^

Hoodie: hahahaha Well said. ;)

Speaking of stuff never getting old, it’s almost time to start judgeatization for Volume 3! You ready for that craziness???

Kubbi: Hell yesss! Can’t wait to see how it turns out. If it’ll even be close to the awesomeness of the last volume, I’m super stoked. Always an interesting experience listening through the crazy amounts of tracks we get.

Hoodie: It’s a pretty amazing experience, no doubt about it. Still pretty damn thrilled to be a part of it, and to have you involved. Gonna be some more good times I’m sure! =D

Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Will catch you on the V.3 judging spreadsheet really soon!

Kubbi: Always a pleasure! Looking forward to it!

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Remy Interviews the Hypesquad and Outerviews a Turtle’s Dream

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Featuring tonight on The ChipWIN Blog, for one night only, the Hypesquad! Consisting of Air SeaWorld founder Lil’ Janx and former WCW Champion Sammy Sam, the Hypesquad is renowned as a blasphemous memetic audiovisual offensive by some, and by others, an incredible blasphemous memetic audiovisual offensive. I was fortunate enough to secure a telephone interview with both members of the band earlier in the week. What follows, I frankly do not remember.

AutoReMi-PK: Lil’ Janx, Sammy Sam… Thank you for taking time out of the rap game to be here today.

Lil’ Janx: It’s good to be here.

Sammy Sam: You are most welcome! Please, let’s keep this brief, for we have some hustling that we must do… I mean, yeah, it’s good to be here. Thanks for talking with us!

Lil’ Janx: We’ll tell you almost anything you wanna know about the rap game. How we started from the bottom, and now we here.

Sammy Sam: Emphasis on almost. There is some stuff we definitely can’t talk about.

Lil’ Janx: Secrets, man. I don’t wanna have to get shot again

Sammy Sam: I don’t want to have to shoot you again.

AutoReMi-PK: How would you define “here”?

Lil’ Janx: Here would be at the top of our rap game. Sammy Sam and I have a long history dodging bullets. Rough shit.

Sammy Sam: Yeah, I agree. Here is where we are, and that’s probably where we will stay for a bit, until we go “there”, y’know? I don’t want to go back to dodging bullets… Those things are so fast.

Pictured above: Accurate depiction of The Struggle

AutoReMi-PK: After fifteen studio albums spanning one tenth of one decade, what is it like to be at the top of the chip-hop ladder?

Sammy Sam: It feels good to be at the top, but I have gone through lots of therapy to forget what it was like being at the bottom… So I can’t say for sure, since this is the only way I know how to feel now.

Lil’ Janx: It’s a good feeling, man… Having a message that people will listen to, you know?

Sammy Sam: Yeah, the message. That’s what’s important! Like, I want people to know about #jmolo, that’s a message I can get behind.

Lil’ Janx: It’s all about the message.

Sammy Sam: First and foremost, the message…

Lil’ Janx: Jason Mraz is a role model.

You’re a wizard, Harry

Sammy Sam: Oh yeah, he is such an inspiration. He’s the reason I wake up in the morning. Also the reason why I bought a fedora and eat kale.

Lil’ Janx: He’s the reason I bought a white polo. And drink coffee.

Sammy Sam: Is he big into coffee? I am embarrassed to admit that I skipped over that chapter in his autobio.

Lil’ Janx: Sometimes I just want to BE Jason Mraz, you know? It’s a hard life trying to live up to that.

Sammy Sam: I wanted to read about his philanthropy and the amazing things he has done for cats in need.

Lil’ Janx: Definitely. A well-deserved reputation in cat salvation.

AutoReMi-PK: Your fanbase has described your hashtags as being a mix between Shakespeare and Marky Mark, perhaps two of the finest poets of our time. What would you say in regards to this?

Lil’ Janx: I would say “thank you” because, damn, I love me some Shakespeare and Marky Mark.

Sammy Sam: I would and have said, “To funky bunch, or not to funky bunch. That, is the question.”

I’ll let you decide the answer to that question

Lil’ Janx: That’s a good question. I think I feel an epic freestyle coming on.

Sammy Sam: I mean, I’m in the rap game to pay the bills. #hashtags are my true passion.

AutoReMi-PK: Truly a timeless message. I think one we can all relate to.

Lil’ Janx: Hash tags and drank. That’s what we live for.

AutoReMi-PK: Is there any bad blood lingering over your group being denied to play Coachella this year?

Lil’ Janx: I mean it was a huge disappointment, but we knew that it was because the mainstream just wasn’t ready for our message and passion for hash tags.

Sammy Sam: No bad feelings whatsoever! They can go eat crap, it’s their loss, we don’t care at all. It’s just on to the next thing, you know?

