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herr_professor on 09/21/2010 at 09:32AM
After a nice month off, we are back with a request from our FMA readers. Rushjet1 is on of the undisputed masters of the 2a03, the little sound chip you can find in the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Famicom.
However unlike many musicians, who choose to use relatively user friendly tools like Famitracker or Midines, Rushjet1's platform of choice is the enigmatic and arcane world of MCK/MML. Predominantly common to Japan, Music Markup Language, or MML, is basically a programing language that is like HTML for Music.
There are MML compilers for a variety of platforms from Midi to various game consoles but all of it is merely a technological curiosity unless the resulting songs are entertaining, and Rushjet1's songs are some of the best composed of all the modern NES musicians.
His Sounds of the 2a03 may be one of my favorite releases on the 8bitpeoples netlabel. What is even more amazing is when you think of this mid-western US musician writing these tunes in notepad during commutes to and from work, basically entirely in his head. Checkout the songs in this EP and explore the rest of his music online that I have posted in his FMA profile, and see you guys in seven days!
herr_professor on 08/03/2010 at 09:35AM
Genre Pushing chip music netlabel is at it again with Magnetic Sumo, an 11-song compilation from some of the hardest thinking fellers from the international chip-scene.
Highlights include Alex Mauer, math rock remix of one of Alex's song's by Temp Sounds Solutions (pictured), Rico Zerone, and pretty much everyone on this star packed compilation. Check out the artists when done, and enjoy some smooth funky and freaky takes on chip music hardware.
On a side note, TCTD is taking a summer break, so aside from a few spot posts the next update will be in mid-september. Have a safe and serious summer, and catch you guys next time!
herr_professor on 07/27/2010 at 11:46AM
Twenty-one years ago, the lowly Nintendo Game Boy was introduced here in the U.S.A. Who amongst us could've guessed (except perhaps Gunpei Yokoi) the intense personal and social impact the little handheld would have on the world, especially that of the chip music community. Arguably the single most popular chip music device, the lowly DMG-01 is certainly not the BEST sounding device you can compose music on, but its combination of amazing software, small foot print and easy portability are largely the same reasons it remains to this day the best selling handheld game console ever.
The fact that a Game Boy, not unlike a well-worn paperback novel, allows you curl up, any time and any place, and allow yourself to be completely isolated in your own world as an artist is another asset, and an creative experience that is still hard to find in a world of netbooks, iPads, and smartphones.
I had have two personal revelatory moments with the old DMG. The first was in late 1990, when I realized the Game Boy was escape from a messed up home-life, an indifferent and uncaring world, and again almost ten years later, when I realized the old time-killer was capable of becoming the means which I could express myself as an artist. It became a shared conversational tool that I have used since to make friendships with like minded people all over the world. surely my life may have been quite different if Mr. Yokoi had decided to, say, taking up birdwatching instead.
By this point, most of you are crying "WHERE IS THE MUSIC PETER?", well hold your horses, cause I have a good one for you. One of the few artists I have failed to see perform their music live is perhaps one of the Game Boy's greatest masters. His name is Lo-Bat, and his seminal release is quite appropriately named Game Boy.
The album, which contains a very unique style of Game Boy programing that is Lo-bat's hallmark was the subject of a controversy in the chipmusic scene a few years back when noted Blogrock Dance act Crystal Castles was accused of sampling this EP without the artists permission. Lo-bat was a ver early and staunch supporter of Creative Commons, and most of his material is available online for free, but the chip scene has always been a bit defensive after a series of similar incident featuring artists as diverse as Timbaland and Frankmusik.
Whatever your opinions on the case, do yourself a favor and spend this Saturday rocking this EP a little extra loud with your favorite alcoholic beverage (or perhaps join us in NYC for a little party). Be careful dudes, and see you in seven.
herr_professor on 07/20/2010 at 05:46AM
The haze of nationalistic sports fervor having finally died down, we can now turn our gaze back to the true competitive energy inherent within the international chipscene.
With even the bigger netlabels offering material for free there is great incentive for artists or groups who don't feel they fit in with the greater identity of these collectives to branch out and create their own labels and organizations. One such label is Chip n' Damned Records. The label, "which promotes and releases experimental, hard and uncommon chipmusics from artists all over the world" lives up to their mission statement with their 2009 compilation release "Bleep or Die".
This release, which features tracks from such superstars as BSK, Dr. Von Pnok, Yatagarasu, Peter Quistgard, and Divag, is a great walking tour of the basic transformative power that chip hardware has over common place electronic music genres like glitch, idm, breakcore, dubstep and more. It is great to see that people are not content to allow chip music the platform not become a rigid uniform concept and push it forward always, just the same as other music genres.
Enjoy some of the highlights of the compilation, then check out the rest of the 20 tracks, and catch up with us next week as we take a look at some more chip trash for your earholes.
herr_professor on 07/13/2010 at 09:41AM
Luckily for fans of Spanish football, I saved this one for after their final game, and present to you the final installment of the World Cup of Chip Music with Barcelona's Rabato.
