Through the course of art history, there have always been artists or projects that defied the norm. I welcome you to this new column, titled ‘And now for something completely different!’, where we will take a look at Chiptune related acts that get themselves out of ordinary boxes and into uncharted territory where they can blossom.
DDRKirby(ISQ) has composed an absolutely obscene amount of quality tunes over the past decade and a half, and is a long-standing member of both the OCRemix and chipmusic communities. Predominantly composing music for a series of themed game competitions called the ‘Ludum Dare’ series, DDRKirby(ISQ) and friends have created dozens of these small, entertaining, browser-based games. With this competition being held once every six months, a colossal amount of material has been composed; DDRKirby(ISQ) has graciously compiled what they consider to be their best hits over the past few years. From video game remixes to original compositions, the album is simply packed full of memorable music!
Whenever I think of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I think, “MistakesWereMade.jpg should’ve been my coat of arms,” just like many other young nerds who didn’t fit in anywhere. However, to others, it was a magical time where people were pioneering the new ways to access music, communicate, and pretend you weren’t ugly with the help of tilting a camera. The album in which I came across happens to be an album remembering nicer times of the early 2000’s, and after the jump, you can compare this to your current Top 8 and see who you’re bumping off to make room.
Artwork and design by Maru303 (maru303.bandcamp.com).
It has been a while my friends, but I am pleased to bring you another installment in this series! Again, what I am looking for here are chip musicians that I think make quality songs, and could use more love for their work. So, without further delay, let’s get straight into our first pick :).
It’s funny how some people in the chip community seem to almost balk at the idea of someone saying their music ‘sounds like Mario’ but if you really think about it, that’s quite the complement. We all know how popular his games are, and nobody denies the brilliant songs scattered throughout the series of games. So is it any wonder then that someone who uses it as inspiration to remix those tunes as well as compose original work would be a joy to listen to?
The first song that I heard from MooseSMW was rather neat. He had taken the main theme of Super Mario Land and arranged it with Super Mario World instruments. So what you get is a double dose of nostalgia that is both unique and familiar at the same time. Take a deeper look into his music and you’ll see that he has contributed to the fantastic SPC Echoes album which can be found here!
His is a classic style of video game music composition that is often overlooked in favor of other styles of chip composition. Do yourself a favor and stop by this man’s soundcloud page. You’ll be glad you did, I sure was!
Here we have a man who uses Deflemask, a multi-chip tracker to make Sega Genesis hip hop beats. The song choices he arranges are interesting because he takes lesser-known but wonderfully catchy video game melodies and transforms them by adding extremely crisp sounding drums underneath. He’s rather new to soundcloud and only has a few songs so far but all of them are solid and remind me a little of what you might hear from people such as Dj CUTMAN or Urban Flow. Except this guy is doing it all in a tracker designed to play back on a Sega Genesis. This means that he’s taking many of these tunes and not only arranging them in a new style, but remaking them to fit Sega Genesis limitations! In my opinion, he has far too few followers considering the high quality of his work. I highly recommend that you check him out and encourage him to upload more!
Finally, we have someone that I’ve been wanting to feature for a long time. Most likely, if you have taken the time to check out my own soundcloud page you’ll see that he’s in many of my Sega Genesis collaboration tracks and I am often re-posting his work. Not only is he an accomplished Sega Genesis musician, he’s also been known to tackle famitracker and make expert use of mod plug tracker to create more modern style tracks and even mimic the Capcom Arcade Soundboard CSP2 chipset which was popular in many mid to late 90’s Capcom fighters. Really, he has many interests ranging from pixel art to story writing along with his obvious talent for music. Basically, if you like my music you really should follow him as well because we influence each other constantly and you’ll find not only another great musician to enjoy, but someone who I find extremely easy to work with which means he is adaptable to just about any style. So yeah, what are you waiting for? Follow this man, I wouldn’t be the musician I am today without having the pleasure of collaborating with him :). If that doesn’t sell him to you, I don’t know what will. Here’s his soundcloud!
The most important reason I am featuring these guys is because to me they are all indeed hidden gems! Some are newer to the chip scene while others have been at it for a much longer period of time. It is my sincere hope that at least one of them is new to you. Honestly, one of them was new to me until recently thanks to the recommendation of a friend :).
I am always on the lookout to find new musicians. So if you see me around and want to share an artist with me, feel free! That’s what it’s all about :). Who knows. maybe you’ll see them appear the next time I decide to tackle this topic!
Remember to never stop composing and promote your fellow artists. Perhaps one of you is a diamond in the rough just waiting to emerge as a hidden gem!
Hey Everybody! For those not in the know, I am currently located in a one stoplight town in rural Arkansas. I am not a native to the South, so I hadn’t experienced the divine delectable-ness of today’s culinary adventure until recently. I was missing out! But now, my dears, you don’t have to live another day without the gleeful wonderment that is…
A basic batter that makes your hands look like you’ve murdered some poor soul. If you don’t want to attempt the batter, or just want even quicker version, see my cake cookie recipe for a workable substitution!
1 1/3 cup flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter at room temp.
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp buttermilk
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp red food coloring
1 pkg of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Because when you eat them, you’ll be happy enough to float away. You will also want them all to yourself.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, START YOUR OVENS! We’re about to have a grand old time! Set the temp at 375* and lets dive in!
Blend your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a small bowl. The fun part about having both baking powder and soda is that each one causes the batter to rise at different times during the baking process. Including both of these in a recipe means we’re going for maximum fluffiness.
Using your mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until it is, you guessed it: fluffy.
This is where your kitchen turns into something of a crime scene drama if you’re not careful. Add the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and red food coloring (2 Tbsp is A LOT of food coloring).
Watch out for splash back, it stains. Mix until everything is really combined and use your spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get all the bits if need be.
On a parchment lined cookie sheet (or silicone mat if you’re all fancy pants), use an ice cream scoop or similar spoon (I used a coffee spoon – sometimes cooking is about improvisation!) to plop even amounts of batter onto the sheet. Leave a good amount of room because these lil’ morsels are gonna get comfy and spread out.
Bake for 10 minutes. Pull out the tray and let it sit for a little bit before pulling off the cookies. Set aside on a rack to cool completely.
To make the filling, you take your softened butter, cream cheese, and vanilla and beat them soundly. Don’t worry, they deserve it. Then add your powdered sugar a bit at a time until it’s all incorporated. Blend for a few minutes until it gets soft and… fluffy!
Place a healthy dollop of frosting on the bottom of a completely cooled cookie. Use another to make a sandwich and WHAMADEBAM! Whoopie Pie.
Don’t forget to taste test!
As always, pictures of your wacky kitchen adventures are welcome over at the ChipMom Facebook page! And remember, Mama loves ya!