Lil’ Janx: The people who want to hear the truth know where to find us. They’re the ones that matter. The ones that understand and appreciate what we fight for and the daily struggle.

Sammy Sam: I think they knew we were too much for them, but I don’t know, where are we supposed to play? Jupiter? What planet can adequately support our talent? We’ll never know until we know, and then that will be when we know, probably. Those are the people we care about, and pander to.

Lil’ Janx: Damn straight.

AutoReMi-PK: Insightful as always, Sammy Sam! Speaking of pandering, what do you say in regard to your detractors who claim The Struggle is less real than you make it out to be?

Sammy Sam: I made a pact to not talk to those people. #thestruggle is #realtalk

Lil’ Janx: Yeah, fuck ’em. Ain’t nobody got time for haters.

Sammy Sam: Our haters are really what keep us going. I mean, really, they are our biggest fans.

AutoReMi-PK: No such thing as bad publicity, right?

Lil’ Janx: Yeah, so I guess we have to make time for haters.

Sammy Sam: You know what they say, “You can only hate something if you really love it more than yourself.” Someone might have said that, I haven’t been keeping track of what everyone has been saying. That would be so much work. I’m not so good with quotes, I’m sorry.

AutoReMi-PK: What was it like working with Bono?

Sammy Sam: I kind of phono-ed it in… Just another collab, y’know? That one was definitely just for the money, and I had some… “bills to pay.”

Lil’ Janx: Yeah for real, though. Gotta feed Dennis and all.

Sammy Sam: I mean, I still spit some hot fire on that track, and tried to make the beat fresher than Rice Krispies, but it was not my proudest moment. I did it for Janxy, cuz I know she’s a HUGE U2 fan… Do we have any time to talk about our sponsorship deal with Rice Krispies? They’re snap, crackle, poppin’ off the chaaaain DELICIOUS!

You’re welcome, Sam

AutoReMi-PK: Speaking of Dennis, PETA has recently launched a string of attacks deriding your “cruel treatment of inflatable sharks”. You two have been notoriously hush about this in the media. Any intention of setting the record straight?

Sammy Sam: Well, that’s a tricky question, so I’ll pass the mic to Dennis.

Lil’ Janx: I mean, I dunno. PETA doesn’t know shit. Dennis chose to be our main shark, man. So, like, whatever… They can talk to him. What’s more cruel is putting Dennis in a zoo. With us he’s living the dream.

Dennis: I am aware of the attacks, and PETA’s concerns. They are unfounded, and completely false. Really, People for the Ethical Treatment of People should be the ones concerned, because I have been eating peoples’ legs without their permission. And what’s that about, am I right?

This article just got NSFW

Lil’ Janx: We saved him when he was a little shark pup, so suck on that PETA.

Dennis: It’s true, I am very happy, and love my chip-hop family. They are the bee’s knees.

Lil’ Janx: Where was PETA when Dennis was starving in the streets? Nowhere, that’s where. Our shark loves us, and we love him too. Plus his whole eating people’s legs thing comes in handy.

Dennis: Where was PETA when I was running low on helium, air-swimming precariously close to cacti?

AutoReMi-PK: Dennis, I’m going to shoot straight with you. You sound like Sammy Sam. Do you have a cold?

Sammy Sam: Rob, I’m going to shoot straight at you if you don’t watch it. GET IT?

Dennis: Whoa, Sam… Chill. That’s not necessary.

Sammy Sam: I am sorry, Rob. I shouldn’t have lost my cool.

AutoReMi-PK: It’s okay, I was out of line.

Lil’ Janx: Yeah, Sammy. We gotta calm it down. Just remember… JMOLO.

Sammy Sam: It’s just… we’ve been through a lot, which I know is no excuse. Again, please accept my apologies. I will not shoot straight at anyone, I promise.

Lil’ Janx: Those days are behind us now.

AutoReMi-PK: Moving on! What would you say in response to loaded questions?

Lil’ Janx: Loaded like loaded baked potatoes loaded? Or loaded like bazookas loaded?

Dennis: Whoa, hold the phone. I see an air-swordfish a couple nauts away… I’ll catch up with you all later. Dennis needs to feed.

Sammy Sam: Yeah, I don’t understand what you mean. Those are the only two options that make any sense to me.

Lil’ Janx: Straight up.

AutoReMi-PK: You two are frequently accused of not owning nearly enough sports gear. Why do you hate America?

Lil’ Janx: I think that question answered itself.

Sammy Sam: Yeah, we never get falsely accused of not owning enough sports gear when we’re in Colombia. I mean, France. Sorry Janx, I forgot that I wasn’t supposed to mention the Colombia tour ever again.

