Posts Tagged ‘video game covers’

Aydan Appreciates: ‘The Best of DDRKirby(ISQ) – Volume 2’

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DDRKirby(ISQ) has composed an absolutely obscene amount of quality tunes over the past decade and a half, and is a long-standing member of both the OCRemix and chipmusic communities. Predominantly composing music for a series of themed game competitions called the ‘Ludum Dare’ series, DDRKirby(ISQ) and friends have created dozens of these small, entertaining, browser-based games. With this competition being held once every six months, a colossal amount of material has been composed; DDRKirby(ISQ) has graciously compiled what they consider to be their best hits over the past few years. From video game remixes to original compositions, the album is simply packed full of memorable music!

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Clover Chain Reacts To: Purely Grey – ’27’

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On January 11th, 1992, Alex Soborov was born. Since then, he has made dozens and dozens of chiptune tracks and other music as Purely Grey and, previously, Twistboy. He has contributed to Chiptunes = WIN as both a musician and a judge, and he’s run a family-owned (aren’t they too cute?!) netlabel called Tracked for chiptune releases and cassette tapes for nearly three years now. In 2018, Alex released a track every single week, and on January 11th, 2019, many of them were put together to form ’27’, a celebration of Soborov’s 27th year on this earth. Supposedly. Based on this music, he may have been studying the arts somewhere else, learning another plane’s stellar wisdom.

Bursting with clarity, consistency, and an endearing freshness to it, ’27’ is shaping up to be my favorite album released this year, and I’m saying that in February. It’s full of enthusiastic decisions, delicious instrumentation, fun harmonies, interesting melodies, gutsy and smart rhythm, and an integral originality in how each track is structured and how they bounce off one another.

Let’s start at the ending.

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Aydan Appreciates: ‘Highly Responsive to FM’ by +tek

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Of the many unique bullet hell shooters available to players of this niche, arcade-style genre, none are more iconic than ZUN’s completely self-published, long-running Touhou series. Lovable characters, simple controls, and phenomenal boss fights are just a few things that make these games so popular among their thousands of players. However, almost more iconic than the characters themselves is the music. Over time, many tracks have made their rounds through the ears of countless listeners and have become beloved by many. Chiptuners such as Kommisar and HertzDevil have covered a large amount of Touhou music on LSDj and FamiTracker to great success. However, +tek takes these covers to a new realm by porting the music over to an FM synthesis chip and putting their own twist on it. So let’s see what all the fuss is about this phenomenal new release!

Let it be noted that these tracks all loop once; at about the halfway point of each song, you’ll notice that the song restarts smoothly. I suggest that the tracks be listened to in their entirety. During boss fights in the Touhou series, the music would continue looping until the very end of the stage. Keep that feeling and hold it close!

highly responsive to fm

Reimu poses for ‘Highly Responsive to FM’s’ album art…how sweet!

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The Post-MAG MAG-packed MAGFest 13 Post

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The UK may have Superbyte, the Netherlands may have EINDBAAS, but here near the United States’ capital, we have a little thing called MAGFest, and we like to think it does alright.  While many of you came out and attended MAGFest with us from all over the globe (attendance surpassed 17,000 people this year!), I know there are many of you who were not able to. And if I’m honest with you, even those of us who DID go couldn’t have gone to everything that there was to do there unless the Ministry of Magic had given out Time Turners to the lot of us. That’s where this post comes in – I’ve done my best to assemble all the links, videos and pictures of the most happening happenings to have happened. Those of you who remember my Post-PAX PAX Post should be familiar with how I’m going to format this: As this was the Music and Gaming Festival, we’re going to have a #Music and a #Gaming section as well as a #Closing Thoughts, tagged as such for easy navigation within the post.

Pictured: Adam Martinez, Hot 'n Ready for MAGFest

Are you Hot ‘n Ready for this? Kuma is.

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Hoodie Highlights… Stemage!

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Sup y’all? =) It’s President Hoodie here again with yet another edition of my Hoodie Highlights interview column! Today’s an extra special version (to me at least), as I’m interviewing both one of my favorite people and closest friends in this crazy amalgamate of different, yet related scenes. In all honesty, he’s pretty much the primary reason I’m involved in any/all of this delightful insanity (thank or/and curse him appropriately). Everyone welcome to the pages of The ChipWIN Blog, Mr. Grant Henry aka Stemage!

beer bottle guitar grant

Grant “Beer Bottle Slide” Henry


Hoodie: HEYA GRANT! To kick things off, give me a quick rundown of what/how/why/where/when/who you are. And… GO!!

