Posts Tagged ‘muzaks’

Chip Treatment with Professor Oakes: ‘Further’ by crashfaster

Posted by

Howdy, Carbon based life forms! Professor Oakes is back to administer another dose of Chip Treatment – so sit down, strap in, and hold on to your butts! No, super serious pro tip… you’re going to need it.

As I’m sure you’ve brushed up on your recent chip releases on account of my awesome colleagues’ (which include DjjD, PixelRecall, and Aydan Scott) write-ups, it’s quite likely that you’ve gotten all starry-eyed and forgot San Francisco’s up-and-coming electronic rock group crashfaster’s newest release ‘Further’, amirite? And if you didn’t, now is the perfect time to develop a little ear bug and listen to it SOME MOAR. ;)

Hitting Bandcamp with a stellar release on November 19, this bumping, 11-track album has been a two year work in progress for crashfaster’s frontman Morgan Tucker, who also heads 8bitSF and monobomb records (along with the help of Richard Alexander ‘minusbaby’ Caraballo). Interested in the coexistence of and how the quality of the production of music affects art, design, and technology, monobomb records is a multi-vocational ‘plastic arts collective’ based in San Francisco with a production annex in Brooklyn, New York, which, when boiled down, makes cool shiz.

Oozing with a bouncy, melodic rhythm, and dripping at the seams with 80s video game culture nostalgia through the use of analog drum machine core, ‘Further’ is a collection of tracks thoughtfully composed in a narrative arc that emerged from ‘the ashes of discarded technology’. As a whole, the never-fleeting feelings of isolation, numbness and emptiness despite tasks being accomplished served as a catalyst to ‘Further’ and helped to inspire Tucker to compose a beautifully written album. Envisioning an explorer, Tucker references the explorer ‘jettisoned into space’ and ‘forced to contemplate his own purpose while dealing with unending solitude, while casting aside his former life and shedding each layer of his humanity in order to find the truth.’ I don’t know about you all, but I know this feeling all too well.

With a wide range of styles and techniques and a wonderful blend of complimentary vocals, ‘Further’ is nothing quite like I’ve ever heard before. With a very suitable entrance for the album as a whole, ‘Launch’ is surely a track to take you on an intergalactic mission through the depths of space and time. While it’s a relatively short track (2:50), ‘Launch’ very perfectly intertwines mission control communication and a sense of countdown as the listener themselves feel like they’re ascending into space with each passing second. ‘Launch’, very appropriately, transitions into ‘Closer’, a track in which I feel to be reminiscent of the feeling when the shuttle finally breaks the thermosphere, reaches 0 G, and breaks off the shuttle boosters. ‘Apex’, which is one of my personal favorite tracks, is also ever so perfect—with incredibly memorable but haunting lyrics. I feel incredibly weightless as if I’m looking down at the sights before my eyes in absolute silence knowing no one can hurt me; however, I suddenly feel like my space travels are up ‘In Flames’ as my ashes are scattered across the universe by the end of ‘Further’.

Without the help of Different Fur Studios during the recording process, Patrick Bischoff-Brown’s production, collaboration with Unwoman, Eric Gottesman,  Mr. Spastic on some of the tracks, John Greenham’s album mastering assistance over at Infrasonic Sound, and of course the rest of crashfaster (Devin Nixon, Ryan Case & Keiko Takamura), ‘Further’ would cease to exist. ‘Further’ can be digitally downloaded on crashfaster’s Bandcamp for $7, or you can opt to purchase the compact disc (yes, they still exist)! Hot and fresh from the press and ships out to your door within two days, the CD contains a 20-page booklet featuring artwork from Kristen Adam and gorgeous package design by Minusbaby all for $12.

If that isn’t enough to settle your ear buds, crashfaster is also performing at the DNA Lounge in SF December 6, at Frequency 3.0 in LA on January 17, and SJSU February 7, so JUMP ON THAT.

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

crashfaster
Crashfaster.com | BandcampFacebook | Twitter

CW-logo-redux-larger-png

MAGFest 12: The Return of Chipspace (& some!!!)

