Boy oh boy, it’s only February, and 2017 has already been an amazing year for music! For this share, I have a very special release that comes from Planet Zaxxon! Back at this most recent 8Static Fest, Chrome Cobra made his live debut showing off some really impressive LSDj jams, and now he’s released his very own EP on Bandcamp. Let’s take a listen to see how it fairs!
I’m back again for the second time this month, though this time, I’m here to talk about the last ever regularly held I/O. Held unexpectedly in the back of a busy bar in Bushwick full of the everyday mid-twenty Brooklyn inhabitant, nobody would suspect a chiptune show to roar from the back room of Pine Rock Box Shop. Reminded of a NYC version of Diagon Alley, I watched the room fill at 8:45PM, and I had the opportunity to meet so many kind people I only know from collecting records or from chatting online. Working together to create a creative and interactive environment for those around them, people danced, looked onto the artists’ setups, and most of all, stood as a collective with a strong love towards a vast genre, as the last monthly I/O came to an end.
Jessen Jurado, the show’s director, brought back original veterans of the first ever I/O to close out the last monthly one, hinting that, maybe, an I/O festival may be in the future. Starting with an excellent set of artists owning the open mic (Delphiki on Gameboy and drum pad in a skillfull and on point performance, Iron Curtain with two tracks on Gameboy [one being a birthday tribute to Radlib], Hedonism Bit showcasing Renoise chops, Flow Mein returning yet again to showcase Gameboy knowledge, Hunterquinn expertly running LSDJ, and Card Party amping up the audience even more with more intricate Gameboy beats). Goferboy, Kris Keyser, and Radlib all gave standing ovation performances (I mean, how could the crowd sit when we couldn’t all help but dance?), while diy_destruction and NO CARRIER provided excellent and interactive visuals. Better yet, this I/O landed on Radlib’s birthday, and seeing friends and fellow performers hop on stage and carry him around mid performance is solid proof that while we all want to create and have fun, it’s better to do so when you’re around the people who matter most.
So, without further ado, let’s hear more about the visualists and headliners of Friday’s event.
I’m willing to wager that there is no city as equally saturated with chiptune projects as Meriden, Connecticut. This is, of course, all thanks to the massive output of one man – his name is Carl Peczynski, although you might know him as Radlib, or Oxygenstar, or maybe Steady C or sadNES or one of his other aliases. Carl is, to me, the great unsung hero of American chiptunes – I’ve yet to meet someone who is more than casually into chiptunes who doesn’t know at least one of his acts, and although he only does a few shows a year, he’s managed to stay relevant. Is it his many personae that are allowing him to meet the changing demands of the scene, never falling into a the trap of making the same thing over and over? Is it because he specializes in gear that often goes unused by others in the world of chiptune? Is it his love of early 90’s hiphop? Honestly, it doesn’t matter – because regardless of the origin of his powers, Carl’s music slays. I had the pleasure of chatting with Carl not too long ago, and the following are the fruits of that interview.
A rare picture of Carl without a backwards baseball cap.
Greetings and salutations, all! The world of chiptune had a fairly hectic weekend, what with Superbyte happening in the UK, Freq.Fest.Norcal happening in…well, northern California, and MAGFest Classic happening in the beloved Mark Center Hilton in Alexandria, Virginia. While the chipfam was in high supply elsewhere, MAGClassic, being a much smaller event than the primary MAGFest event, had a much smaller attendance both of folks here from the blog (only myself, VP Swackhammer and our Art Czar Nate were in attendance) as well as space for actual performances by chiptune acts. That’s not a bad thing, of course – the VGM acts were face-melting, but this isn’t the VGM = WIN blog, so I figure you’re not here to hear about them.
On the night of the 22nd, a bunch of East Coast dwellers got together to perform at The Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge, MA. They got together to give the people what they needed for their Saturday night,: and that, my friends, was a night of over the top lo-fi goodness. From the openers to our magical headlinah, the stage was graced by:
Myself, Sam Mulligan, Br1ght Pr1mate, Kris Keyser, and Radlib! Hell. Yes. This article covers the show, what these guys are doing, and how they’re making it happen.