Lil’ Janx: Are you serious? Everyone wears sports jerseys and soccer shoes in Columbia… I mean France. So people looked at us weird. We stood out. Especially with a floating shark.

Sammy Sam: Oh yeah, it’s like, I’m sorry, I can’t be held accountable for what or who my pet shark is eating, right? Step off, playa.

Lil’ Janx: Hell yeah, bitches be jealous they don’t have a flipping sweet floating companion shark.

Sammy Sam: Yeah, it’s rare to have a shark-buddy at all, never mind one that can fly through the air.

Lil’ Janx: Haters gonna hate.

AutoReMi-PK: Lil’ Janx, your group is known among many things for its controversial merchandise. Parents were livid regarding your controversial shirt that depicted Jason Mraz crucified on a hashtag. What was your reaction when Hot Topic pulled the item from their shelves?

Lil’ Janx: I’m all like, “Damn, we hard as fuck.” If even Hot Topic can’t handle our swag merch, we gotta be doing something right.

Sammy Sam: Truth, everyone knows Hot Topic is the swaggest, so if they can’t even handle our stuff…? WHOA. Y’know? WHOA.

Lil’ Janx: F’reals, though.

AutoReMi-PK: Indeed!

Lil’ Janx: It’s like, #swagception… Or like, the #swagpocalypse.

Sammy Sam: Like, maybe the Jupiter locations of Hot Topic stocks that shit, I don’t know, but maybe. #swaggicane

Lil’ Janx: #swagnocerous

AutoReMi-PK:

Lil’ Janx: They be sprayin #swaggicide on our merch.

AutoReMi-PK: I don’t know how you’re both speaking in hashtags but there’s way too much swag in here!

#journalismisdead

Lil’ Janx: Bask in it… Embrace the swag.

Sammy Sam: #swagcopter dropping #swaglemmental #swagplies

AutoReMi-PK: Ahem. You two formed your legendary group a month ago and embarked on your first world tour. How did this happen? Did you feel an innate swag chemistry?

Lil’ Janx: Yes.

Sammy Sam: Yes. Next question.

AutoReMi-PK: Now, some people claim that a guitar is not a real musical instrument. What’s it like to find legitimacy in a Nintendo Game Boy?

Sammy Sam: It’s the most freeing feeling I’ve ever felt.

Lil’ Janx: Definitely the end of my soul-searching.

Sammy Sam: I was getting sick of the guitar, and it’s limitations.

Lil’ Janx: Definitely.

Sammy Sam: So to be making the dopest beats this side of Saturn with a Nintendo Gameboy… every morning I wake up and things just make sense. Y’know? My vision is no longer mad blurry, and I haven’t eaten cheese for a month, so things are looking up.

AutoReMi-PK: It sounds very fulfilling! As innovators in the true sense of the word, what was the thought process behind your invention of the JMOLOsound™ mod?

Lil’ Janx: Cutting back on unsaturated fats and high fructose corn syrup was also directly related to discovering the beatmaking magic of the Gameboy. Sammy Sam and I were basically like, “We need to just make this JMOLO as hell.” And then we did, just like that. We got it copyrighted.

Sammy Sam: Trademarked. The whole eight yards. Pasterighted, you name it.

Lil’ Janx: Commercial license, et cetera.

AutoReMi-PK: Et cetera, indeed!

Sammy Sam: What? What was that you just said.

AutoReMi-PK: I don’t recall saying anything.

Sammy Sam: Janx, what’s he talking about? What is happening right now?

Lil’ Janx: Eh? sorry my mind was on swag. And Jason Mraz.

Sammy Sam: Oh yeah, me too.

AutoReMi-PK: Being a human cartoon, do you think it’s necessary to sometimes draw outside the lines?

Lil’ Janx: Definitely, we use it to undergo interdimensional space travel. Makes touring exponentially more interesting. We’ve toured in Flatland several times. Probably one of the best crowds, really.

Sammy Sam: Yeah, I mean, I have a hard time reading and doing math, so drawing INSIDE lines? I’d like to see YOU try it. Being a cartoon, human or not, definitely makes some interesting things possible.

You will never get back the time you’ve spent reading this

AutoReMi-PK: Indeed! Some people have claimed that psychoanalysis has no place in a fluff interview. What’s your favorite television show?

Lil’ Janx: Pokémon. I can really relate to it, you know? We wanna be the very best. That no one ever was.

Sammy Sam: I love reality TV, my favorite is LOST, but I haven’t watched tv in years
because Janx sold my tv to “pay some bills”.

Lil’ Janx: Um, hello, Dennis needed those sunglasses. They had to be Gucci, otherwise he wouldn’t meet the swag quota.