Posted by

Sup y’all? Prez Hoodie here. =)

As y’all surely have noticed by now, MAGFest has announced all of it’s chiptune goodness for the impending glory that is MAGFest 12. This includes both the main stage chipshows (lineups here & here) & the return of the Chipspace (mentioned in the MAGProm announcement here). For those of you unfortunate enough to have missed out on the crazy, last minute party that was Chipspace at MAG 11 & are thinking, “WTF is teh Cherpspoose?” allow me to elucidate! =D

chipspace maddie artChipspace is a virtually NON-STOP chiptune open mic stage that is available to any and all MAGFest attendees interested in & capable of performing chipmusic at MAG (tl;dr – It’s a Jamspace for chiptunes). [guidelines HERE]

Last year’s Chipspace was a damn blast, and it really did all come together last minute LOLZ! This time around it’s getting a good deal more planning (& by a team of real BAMFs, including yours truly <3) & even more support from MAGFest. Basically what I’m trying to say here is…

 

EXPECT EVEN MOAR AMAZEBALLSNESS/CRAZYASS ANTICS/ZOMBOCON!!! 8)

SPEAKING OF ADDITIONAL CRAZINESS…

Special Event #1: CLIPSTREAM XIII: MAGFEST IS AWESOME EDITION
(10+ artists, THREE individual shows, FULL LIVESTREAMING)

Special Event #2: SATURDAY MIDNIGHT CHIPTUNE BLOWOUT
(9 artists, 4 visualists, playing BACK TO BACK, Saturday at MIDNIGHT, flyer below)

Special Event #3MAGFEST = WIN
(New ChipWIN album, 12 new jams from 12 chipartists, RELEASED AT MAGFEST)

Chipspace flyer - for blog

magfest 12

Chipspace: because there simply wasn’t enough chiptune at MAGFest already. 8)

Much \m||m/,
President Hoodie
Chipspace Manager

P.S. I would apologize to those that are confused by the onslaught of chiptune events, but -shrugs- I ain’t sorry, bby. #DEALWITHIT 8)

Last updated 12/30/13 (final)

Chipspace:
Guidelines (gdoc) | How to Volunteer (gdoc) | Sat Midnight Chiptune Blowout (Fb Event)

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

Clipstream:
clip-stream.net | Facebook | Twitter | MAG Clipstream Shows (Fb Event)

MAG 12 Chiptune Showcase Chipartists ( Part 1 | Part 2 | Fb Event )

A_Rival: Planetskill.com | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Auxcide: Bandcamp Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

Awesome Force: Bandcamp Facebook Soundcloud

Cheap Dinosaurs: CheapDinosaurs.comBandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Chipocrite: Bandcamp Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

Danimal Cannon: Bandcamp Facebook Twitter Soundcloud Tumblr

rainbowdragoneyes: rainbowdragoneyes.com | Bandcamp Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Trey Frey: Bandcamp Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

 C=W logo redux (larger)

Aydan Appreciates: ‘Menagerie’ by halc and Tuberz McGee

Posted by

Many members of the chiptune community have heard of halc’s work. No stranger to the chipscene, halc has been featured on many albums through OverClocked Remix and has been remixing music on the site since late 2009. Tuberz McGee, on the other hand, is a relatively new name in the community. His earliest Bandcamp release, ‘Discordant Existence’, dates back to April of 2012, but his talent really shines through in his many productions, particularly Fatalism and Estimation. You might be asking, “What do these two artists have to do with each other?” Well, the two of them released an absolutely amazing collaborative effort called ‘Menagerie’ just last month. You folks are in for a real treat this week.

