Posts Tagged ‘MAGFest 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!

Vol.2 logo (250x250 png) kubbi cat

Chip Treatment with Professor Oakes: ‘Refresh’ by Trey Frey

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Howdy, fellow Carbon based life forms! Now that the cat has been away and the mice have played (wait, is that how the saying goes?), it’s time to administer another dose of Chip Treatment to all my wonderful readers! It’s certainly been some time since I’ve written an album review (apparently I’ve been too busy escaping to MAGFest 12, Frequency 3.0, and Rockage 3.0 these past couple of months), and this is UNACCEPTABLE. However, it is a great pleasure to write this edition on Trey Frey’s newest album, ‘Refresh’, which debuted on Bandcamp February 11, 2014.

Released by Thebasebit Recordings, the bulk of ‘Refresh’ was written between July 2013 and February 2014, and to my surprise, is a product of once countless hours of dissatisfaction in his work, a cessation in music creation altogether, to an eventual life altering experience. Through such experience, his perspective toward life was changed, and he was instilled with a remarkable sense of inspiration to create this very album. While ‘Refresh’ was titled as a reflection of his personal experiences, he also hoped to bring refreshment to chip and electronic music as a whole with this album, which I believe he has so masterfully done.

Playing the main stage chiptune showcase at MAGFest 12 alongside reputable acts such as Auxcide, Awesome Force, and Cheap Dinosaurs, Trey has far exceeded my expectations of what one can create using Gameboy sound chips. ‘Refresh’ is an inspiring collection of tracks; it continues to captivate me with every listen, and instills such excitement for his contributions to the future of chip music. Curious, I asked Trey when his musical journey began, what prompted him to take to composing and producing, and where his skills as a musician arose from. He responded:

I suppose my musical journey began when I was forced into piano lessons at age 8. I fought against it at first, but after a few lessons, I fell in love with learning about and playing music. Even at this young age, I could be found creating short little songs at my parent’s piano, and studied until I was 13, where I developed an interest in punk and hardcore music. During middle school, I took bass guitar lessons while also self-teaching myself guitar, and I joined my first band. Afterward, I continued studying bass and began studying jazz and classic music, where during high school, I played in several jazz groups, as well as in the local university’s orchestra.

When I was in a junior in high school, a friend of mine introduced me to a group called Slagsmalsklubben, an all-male Swedish electronic music group that perform with analog synthesizers and drum machines. Listening to this group for the first time marked a major landmark in my musical life, and I fell head over heels in love with the sound and began delving into all sorts of electronic music genres(…) I came across a video of a Japanese man (who I later discovered is Maru) playing music on a Gameboy on a street for a small crowd; naturally interested in how this was possible, further research led me to 8bitcollective.org where I discovered the program Little Sound DJ. I ordered a cartridge as soon as I could, and “the rest is history” as they say.

For those of you who’ve kept up with this album, you should have taken notice of a very special, stellar track—‘Blvck Lvng’—that features Michigan’s own boaconstructor.

With heavy bass lines, blood-stirring drum kits, and a charming yet haunting melody, ‘Blvck Lving’ is a product of epic proportions. Interested in the conception of this dynamic, I asked Trey to explain his collaboration with boaconstructor and how they were able to create such a stellar track despite geographical differences. Trey responded:

I met Michael (boa) at BRKfest 2013 in Lexington, KY. During the festival, he and I discussed his plans for a new chip music record label that he wanted to call ‘Thebasebit Recordings.’ While I have always enjoyed his music, and felt he has something very unique to bring to the table, I agreed to be released on the label—little did I know at the time that he would become one of my best friends. I wrote the intro and main section of our track ‘Blvck Lvng’ on a whim one day while experimenting with sound synthesis, and after showing the preview to Michael, we both knew it would make an amazing collaborative song. We attempted to create the song from our two separate locations, but thankfully he and I traveled together to Philadelphia in October of 2013 for 8static Festival, and we literally wrote the latter half of the song in the hotel room the night before my performance. As co-founders of Thebasebit Recordings, I have no doubt that Michael and I will continue working on future music together again.

