Posts Tagged ‘The Bitman’

Raw Cuts with Kuma #8: shanebro

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Hey guys! Welcome back to Raw Cuts!  You ready for another dose of interview goodness?  Well you better be because this week I bought Shane Banegas along for the ride, and he’s here to talk about whatever the hell I ask him about, because in Raw Cuts, I’m the man in charge!  So without further ado, here’s the self proclaimed generalissimo from Louisiana, shanebro!

Generalissimo Shanebro: great leader of the people's republic of moe
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Kuma:  First off, lets talk a little something that’s been bothering me.  If one were to look up chiptune on SoundCloud and stumble upon your work, they will see a little snippet from you: one that claims that you’re just starting out on your journey into chiptune.  To that I say, bullshit, good sir.  Do you know why that is?

shanebro:  Why is that!?

yes, why is that?!

Kuma:  Because you’re clearly much too talented to have just started out with this, sir!  Do you have any idea how good you are?  It’s really quite extraordinary.  Tell me, prior to chiptune, do you have any musical experience or training?

shanebro:  D’aww Kuma, you’re making blush.  I honestly have so much to go before I achieve what I REALLY want to sound like!  As far as prior experience… nope.  I have a few good friends that are musicians themselves, so I guess I’ve always been around music, from classical to death metal and everything in between.  Training?  Nope, I played the saxophone in elementary school, that’s about it.  Everything that you’re hearing is me saying in my head, “Hey this sounds good”.

Kuma:  Shane, you’re rustling my jimmies with how good you are, especially because when I look at your SoundCloud, the oldest song on there is only a year old, and its quite good too.  Although I notice its in FamiTracker, where as now you predominantly use Game Boys.  Lets talk about that for a bit: your transition musically in hardware and software, such as what you like and dislike about each, why you made the transition, etc.

shanebro:  Ahh yeah.  my old stuff… oh gawsh.

Actual photo of shane while reflecting on his earlier work

That stuff was rough, and I love going back and listening to the stuff I started out with and comparing it to what I do now.  I’ve learned so much!  Yeah, I did start out with FamiTracker.  When I first heard ‘Helix Nebula‘ by Anamanguchi, I went to Google and searched “How to make 8-bit music” and FamiTracker popped up.  I managed to find 8bc back then when it was getting ready to die, unfortunately, but I did find some great help!
FamiTracker seemed easy enough for me, but I noticed most of the “popular” chipmusic sounded way different, so I searched the depths of the internet once again and found that it was made on a program called LSDJ with a Game Boy.  The rest is history, really.

Straight up, I love LSDJ.  I can do so much [more] in a tracker program than in a DAW which I frequently messed around with previously of my chipmusic adventures, but it never stuck.  So to answer your question of why I made the transition, well it felt perfect to me! The fact that I had a toy that a lot of people discarded that could make beautiful sounds, although my sounds were hideous back then, lol!

Kuma:  Its funny to hear other people call their older work hideous, but when I listen as someone from the outside looking in, I can only hear amazing things and progress.
That being said, lets talk about some of your influences musically.  Obviously, you mentioned Anamanaguchi, and I can’t think of many in the scene who aren’t or wouldn’t be impressed with them or what they represent in terms of an ideal of success, especially with their recent triumphs with their kickstarter for Endless Fantasy and all the attention they’ve garnered since. Tell me, what and who inspire you to make the music you do, and why do you personally do it?  Is this all just for fun for you or does making music resonate on a deeper level for you?

shanebro:  Ah yes, Anamanaguchi pretty much started it all for me, and I have so much respect for them, and can’t wait to see them next month!

As for influences, well early on I listened to a TON of Chipzel!  Like all day every day!  And I would have to say Fighter X and his chaotic yet awesome way of writing really influences me, too.  Space Town Savior is also another MAJOR influence of mine.  He actually inspired most of my upcoming album.

I make chipmusic because prior to this I really haven’t accomplished much, in my opinion, so I saw this as a way to express my self in a good way.  To think people actually enjoy my music really makes me overcome with feels.  Seriously.  If you would have told me a year or so ago that I would be having my OWN set at a major event, I would have called you crazy.  It really surreal that all this is happening right now. I really love the chipmusic community.

