To Explain The Lull (Again)

When I started this blog, I was encouraged to host all source files on a personal server in the off chance that something went wrong with wherever tumblr put them by default. Naturally, this plan backfired, I had server issues elsewhere, and now everything is gone. Frustrated by this loss and preoccupied with a great deal of traveling that has taken me up and down both coasts of the US, I’ve let this fall by the wayside.

Thankfully, something vaguely resembling free time has emerged this week. I aim to come up with a new hosting solution, rebuild what’s been lost, and get cracking on some new entries. Thank you all for your patience in this seriously annoying time.

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Back from out of town

will get things up and running again soon.

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"Evergreen" · Leeni
from Labyrinth

[DL]

NEW “ilove” BLOG JOINS THE FOLD. From my good friend / former housemate Ben:

I now present what can be best described as a sister site to [I Love Rap & I Love Chipmusic], appropriately titled I Love Girl Music. All the songs I’ll be posting on this site will have female lead vocalists—because, for whatever reason, I seem to favor female vocalists. And just so we’re clear, when I say “girl music,” I don’t mean music for girls, so if you’re here in search of some Madonna b-side from the early eighties, not only will you likely be disappointed, but I also hope your favorite karaoke bar (and every other karaoke bar) burns to the ground with Cyndi Lauper trapped inside. Hooray!

Ben, today’s post is dedicated to you. Leeni [Seattle, WA] is one of the few chipmusicians to add vocals to her programming and on an even shorter sub-list of said musicians within the form that happen to be female. While some of her earlier material has a more lighthearted synthpop edge to it, I think she’s at her best when she skews a little darker with more heartbroken lyrics and the kind of muted production on display in this track. Although I wish her all the best in her personal life, here’s to hoping the music keeps wandering down a bleaker path.

As a bonus, you should also check out this track. I had a very hard time picking between the two for this entry. Both are excellent but, ultimately, I decided to go with the more restrained one.

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"April Fools 2002 live set" · starPause
from 20k9d

[DL]


via Chiptography

Looks like we’ve got our first artist double-dip here at IloveChipmusic. And while it shouldn’t come as a surprise that starPause would be the one, it actually was a surprise. Remember the mix CD I mentioned in my last post? The one starPause handed out after his 8static set last year? I misspoke. It wasn’t a collection of other artists’ tunes at all. It was a compilation of his own tracks from across the years of holding down the Midwest [Minneapolis] and (more recently) the West Coast [San Francisco] Chipmusic scenes. How could I have not recognized this? (<— I’m currently asking myself). I blame today’s featured recording.

My first listen-through was, admittedly, background noise to some activity I’ve now forgotten (probably cleaning my room). As a result, I didn’t really register specifics beyond the fact that “mix” sounded eclectic and promised greater rewards upon future, more dedicated, listens. Then I hit the last track on the disc. (::head exploding sequence::). I stopped whatever I was doing and rushed to see who was responsible for such wonders and was frustrated to find that there was no track (or artist or album for that matter) information on the entire disc. And so, “Track 13” would continue to haunt my iPod for months, anonymously wearing out the “Repeat Item” function and guaranteeing that I never listened to anything else off the release. I find that happens to me a lot.

Anyway, my personal mystery has finally been solved. What you’re actually listening to is a selection from starPause’s first live performance with LSDJ (::more head exploding sequences::) back in 2002 at a Minneapolis cafe called Hard Times. At the time, Jordan was performing as Reconstructing Richard (click here for a nice archive of the stuff he released under this name on Kikapu) and organizing :|kREW — a Game Boy noise group.

If you like what you hear, be sure to follow the album link at the top for a free download of the entire collection. I’ve got the whole thing (with proper track names) now but I_still_can’t get past this one track. I’m not sure I have the time to do this one justice with words. The individual pieces seem discordant at first and their arrangement isn’t what most would consider conventional but when they start melting together, it’s hypnotic. It’s the kind of sound that only seems at home in a world animated by the Brothers Quay. Just listen to this song and watch this clip without audio. Perfect, right?

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Delays Are Inevitable But Still Disappointing.

I know I should be writing multiple posts in one sitting and queuing them up to self-publish every 24 hours but, some days, it’s hard to even crank out just one in the midst of everything else that’s going on. Sorry kids. More posts coming your way.