‘The Beginning of a Beautiful and Highly Sexual Relationship’ is an excellent opening to the album. The use of arpeggios throughout the track is fantastic, and the melody to the song is quite interesting; it sounds mysterious at the beginning of the song, but by the end of the track is transformed into something entirely different, but with only a few subtle changes. Another track on the album with quite an interesting introduction is ‘Psychedelic Panda Pounding’. The song opens with a quiet percussion, and suddenly throws the listener into some seriously awesome riffs. Adamant use of arpeggios is present again throughout certain points of ‘Psychedelic Panda Pounding’, and I really enjoyed the floaty feeling the track gave me as a result. Also of note in this track is the false ending; this is a highlight of the album, in my opinion.

It’s uncommon to hear vocal work in chipmusic, and even then I dare say that it can also be rare to hear it done as well as Tuberz demonstrates in my personal favorite track on the album, the mellow ‘Squidzilla’. With a vocal sound that reminds me of Wolfgun, one of my favorite artists of all time, I couldn’t help but love ‘Squidzilla’. The lyrics to the track are enthralling, telling the tale of a squid who faces rejection and feels like a monster as a result of society’s views on him. Even though the premise of the song itself is quite silly, I can’t help but think there’s some kind of deeper message behind it. It could be interpreted as a message of universal acceptance and understanding, alongside looking past stereotypes and other things that could be construed as social barriers. Simply put, it’s a fantastic track.

And there you have it! ‘Menagerie’ is one of the best chipalbums of 2013, if not simply for the sheer variety and incredibly detailed tunes throughout the album. I highly suggest providing a donation to these two wonderful artists when you pick up this album. Hopefully, there’ll be more collaborative efforts between these two artists in the future!

Much love!

\m|♥|m/

halc:
OverClocked Remix | Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Tuberz McGee:
Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud

C=W logo redux (larger)

Andrew Kilpatrick Talks Chiptune and Hiatuses

Posted by

I’ll be taking a leave of absence here on the Chiptune = WIN blog following this piece. Life events (positive ones!) have left me even more strapped for time than before; but before bowing out I thought it’d be best to talk you through three of my favourite artists in the scene, why I love them and where you should begin. Hopefully it’ll keep you busy whilst I’m gone! Intro out:

little-scale: Definitely in the first wave of artists I discovered who made me obsess over chiptune, little-scale has, for years, been blowing my mind whilst tugging my heartstrings. A few fun facts: he has a PhD entitled “On The Development Of An Interface Framework In Chiptune”[read: he is literally a doctor in chiptune], he wrote a new song every single day in 2010 as part of the LazerScale challenge, he has released what must be now at least 25/30 EPs or albums AND often, entire EPs are sourced from a single sample which is then manipulated endlessly (the recent ‘Heavy Deep’ was created only from noises made by a ribbon, a metal cup and a road sign).

Musically, little-scale bridges the gap between ambience and deep, experimental house/trance. The strength of his music lies in its ability to move physically and emotionally, with songs often teetering off into trance-inducing pulsations of luscious tones and massive percussion. The title track of May’s ‘Set Your House On Fire’ displays this beautifully: emotively bittersweet and crushing, all with a confident groove behind it.

My favourite release? Whittling down a back catalogue this robust would be extremely difficult if it weren’t for ‘Nothing Has Been Left Unspoken’. Released on Saskrotch’s Handheld Heroes label back in 2009, this collection of 12 tracks does a pretty sturdy job of defining little-scale’s sound. Mixing the pure euphoric feelings of warm analogue tones in tracks ‘Wake Up, Space Cadet!’ with experimental beat-laden melancholy seen it tracks like ‘Visual Confirmation’ and ‘Delusions’; not for a second does this album cease being incredible. Download it as soon as you can, if you haven’t heard it you’re missing out on one of chiptune’s greatest opuses.

x|k: Don’t ask me how it’s pronounced. Famous (or in some places infamous) for his creation, the Midines, as much as for his music, x|k has gone almost completely silent in the last few years. Nevertheless, his 2005 release on 8bitpeoples, ‘Nestek’, is still THE greatest electronic dance release ever.