Kuma:  I’m glad you do make this music, and I’m glad you’ve become a part of this community.  It’s certainly been a pleasure conversing with you, hanging with you, rooming with you at MAGFest.  That was fantastic, btw.  We are doing that again next year.  But getting back to the topic at hand, I can definitely hear the influences you mentioned in your music.  Especially in the song you did with softRESET, Celestial Bodies.  Tell me: of all the people you’ve worked with in chip, who have meant the most to you?  We know the ‘guch and Chipzel mean a lot to you, but of the people you’ve met and interacted with personally, who has been the biggest influence on you?  Who do you feel you owe the most to?

shanebro:  Much <3 Kuma.  MAGFest next year is gonna be awesome!
Well I’d have to say Max (The Bitman) is one of those people who I enjoyed interacting with the most.  We met last year, and road tripped to BRKFest ’12.  He sort of became my “coach” back then.  He’s been nothing but helpful whenever I had a question about LSDJ or whatever.  The chipmusic community is awesome, but there is still a tiny bit of an “elitist” in it, which is totally understandable.  Bitman and I will be working on getting an EP down with our power combined sooner or later!

I’d also have to mention Curtis (Solarbear), too.  I remember last year at BRKFest we were riding back to his house from Taco Bell, and we were talking about stuff, and I was explaining to him how nervous I would be if I would be playing at something like BRKFest.  I wondered if I would even get a chance to do that in the next 5 years or something.  He pretty much gave me some uplifting words, which obviously translated into me getting a spot for this years BRKFest, which I am just so humble to be playing at.

Kuma:  That’s awesome.  I’m glad to hear that in so short a time you’re finally getting that chance to shine.  You deserve it.  That being said, come BRKFest, your fans will definitely be expecting to hear stuff off your new album.  Let’s talk about Where Hearts and Minds Collide for a bit, shall we?  When’s it coming out?  What kinda gear did you use to make this, and was there a certain mindset, sound or emotional theme you were looking to capture while making this?

shanebro:  Yeah, I’m super pumped for this opportunity!  Where Hearts and Minds Collide will be out on June 17th for free, and I will be making a package that will include a physical CD, Poster, and shanebro sticker, so look out for that!

I used one Game Boy for the majority of the tracks, and a couple using two Game Boys in which I am totally new to, but I think they came out really well!

The mindset for this album when I had envisioned it was simple: This is my chance to shine (like you said previously).  After my first EP, I felt like I could elevate my understanding of LSDJ and certain ways to make certain sounds.  I had a bunch of help from guys like Auxcide, softRESET, and some others.  I wanted this album of 12 tracks to be something that I could be proud of, and despite at this point listening to it over and over again to the point where I want to throw my speakers out, I really think I accomplished this goal.  I want people to see that you don’t necessarily need to be Hanz Zimmer to compose music.  If you really set your mind to it, and observe what people like–and what you like, mainly–you can achieve anything.

As for an emotional theme, it would have to be euphoric.  Most of my stuff is really upbeat with a mix of really dark stuff if that makes any sense at all!

Kuma:  That certainly is an inspiring message, and considering the quality of your music thus far, I have no doubt that you’ve succeeded in this endeavor.  Will you be throwing a listening party or a doing a live performance to help promote the album?

shanebro:  There will be a a release party on 8BitX on the 17th! Otherwise, who knows? I don’t want to give it all away yet.

Kuma:  Not a problem, but I’m glad our readers and your fans will have something extra to look forward to with the release of the album.

That being said, Shane, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk shop with us.  You’re amazing, your music is amazing, and I expect only great things for you in the future no matter what you do.  Do you have anything you’d like to say to your friends, fans and our readers before we go?

shanebro:  Thank you so much Kuma!  I’d just like to say thanks to everyone who has helped me or encouraged me or even told me that my stuff is crap, and it needs to be improved.  If you want to get into chipmusic, just do it!  This community is the best, and I can say it has really changed my life since I’ve been introduced to so many people.
Much love to everyone!
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Thanks for dropping by to check out this interview.  Don’t forget to like/follow/etc. shanebro at his various social media outlets & to scoop up his pay-what-you-will album from his Bandcamp on June 17 (links below)!  Tune in next time for another quality interview with another quality chipartist.

Peace!

