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Vandalism News #56

Legendary C64 diskmag VANDALISM NEWS gets the mandatory yearly release with a lot of inside information about the C64 demoscene and also a load of tunes by awesome artists like Johannes Bjerregaard, ne7 and Conrad, as well as graphics by Mermaid and Joe, two of my favourite pixel artists.

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Dear Netlabels

Since things are a little slow this week, I think it’s time to get something off my chest.

It’s been real fun, netlabels. I have gigs of free music and it’s mega awesome. But we have some problems. It’s getting harder and harder to pick the good from the bad in a me-too sea of wanna-bees and also-rans and never-wheres and I have a few suggestions to help make it easier for you to turn music fans into becoming YOUR music fans.

Host your own material

Seriously guys, I’m not going to wait 85 seconds to download something I haven’t heard and am not sure I like. It’s only a few bucks a month and it’s worth the nominal investment if you really want people to download your artists’ material.

Provide Download Options

Yes, zips are nice, but don’t go too far one way and disallow single track downloads as well. Zips can be messy if you don’t know what you want.

Provide a Streaming sample (or even the whole thing!)

It is trivial for a listener to let a record stream in the background to see if they like the whole thing. Using a service like BandCamp also gives you an embeddable streaming flash widget that gives you stats and lets you embed the player in all kinds of spammy places. It’s really cool.

These meager suggestions may seem nit-picky, but your selection of artists material and the ability for people to hear your artists’ work should be the most important thing on your mind as a netlabel owner. As an open question to the readers, is there anything that burns your biscuits about how you absorb netlabel data?

Chipmusic • Editorials • Labels • resources

Chip o Muerte: 56KBPS launches


Click To Visit

News from an interesting new Latin American Chip collective. Homeless Ninja Robots writes on teh 8BC:

Here comes a new challenger: 56KBPS, a latinamerican chiptune netlabel, we are launching our site just today, and it’s packed with releases from mexican and brazilian artists:

-Bon (LSDJ, Guitars, Vox)
-Homeless Ninja Robots (NES)
-pulselooper (LSDJ)
-TheTheThes (Trippy-H)

We focus on real hardware rather than software or emulation, and we dont promote just music, but plastic arts and literature as well.

There are pending releases from:
-Play Ninja Bit

Their ideological commitment to authenticity is bold, considering the difficulties people have obtaining hardware in Latin American countries. The basic democracy of chip music is that if you have a machine that can access the Internet, you have 100% of the tools you need to make a chip music song.

This is an overwhelmingly positive development for introducing young and new voices to the international stage.

But then again, one could make the argument that a limitation like hardware only will filter output to showcase the true heads and those who REALLY want to do it. The Price of democracy is that it becomes as easy to create and promote garbage as it is to promote brilliance.

It will also be interesting to see how the collective promotes arts and literature, as chip music seems to have a tough time interacting with other aspects of the arts community.

Anyways it will take me a few days to absorb all these releases, but this can only be good for the burgening Latin American chip music community.


Open Thread: Why does your genre of chip music suck so bad?

nerd_lifeAs editor-in-cheap of TCTD, perhaps I am more sensitive to the widening gulf between different aspects of the chip music scene. It is perhaps amusing to an outsider who feels everything sounds the same that there can be so many disparate factions within the community, but the tent is a large one and there are many different types of artists operating on various chip platforms.  Even with dozens of sub factions, there are a few trends at play , and not to paint too broad stroke on it, here are the most active groups.

  • The electronic pop stars – These game boy superstars like playing gigs, and community,  and having a good time. They are more influenced by pop culture than any old school or demo scene rules.  Sometimes the scene is more important than the actual tune.
  • The Heads, The Old Schoolers, and the Deep Tweakers – They obsessively do things like “How can I do more with less, how can I push it farther, how can I do it as real as possible”.  They know all the tricks, and they hate when the popsters gain acclaim for cheap obvious chip tricks and a passing familarity with the genre. These are the first to pitchfork all over crystal castles reviews.
  • Nerd Rap – They care even less about the authenticity of a True Chip sound, and arent afraid to use mario coin sounds, etc to get their point across. It being that white people rapping is HILARIOUS, dawg.
  • The NES Metalers, Prog Fiends.  Obscure time signatures, and technique technique technique. Not only are they smarter than you, but their music is better because it has more notes.

Are these descriptions unfair?Hell yea they are.  So let’s make this an open thread to discuss what problems you have with other’s chips, and a place to state why yours are the best.

Passionate debate is the best!

Chipmusic • Editorials • In the News

Complete Bullshit


Best continued source of inspiration: video games
Nerds who played way too much Legend of Zelda in the ’80s are making music deliberately cribbed from the compressed ditties that soundtracked too many lonely afternoons. There’s Laromlab, who actually makes music using the same chiptune technology — with mixed results — but others have wrenched more beauty: Flying Lotus. On “Los Angeles,” he takes those videogame noises and makes them glittery texture on his cracked-out opus



They updated their post:

Best continued source of inspiration: video games
Nerds who played way too much Legend of Zelda in the ’80s are making music deliberately cribbed from the compressed ditties that soundtracked too many lonely afternoons. There’s Laromlab, who released music using the same chiptune technology, but he plagiarized it from some German artists. Not cool, but others have wrenched more honest beauty. Flying Lotus, on “Los Angeles,” takes those videogame noises and makes them glittery texture on his cracked-out opus. Dam-Funk, on Stone’s Throw Records, sounds like a roller rink’s laser show playing inside the castle at the end of a Super Mario Brothers game. And you can find an a cappella version of Nintendo tunes on YouTube. (MW)
Photo: Nintendo *Item has been updated to include information about the Laromlab scandalette.

1. Why not just drop the laromlab reference all together?

2. Why not mention “some german artists” ? The songs arent worse now that some creep who looks like a living version of boogie boy isn’t performing them anymore, right?

3. Scandalette? I would say that using others material to get a label to press your shit, and then do a nationwide tour is a pretty big fuckup. At least the label was able to admit their error in the matter, what about you, LA times?