Released in the fall of 2006 on the mp3death netlabel, Rabato is one of my personal favorite Game Boy masters, with releases on such noteworthy compilations as 8bp50, tributes to the Beatles and Kraftwerk, and more. Rabato is a fine example to his countrymen and should be the soundtrack to what I hope is a protracted and enthusiatic week of partying for the free music loving Spaniards out there in the audience. Enjoy this EP Chorson Dival, and catch you guys in seven as we attempt to get back to a shade of normalcy with another great chip music artist.
herr_professor on 07/06/2010 at 09:31AM
I am sad to say, fans of football, that I have struck again. I apologize for all fans of Japan, as my kiss of death struck again last week. So this week I shall play it safe, and save the chip music loving fans of Germany the dire effects of my poison pen and pick a country that isn't even in the tournament (although I am sure that will backfire as well) with this weeks upload: Micro Invasion - East Jakarta Chiptunes Compilation.
The release, a compilation of chiptune artists from Eastern Jakarta is organized by label/Indonesian scene focus Micro Invasion Records. The tracks are a blend of happy chirpy dancey stuff and is a supremely typical fluffy and fun affair. The label also organizes a number of festival in their native Indonesia, so check out the release, and their myspace if you happen to be in the area. Now I must resume my post independence day recuperation, so please join us next week as we return to a semblance of normalcy.
herr_professor on 06/29/2010 at 09:04AM
Ok, so this whole WORLD CUP OF CHIP thing has been fun, but it has also been the kiss of death for the featured country, with both France and Italy going down to tragic elimination. A number of my other world cup choices have also been elminated before we could write about them, so it remains to see what we have in store for our last week, but we must soldier on as today's country, Japan prepares for its knock out round match. And representing Japan is Fuckoka's own, USK.
USK is perhaps the perfect chip music/lo-bit/rave performer, with high energy pounding beats and blips to shake chipmusic fanatics and interested outsiders alike. He is also a frequent collaborator and remixer, as well as amazing live performer who has played the Blip Festival and opened for diverse acts like Deerhoof, and in a bonjovian display of hubric hyper-prowess, rocked them all.
Here's hoping the energy from his 8bitpeoples release PICOPICODISCO is enough to propel his country into the next round. Pump the music so loud they can hear it over the vuvuzelas halfway across the world and see you guys right here in seven days for the final round of the World Cup of Chip.
herr_professor on 06/22/2010 at 09:51AM
With France on the precipice of elimination from the very same world cup that but a few short years ago they sat atop, ruling with a near iron fist, I wanted to send a message to the players sitting this very moment in the stadiums tunnel. And the best way to send a message is via an example, an example set to music and provided by one of their french countrymen. Da! Heard It Record's own, Eat Rabbit.
His music has been mentioned here before, but the FMA has recently uploaded his senses shattering set from the 2009 Blip Festival. Full of grotesque sample mangling, screaming arpeggios and an disturbing lagomorphic front-man, the performance was a testament to an ideal this french football squadron has seemed to have forgotten, with a never say die attitude and a never give up assault on the audience. Good Luck, men of the 2010 French Football Team, you have one last chance to live up tot he example of heroic countrymen such as Eat Rabbit. You can do it (or not.. not like I care.. VIVA MEXICO), and Ill see you in seven.
herr_professor on 06/15/2010 at 08:41AM
It's a rough time for imperialism, as most of the world's nationalistic tendencies are forced to be subsumed in the interest of global commerce. Perhaps then, the World Cup can be seen as the ultimate release valve by the unseen hands at large to check that fever and keep things running. In the spirit of this, I hope to spend the next few weeks focusing on global scene clusters within the chip music community, the first of which is The Square Wave Conspiracy, an compilation of Italian chip musicians covering and remixing each other, brought to you by CalmDownKidder Records.
While not representative of the entirety of the Italian chip scene (missing the excellent Rocktone Rebel for one), it does feature heavyweights arottenbit, Buskerdroid, Kenobit and Microman. The tracks are raw, unmixed, and on the fastest end of the dance floor tempo matrix. Having the artists remix one another gives the release a cohesion that can be lacking from other compilations, but it is obvious that all the artists have similar intentions on a dance floor wreckage sale.
Let this be the first salvo in TCTD's little part in diffusing international tensions, and let us meet back here in seven for round 2.
herr_professor on 06/08/2010 at 09:00AM
Since introduced to the FMA a lil over a year ago, Richard Alexander Caraballo, aka minusbaby has been very active here (and elsewhere) with various FMA uploads, and an appearance at the Manhattan Highline a few weeks ago on DJ Trent's show along with DJ/rupture. Keen FMA watchers might've missed his most recent upload, however, Strong Arctic Winds Take Terns: Fourteen Songs Written and Recorded Between 2003 and 2004.
The songs skirt the definitions of what make chip music chip, but deliberately engage the pleasure center of the brain, and make a great early summer soundtrack for those looking for an audio chill-out from hot June nights. Check out them, and the rest of the tracks minusbaby has added in the last year. and catch you guys next week.