\m|♥|m/

communist shane

Relevant shanebro Links:
Bandcamp | SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter

Cosy By The Fireside With Andrew Kilpatrick: A ChipWINter Track-By-Track Breakdown

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SO PURDY. <3Ho-Ho-Holy Shit. If the holiday season wasn’t exciting enough, the wonderful/not-workshy/probably mentally unstable people over at Chiptunes = WIN have graced the world with the first in a series of promised themed compilations, starting with the theme of winter. Sounding like a condensed audio personification of Christmas, if this doesn’t get you in the mood for mince pies, roast dinners and eggnog (is that actually a thing or have years of US Sitcoms been lying to me?), then nothing will. You utter Grinch. So without further ado, here is where we break it down:

BR1GHT PR1MATE – Linux and Lucy
Returning for their second bout on a Chiptunes = WIN comp, James and Lydia start proceedings with a sweet and sour swirl. Delicate melodies and jazz/funk fm influences swamp the track, and coupled with sampled voices which narrate, the track jumps between sugar and spice repeatedly; the sugar hook will stay with you for eons.

Having appeared on Fox News, released the acclaimed ‘Night Animals’ earlier this year and been credited for countless game OST’s, the Br1ght Pr1mate freight train appears to be doing the very opposite of slowing. Frequent live performances and an e-performance on the upcoming uber-web-show ‘WWCW 12’, keep a look out for this duet’s fantastic live show too.

Vince Kaichan – Midnight Snowflake
Soft and subtle seem to be the thematic qualities of this compilation, and if so then ‘Midnight Snowflake’ is the template. No jarring dynamic shifts or unannounced jolts, just blissful frolicking through winter tundra and the feeling the melodies could be icicle tendrils. Harmonically robust and beautiful, this track can be added straight to Vince’s long catalogue of fantastic tracks.

With releases as VCMG on Pxl-Bot and others on Noisechannel, Vince has shed his newcomer badge long ago and has since become a well-established name in the chiptune scene. If this is your first experience of Mr. Kaichan’s work, you’re in for an early Christmas treat.

Professor Shyguy – We Three Kings
Convention frequenter and pedlar of pop rock chiptune, Professor Shyguy brings his rather nice (trying not to sound emphatically romanticised here) to a cover of ‘We Three Kings’. How Christmassy does this sound? All of the Christmas.

Not one to do things simply, the climax breaks from the mould to provide a darker and far more Pink Floyd take on the classic carol, with screeching distorted guitars and acoustic fiddling aplenty.

With a full length and a new single both released this year, you’re more than spoiled for material to keep you happy(er than you would otherwise be) over the Christmas period.

Mark ‘TDK’ Knight – Sunrise
The prolific game music composer and BAFTA winner (!) TDK is returning to grace the chip world with his masterful compositions. With a single coming out soon on the deity house that is BleepStreet Records, Mark reintroduces himself here with a chilled and icy jam that melds eastern melodies and jazz elements into a consistently surprising and enjoyable track, with frequent nods to his previous soundtrack work.

With more skills, projects and awards than I can ever hope to cover in this short passage of text, it’d be wise of you to check out the huge repertoire of this brilliant composer and sound wizard. 20 pounds if you don’t see a game you recognise.

Storm Blooper – The Stellar Dendrite
Having been around originally as Sub-Woofer Special since 2008, the reincarnation as Storm Blooper has thus far brought with it two full lengths, a single earlier this year and plenty of live performances, morphing to a more standard chiptune affair to his present day dub inspired grooveathon. And here we arrive and Blooper’s magnum opus, The Stellar Dendrite.

You’ll have noticed the emission of anything even slightly wobble-influenced (now that I’ve pointed it out) and not one to displease, Storm Blooper handles the job solo and with gusto. Whilst not a wobble track per se, the grooves and dub flirts will have you chomping at his hyper sweet bit through the pieces duration and beyond.

Glenntai – Snowfall and Snowballs
With the fondly remembered EP ‘Silly Hats Only’ from 2010 and a new EP in the works and his hands full with the planning and leader of the newly formed and already respected ‘Clipstream’, a monthly online chip festival (it is as brilliant as it sounds), seeing Glenntai’s name appear on this compilation will likely have excited many.

And here is why: complex and experimental melodic tinkering laced into an upbeat and wintery socket, carefully crafted to the smallest degree. Feeling fuller and longer than its mere four minute play time, this masterfully conceived track is a refreshing take on the hyper-happy chiptune of ye olde.

ABSRDST – Let Me Freeze
Since July ABSRDST has released the mammoth-sized ‘Home Sweet Home’, the brilliantly received and diverse ‘Sugar Blossom and the Space Cadets’ and most recently his albumette ‘Rigby Wearing Shades’. Definitely a busy fellow.

