Most folks who know me from around these parts are probably only familiar with my writing and video game-related work. Prior to making a go of being a writer, I spent many years as a musician playing in bands, putting out albums, doing shows, touring, etc. I don’t do much of that anymore, but I recently got back into writing and recording tunes while doing research and interviews for Geek Beat Manifesto. While exploring the ins and outs of LSDJ and Nanoloop, I also dusted off a few old guitars and started playing. Happy with the sounds I was making, I sat down and started recording everything. The result is my first instrumental 8-bit indie album, The Beacon, which I’m releasing today through my website as a free download. You can freely download all six tracks over at the album’s page here. If you enjoy the music, please consider making a $3 Paypal donation via the button found underneath the download links to help support future albums I’ll be writing and releasing. Please feel free to pass around the linkage and spread the word. Thanks for listening.
Archive for the ‘Chiptunes / Game Music’ Category
I’m particularly excited to now have the April 2010 issue of Nintendo Power in-hand, because it features two large community pieces I wrote and am quite proud. First, there’s my community feature on pg. 92 about hip-hop artist Random (aka Mega Ran) who kicked off his musical career in the independent rap world and more recently has circulated in the nerdcore hip-hop scene. His two Mega Man themed albums are super fresh and he’s already got a track up on his site inspired by Mega Man 10. Also, I attended Blip Festival 2009 in December and was floored by the sheer level of badassitude on display. Great music made by some very interesting folks. My write-up of the event appears on pg 95. Bummed you missed the show? Don’t worry, because there’s a ton of videos and mp3s floating around from the event’s killer performances. The April issue also contains my reviews of Dawn of Heroes and Squishy Tank, both on DS.
You have to the love the fact that Joey Mariano aka Animal Style released his latest EP, Teletime, on an actual NES cart. That’s pretty hard to top on the awesomeness scale. Unfortunately, the old school format and limited release means getting your hands on the cart isn’t going to be easy. They’re sold out. The good news is you can download the album for free in mp3 format over at Pause or you can also get hooked up with the ROM file to play in an emulator to get the full audio/visual experience.
Teletime pairs Mariano’s dancy chiptune rock with snazzy artwork that cycles through like a slideshow with each track. There’s definitely a stronger video game vibe to the compositions this time around, perhaps due in part to the presentation. Musically, the high caliber tracks are on par with the tightness Animal Style fans are accustomed to. However, Mariano’s stellar guitar work (if it’s even present on this album – hard to tell since he masks it with an 8-bit sounding pedal) is far less prominent than on his Open Air EP.
The J. Arthur Keenes Band is not a band. It is in fact one quiet fellow from Canada who makes one hell of a pretty noise with a Game Boy, a guitar, and a voice. That’s all you need to rock, apparently. Though bummed that I missed his set at Blip Fest 09 due to being snowed-in, I did download his free album “Pamplemousse.” After burning it into my eardrums on near-constant repeat for weeks, I can safely say it’s possibly one of the best chiptune EPs I’ve heard in some time. Made of four tracks full of melody, melancholy, and rocking mayhem, this is one download you don’t want to miss. What are you waiting for? Do it! Do it now!
My first Community feature for Nintendo Power magazine is now out in the Nov. 2009 issue, and I’m pretty psyched about it. It’s a short piece on Supercommuter, the Game Boy hip-hop project formed by former Nintendo alumni Andy Hartpence (of Optimus Rhyme) and Andy Myers (the original NP writer who started the Community section of the mag). If you haven’t heard their new self-titled album yet, you should hop on over here to pick it up or check out a few tunes on their MySpace site here. It’s top notch stuff that you’ll dig if you’re into chiptunes, nerdcore hip-hop, or just awesome music. I have a bunch more work slated to appear in Nintendo Power in the coming months, so stay tuned!