Constantly inspired by musicians both a part of the chipscene (Bit Shifter, Sabrepulse, Henry Homesweet, Anamanaguchi, Knife City, boaconstructor, IAYD, Radlib, and Ultrasyd) and outside of it (Slagsmalsklubben, Mord Fustang, Space Laces, Flying Lotus, Star Slinger, Slow Magic, Com Truise, Gold Panda, and Shigeto) Trey composed ‘Refresh’ using two original Gameboy DMGs synched together running LSDJ, and often performs live using 4 Gameboys linked to his Vestax VMC-004fx DJ mixer. Taking a look back on his debut album, ‘Trey Frey’, which was released in 2010, he remarked that his sound has become more refined since he began his journey in chip music.

He elaborates:

I think growing up and maturing helps develop ones sense of musical ‘style’. In 2010, I was 18, and I am now 22. I was absolutely a whole different person four years ago. However, my advice for aspiring musicians? Practice and patience. I spent countless hours of creating music in 2012 that I destroyed—now, I am constantly working on new music (I have a new drum and bass song in the works) as well as a new electro house styled track. I will be playing live A LOT in 2014, and though I cannot make a lot of these appearances public yet, all I can say for sure is that things are going to be awesome!

The album is a non-stop HYPE TRAIN (caps for emphasis), and is truly a product of Trey’s ability to melt your brain over and over. With my favorite track being the title track ‘Refresh’, one can’t help but notice Daft Punk melodies that he has so perfectly intertwined throughout ‘Airglow’. ‘Daisy’, the darker track of the bunch, tickles my senses, and ‘Further’, a bouncy, rhythmic track very similar to early 2000’s Europop, is a perfect precursor into ‘Blvck Lvng’—a track whose towering deep beats and wobbly dubstep—sends you on a thrilling ride to non-stop dance. Heck, even Vratim Clothing used one of his tracks in their promo video here!

While this album can be purchased digitally for $7, I highly recommend dropping a Hamilton—or two!—to buy the CD. Graced beautifully with artwork created by Witchmoss and KeFF, ‘Refresh’ is an album that I have had stuck on repeat.

If that isn’t enough to settle your ear buds, Trey Frey is performing tonight (March 7) at Club Orpheus in Baltimore, MD, with Pixel8ter, Compy Core, Datacats, Super Sonic, and DJ Fayt, and March 8 at the Branded Saloon in Brooklyn, NY, alongside Adam Gets Awesome, ZAFQ!, and Batsly Adams. If you’re feeling adventurous (and have the time and money to do so), Trey is also making an appearance at the 3rd annual Superbyte Festival this September in the United Kingdom.

That’s all folks! Until next time! Professor Oakes signing off~

Trey Frey:
Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter | Youtube

Thebasebit Recordings:
Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

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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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Chip Treatment with Professor Oakes: MAGFest Noob Special Edition

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Your pulse quickens… your eyes begin to dilate. Your breath becomes labored…faster and faster. Your palms sweat—knees weak, arms are heavy (MOM’S SPAGHETTI). What could it be?! Anaphylactic shock? Nope. Someone slipped you something? Nah. Steam sales? Praise Gaben, but it’s not that either. With that said, that can one mean one thing:

MAGFest 12

Saran wrap those loins (wait, what?), hold on to your butts (don’t let go), and bring a plate for all that spaghetti you’re going to be spilling all over yourself…. oh, and don’t forget the parmesan cheese. MAGFEST 12 IS COMETH.

With all this excitement spewing from the tips of my fingers, you’d think I’ve been rockin’ the Gaylord since MAGFest 10? Think again. MAGN00b here! However, this professor right here has her Pokédex on hand to catalog all the nerds, her personal trading cards to share, and Nurse Joy on speed dial should she catch the MAGPlague. While it’s been an eight month process—the first three spent deciding whether or not MAGFest is worth the trek from Los Angeles—it all became a reality when I booked my first solo flight back in November and I haven’t looked back since. Preparing for MAGFest, on the other hand, is totally out of the question. With my only solidified plans being my transportation to and from the event, a floor to sleep on, friends to FINALLY meet, and cash to spend, I’m letting the MAGFestivities take me on my own journey.