Sammy Sam: He really did, I’m cool with it, he is super fly now. Those glasses really put him deep into swag territory. #swagtory, if you will.

Lil’ Janx: I will indeed.

AutoReMi-PK: The NSA has gone on record as saying that YOU are their favorite television show. At what point did I get too drunk to continue this interview?

Lil’ Janx: I’d say about twenty minutes ago. Probably at about the point we were talking about Flatland… Maybe the PETA part. I dunno, man. I dunno your life.

Sammy Sam: When were we talking about Flatland?

Lil’ Janx: We toured there.

Sammy Sam: Oh, yeah! I’m sorry, I forgot most things.

AutoReMi-PK: Speaking of your tour of Flatland? Which incomplete sentence.

Lil’ Janx: That one.

Sammy Sam: I concur.

AutoReMi-PK: Much indeed! Many thank you.

Lil’ Janx: Such yes.

Sammy Sam: Thank you! It was truly a pleasure!

AutoReMi-PK: What’s next for Lil’ Janx and Sammy Sam?

Lil’ Janx: Our epic rap battle with Roboctopus! He be frontin and we gotta set him in his place before he disrespects the Hypesquad and all we stand for. Which is hashtags and Jason Mraz. Mad beefs gotta be sorted out.

Sammy Sam: That is all we stand for. That’s going to be really good. Also, probably a quadruple platinum album.

AutoReMi-PK: Thank you so much for your time! Any closing remarks?

Lil’ Janx: Um…

Sammy Sam: Uhhh…

Lil’ Janx: Don’t do drugs, kids… And buy our shit.

Sammy Sam: Yeah, buy our albums and t-shirts. And come see us when we are on tour!

Lil’ Janx: Seriously. Spend all your money. #jmolo

Sammy Sam: Give us your money. #$wag

What the hell just happened.

Sam Mulligan
Soundcloud BandcampFacebookTwitter

Janx
Soundcloud BandcampFacebookTwitter

Hype$quad

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The President’s Manifesto: Beer & Chip Vol.5

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MAGFest 12 has come and gone, leaving in its wake the usual horde of happily exhausted nerdy folk (my newly engaged self included of course! ).Tho I’ll be damned if I fall prey to PMD (Post-MAGFest Depression)! Got WAAAAY too much awesome to do this year!! =D

And on that note, time to rock on with today’s most excellent beer & chip pairing:

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout &
D&D Sluggers

While admittedly few in number, most of the “chocolate” brews I’ve sampled have not been much to my liking (generally a bit too chocolately, sweet and/or rich). That said there’s something about Young’s Double Chocolate Stout that gets it just right for me.

st louie hoodie

I am totes a fan. *TOTES*. #Totes

It’s a genuinely smooth, flavorful stout with just enough chocolate added to give it a bit of extra magic. The chocolate isn’t overpowering though; it’s present, sure, but it doesn’t take over the entire brew (the “Double Chocolate” part of the name is derived from the mix of chocolate malt & actual dark chocolate added to the brew). Honestly, the chocolate is more apparent in the aroma than it is the actual flavor, which is fortunate because it smells just a tad too sweet, chocolately, and rich for my tastes. When it hits the tongue, though, you get a really fair balance of pretty much all of the elements that make up this positively delightful brew.

The intertoobz are overwhelmingly approving of this tasty stout as well; Ratebeer.com gives it an astoundingly high 98 overall. For a notoriously picky group of beer nerds (and on the internet for that matter) that’s one helluva consensus!

While Young’s Double Chocolate Stout isn’t a brew that I’d want to drink everyday (would be the fast track to a solid beer gut!), it’s a sincere pleasure when I’m in the mood for it.

On the other hand, today’s equally delicious & chocolate chiptune counterpart, D&D Sluggers, is always a pleasure. #AWYEAHBBY 8) In fact, I’d go so far as to label them as one of my favorite combos of chip (LSDj & DS-10), soulful vox, guitar, & keys yet!

D&D sluggers

Bringing the aforementioned array of instruments, D&D Sluggers merges numerous musical genres with fun, solid songwriting, and an engaging & entertaining live performance. This chipact is definitely a party. See their most recent full length release ‘This Album is a Party‘ for evidence of such.

Recorded at Red Room Recording in Leland, NC, this 10 track release from mid 2011 is a mix of interactive party anthems (‘Jam of the Year’, ‘Alive’, ‘She’s Got a Job’, ‘Johnny Depp’) soulfully funky joints (‘Gloria’ [DAT HARMONICA], ‘Walk’, ‘Very Direct’) and all around danceable jams (‘Wicked Touch’, ‘I Will Not Be There’, ‘Brodown’); overall, it’s a quality set of extraordinarily catchy tunes. While I didn’t stumble across it until mid 2012, it has quickly become one of my go-to albums, period. Particularly on craptastic days; it always brings me out of a funk. It’s just too damn fun to stay bummed while jamming.

