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Good, clearly laid out survey of the chip music scene by Marcin Ramocki, on the vertexList blog. Originally appeared in Yard magazine, with added photos and links. Sample quote: "Many analogue-heads donít understand the technical concept of making music on Game Boy and confuse it with sampling video-game tunes. This couldnít be less accurate. Working with a Game Boy tracker is a very complex composition process; perhaps much more demanding because of its 'bare bones' sound library and minimal interfacing."
One correction to Ramocki's post should be made: the second of the two "pioneers of chiptune music" he mentions should properly be identified as the BEIGE collective, consisting of Cory Arcangel, Joe Beuckman, Joe Bonn, and Paul B. Davis. See my post on them from '02.
More: Ramocki's post has been updated with an email from Paul B. Davis giving some detail about who did what on the 8 Bit Construction Set record. This is fascinating stuff for those of us who had our worlds rocked by that disc.
Still more: Davis' update, which seems to be undergoing some revision over on the vertexList blog, says that the 8 Bit Construction Set was Paul's band and
Even more thoughts: while I do find the "who did what" breakdown fascinating, I'm going to continue to live with my illusions that this was a group effort, particularly since the LP did an excellent job of mystifying the consumer and not parsing credit. Cory Arcangel has been good over the years about describing his projects as Beige projects. It's not his fault that art world movers and shakers seem incapable of acknowledging communal authorship. The "Great Men" theory of art history has brought the world so much pain. Whether or not it is "Paul's band"--and I'd like to read some other band members' thoughts on that before laying down some journalistic edict--they all deserve props for an epoch-making work.
Final (?) update. Davis says the following in the comments. Since no one else has come forward with any disagreement I extend him belated and heartfelt congrats for his role in a brilliant record:
hiya tom, while i think you misinterpreted my post a bit and don't need an illusion about the group effort on the record, i'll go to my grave--or rather our deitch enterprises tv/vh1 8bit construction set behind the music special--saying its my band cos i write the tunes [and im a bit proud of them].Davis explained in an email, regarding the earlier wording of the vertexList update: "i wrote the songs myself on the 8bit record [dollars and saucemaster] and as a result cory and i discussed 8bitcs as being 'my band,' but it's definitely not 'my self titled l/p' but 'our self titled l/p' because the record had contributions from everyone." In the email Davis also mentions that he designed the LP cover, which had the "cracker" aesthetic down pat.
it's not normally an issue, one of BEIGE's purposes was to avoid these sorts of things and i take the steady art world goofs about cor's individual role in the 8bitcs project and Nintendo stuff with a grain of salt - it's none of our fault that people don't do their research. it's just that I got forwarded two really bad ones in one day [marcin's and francesco spaminato's essay in the "sound & vision" book] and snapped.
btw, i'd like to announce here that a box of mint condition, 8bit construction set records has recently been found [!] in my parent's basement and will be made available to discriminating art-buyers [sic]. seriously if ppl want one drop me an email paul AT beigerecords DOT com, i dont know how yet cos my pops isn't about to mail them out, but at some point i'll sort it.
Time on German Rumsfeld prosecution
Koons wins copyright case
Matthew Geller's Awash extended through Dec 24
"Psychic Superhighway" [mp3 removed]
I've been wanting to do a longish house thing that you could kind of get lost in. This is that thing. I'm continuing to use the Mutator filter to make the Sidstation more fluid and mooglike. I still need to do some clean-up--there's some hum to get rid of from plugging the Mutator into the wrong outlet.
I also updated "Kay Whole Again," a few posts back, adding a bass line and making it a bit more like this piece.
Let's watch George Felix Allen insult the opposition's cameraman again. [YouTube] Although intrepid bloggers were quick to define "macaca" as a North African insult, I think Allen was probably telling the truth that he just made up the word on the spot. What's disgusting is the "...or whatever your name is" that follows it, and Allen's smugly superior delivery. This was a genuine blunder, as a huge part of his constituency was from ethnically diverse Northern Virginia. Thanks to YouTube and the Net community, everyone could see this a*hole for what he really is. It's great he lost his campaign for Senator.
Regarding the elections:
So, America came to its senses 6 years late.
All it took was untold carnage in foreign wars, the loss of a major city, the hemorraghing of the Treasury to epic corruption, and mounting fear of religious nuts making people's personal and family decisions.
Some of us have been saying the leadership was bad since '00. But it's great folks finally came around.
It would have been ideal if the traitor Lieberman had gone down in Connecticut. But as has been pointed out, the money the Republicans (hello, the opposition party?) spent to save his hash probably cost them the Senate. Also, the Lamont primary win gave people hope that these bastards could be beaten.
Clearly the internet and bloggers had a major role in this seismic shift. I believe they'll continue to act as a corrective to corrupt government and media complicity with same.
Who knew all these people existed around the country whose talents the system wasn't recognizing?
"Kay Whole Again" [mp3 removed]
Update: extended the length about 30 seconds, made minor edits throughout. The idea here was to explore one e-drum sample kit--adding pitch to some of the drums and seeing what happened with a tempo change. The Sidstation parts added for melodic interest kind of took over, as usual. I wrote the rhythms using overlayed fragments from a MIDI demo track.
Update 2: I added a bass line (d'oh, I always forget those) and some other changes to make it more "house-y."