Lending his expert meanderings to chipWINter, ‘Let Me Freeze’ takes six minutes of your time to lead you through multiple genres and styles, coaxing out memorable and tightly constructed melodies at every intersection, giving the track an unparalleled flow. Building to an incredible climax with one final violently adrenaline-coaxing twist, ABSRDST sure knows how to do ‘epic’ as well if not better than most.

Daniel Capo – Frosted Over
Featured on multiple compilations including a past Chiptunes = WIN and the fantastic Perelandra Records compilation ‘Tide’, Daniel, has been carving himself a name for professional sounding and presented chilled chiptune. ‘Frosted Over’ is no different.

Mixing EQ manipulation with subtle breakbeats and sporadic melodies, ‘Frosted Over’ has an almost glitch-like quality to its wintery demeanour. The rising a falling of the backing synth’s pitch and volume help add the dreamlike qualities of the understated piano and unimposing harmonies, creating a track that truly embodies the term ethereal.

Jay Tholen – Justice Delivers Its Death
There is a lot to say about Mr. Tholen. The prolific progressive rock and chiptune connoisseur has graced labels as respected as Pause and Ubiktune, with plenty, and I mean plenty, of self-released pieces in between. With his game Dropsy in development under the Tendershoot studio name, Tholen is truly a man of many talents.

And creating catchy chipfolk is one of said talents. Backed by female vocalist(s), the slow crescendo of chiptune and acoustic builds to a tightly woven and emotional end. The lyrics, whilst at times slightly unsettling in an obviously deliberate way, work cohesively with the music to create Tholen’s truly unique and remarkable atmosphere and style.

Vegas Diamond – The Ghost Of Christmas Dance
Featured on the Spanish equivalent of 8bitpeoples, LowToy, Vegas Diamond’s bittersweet jams having begun to tease the ears of chiptune fans everywhere, and here is no different.
Scales flow over each other jumping from major to minor to create that bittersweet tinge of sweet and sour. Starscream (Infinity Shred/Whatever) influenced chords rain from this, sending astral snow into your speakers (I’ve always said the line between space and ice themed is only a contextual one). Featuring one of the most memorable melody and chord progression dualities on this compilation, Vegas Diamond has continued their thus far unblemished record for great music.

The Bitman – Next Stop, Detroit
Visitor on the release pages of Noisechannel and with two other Eps under his belt, Bitman’s dance LSDJ boogies this time go for winter’s thorax. Pulsating drums and scales carry the first half of the track gracefully, before the mid-break switches up the formula into a wide-eyed melodic call and response as scales dance around each other in a hypnotic cycle. Memorable 3/4 hooks and dragging drums help the track stand out from the LSDJ pack, and dissonant bleeps help create and uneasily sub-zero atmosphere. Apparently Detroit is cold this time of year.

shanebro – A Chipwinter Stroll
Winter drum pumps fill the space left between the rising and falling scales of the tracks beginning. Flowering into a melodic to and fro with the beats, Shanebro spends the rest of the track experimenting with constantly shifting melodies and brief motif reprisals. The mid-drum break has a real 80s ad-vibe about it, primed to tug at the nostalgia toggles on anyone’s hearts.

With the release ‘The Sky Is Ours’ over on Noisechannel and a full length in the works, look out for this up-and-comer taking over this place.

an0va – Christmas Time Is Here
Frequenting stages in the US and teasing the general populace with only one released EP thus far, the fantastic ‘The Teaching Machine’, an0va is already a well-known name and unique talent in the chiptune field.

‘Christmas Time Is Here’ starts, sounding eerily similar to a lost song from The Snowman soundtrack, an0va uses a blend of chiptune, guitar and expert atmospheric control to create an audio personification of the festive season. Even before the jazz guitar begins, the track’s slow lounge croon carries the listener, only heightened by the presence of lucid and fluid guitar playing.

Kubbi – Polar Bear Rides
Chiptunes = WIN’s very own Master Of The Tracklisteh provides another track for another compilation in the wake of his fourth full length release, ‘ Circuithead’. With a progressive twist to the melodically founded chiptune, these 80’s-esque synths bring to mind Drive during the winter months, snow drifting and cold stares. Melancholic and with the spirit of the festive months etched into its psyche with great force, this winter paradise stands out starkly in Kubbi’s extensively eclectic as another choice cut.

If you enjoyed this track, definitely check out his other release from this year, ‘Sleet’, and last year’s full length ‘Transmittance’.