Not going to lie, writing this article has me feeling a little jittery, as I’ve caught myself daydreaming about the adventure that awaits: dancing the night away at MAGProm to The OneUps and Love Canon, playing a mad game of Cards Against Humanity in my hotel suite, playing some free vintage arcade games, and cuddling in the middle of the Chipspace floor. However, my excitement for the amount of quality chip acts performing at this year’s MAGFest can never be expressed through words on a screen—such quality, such chip, such A+++, wow.

Speaking of music, HOT DAMN is there a solid lineup. While the main stage hails acts such as Bit Brigade, Urizen, The X-Hunters, The Megas and Super Guitar Bros, and the second stage being paid visits from Eight Bit Disaster, Triforce Quartet, ARMCANNON and LONELYROLLINGSTARS, plenty of ear rocking will be had. And please, don’t miss the forsaken DJ battle!

On top of all that, there’s also PLENTY of weekend chip performances that I KNOW will blow your socks off. My top four do not miss picks (among so many excellent chipartists!) are as follows:

A_Rival: Performing January 3rd at 1:30 p.m.

Bay Area based chip hop producer Luke Esquivel, also known as A_Rival, launched his newest release ’Truthcannon’ on May 21, 2013. With cameos made by bLiNd, Abducted By Sharks, and TRASH80 on the latter half of the album, ’Truthcannon’ is a fantastic, fist-pumping album infused with dubstep drops, dreamy chip melodies and lovely Trance-like vocals to transcend its listeners on a ride through a 16-bit space shooter game.

Auxcide: Performing January 3rd at 12:00 p.m.

Having just dropped two consecutive 8static net label releases on December 18, 2013, Bryan Dobbins, also known as Auxcide, has captured my heart (Morgan and Kilpatrick’s as well) with ‘Speck’ and ‘Pixel’. Auxcide’s ability to produce not one but TWO danceable albums reigns from his precise electronic underscoring accompanied by the harsh soundchips of his Gameboy AGS and DMG running LSDJ. Created using a plethora of hardware including Roland Gaia, Yamaha PSR-500, and Arturia MiniBrute, ‘Pixel’ is the calm predecessor I imagine to soundtrack the victory of war, where ‘Speck’ is an explosion of energy that can’t help but grab your attention. The cool thing about these albums? Auxcide covers ‘The Moon’ from Ducktales Remastered (released by WayForward with music composed by Jake ‘virt’ Kaufman) and ‘Fire and Ice’, the Game of Thrones title sequence track.

Danimal Cannon: Performing January 3rd at 2:00 p.m.
Zef: Performing January 5th at 4:05 a.m.

With a recent TEDxBuffalo appearance about chipmusic, Dan ‘Danimal Cannon’ Behrens is making his way to MAGFest 12 to rock your faces not once but TWICE. Performing under both Danimal Cannon and ARMCANNON this year, Behrens released ‘Parallel Processing’ alongside Zef on January 15, 2013 under the prior. (NOTE: One of the two artists will be releasing a new track on the upcoming MAG=WIN comp! Listen to the teaser HERE to guess who!) With that notable progchip sound, ‘Parallel Processing’ is another stellar Ubiktune release, and is an album quite like none other. The two technically skilled artists combined forces, smashed their noggins together, and went to town to create an album whose INSANE level of musical engineering is accompanied by their love for Gameboy processors.

That’s all for this month’s Chip Treatment! I’ll be seeing all you Carbon based lifeforms at MAG! If for whatever reason you can’t make it, be sure to tune in to clip-stream.net as my awesome friends  Casshern and Glenntai are manning the livestreams so you don’t miss out!

MAGFest:
MAGFest.org | Facebook | Twitter | MAG 12 (Fb Event)
Full Event Schedule | Full Chiptune BRKDown

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