Why? Well, x|k’s sound could aptly be described as a ‘tirade of rave’. Not for a second does ‘Nestek’ let up, from the ridiculously no-nonsense breakbeat-tinged opening ‘Connekt’ through the huge accented and dance-causing claps in ‘The Bytemaster’ through the glittering pulses of ‘Terminal On City’… etc. Though the dancing may never stop, neither does the effectiveness of the melodies; and it is this duopoly of melodic emotiveness and dancefloor mastery which really lets the EP shine, as every single one of the five tracks stands out as an unforgettable testament to the power of dance music when used in the right way. You’ll dance whilst you cry.

If the pure genius of ‘Nestek’ wasn’t enough, his 8bitpeoples follow-up, ‘Outra’, is a 20 minute mix of everything from chip-trance through to deep house and sparkling techno. With only a few tracks dotted around various comps, an EP on mp3death, 40 short self-written ‘midines demos’ and a far-from-up-to-scratch full-length (seriously, don’t bother), there may not be a lot of his work, but what there is is often outstanding.  Now someone get him to comeback tour and I’ll meet you on the dancefloor.

Zan-Zan-Zawa-Veia: A background description on this incredible talent is fruitless to attempt, as shrouded in mystery as ‘ZZZV’ is. Releases from ‘it’ stretch back to 2008, with albums on Pause and inpuj shortly following, as well as a plethora (and I mean PLETHORA) of B-side compilations, the Meep series, various EPs and an entire fan label seemingly devout towards the jazz-funk deity that he is.

As hinted at above, Zan-Zan’s sound is heavily ‘Ubik-esque’ in execution. Mixing vintage VGM sounds, 70s prog rock, jazz, funk, and possibly hundreds of other subgenres, Zan-Zan’s tracks never ever sound alike, whilst still having a very particular ‘ZZZV style’ to them. If the complexity of the compositions weren’t enough, Zan’s ability to program NES modules is, quite simply, unsurpassable.

As evidence for all of this hyperbole brandishing, I point to my favourite Zan-Zan-Zawa-Veia track, the first track on the first ‘Meep’ album. Over the past few years Zan has been releasing albums entitled ‘Meep [insert rhyming word]’ with four in the series out thus far. Within, all tracks range in length from seconds to just over two minutes, are named ‘Meep #something’ with an actual title in brackets, and, most importantly, reek of a strange lo-fi genius. Nowhere is this more apparent than on ‘Meep #002 (how did i lose those things i was wearing)’.  Beginning like a soothing but extremely creepy ballad, the sliding notes eventually give way to the melody. A melody that simultaneously is disturbingly unsettling and breath-takingly beautiful, before a driving beat drives through the centre and the progjazz really cuts loose. Then, as quickly as this shift happened, the track plays nice again, with calming arps and counter melodies taking over before the disturb-o-beauty returns once again. And all in the space of two minutes and eighteen seconds. And some of his tracks are over ten minutes long.

What really gets me about his music is the depth. Everything seems bottomless, even the brief 30-50 second spurts of some tracks sound like full ideas encapsulated and perfected. Each track on the Meeps could demand their own sub-genre and following, and that limitless complexity is what makes Zan-Zan-Zawa-Veia’s music some of the best on the planet. And I mean this literally. If you’ve not introduced yourself to the fantastic work within, download the Meeps, take two hours out, get some headphones and prepare to be absolutely astonished. My mind is still being blown three years on.

And thus our brief journey ends. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the above suggestions, and hopefully I’ll be back relatively soon, but until then keep tuning in to the other fantastic writers here on the blog and all the best!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~xoxoxoxo~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

little-scale: Bandcamp | Facebook | Site | Soundcloud

x|k: Site

Zan-Zan-Zawa-Veia: Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | Youtube

C=W logo redux (larger)

The President’s Manifesto: Beer & Chip Vol.3

Posted by

Sup y’all? =) Prez Hoodie here with yet another edition of my beer and chiptune column! Surprisingly enough, it’s survived to a third iteration! Well I’ll be damned….
I mean, uh… That’s awesome! I knew it would all along! :3

Silly introduction out of the way, let’s get on to this month’s beer & chip combo! This time around I’ll be glorying in the delightfulness of the following selections:

Ghost River Golden Ale & Roboctopus.

