Listen to wild west chiptune track The Outlaw by Disasterpeace

disasterpeace-chiptune-outlaw-west

Gun slinging, horse riding chiptunes from chiptune musician, game composer, and Pause netlabel founder Disasterpeace.

Great chip drumming in this track by far. Definitely a fantastic piece of chiptunes from the duo single West from Disasterpeace and Derris Kharlan.

ReZonance Reviews January by Disasterpeace

In a bonus round of Rezonance Reviews, Rez takes an inappropriately warm look at the flash game January. Created by chiptune musician and designer Disasterpeace, the title is not really a game at all. The official site describes January as a "generative music tool."

Rez ponders both the player generated sounds along with the mood January evokes, especially in the sweatiest part of summer. Hit play to find out more about this fascinating flash based trip to a much cooler moment in time.

I had a moment to play it,which is all you need. Though, given the time I could see myself slowly plinking out randomly generated rhythms for hours. Each note that rings out with a soothing, rewarding tone that can make your heart yearn for that January snowfall. This 'game' is a soothing experience any gamer can enjoy for a moment to unwind. Be sure to check out the game at january.cc, and let us know what you think of the game in the comments below.

Published on Nov 7, 2012

JanuaryReZ Reviews the indie browser based game, January. This game really says something about the way interactive music in a game can really pull you in,

It's so simple, and so beautiful.

Send me mail Atomsk777@gmail.com
Staring/Written/Edited by Nate MooreIntro song covered by Andrew VirginReZonance is where you go for video game soundtracks. I’ve always loved the music in video games, and reviewing them is my way to show my appreciation, and spread my love of gaming music.

Indie games remix album "Indie B-Side!" by Joshua Morse

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Longtime game remixer (and creator of one of my favorite Earthbound remixes) Joshua Morse takes it old school and new school all in one very likely overcrowded school of smooth electronic flavors.

Eschewing popular or nostalgic titles, Morse takes it to the streets by remixing some of his favorite niche indie titles in the appropriately Indie B-Side Vol. 1. Longtime readers and fans of video game remixes will recognize a bevy of musicians who belted out the original tunes including halc, Anosou, Zircon, and Disasterpeace.

Finally, considering Joshua Morse has been providing the internet with some incredible, and free, music for years, return the favor by supporting his own indie gaming endeavor Crypt Run on Kickstarter.

Stemage - Where Good Marbles Go to Die (Marble Madness) album release

After almost thirty years, doctors have yet to come up with a cure for Marble Madness. Stemage gathers his friends to lament spherical fever in this seven song album. Along with musical geniuses such as xoc, housethegrate, and more, it may truly be, that all great artists have some form of marble madness...

Pause release compilation - Magnetic Sumo

In their usual fashion, Pause has gathered a cavalcade of incredible artists to create some amazing works of chiptune music. This time the compilation is called Magnetic Sumo and for a description simply states...

Where the laws of attraction and the eternal battle for the title of Yokozuna intertwine.

What that may mean musically is anyone's guess, but what I do know is that there are tons of artists, both new and old to Pause that come together for this compilation. Kicking things off is the band I spoke very fondly of in the past, Yakuza Heart Attack (in fact I am still listening to their most recent album fairly often). Their tumbling upbeat signature style is in full force with Bionic Boiz. From there we hear from chiptune mainstay Alex Mauer with Terraforming Mars, a melodic, simple tune that builds into a mesmerizing drum laden piece with some pumping leads. Combined these tracks set the back and forth precedent of this album from over the top funkiness to laid back dance rhythms and more.

Speaking of funky, some catchy clapping bring us to Rico Zerone and his piece Spheredivers, a deep sea, high fueled adventure, as if taking a submarine down into the otherworldly depths of the ocean floor while working on 3 hours of sleep. Moving ahead a few tracks we hear from Joshua Morse, and his atmospheric jazz track Meteor shower pro which starts off slow, but builds an incredible momentum as the song progresses into a whirlwind of musicianship on all fronts. That number moves us along to the sometimes tough to describe, but amazing to listen to vibes of Zan-zan-zawa-veia with hushhush. Another soft flowing track to lie back and reminisce to before jumping into the catchy drum and guitar styled world of Temp Sound Solutions and their cover of Alex Mauer's Floating Point, which takes an already funky tune and cranks it into high gear with some great guitar and drum work.

The album comes to an end with Give us the green light, an amazing and catchy track from Spiny Norman which brings the album to an amazing ending with it's uplifting vocals and chip pop stylings. As to be expected from Pause, we have here a compilation showcasing the many talents, styles, and instrumentation of the netlabel roster and friends. I often tell people that chiptunes is as varied a movement as the people who create it, and nowhere else is that idea shown than through compilations like this one. Once again, if you didn't click that link in the opening to grab this album, the compilation is free, and available right through here.

Blip Festival 2009 Event Schedule finalized, Gaijin/Robotube video game design Battle of the Brands

Blip Festival 2009 logo

With only a few weeks left before Blip Festival, possibly the largest gathering of chiptune performers from all over the globe, the organizers of said event have finally released the full schedule of concerts and events that will be taking place from December 17th-19th at the bell house in Brooklyn, NY. Tickets are available with full three day tickets at $40 and one day passes for $15. There will be several great workships as well throughout the event, with prices ranging from free for movies and chiptune making tutorials to a $65 A_SID Synth Workshop that will have you going home with your very own "working usb controllable breadboard A_SID Synth, and the knowledge to begin using it."