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"mkr huf bst" · starPause
from AKID EP

[DL]

Today’s post coincides with a very special announcement: starPause has joined our little tumblr ring of “ilove”s. It is with great pleasure that I link you to:

I Love Copyleft

a sound blog by k9d covering musica libre from the creative commons, net audio labels & more! on a schedules of one new tune at least every sunday. if you share in this love & would enjoy to cover another week day: please make touch!

If the mix CD he handed out after his 8static set last year is any indication, Jordan has an incredible talent for finding quality free stuff from pretty much any genre. Consider his tumblr to be the best thing that’s happened to your New Music playlist this week.

As for the track featured in today’s post: Generally speaking (and I’m simplifying here because I’m short on time), it doesn’t take a lot of effort to write something on a chip platform to garner praise for being “raAwWwW” or “drrrty.” — the building blocks are inherently harsh to begin with. It does, however, require a careful ear to achieve these same ends and do so with eloquence. starPause is able to strike that rare balance between a perfectly harmonious sound palette and a sophisticated composition with deadly accuracy.

EDIT: He is also a complete beast on-stage.

Starpause @ 8static in Philadelphia, 07.18.09 from 2 Player Productions on Vimeo.

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"Kepler’s Star Catalog" · Starscream
from Future, And It Doesn’t Work

[DL]

Here’s another post I almost missed before midnight. Truth be told, I’m actually pulling an all-nighter because I’m in the process of remixing this very track (shh) so it’s all I’ve been listening to for the past day or two. This and The Boats, odd as that might sound. It’s a shame I have to keep this brief because I really would like to write more about these guys. In my opinion, Starscream is on a very short list of bands pushing the Chipmusic movement forward in a really positive and healthy way. By pairing chip sounds with genres that the majority of Chipmusicians tend to steer clear of, they challenge the common perception of the form by outsiders and insiders alike. Not necessarily giving their peers permission to venture down less-traveled roads but reminding them that they can (and should).

Of all the tracks on this release, I feel Kepler has the strongest emotional core (the other 4 come in a very, very close 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th). It’s tough to pick. You should definitely click through the album link and download the whole thing if you haven’t already done so. It’s one of my favorites from the past year.

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Video: failotron (full set)

Missed another entry yesterday because I passed out earlier than I expected to after a long day. I’ll make an audio post later but, for now, please enjoy this video of a full set from the wonderful failotron (see this post to refresh your memory). There’s a new song in there that he finished just before the show.

failotron ‘Low-Bit Ostinato’ set @ Millenáris 18/02/2010 from low bit ostinato on Vimeo.

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"Flora/Fauna" · Anamanaguchi
from Power Supply

[DL]

I’ve got less than a minute to get this in before midnight. I picked this one because they never play it and it’s really, really good. Even my friends who have no patience for Chip have enjoyed this one.

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"retroattivo (jonkie screw)" · The Hardliner
released on HEXAWE.net

[DL]

Alright so I’ve missed two consecutive entries now (work) and I’ll be damned if today is the third day. I’m going to try and make 3 posts today to catch up but, if I can’t, at least you’ll have this song to chew on.

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I think this may qualify as the first “remix” (using the word lightly since this is more like a reboot) I’ve posted here. The original tune is actually a Doskpop (think self-aware, cheesy-but-epic 1980’s Italo Disco) classic from The Hardliner. You can listen to that by clicking here.

Traveling back in time a little to November 3rd, 2007: It was the first time we (2 Player Productions) were given the honor of curating and hosting an installment of New York’s legendary Chipmusic performance series, Pulsewave. It was also the first night the event began with a half hour open-mic session (now the norm at current shows). What could have ended up being a colossal, room-emptying failure was actually an astonishing success. Although I remember everyone who played, two tracks remain burned into my memory to this day: Natty's (he was Auto-da-fé back then) “Hadean Days” and Jonkie’s down-tempo Piggy Tracker rendition featured in today’s post.

It was (and still is) hard to make sense of my strong gut reaction. With one Blip Festival and nearly two years of Chipmusic behind me, I had heard people craft dark, powerful, and evocative pieces on chip platforms before but this one had the added weight of purpose. It was impossible to shake the image of a sunglass-wearing, motorcycle-riding, anti-hero in Paul Verehoven's 1980s Detroit, cruising beneath the streetlamps towards some final, shotgun-based confrontation in which he'll be vastly outnumbered and might not live to see the end of it.

Something along the lines of this poster, but not in Japan.

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