Stemage: WHAT: I’m Stemage – a yo-yo enthusiast that dabbles in music production, arranging, and songwriting.
HOW: Coffee and beer – one usually followed by the other.
WHY: I HAVE NO IDEA HELP ME.
WHERE: I live on the west coast, but my music lives mostly on the internet. So, EVERYWHERE.
WHO: I go by Grant Henry in real life. I want to be a chip musician when I grow up, but I only know how to play guitar and drums. That doesn’t help my cause. Or, I’m lazy and new instruments scare me.

Howzat?

Hoodie: hahahah Perfect.

And welp, guess that wraps things up! Great interview btw. See you next time!

Stemage: THANKS HOODIE! Always a pleasure!

That would actually be hilarious (to end the interview now). But not so informative

Hoodie: ….don’t give me good/bad ideas like that. :3

Stemage: Start by stating your name: John. Well thanks for stopping by! lol

Hoodie: Start a new interviewing fad. I LIKE IT. Makes my column a helluva lot quicker to prep too. (y)

Maybe next time, though. People might actually care to read what you have to say. ;)

Speaking of that, music, video games, Metroids, MAGFest, wut? How in the spaghetti-os did you get involved in all of these crazy worlds and/or become a wizard at music/audio engineering/beer?

Stemage: Well, you start arranging metal Metroid music on a Tascam 8-track.

tascam-portastudio-464-312899

Humble beginnings.

Then all these conventions start happening, and I meet so many musicians that are better than me at everything. As a bonus, it turns out they are all nice people. Then you get inspired and push yourself. Then you start collaborating, and things will spin out of control.

Years later, I’m still writing, arranging, and offering my services (yo-yo if required) to people and their projects.

I’m still working on the whole “stop time” thing, so I can finish all the pet projects that are in my head.

Oh, and beer. Definitely beer.

Hoodie: Was about to say. You forgot something. ;)

Can I admit that none of what you said sounds crazy anymore? It all sounds absolutely, perfectly reasonable. haha Kinda, sorta everyone/everything within all of this is inspirational.

Stemage: The years and events are all sort of jumbled in my head, but here we are. Ya know?

Hoodie: Yeah, I do (I think?). o.O

Any particular highlights worth sharing/reminiscing here? And I realize this question is terribly unfair, because there’ve been a lot, lot, LOT of them at this point. haha

…seriously, I ask this thinking that it’s WAY more fair than a quick timeline request, but on second thought it may be even harder. Sorries. :3

Stemage: – Playing Metroid Metal with Chunkstyle at MAGFest for the first time (never thought that would happen)
– Writing a soundtrack for a video game (never thought that would happen)
– Feeling confident enough to arrange the entire TRON soundtrack by ear (never thought that would happen)
Writing a song with Manami Matsumae, the composer of Mega Man (never thought that would happen)
– Mastering a chiptune album containing some of my favorite songwriters (never thought that would happen)
– Never thought that would happen (never thought that would happen)

What happened?

Hoodie: I dunno. Never thought about it.

metroid grant head

Metroid: “OMNOMNOM” Grant: “Wuh happun?”

Hoodie: Obviously, you’re still going strong & there’s more highlights to come.
New IRL location, but as busy as ever from what I hear. Even mastering chiptunes nowadays. WTF!?

Stemage: WTFN? (why the fuck not)

I LOVE CHIPTUNES. I’m not in a place to learn a new instrument, so mastering some makes me feel like a part of the scene. It’s in innest of the in crowds. Ya dig?

Hoodie: I DIG. And WTFN is a good a reason as any in my book!

Had a feeling the Solarbear gig would open doors for you there (& what a way to open it; HELLUVA ALBUM!!). Just made all the sense.

Stemage: Solarbear is my familiar.
He goes with me everywhere now.
He won’t leave.
But he’s charming.

Hoodie: And that makes even MORE sense.

But seriously, it does. Prog is basically, like, your essence, right?
You don’t have to answer that. I already know it’s true.

Stemage: I’ve never been to Prague, but I love their music yes.

Hoodie: See, I didn’t see that one coming. Mostly because I’ve always pronounced the place as “Prayguh”. I’m southern. It happens.

Stemage: Like the spaghetti sauce? YUM.

Hoodie: No, that’s “praygoe”. Typing things out phonetically is kinda tough.

Stemage: keighnda tuff
keighnduh tuff

Hoodie: Keira Knightley?

Stemage: Yes she makes great Chiptunes.

Hoodie: And spaghetti sauce.

Stemage: ……………………

Hoodie: ………………………

grant pjs

Wears the V.2 shirt so well. Almost as well as the TMNT bottoms

Important question:

Is the yo-yo thing legit?

Because that shit is haaaaaaaaard. I tried learning tricks as a kid. Only ended up breaking things in the rooms I was practicing in. Bad times.