If I had to pick a favorite track, it would easily be ‘Very Direct’. Such a damn groovy, chill jam. I HIT REPEAT EVERY TIEM. Specifically at 3 o’clock.

Also, I REALLY LOVE the handful of various VGM motifs that are carefully worked into several of the songs in various forms and fashions (chiptune taboos be damned!!); sometimes very subtly, sometimes not so subtly. I’d point them out, but I really don’t want to ruin the fun. Listen closely (sometimes not so closely) and you’ll surely catch ’em. ;)

Although to clarify once and for all (or not, lulz~), where D&D was once two crazy cats (Dustin Overcash & Tim “soultron” White), the current iteration is purely the soultron show (Dustin left the act mid-summer 2013 for work related stuffs, taking his keys & LSDj with him :*( ). And to be honest, it’s this version of D&D Sluggers that I’ve personally become the most familiar with; particularly the live aspect.

thug life tim

DAT SOULTRON.

I caught Tim performing live a good handful of times in 2013 (at PAX East Jamspace, twice on the “This Tour is a Party” tour, at MAGFest: Game Over Durham, and, of course, at the recent craziness of MAGFest 12’s Chipspace party). Tim’s level of hilarious banter, tongue-in-cheek humor, & general interactivity with the crowd is levels beyond that of the typical chiptune perfromer. He brings an energy, and maybe even additional level of accessibility (the ability to sing along is always a plus there), that isn’t always found at a chiptune show. & I LOVE IT.

#REALTALK: I love Tim’s soulful singing voice a whole gorram lot. Everything about D&D Sluggers is super swell, but I could totes listen to him sing all damn day long (in fact, I did today while writing this article! -swoons- ). How often does one say that about a chiptune act? ;)

Regarding new jams, don’t be surprised to see a new EP and/or full length release from the now one man party sometime this year (hopefully? Tim? TIM???). It’ll no doubt be comprised of finalized versions of some/all of the demos found via this Soundcloud set, which is fine with me as they’re some damn good jams. Most of them I’ve heard live performances of (‘About Time’ & ‘XX demo” in particular), and they’re some of Tim’s strongest compositions yet.

To summarize, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, BEYOTCH. 8)

And thus ends my first chip & beer write-up of 2014! It’s a pretty damn good combo of tasty chocolate chiptune & beer to start the year off right if you ask me. Which you didn’t. But I don’t care. 8) Until next month, cheers y’all!!

Much \m||m/,
President Hoodie

D&D Sluggers:
D&DSluggers.com | Bandcamp | Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout | Ratebeer.com entry

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Andrew Kilpatrick Talks: ‘MAGFest = WIN’

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If you’re reading this you’ve probably had MAGfest happenings drilled into your skull for the last two months or so (definitely not the words of an incredibly jealous man -______-). For the uninitiated: MAGFest is an annual video gaming & music festival taking place just outside of Washington D.C., this year in its 12th iteration and featuring a chipmusic stage curated with the help of the Chiptune = WIN team [read: Brandon]. The ever-genius that he is, Brandon thought the best way to celebrate this momentous coalition was to create a compilation comprised from twelve of the MAG 12 chip performers and release it under the Chiptune = WIN banner AT MAGFest…. AND THAT HE DID. My thoughts/feels/jealous insults regarding the release below:

01. Chipocrite – High Fives (To The Face) [new remix]

8static veteran and Philly’s resident chiptune-cover artist, Chipocrite, starts the album with a huge, monstrously catchy track. Dipping and diving between tense build-ups and ballad-pop phrases, ‘High Fives…’ has more twists than a dozen oxbow lakes and some masterful melodic play too, all sounding rather melancholic and compositionally mature, with so much ground covered in so little time. It’s clear from this single track why the talent has gained such currency in the live circuits.

02. Roboctopus – Good Night Stars

Roboctopus. Multi-instrumentalist, composer extraordinaire and writer of one of my favourite 2013 release, the godly ‘Disco.txt’. If that isn’t enough to get you soaking about hearing this, then hopefully the following hyperbole will. ‘Good Night Stars’ is exactly what you would expect from a Roboctopus track, in that it is masterfully composed with incredibly affective melodies, a range of styles too large to be represented empirically and those beautiful LSDJ instruments which solidify both his sound and his unique voice so succinctly. A masterclass in how LSDJ should be programmed, and how to stand out strong in the sea of mediocrity that the chiptune scene can be.

