Posts Tagged ‘Something New’

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!

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The President’s Manifesto: Beer & Chip Vol.4

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Weeeeelp, looks like it’s that time of the month again! Of course, I’m talking about some good ole beer & chiptune commentary with me, Prez Hoodie! =D

So turn up your speakers & grab your favorite drinking glass, and let’s get on with my seasonally appropriate December selections:

Dansk Mjød Viking Blod & Kubbi.

Yup. That’s right. This month I’m deviating from my normal selection of a beer type to review and instead featuring a Nordic honeywine (aka mead). All in honor of the Norwegian wonder Kubbi, of course (more on that cat further in).

Viking Blod

In all truth, my quest began not for mead but for a bottle of akvavit/aquavit, a traditional flavored Scandinavian spirit often imbibed around the holiday season, which Kubbi recommended that I sample. Whilst I had no luck finding that imported drink in my region of Podunk, Arkansas, I did fortunately stumble upon a bottle of Dansk Mjød’s Viking Blod in the search. A more than worthy substitution to incorporate in this Skyrim-esqe pairing.

The front label describes Viking Blod as “Nordic honeywine with hibiscus and hops added”. If this seems like an interesting combination of ingredients, it’s because it is.

I’ve sampled a couple varieties of mead before, but never one with a gorram flower added to it! As one might expect, it adds a notable floral element to the already rather complex flavor. Combined with the hops and honeyed sweetness, it brings an almost ginger like aftertaste to the drink. It’s certainly… different, but undeniably quite nommy!

mead hoodieSeeing as how this is a fairly unique beverage, I for once followed all of the back label’s suggested methods of imbibing (which also includes an interesting, albeit brief historical account of mead!). Quaffing both on the rocks and in a slightly chilled glass served it well (with chilled glass being the superior method), although my #1 recommendation would be to drink it thoroughly heated. It turns Viking Blod into a delightful winter beverage akin to something like wassail, perfect for warming the insides as Jack Frost howls fiercely outside (or, in my case, maybe stirs up a chilly little breeze here and there…). I could also see it used to great affect in cooking, particularly a reduction with pork or a really tasty ham glaze. Heeeeeeeey Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip Mooooooooooooooooom!! ;)

The internet is quite fond of Viking Blod as well! For instance, Ratebeer.com gives it a 92 overall score, accompanied by a multitude of favorable reviews. My summation would have to be something along the lines of, “YOU CAN TASTE THE FORESTS OF NORWAY IN EACH GORRAM SIP.” Yup, that’ll do. ;)

Kubbi sez, “Gi meg mjød!”

Moving onto the equally complex & delicious chipartist known to the internetz as Kubbi, we find just as delectable a sonic treat for the ears.

Quite the prolific artist, Kubbi has both a thorough & musically diverse discography spanning the past three years. While his initial forays in 2010 were primarily found on cm.o & the now defunct 8bc, the bulk of his releases can be found in the form of singles on Soundcloud and EPs and full length albums on Bandcamp. And just so you know, every single gorram track is worth indulging in.

To give a little background on his compositional methods, Kubbi uses the tracker inspired DAW Renoise to create his chipmusic, and employs a solid library of samples that he’s collected & tweaked over the years. His goto plug-ins include YMCK’s Magical 8bit PlugPlogue Chipsounds & U-he Zebra, all of which he highly recommends. Although on his more recent releases he also incorporates the talented guitar-work of Jonas Dam (featured on ‘Gas Powered EP’  & ‘Something New’) & the beautiful vocals of Live-Andrea Rasch (on tracks “Concrete” & “Circuithead”), further fleshing out the already dynamic soundscapes found in his music.

It’s no secret: 2012 was definitely the most prolific year of Kubbi’s career thus far, during which he released three different full length albums (Transmittance‘, ‘Sleet‘, & ‘Circuithead‘). While all three merit a good solid listen/download/purchase, ‘Circuithead’ is probably the most standout among the three (note the “probably” snuck in there, as dammit, they’re all quite standout!). It’s the most cohesive release among them, sounding almost like a concept album of a sort. Although to be honest, there’s an overarching theme/feel of wistful melancholy and driven determination interwoven into most of his music. Maybe it’s natural by-product of drinking mead & practicing dragonshouts in the snowy mountains of Norway all the time, I don’t know. ;)

While 2013 has been a bit slower in terms of quantity (blame university & his work both sequencing and helping judge ChipWIN Volume 2…), the quality has continued to increase even more. His latest release, ‘Gas Powered EP‘, deservingly garnered attention from the very folk that it was both inspired by and dedicated to; it earned a direct shout-out from Cade of Cartoon Hangover and made it into a preview trailer of a Bravest Warriors episode! Pretty damn amazing.

Regarding recent singles of note are his fantastic Renovation Mixes. They’re essentially re-instrumentations of some of his previous works, and really do breathe new light into the tracks. There are only three at the moment, but I have a feeling that’ll change in the coming months.

Kubbi’s latest single “Something New” does an excellent job of displaying the current state of his musical evolution & where he’s aiming for; it combines his signature chip stylings with an even more grand & ethereal, almost orchestral sound-set. Check it out right here:

To kick off 2014 with a MAGnificent bang, Kubbi is debuting his first live performance with both Jonas & Live at MAGFest 12. If you’d like to catch a very rare treat (and who wouldn’t?!?) make sure to get your ass to MAGFest & come down for the Saturday Midnight Chiptune Blowout! That alone is gonna be worth the trip to MAG this year!

Seriously, I could write endlessly about this exceedingly talented young chipartist. Everything he composes is simply extraordinary; each track takes you on a fantastic journey as you listen to & experience it. All that and the fact that, well…
HE’S DONE A LOTTA STUFFS!! :O All the same, whether you’re a fan of chipmusic or not, Kubbi has something to offer you.

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He’s certainly offering something here, #KNOWWUTIMEAN? 8)

And this finishes up yet another edition of my monthly beer & chip specials! Here’s hoping you’ve enjoyed the read, the delightful Kubbi-music referenced in it (a handful of his music embedded below!), and are fortunate enough to stumble across a chance to sample this very tasty beverage (maybe I’ll bring a flask to MAGFest 12 for this very purpose. Who knows? ;).

Merry Chipmas & much \m||m/,
President Hoodie

Kubbi:
Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Dansk Mjød Viking Blod | Ratebeer.com entry

C=W logo redux (larger)