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WHILEYOU’REATIT, check out my spr dpr seksay chip netlabel
The Waveform Generator RIGHT HERE.

chipWINter TEASER MIX FTW~ 8)

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Thanks to a last second favor of BADASSERY by the always awesome Andrew Kilpatrick, WHO WANTS A QUICK TEASER MIX OF ALL 13 chipWINter TRACKS TO TICKLE YOUR EARHOLES WITH??!?!? ;DDD

To hear the *ENTIRE* delightful release, be sure to join us for the chipWINter release party on Monday night, December 10th, at 9pm EST on the 8 Bit Power Hour on 8bitx!! The frosty compilation will be available shortly thereafter to download on the ChipWIN Bandcamp!!

chipWINter is near!! GET EXCITED~!!!! ^_^

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A Chat With The Bitman

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Sup y’all? =) Hoodie here. Got something a bit different for you this time. My last videogamedj.com Friday Freakout (11/16) was a write-up on The Bitman & his latest chipalbum “Epic Elevator Music“. During the course of writing it, I asked him for a few thoughts, comments on the album, etc. to include in the article to give it a little extra color. Instead THIS is what I got: an hour’s worth of quality chat & awesome stories. Too much to use in the FF write-up, but way too damn cool to keep to myself. Enjoy~ \m||m/

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Brandon Hood aka Hoodie: Mostly, just give me some thoughts on this album in general. How you feel about it as a whole, the tracks, what inspired it, etc. Talk about it a bit. I’ll grab a few of those thoughts and stick ’em in there as they work. =D

Max Dolensky aka The Bitman: Alright.

Hoodie: More or less, talk about your music a bit. More informal than an interview. Just whatever you think/feel. =D

Bitman: The first tracks for the album started in late March. I had just banged out a decent EP for Noisechannel after “owning up to my stupid newb claim” that i could write 10 good minutes of music in 10 days. I took a three week hiatus from writing, and reflected on that EP. I was disgusted by it for a while. I said to myself “it’s not melodic enough, the chord progressions are boring, it’s too… plain…”

So I started the song that became “Southern Shuffle Scuffle,” mostly just nailing down the atmosphere with the string-bass style WAV and noise channel being a detuned pitch for musical effect.

Next up was “Blue Beat,” seeing as the last song I had produced with a Latin feel “Let It Slide, Humbug” from my Nimbus album was a bit of a failure though it showed so much potential. It, like the other songs, wasn’t strong or had a catchy hook but not much else.
So I strode to make a funky bassline, and then slap a cool syncopated Latin line on top of it. I’d say it is almost as simple as my earlier works, but overall the atmosphere and sound design lend themselves well to the simplicity.

At this point in like late April, the noisechannel crew was throwing some sort of streaming/show your WIP’s party. I played these two songs, in chunks, and was greeted with praise from the likes of Mikee and Freque, as well as Awesome Force and Nic (later to be known as Protoflight). That was the first bit of the catalyst.

Then, for a brief 3 month period, I bothered to freshen up my skills in Ableton Live, and continue producing tracks in LSDJ. In Ableton I played with lots of rock and dubstep sort of things, as well as hip hop and jazz. I wound up making a conceptual track “Mourning Glory” that was very doom-esque in atmosphere, featuring instrumentation by myself on euphonium and trombone in addition to my chip roots.

During this time, I was home from college for the summer working at a children’s summer camp by day, and DJ’ing by night. Occasionally I would visit the only open mic open to under-21’s in my part of Alabama – a bluegrass open mic. This open mic inspired me to write a sort of blue-grassy track called “Boom Shakalaka,” drawing upon my Southern upbringing. I remember going onstage and playing the track for the 25 or so people, and getting a few jaws to drop. It’s hard competing against greybeards who have been playing fiddle, guitar, and mandolin for longer than you’ve been alive, but I feel like I held my ground okay.

Hoodie: hahaha That’s awesome!! Sorry, man. Just the thought of that. HEROIC STATUS.

Bitman: I was very moved by the lovely scenery here in Alabama, the mountains and forests, etc. This song started the small trilogy within the album.

Then, I worked on a few other tracks, most of which I have backed up and left to rot on my hard drive for now. I was hoping to pump out some fresh tunes for BRKfest.

