Posts Tagged ‘Robot Sex Apocalypse’

Rainclouds of Sweat and Neon: Or Anamanaguchi, Kitty Pryde & Chipocrite Live In Richmond, VA

Posted by

You’re all pretty hip to the cool stuff going on in the chiptunes world these days – ‘course you are, or you wouldn’t be here, reading this, would you? So of course you know that Anamanaguchi has been on tour promoting their swagtacular new album Endless Fantasy, and you probably know that they’ve had a bunch of fantastic folks on tour with them. For the Richmond stop, they featured none other than the rap stylings of Kitty Pryde and fellow chiptune/rock dude Paul “Chipocrite” Weinstein (now featuring Roger “Rekcahdam” Hicks on drums!).

A collection of shots from Strange Matter's website.

A collection of shots from Strange Matter’s website.

The last time these guys were in Richmond, they rocked the house at Strange Matter, so it was no surprise they’d return. Strange Matter’s a pretty rad place, and lends itself to being a haven for most of us nerdy-types and/or hipsters: there’s an arcade in the back stocked with classics (I will personally wreck your face on the MvC2 cab, that is an open invitation to everyone unless you’re actually tournament level in which case you’ll make me cry and run home), there’s all sorts of custom videogame art on the walls, they’ve got a decent selection of beer, and they make a DAMN good hamburger. Point being, this place is literally equipped to be the perfect place for this kind of show. The only “downside” to the venue is the fact that the standing/thrashing/moshing audience space is mildly limited – but I mean, if you’re doing any of those, you probably don’t care that you’re all up on people.

Chipocrite and Rekcahdam

Chipocrite and Rekcahdam, photo credit Kira Wilhelm.

The pre-show energy was really high, which given the small space inside the bar, seemed magnified. There couldn’t have been more than fifty or sixty people, but it felt like two hundred. Most of the performers were out mingling with the crowd – Chipocrite was grabbing a beer, Rekcahdam was posing up on the wall and relaxing, Kitty was outside doing a photoshoot, but the ‘Guchi boys must have been hiding (or maybe they just blended in really well). The bar was swamped with people prepping for the show, and the arcade was hopping with people grinding other peoples’ faces to dirt in Mortal Kombat and Marvel vs Capcom 2.

The show got started when Chipocrite and Rekcahdam took the stage. Now, I’ve seen Paul perform on his own before (anyone remember 8-Bit Invasion 1?), and Rekcahdam was at PAX backing up Disasterpeace, but this performance was well beyond anything that I’ve seen them do before. As such, I think it was a great introduction to Chipocrite for newcomers – and I’m hoping that Rekcahdam becomes a permanent part of the act, because a live drumset adds so much to the music. Also, he played one of the tracks from his Big Lebowski cover album, which was an instant S+ Gold Rank performance, so I’m fairly sure if anyone in the audience was not yet won over, they had no choice but to abide and jam along with everyone else.

Kitty Pryde: Still unsure if she can phase through walls, but she can definitely rap and fight off the haters.

Kitty Pryde: Still unsure if she can phase through walls, but she can definitely rap and fight off the haters.

Then we have Kitty Pryde. Kitty wasn’t what most people were expecting as part of this gig, but that being said, I know a good handful of the audience were there specifically to see her. I’d certainly never heard of her – not that I’m the end-all be-all reference for modern music or anything, but her turnout left me rather surprised. Musically, I feel Kitty is the rap version of Lily Allen – her raps are mildly humorous, even when they’re about being spurned, and it was a good chillmode intercession between two high-energy acts. If you’re not familiar with her, here’s the one song that all my friends who knew her were waiting for.

And then the main event. Their set design was fantastic – if you saw the Jimmy Fallon performance, you should be familiar with the basic layout: Two projector-cubes, a bunch of lights, and a screen in the back. The visual effect was quite striking, having things being projected in so many places at once – if you had even a touch of ADD, it was almost a nightmare, but in such a good way, with so many different stimuli going all at once. I also feel that unlike some of their previous albums, their live performances sound a lot more like what you get on Endless Fantasy, which is awesome – I really enjoy when the live performance enhances that what you’ve heard on the album, instead of being entirely different. The only song that deviated wildly from the album was Meow, which  they didn’t seem to have the cat keyboard for – but that didn’t matter after the entire audience sang along the missing meows in sync (it was simultaneously hilarious and scary, but more the former than the latter).

Anamanaguchi, photo credit Stephen Roberts

Anamanaguchi, photo credit Stephen Roberts

To explain the title of this article, though: at one point, right around when they were passing around their glowtube into the audience, I felt some water trickling down on me. I looked up, and it seemed as though water was materializing and dropping from right above the ceiling. And that’s when I realized – people were rocking out so hard that the humidity in the room had raised to such a level that there were literally rainclouds forming from sweat evaporating off of everyone. It was a surreal (and honestly, mildly gross) experience, but I guess the boys can say they rocked so hard they quite literally made it rain on the crowd.

It looks like there’s still one more stop on their tour, so if you haven’t seen them, and you’re going to be in New York now’s your chance!

And remember kids: Haters gonna hate, playas gonna play, and rhombus gonna rhomb.

Oh yeah, this happened too.

Oh yeah, this happened too.