03. Danimal Cannon – Red Planet

Member of Armcannon, releases on Ubiktune, split with Zef, known for his flagrant flaunting of untouchable guitar skills alongside demanding but rewarding melds of progressive metal and chipjazz. Yep, Danimal Cannon makes an unsurprisingly incredible appearance on this compilation. Sounding not unlike label mate Yoann Turpin via Dream Theater/ [insert djent band of choice], ‘Red Planet’ sees Danimal scratching another notch off his ‘top ch00ns’ bedpost, with some incredibly well-produced guitars thickening his masterfully composed chiptune in a genuine musical spectacle.

04. Trey Frey – Vox Humana

A king in the dying days of 8bc, over the last few years things from Trey have been fairly scarce. However, following a recent slew of highly regarded live performances, the promise of a new full length in the pipeline, a track finishing off the WeeklyTreat project for 2013 [*cough cough* self-advertising *cough*] and now this, it seems the stars have aligned in the Earth’s favour. It appears Trey Frey is back. Coming home only like he would, ‘Vox Humana’ is a seething patchwork of fluid noise, beats, melodies and EDM, foaming at the mouth with groove. If you’re at MAG and you missed his performance shut up forever.

05. Rainbowdragoneyes – JjasonSalazZ

Known under for his blending of metal and europop, Rainbowdragoneyes doesn’t let his slightly bewildering reputation down an iota. Returning to that oddly effective genre mashing, (but more on the side of europop here), RDE throws together guttural “hey”s, scalic arps and polka inspirations into a full broth of addictive, chantable and down-right ‘barmy’ (so Radio 4) funky chip pop. There are a few overzealous pirate analogies in there somewhere to explain this, but I’ll let you find them yourself.

06. nickelPUNK – Outrun 2.1 (ft. Ryn)

Funky 80s house from nickelPUNK with accompanying vocals from the President’s First Lady. May seem a bit mis-matched on paper, but the music itself is precise and gorgeous, rife with Miami House vibes, the Hotline Miami soundtrack ran through the Telefuture mincer. Not only that, but the vocals on the top are, well, simply put: Erin’s singing sounds as good as her cooking looks. Only let-down is it’s mixed by Brandon, so if they’d shaken the dead weight it could have been a straight ten but, oh well. He’s always gotta let the side down. [Editor’s note: Suck it, Kilpatty, you smelly buttfart.]

07. Inverse Phase – Unit F [Amiiiiigaaaaa edit]

Originally written for a compilation in 2010 to help aid the fight against cancer, Inverse Phase has re-imagined his own track with Amiga sounds. Known probably better for his many cover releases, tracks like this solidify why he gets called to make soundtracks, play live and put forth for compilations like this time and time again; ‘Unit F’ is incredibly well-written. Simple. Lurching around with incredibly eerie tones, an unsettling atmosphere and some ingenious counter-melodies and scalic work running over the track, turn out the lights and prepare to weep (and not because you missed MAGfest [well this time anyway]).

08. Awesome Force – The MAGnificent Sinner

If his mind-blowing BRKfest set (still streamable on his Bandcamp) didn’t clue you in already, Awesome Force is an awesome force to be reckoned with live (just kill me now). The track he’s supplied jumps between nods to drum n bass, huge melodic motifs, syncopated funk bridges and a slowly building intensity that is as all-encompassing as it is effective; it will literally asphyxiate you with squarewaves. Dripping in as much energy as there would be sweat if you’d seen him live, this track only goes to further highlight Sean Baker as a rising and incredible talent in the chiptune scene.

09. TheDutchess – The Private i

Sega Genesis chiptune, reeking of the 80s and melodically focused? And melodically focused it is, every single second is swarming in unforgettable motifs, as jabbing basslines, glittering leads and clinking counter-melodies build into layers of jazzfunkprogchip. If this doesn’t contain elements of live jazz-esque improvisation, then TheDutchess certainly does a fantastic job of emulating them. One of the strongest composed tracks on the compilation, or on any Chiptune = WIN compilation for that matter. MAG’s booking of this artist was an act of genius. Be sure to check him out before his popularity explodes, if not for support than for bragging rights at least.

10. RobotSexMusic – South Station Breakdown

The Andrew W.K of chip, Boston’s party-chip ambassador Peter Hegarty (aka RSM) is up to his ol’ cheeky tricks again. Inescapable beats, affecting melodies, diverse and powerful wav work, and a shed-load of dance-floor filling attitude, this is RobotSexMusic almost as it should be heard, lying somewhere between EDM, drum n bass and with the ever-so-slight tinges of unce. Another un-missable live act that somehow translates a live energy into the studio. All hail the party king.