BRKfest was a curious thing – I basically had to plead for shanebro to come so I could bum a ride off of him. I had contacted Solarbear countless weeks before I even dropped 10 Day EP, promising I’d have better music, and he put me in on the roster. My parents were not thrilled. haha Unfortunately, we both had overprotective mothers, who were concerned that we would go partying/getting drunk/have public sex/smoke pot/never come home, or whatever. So Shane’s mom and grandfather went with us to Lexington, Shane’s family leaving from New Orleans and picking me up in Birmingham.

We went to BRKfest, and apparently this is where I made a name for myself. In these two days I grew up more as a person and musician than I had in my whole life.

Shane and I talked a bit about LSDJ, Gameboys, and music theory (something Shane still isn’t strong in formally, but he has amazing ears, I dare say better than mine) for the long 8 or so hour drive. Shane was one of the first people to comment on my tracks back when I first started chiptune. There’s nothing better than feeling like your travel companion is like your biggest fan. He and his family were kind and made the trip extremely nice. :)

We got to Lexington, and I stand alongside the likes of SMILETRON, Nestrogen, and Kitsch at his table outside Al’s Bar, the venue for the first night. It’s like getting to be backstage at a rock concert, to a degree.

I went to Kitsch’s table, and bought a bunch of gear (including the first clear cases to be formally sold, he signed my battery cover :3) We discussed the quint, Gameboy programming, and even his upcoming projects. He was floored by what I knew (apparently), and we made sure to talk a lot. We still message and email a few times per month.

The first night I did not play, but instead I was blown away by artist after artist. The next night, I had to follow Saskrotch. Of all artists, one of the thrashiest dudes ever. I was all like “Oh crap, what do I do? I know, Saskrotch is such a troll on chipmusic.org. I will write a parody of Eye of the Tiger, and totally diss chipmusic.org since I don’t like the site.”

This is where I finally grew up.

I didn’t know all the words to my parody by heart, so I grabbed my trombone and played along after failing through the first verse verbally. So I just kind of opened with Eye of the Tiger Possibly the funniest thing to do after following a massive artist.

Hoodie: hahhahhahha You ARE my hero for that!!

Bitman: From there I played some songs, and my stage fright was getting the best of me. I was playing songs I wasn’t too fond of, from my older releases. Then, my soul sister PANDAstar got onstage. She and I danced, and got the crowd moving. I finally believed in my music a bit because someone else really did.

Hoodie: -grins and listens-

Bitman: It was then I said “Screw it. I’m playing you guys some new material. It will blow you away.” And this is where, according to Kitsch, I made chip history:

I played “Mourning Glory” live.

Hoodie: Oh shi-

Bitman: Mic’d trombone, everything. And no one saw it coming. A flat 109 beats per minute doom-jazz-ballad. Booming out of the ridiculous rented speakers.

Hoodie: hahahahah

Bitman: People were confused at first.
And then, they began to sway.
Then, the drunk couples made out.
Then, so did the sober ones.

Hoodie: hahahaha

Bitman: And there I was, serenading them with my greasy trombone tone (I am more of a New-Orleans swing guy than I am bebop or classical, in terms of sound and style). It was then I had balls, and they were eating out of my hand.

Hoodie: I can tell! I *LOVE* that style of jazz. Christian Scott = my favorite jazz artist. A trumpet player, but still, similar brass style

Bitman: So, it only made sense. I was in Kentucky. The blue grass state.

Hoodie: Uh huh.

Bitman: So I booted up Boom Shakalaka, the song I had played at the open mic earlier.

Hoodie: hahaha

Bitman: And I said to the crowd that this was a bluegrass-dub tune. And I left the thing in song mode, having fun, and stealing every glance at the dumbstruck smile on Roboctopus’s face. I regret nothing. Seeing the approval of one of my 3 idols (the other two being Danimal Cannon and Zef) gave me immediate gratification.

And then something else happened. Everyone started getting on stage. Like, Hunterquinn, andarugo, a very drunk datacats, and Mikee. And Curtis told me I had one song left.
So I played my one “banger” Joel the Cube master, a slow-thrash at 160 BPM, taking the audience through power rips and rumbling wubs. At that point, shirts were off, and even Curtis was a bit speechless.

Hoodie: hahhahhah

Bitman: Literally, Pandastar, Curtis and I were the basically only people onstage with shirts.

HoodieBeautiful.

Bitman: And I asked Curtis if I could close with a 1 minute singalong. So, I booted up my cover of Party Rock Anthem.We had fun singing through the first segment of the song, and I cut to my super-secret dubstep drop. Then all the shirts should have been off (Curtis and Pandastar remained modest) and hunterquinn threw his, and it got caught in the rafters of the bar.