Stemage: I have a few go-tos, but yeah, I can yo-yo. Like an old man though, not the new kids. The latest generation of yo-ers are NUTS.

Hoodie: Yeah, they’re basically martial artists using yo-yos as their weapon of choice. I wouldn’t fuck with ’em. Nosirree.

Stemage: I admire them, but I do plan on killing them all.

Hoodie: You… should probably stick to music. Because they would eat you alive.

Speaking of music, what’s in the pipeline? Anything you can talk about? Or is it all classified “I could tell you but I’d have to kill you” kinda stuff?

Besides chipWINter Wonderland, of course, which comes out TOMORROOOOOW!

Stemage: Everything I’m working on is classified CIA KGB shit, but I don’t have a problem being fired. I’ve actually been doing lots of contributions recently. I just recently moved into a new place, so the full studio is still being set up. But I’m playing guitar all over Keiji Yamagishi’s new album (Ninja Gaiden composer) as well as some guitar projects for Cartoon Network. I’ve also got some original music in the works as well as other collabs, oddities and arrangements. I’m also curating a new album – something I’ve always wanted to do! That is finally getting started.

I also just finished restoring a cocktail pinball machine from ’89, and I’ll be dammed if those late 80s pinball sound chips aren’t the best damn thing. They sound like variations of the FM chip. PINBALL HAS CHIPTUNES TOO YA KNOW.

I really need to quit playing The Crew and get my new website up. Dammit. I feel like “life” is a WIP at this point.

Hoodie: But life is a WIP, right? I mean, nobody really wants it to be finished, yanno? Or perfected. That’d be boring & stuff.

BOOM. DEEP PHILOSOPHICAL SHIT RIGHT OUTTA NOWHERE.

Stemage: BRANDON WHY YOU GOTTA GIVE ME A HEADACHE

Hoodie: Now you sound like Erin. :*(

…and now I’m in trouble. O.O

 Nah. She never reads this stuff anyways. haha
(damn, I think I pulled this gag last time; I need to get new material.. :/ ).

Stemage: Would you excuse me for a moment? I have to go reach enlightenment.

Hoodie: REACH FOR IT.

Stemage: I also just bought an acoustic guitar, so maybe I’ll do a Hootie cover album. *spoilers*

Hoodie: No. Sixpence None the Richer. Obviously.

Stemage: HAHA! Three ‘C’ chords you better believe it. Who knew?

Hoodie: That’s all it takes to Kisssssss Meeeeeeeeeee~
I always really liked the harmonica in that song.
…that song had harmonica, right?

Stemage: I think you’re thinking of the Rosanne theme song. Talk about PROG!

Hoodie: Something relevant to the blog before we wrap this up (I guess that’s important, right?):

What did you think about working on the chipWINter Wonderland project? Was it fun to master? Are chiptunes fun for you to master, and/or something you can see yourself doing more of?

Stemage: It was SO much fun to master. There’s a wintery theme across all songs, but it’s a pretty wide collection of chip subgenres. Some of my favorite people are on this thing.

I love to contribute to the scene in any way possible.

Hoodie: Well, you did a stellar damn job, that’s for sure. Unsurprisingly, of course. You good-at-doing-things jerk, you.

Stemage: Thanks Pres Hoodie!

Hoodie: You’re welcome, Cowpie Henry.

Stemage: YEEHAW!

Hoodie: So when’s that taking off anyways? I want my country music millions. And cheap lager sponsorship. I want the beer sponsorship mostly. That’s how I’ll let everyone back home know I made it. It’s how it works in the South.

Or you make it in Nascar.

Stemage: I bought an acoustic guitar didn’t I? Working on it.

Hoodie: Right. Good man.

Aside from imminent country music stardom, any parting thoughts before we wrap this chit chat up?

Stemage: I just can’t wait for everyone to hear the album. It’s definitely one of the strongest ChipWIN releases. I’m proud to be a small part of it – even though there isn’t a lick of country twang therein.

Hoodie: Happy to hear you say that, man. I feel the same way. It really turned out quite magical, even moreso than I expected (as usual haha). And I’m really happy that you were a part of that, even if there’s no yeehaw in it. Maybe next time.


Stemage:
stemagemusic.com | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Metroid Metal:
metroidmetal.com | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

chipWINter Wonderland grant face

Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 3 [Tracks 22 – 26]

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Howdy folks! You know the deal – we’re running down all the songs from the latest release (as if you hadn’t already downloaded it and put it on repeat for the last week), giving credit where credit is due to the amazing folks who dedicated their free time to make something fantastic. I must say, I truly appreciate all the people who freely give their time to this group – people who just made music for the love of making music and to keep the scene hyped up. It’s refreshing, lemme tell you. So let’s jump in!

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