11. Auxcide – Revelry

Resident artist at Pxl-Bot and 8static, been on more compilations than memory can serve and rose meteorically to popularity within the scene, and all since 2012. How? This track does a fairly good job of explaining. Auxcide’s ability to meld truly jaw-dropping, heart-rending melodies reeking of the astral has always been unparalleled, and mix that with a genuine ear for dance music and attention paid to audience reaction to music, Auxcide manages to craft another trip through musical space, leading you by hand, captivating as always. Words are pointless at this stage, if you’ve not listened to him before, partake and fall in love.

12. Kubbi – The Cairn

That bloody cat-loving Norwegian. Not content with being one of the most talented composers in the electronic music scene altogether, with the ability to seemingly pluck unendingly grandiose and emotive pieces from nowhere, whilst retaining generic sense in the fields of progressive rock, classical music and electronic dance simultaneously, the Scandinavian devil has decided that one country is not good enough to be graced with his presence. The very nerve. Now he’s off gallivanting to the New Frontier, seemingly hell-bent on world domination, bringing this predictably ingenious, poignant and stylistically diverse track with him. Makes me bloody sick it does.
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And so that’s it! Whilst being one of the shortest Chiptune = WIN compilations to date, it is definitely also one of the most consistent and eclectic. If you missed out on all the MAG 12 fun here, I guess, is a small token to help you through the tough time. Or it’ll push you over the edge and you’ll cry for days. Good work Brandon, idiot.

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***CHIPWIN SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT x2***

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SURPRISE #1:

THIS IS HAPPENING:

MAG = WIN (final - smaller)

YUP. Just… yup. 8)

12 new chiptunes from 12 chipartist performers from MAGFest 12!
(WHICH WAS OBVIOUSLY DONE ON PURPOSE AND DID NOT HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT AT ALL. :3 )

As always, mastering by Dj CUTMAN, artwork by Nate Horsfall, & track order by Kubbi.
(aka THE FULL WORKS)

Curious to learn which 12 artists made the release? THEN LISTEN TO THIS:

SURPRISE #2:

IT RELEASES AT MAGFEST.

The number 1, recurring “gripe” that I regularly encounter at online listening parties is, “Damn, this is fun!! Too bad we couldn’t do it IRL instead, though, yanno??”
So this time, WE ARE. And at MAGFest no less. Yes, it’s totes okay to love me. 8)

So, with renewed vigor & ZOMBOCON, I bid thee once more…

GET YOUR ASS TO MOTHERF*CKING MAGFEST!!!1!1!11!

Much \m||m/,
President Hoodie

P.S. WHEN will this release this at MAG? I dunno LOL~ Prolly sometime during THIS.

P.P.S. If for some inexcusable reason you can’t make MAG, don’t hate yourself too terribly. The new album will join the others on the ChipWIN Bandcamp ASA I find an available computer at MAG to activate it from. ^_^

MAGFest:
MAGFest.org | Facebook Twitter | MAG 12 (Fb Event)

MAG 12 Chipshows:
Main Stage Chiptune ShowcaseSat Midnight Chiptune Blowout | Clipstream Shows

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The President’s Manifesto: Beer & Chip Vol.4

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Weeeeelp, looks like it’s that time of the month again! Of course, I’m talking about some good ole beer & chiptune commentary with me, Prez Hoodie! =D

So turn up your speakers & grab your favorite drinking glass, and let’s get on with my seasonally appropriate December selections:

Dansk Mjød Viking Blod & Kubbi.

Yup. That’s right. This month I’m deviating from my normal selection of a beer type to review and instead featuring a Nordic honeywine (aka mead). All in honor of the Norwegian wonder Kubbi, of course (more on that cat further in).

Viking Blod

In all truth, my quest began not for mead but for a bottle of akvavit/aquavit, a traditional flavored Scandinavian spirit often imbibed around the holiday season, which Kubbi recommended that I sample. Whilst I had no luck finding that imported drink in my region of Podunk, Arkansas, I did fortunately stumble upon a bottle of Dansk Mjød’s Viking Blod in the search. A more than worthy substitution to incorporate in this Skyrim-esqe pairing.

The front label describes Viking Blod as “Nordic honeywine with hibiscus and hops added”. If this seems like an interesting combination of ingredients, it’s because it is.