Links on links on links:

Anamanaguchi:
Facebook | Website | Tumblr | Soundcloud

Kitty Pryde:
Facebook | Tumblr | Bandcamp

Chipocrite:
Facebook | Bandcamp | Website

Rekcahdam:
Pulseboy (he made this!) | Website | Tumblr | Bandcamp

ChipWin-tern Bonus Spotlight: Optimus Chad

Posted by

WHOA, TWO IN ONE WEEK‽ WHAT IS THIS SHENAINGANRY‽ I’ll tell you what it is – making up for lost time. And how fortuitous that we should need to make up for lost time now, as our good friend Optimus Chad just dropped an album on Valentine’s Day. But before we get into that, let’s get to know the man behind the machine behind the chipthrash behind the music, shall we?

Chad Roose, aka Optimus Chad, is half of the team behind Datathrash Recordings, and has been putting out chiptunes for two years (“almost as long as I’ve been listening to them,” says Chad). He was actually one of the kind souls who had contacted me about my previous endeavor, the chiptune paper (some of you might remember that – if not, don’t worry, because it’s not out yet!), and as such I had a fairly in depth interview with him. I’d like to give you some excerpts from that interview now.

(more…)

ChipWin-tern Spotlight: Vince Kaichan

Posted by

Howdy kids! Welcome to the first installment of the ChipWin-tern Spotlight, where I’ll be taking a look at some artists who haven’t really been featured on our site before. Now, the more astute of you will be thinking “HEY WAIT, THAT VINCE KAICHAN GUY WAS ON THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM, YOU HACK!” And I would tell you that you are right, and possibly that you need to cut back on your caffeine consumption before going on the Internet, bucko. But yeah – our boy Vince here WAS featured with his song “Midnight Snowflake” on the chipWINter album, and you can read Andy’s review of that whole album right here. However, I really think that we need to pay some attention to Vince, because he’s laying down some great stuff, he’s mostly doing it on his own, and…oh, did I mention he’s still in highschool?

(Note: It is, realistically, beyond the means of this article to give you a full step-by-step breakdown on Vince’s discography, but what I will do is give you some information on him, and highlight some of my favorite tracks of his for you.)

Iiiin West Philadelphia, born and raised – on the playground is where he spent most of his da- oh, wait, I’m sorry, I seem to have gotten Vince mixed up with someone else, apologies. Vince hails from southern California in the general LA area. He’s entirely self-taught when it comes to the music you guys are hearing, though when he was younger he, as many of us were, was forced into music lessons. Though, forced might be a bit harsh – he clearly seemed to like it, and we can see where that’s gotten him so far. As legend goes, about ten years ago his father bought and started teaching him Cakewalk Studio, and the rest is history. He’s only really been up on the music composition end of things in the past 2-3 years, since he was introduced to Garageband, and that’s where the real meat and potatoes of our story picks up.

He originally started releasing music under the handle VCMG, which he was going to keep going with until he found out that some of the guys from Depeche Mode were going to start using a project with that name. He tried contacting them about it, but as he said, “no one listens to a kid,” so he changed his name and went about his business. And it’s a good thing he did – the stuff he’s put out since he became Vince Kaichan are markedly different, and on the whole more professional. Now, I am ABSOLUTELY not saying that his earlier stuff was in any way bad, but some of the tracks certainly seem like they’re the early attempts that they are when compared to some of his newer things. If you click that link up at the start of the paragraph, you can get to the VCMG Bandcamp – but I’m gonna yank out a few tunes I particularly like from his old stuff.

This track is so sweet. (“The only good one on that album!” says Vince.) It’s super high energy, which I enjoy, but it starts deceptively, making you think maybe it’s gonna be a slow, purposeful song and then WHAM you’re pogoing around the room like it’s the 80’s again. This song is basically like someone tried to recreate a scene out of Hamlet, but instead of pouring poison in your ears they poured caffeine. Caffeine is caffeine, is what I’m getting at. It’s a good name. Sugar Rush might have been an acceptable alternative, but then I’d just start thinking of that damned Wreck-It Ralph song, so I’m glad he went with Caffeine.

This song, off of Journey (which was the first album he released as Vince Kaichan as well as VCMG), sounds like something that with a slightly expanded audio-palette (like, on the SNES), the song would be right at home. It almost makes me think of a retrocovered Megaman X-type song, which is a good thing.

Aaaaand then we get Earthshine. This is basically my favorite track of his, period. It’s got these nice ambient vibes, but it’s still something you can bob your head to. And it pairs well with its sister track, which is super slow and relaxed.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Vince’s Soundcloud, where he’s got a bunch of stuff – not just chiptunes, I might add. As you can see from Earthshine, he’s not just on LSDJ (though that is his primary medium), he also uses a lot of SunVox to do his non-chiptune work. For his final piece for this evening:

Kazan basically clocks in at my second favorite track. I can’t even really describe what it is  about the song – I really like how it starts, and it just keeps going as awesome. It’s low energy, but keeps you interested. It makes me think of a Blade Runner-esque animation, with someone driving around some really cyberpunk city at night, and the guy driving the car is just tooling around because he’s spent the entire day punching robots in the face so he’s got to unwind. Or, y’know, something like that.

As a final note, it’s not just me who likes Vince’s music – apparently, he’s written a soundtrack to an upcoming indie game, though he’s not at liberty to talk about it much yet. Good on you, Vince! At 16, all I was doing was trying to make it through highschool and watching Cartoon Network – you’re already an officially hired musician! I expect good things from you.

Linkstorm down below. Have fun tuning those chips, kids.

\m||m/

VCMG Bandcamp
Vince Kaichan Bandcamp
Soundcloud
Facebook

VCMG