I decided to go local on this month’s brew selection, snagging a sixer of Memphis, Tennessee’s own Ghost River Golden Ale for my review. 

ghost river hoodie

What we have here, is a mighty fine beer!

From among seven different choices (four being seasonals), Golden Ale is Ghost River Brewing’s staple brew. Consequently, it’s also their only offering available in bottles
(the other six can only be found on draft at local pubs and/or purchased in kegs from the brewery). Pretty solid offering for a craft brewery, especially in this region!

Ghost River Brewing logo

Regarding the Golden Ale, it’s a rather light, very refreshing ale, complemented by a mildly sweet flavor (not overpowering) and just enough hoppiness to feel it in the back of your cheeks. Quite honestly, it’s a dangerously drinkable brew for any time of the year; a 6 pack of this tasty goodness has the nasty habit of disappearing far quicker than it has any right to! While the Glacial Pale Ale is probably still my favorite Ghost River brew, their Golden Ale is definitely worth trying out. Many times.

Michael Allen aka Roboctopus, the ale loving chipartist pairing to this month’s brewskie, is both similarly local to me (somewhat: appx. 4 hours away) and responsible for creating some quality chipmusic that is also dangerously addictive!

faces of roboctopus

The many faces of Roboctopus.
If 4 is many I suppose.

While this fancy tie wearing, occasional guitar playing, Gameboy dance-pop musician has been composing chipmusic for a handful of years now (his first two tracks debuted on 8bc in 2006), his four Bandcamp releases (+ some notable one-offs) of 20+ LSDj jams hold their own against some of the more longstanding hallmark albums of chipmusic, period.

From the ultra catchy LSDjx1 chiptune of his first three EPs – ‘The Landscape Has Been Erased’ (Oct. 2011), ‘Victory Lapse’ (April 2012) & ‘Tidal Bout’ (Dec. 2012) – to the gloriousness of what is both his first full length release & first LSDjx2 album, ‘Disco.txt’ (which successfully released this summer via the Cheapbeats netlabel) this sharply dressed chiptuner consistently creates some of the most infectious dance grooves that modern chipmusic has to offer. Totes a regular winner of the #FEELSGOODMAN award.

While somewhat of a rarity (although rumors of a future album comprised of such do exist), I’m a huge fan of his chip + other instrument(s) work as well. You only need listen to the diverse, yet fantastic mix of instrumentation in his ‘ChipWIN Expansion Pack’ entry “Lights Out For the Invisible Girls” to hear exactly why:

On top of everything else, the robotic octopus (or is he an octopus named Rob? #DeepQuestions) also manages to pull off a damn satisfying live performance. Having personally caught both his BRKFest & Future Night (indie art/music showcase in Nashville, TN) sets this year, I can totes attest to this something fierce. Even the most reluctant, dance-shy nerd struggles to remain still as Roboctopus regales the room in chiptune glory. Favorite tracks such as “Disco.txt” and “All Outta Bubblegum” shine in a new light, blasting from event loudspeakers with an almost tangible energy, as if they were truly designed to make butts move on the dance floor (hint: they were). 

While he comes across as soft-spoken, thoughtful individual in person, Michael speaks so incredibly loudly through his exceptional, feelgood chipmusic. As a lover of excellently crafted, danceable LSDj chiptune, or just damn good music in general, you owe it to yourself to check him out if you haven’t yet. If his tunes don’t stir something in (or outside) of you, chances are you’re probably dead.

roboctopus 1

And that concludes this month’s volume of my beer & chip column! Hope you enjoyed the read, and that you get a chance to enjoy both the beer (come visit & I’ll buy you one!) and the music of Roboctopus (you have zero excuse for missing the music; embeds to ALL THE OCTOALBUMS are just below this). Until next month, cheers to all of ya!!

Much \m||m/,
President Hoodie

Roboctopus
Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Ghost River Golden Ale | Ghost River Brewing

C=W logo redux (larger)