Hoodie: Perfect!

Bitman: Mikee got my trombone and used it to fish the shirt down (I had to pick him up, poor dude is super short). Video evidence of hunter’s shirt being in the rafters is on Youtube here. After that, it occurred to me that these people really cared about my music, theirs, and really everyone.

Later that night, around 3AM, BRkfest’s sound guy had an afterparty at his basement. So Shane and I went. We were due to leave at 5 AM to head home. So, KKrusty played this epic cover of “The Final Countdown,” and I was there with my DMG and my trombone. We made eye contact. He nodded at me, I put the horn up, and took a solo in C blues, matching the song’s key of C minor. Apparently it was really good. I don’t remember much of it. xD People went ape for it, I was barely lucid, sleep wasn’t something they had a lot of at BRKfest.

Then it was my turn to play. So, I booted up my last unplayed song of the whole festival, my thrash cover of “The Pretender” by the Foo Fighters. I played along on trombone, soloed, hit the high notes. I had time to shake hands, pack my horn up, and hoof it to Curtis’s in time for Shane’s mom to pick us up. I fell asleep before we left Lexington, and I woke up 15 minutes away from home in Birmingham. After that, I took a songwriting break until I moved in to college.

Within a month I had laid foundation for all my other songs, and I was contemplating releasing an EP with horns. What ended up happening was me getting involved in two pep bands, the marching band, a jazz group, all while balancing basically 18 hours of classes and a girlfriend. So I decided to milk a single LSDJ release for all I could, since one Gameboy was all I could carry with me around campus and use at any time. I was listening to tons of Danimal Cannon’s “Roots” and Roboctopus’s “Victory Lapse” at this time.

Hoodie: Excellent releases! A couple of my favorites, no doubt.

Bitman: By late September, I had finished all the songs except for Roboctocephalopod and Appalachian Wanderer. Those two were special. I originally wrote Robo’s song as an attempt to emulate Robox’s style. Instead I made a similarly atmospheric piece to his tracks with a rich bass solo and simple Pulse channel accents and melodies. It reeked of his influence, so it was named after him.

Hoodie: Yeah, I can totally hear the nod to Michael, but you still made it yours just the same.

Bitman: The other song, Appalachian Wanderer, was my attempt at envisioning Robox making dubstep.

Hoodie: Awesome.

Bitman: I wrote it in about 4 hours on a bus while I was in Tennessee with the marching band, and I again got to see the Appalachian mountains and all the lovely Fall leaves that I had seen in July on my way to Lexington for BRKfest.

Hoodie: Absolutely beautiful part of the country, especially in the fall. Very striking, inspirational scenery, no doubt about it.

Bitman: The hardest thing about the album though – was labeling it with a name and a genre. Or genres.

Hoodie: It isn’t one! haha Wildly varying styles! Part of what makes it great.

Bitman: I settled on “Epic Elevator Music” because it plays off of “common” elevator music stereotypes – easy listening latin, bluegrass, jazz, and electronic ambience. From there, it was a matter of dealing with the fact that all of my releases sound wildly different. Nimbus was very “my-first-album-09-glory-days-like” for chiptune, while Ten Day EP was grungy WAV-tastic stuff like what was “cool” in the chipstep-sort of area, but lacking in melodic movement for the most part.This release, I feel is a bit ahead of itself. It all fits in terms of general sound design, attention to detail, and duration.

The one song I left out – Solemn – is very special & is included on the album almost by accident. Shanebro and I have been working on a collaborative 1xLSDJ project called “Ikalyde”. Much like how Frostbyte and Kedromelon joined forces to make iamclouD, we are literally building upon each other’s works to make a tag-team album.

Hoodie: Love shanebro. Definitely approve of this pairing

Bitman: We had talked about this long before “The Sky Is Ours” saw release, probably a whole 7 weeks or so (which is actually a pretty long time in our work). We basically worked on two songs in quick succession, trying to produce a theatrical chip album telling the story of two aliens coming to earth in the early 1910’s.The styles starts out aggressive and synthy, but when their space ship is knocked off course by something unknown, they hurtle through the universe towards earth where they are greeted by organic things represented as acoustic instruments, and swing, which will be featured in the EP. The aliens then change mankind’s perception of music with a jamming radio broadcast, exposing man to electronic unce. From there, we track the progression of rock and roll, blues, bebop, metal and trance in man’s attempt to replicate the music of the aliens. Eventually, the aliens leave, and man almost forgets about the music, until one day earth’s electronics receive interference, and receive the music once more. Given the technology we have today, the humans literally are called and respond with their simple electronic music (chiptunes). Our dream is to eventually have it animated as a 18 minutes short or something.