I’ve sampled a couple varieties of mead before, but never one with a gorram flower added to it! As one might expect, it adds a notable floral element to the already rather complex flavor. Combined with the hops and honeyed sweetness, it brings an almost ginger like aftertaste to the drink. It’s certainly… different, but undeniably quite nommy!

mead hoodieSeeing as how this is a fairly unique beverage, I for once followed all of the back label’s suggested methods of imbibing (which also includes an interesting, albeit brief historical account of mead!). Quaffing both on the rocks and in a slightly chilled glass served it well (with chilled glass being the superior method), although my #1 recommendation would be to drink it thoroughly heated. It turns Viking Blod into a delightful winter beverage akin to something like wassail, perfect for warming the insides as Jack Frost howls fiercely outside (or, in my case, maybe stirs up a chilly little breeze here and there…). I could also see it used to great affect in cooking, particularly a reduction with pork or a really tasty ham glaze. Heeeeeeeey Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip Mooooooooooooooooom!! ;)

The internet is quite fond of Viking Blod as well! For instance, Ratebeer.com gives it a 92 overall score, accompanied by a multitude of favorable reviews. My summation would have to be something along the lines of, “YOU CAN TASTE THE FORESTS OF NORWAY IN EACH GORRAM SIP.” Yup, that’ll do. ;)

Kubbi sez, “Gi meg mjød!”

Moving onto the equally complex & delicious chipartist known to the internetz as Kubbi, we find just as delectable a sonic treat for the ears.

Quite the prolific artist, Kubbi has both a thorough & musically diverse discography spanning the past three years. While his initial forays in 2010 were primarily found on cm.o & the now defunct 8bc, the bulk of his releases can be found in the form of singles on Soundcloud and EPs and full length albums on Bandcamp. And just so you know, every single gorram track is worth indulging in.

To give a little background on his compositional methods, Kubbi uses the tracker inspired DAW Renoise to create his chipmusic, and employs a solid library of samples that he’s collected & tweaked over the years. His goto plug-ins include YMCK’s Magical 8bit PlugPlogue Chipsounds & U-he Zebra, all of which he highly recommends. Although on his more recent releases he also incorporates the talented guitar-work of Jonas Dam (featured on ‘Gas Powered EP’  & ‘Something New’) & the beautiful vocals of Live-Andrea Rasch (on tracks “Concrete” & “Circuithead”), further fleshing out the already dynamic soundscapes found in his music.

It’s no secret: 2012 was definitely the most prolific year of Kubbi’s career thus far, during which he released three different full length albums (Transmittance‘, ‘Sleet‘, & ‘Circuithead‘). While all three merit a good solid listen/download/purchase, ‘Circuithead’ is probably the most standout among the three (note the “probably” snuck in there, as dammit, they’re all quite standout!). It’s the most cohesive release among them, sounding almost like a concept album of a sort. Although to be honest, there’s an overarching theme/feel of wistful melancholy and driven determination interwoven into most of his music. Maybe it’s natural by-product of drinking mead & practicing dragonshouts in the snowy mountains of Norway all the time, I don’t know. ;)

While 2013 has been a bit slower in terms of quantity (blame university & his work both sequencing and helping judge ChipWIN Volume 2…), the quality has continued to increase even more. His latest release, ‘Gas Powered EP‘, deservingly garnered attention from the very folk that it was both inspired by and dedicated to; it earned a direct shout-out from Cade of Cartoon Hangover and made it into a preview trailer of a Bravest Warriors episode! Pretty damn amazing.

Regarding recent singles of note are his fantastic Renovation Mixes. They’re essentially re-instrumentations of some of his previous works, and really do breathe new light into the tracks. There are only three at the moment, but I have a feeling that’ll change in the coming months.

Kubbi’s latest single “Something New” does an excellent job of displaying the current state of his musical evolution & where he’s aiming for; it combines his signature chip stylings with an even more grand & ethereal, almost orchestral sound-set. Check it out right here:

To kick off 2014 with a MAGnificent bang, Kubbi is debuting his first live performance with both Jonas & Live at MAGFest 12. If you’d like to catch a very rare treat (and who wouldn’t?!?) make sure to get your ass to MAGFest & come down for the Saturday Midnight Chiptune Blowout! That alone is gonna be worth the trip to MAG this year!

Seriously, I could write endlessly about this exceedingly talented young chipartist. Everything he composes is simply extraordinary; each track takes you on a fantastic journey as you listen to & experience it. All that and the fact that, well…
HE’S DONE A LOTTA STUFFS!! :O All the same, whether you’re a fan of chipmusic or not, Kubbi has something to offer you.

hilarious-kubbi-pose

He’s certainly offering something here, #KNOWWUTIMEAN? 8)

And this finishes up yet another edition of my monthly beer & chip specials! Here’s hoping you’ve enjoyed the read, the delightful Kubbi-music referenced in it (a handful of his music embedded below!), and are fortunate enough to stumble across a chance to sample this very tasty beverage (maybe I’ll bring a flask to MAGFest 12 for this very purpose. Who knows? ;).

Merry Chipmas & much \m||m/,
President Hoodie

Kubbi:
Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Dansk Mjød Viking Blod | Ratebeer.com entry

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