Shanebro included “Shut Up and Fight” on his EP, so I decided to include “Solemn” on my release to complement it. From there, we have no more finished songs, but it is up and coming.

Here’s what you can look forward to from me in the future – an almost-exclusively Ableton EP with doom jazz and chip, a collab on a chipstep tune with Ballooonbear, and Ikalyde will come back strong this spring and possibly appear as a joint act at BRKfest. I also have a Christmas song in the works. I’m a busy guy. haha Sorry if I typed way too much. xD

Hoodie: NO. Apology not accepted. haha

Bitman: lol
To be honest, we need a full BRKfest writeup. So much epic.

Hoodie: I would give you a fucking bear hug right about now if I could. hahahah Good stuff man! My adventures & experiences within both the VGM and chipscenes the past few years are filled with similar goodness. I won’t even get started on that because then we’ll be here all night and I’ve gotta finish these writeups. hahaha

Bitman: I’m a bit frustrated with myself for being in this scene for a year and a half, and just now starting to get some real traction, but it’s good to see I’m moving into the scene a bit more. Currently I am getting ready to take a song writing break for a few months after I am done with this stuff.

Hoodie: I’d say you’ve figured out a really good pace for that. Should work out just fine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And that sums it up! Hope you enjoyed the read as much as I did! I have a feeling it won’t be the last of them in this style. ;)

Also, if you’ve yet to check out The Bitman’s chipjams, here’s a solid bevy of links to help you fix that pronto:

http://thebitman.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theBitman

Clipstream II: YOU’RE WELCOME.

Posted by

Livestreaming chipmusic performances are fun. Seen quite a handful of ’em myself by this point and I’ve enjoyed ’em all! One thing I haven’t seen, however, is…

20+ OF THEM IN A ROW ALL IN ONE DAY!!!

If you’re interested in this CERTIFIABLY INSANE idea (I approve of it of course ;3 ), then Glenntai & Co. may have something for you this Saturday with…

CLIPSTREAM II

Starting with a pre-show at 12:30pm EST (-5 GMT), there’ll be
12+ hours of live-streaming chipmusic by a virtual cornucopia of crazetastic chipartists!! TOO MUCH GOODNESS to miss out on!!

And to push this ridicuWIN over the top (as if it needed any help ;3 ), at the halfway point i.e. the ChipWINtermission (GLENNTAI MADE UP THAT PUNTASTIC NAME!! THROW TOMATOES AT HIS FACE, NOT MINE~ ♥), there will absolutely be a brief apperance by my crazy self, aka President Hoodie, & my jawharp.

Possibly/likely/absolutely some jawharp/kazoo/beer bottle/wuttehhellevar-else-we-can-find-laying-around shenanigans w/Glenntai will ensue?? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT~ 8}

AT ANY RATE, tune in to the Clipstream Ustream channel this Saturday and catch all of the chipinsanity!! Gonna be GOOD TIMES FOR SURE.

\m||m/

FULL SCHEDULE:

TIME (EST [-5 GMT]) – ARTIST

  • 12:30 PM – Pre-Show with Glenntai
  • 1 – Whitely
  • 1:30 – MikeeTV
  • 2 – NickelPUNK
  • 2:30 – 9-Heart
  • 3 – Auxcide
  • 3:30 – Coosh
  • 4 – Vegas Diamond
  • 4:30 – Kloudygirl
  • 5 – Parallelis
  • 5:30 – dsv101
  • 6 – Electric Children
  • 6:30 – Boaconstructor
  • 7 – Awesome Force
  • 7:30 – Chip=Win-termission
  • 8 – NEStrogen
  • 8:30 – sp00ked
  • 9 – S.P.R.Y.
  • 9:30 – Glenntai
  • 10 – CompyCore
  • 10:30 – Aeros
  • 11 – Treyfrey
  • 11:30 – Roboctopus
  • 12 AM  -Cheapshot
  • 12:30 AM – AFTERPARTY! CCDM, PandaSTAR, The Bitman…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fb event – https://www.facebook.com/events/463937630296232/

Ustream channel – http://www.ustream.tv/channel/CLIPSTREAM