Battle of the Brands Not only this, but also good pals at Gaijin Games have announced that they, alongside fellow chiptune loving game developers Robotube Games are having the first ever Battle of the Brands! A collaborative battle to the death to release a brand new game in one day during Blipfest! Throughout the day of the battle both companies will be constantly updating their sites, facebooks, twitters, etc to keep everyone on top of the latest happenings.

Why are they doing this? Well Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games states, "We can do whatever we want!  It’s our freakin’ deal, so shut up if you feel like it!" Oh, and the rules? There are no rules! Well except these ones.

1. Try to make a game in one day while at Blip Festival 2009 all the way over in New York City 2. Drink lots of coffee 3. Release the end product to the public, even if we fail miserably

Of course, the main reason to be at Blipfest is the tons of amazing artists and visualists that are just far too numerous to mention. But if you head past the break or go over to blipfestival.org you can check out the entire list of scheduled events and concerts taking place. Concert Schedule

Dec 17 Thursday 8:00 Silent Requiem With visuals by Jean Y. Kim 8:40 failotron With visuals by Paris 9:20 Leeni With visuals by VBLANK 10:00 minusbaby With visuals by Enso 10:40 Chromix With visuals by The C-Men 11:20 Je Deviens DJ en 3 Jours With visuals by NO CARRIER 12:00 Albino Ghost Monkey With visuals by outpt 12:40 Eat Rabbit With visuals by Rosa Menkman

Dec 18 Friday 8:00 Disasterpeace With visuals by Enso 8:40 Starscream With visuals by Jean Y. Kim 9:20 Fighter X With visuals by outpt 10:00 little-scale With visuals by Rosa Menkman 10:40 I, Cactus With visuals by VBLANK 11:20 Nullsleep With visuals by Rosa Menkman & Paris 12:00 Rainbowdragoneyes With visuals by The C-Men 12:40 Patric C With visuals by NO CARRIER

Dec19 Saturday 8:00 The J. Arthur Keenes Band With visuals by Rosa Menkman & Enso 8:40 tRash cAn maN With visuals by Jean Y. Kim & Paris 9:20 Bubblyfish With visuals by NO CARRIER & outpt 10:00 The Hunters 10:40 glomag With visuals by The C-Men & VBLANK 11:20 Bit Shifter With visuals by outpt & Enso 12:00 David Sugar With visuals by NO CARRIER & VBLANK 12:40 Psilodump With visuals by Paris & The C-Men

Workshops & Daytime Events

Film Screening - Blip Festival: Reformat the Planet * Date: Friday, Dec 18th, 1pm-3pm * Location: Main Room, The Bell House * Price: $5 at the door

A_SID Synth Workshop: A usb/serial controllable chip based C64 SID chip emulator * Date: Friday, Dec 18th, 2pm-5pm * Location: Front Lounge, The Bell House * Price: $65 (includes materials & necessary tools)

Film Screening - Reformat the Planet 1.5 and Curated Music Videos from 2 Player Productions * Date: Saturday, Dec 19th, 1pm * Location: Main Room, The Bell House * Price: Free

From Classic Sound Chips to Virtual Instruments with David Viens of Plogue * Date: Saturday, Dec 19th, 2pm * Location: Front Lounge, The Bell House * Price: Free

Open source solutions for live visuals - presented by Don Miller / NO CARRIER * Date: Saturday, Dec 19th, 3pm * Location: Front Lounge, The Bell House * Price: Free

Blip Festival returns and first artists revealed


Recently the fine folks at 8bitpeoples have launched the brand new 2009 edition of the Blip Festival website. Along with that they have also revealed both the Blip Festival 09 dates of December 17th to the 19th in New York at Brooklyn's Bell House. They have also revealed some of the first confirmed acts for the show, which includes some of the best that chip music has to offer, and spanning all over the globe, including the first Australian chiptunist in little-scale! The full run down is below.

But before that, sadly things aren't all sunshine for the festival. Looks like the grant they used to fund the show in prior years is no more. The good news is that you, the loyal chip loving fan can help part those gray skies by heading over to Kickstarter for the The People's Fund to Support Blip Festival 2009 and donate a few dollars to make sure this mecca of micromusic can continue for another year. Of course 8bitpeoples is more than happy to give a little back by offering plenty of awesome incentives for different donation levels. Head over to see what's still available.

ARTISTS CONFIRMED AS OF THIS POST
Bit Shifter
Chromix
Disasterpeace
failotron
Fighter X
The Hunters
I, Cactus
The J. Arthur Keenes Band
Je Deviens DJ En Trois Jours
Leeni
little-scale
Nullsleep
Rainbowdragoneyes

New episode of the Gamewave Podcast

After almost a year of radio silence, the Gamewave Podcast returns! Episode 46 is guest hosted by Steve Jenkins of Crystal Labs and STFUAJPGM and features some killer music, including chiptunes from Spamtron, Disasterpeace, Little-scale and Virt. If, like Steve, you'd like to host your own episode and become a very minor internet celebrity, please do get in touch at contact at gamewavepodcast dot com.

As usual, you can subscribe to the feed at www.gamewavepodcast.com/rss.xml or download the episodes directly from www.gamewavepodcast.com/episodes.html. And if you don't know what the Gamewave Podcast is, you're missing out, so go now. Now. We'll wait.

A Chip off the Shizz Block, Volume One compilation release


Netlabel Concatenation Records is back with a new all star compilation of artists from The Shizz Minibosses boards. That album is an indescribably epic 25 track collection of chiptune music brought to you by the dozens of incredible musicians who inhabit The Shizz, and goes by the quite clever name of A Chip off the Shizz Block. As with some prior releases, A Chip Off the Shizz Block is another compilation that is using all donations to contribute toward the MAGFest fund to help many a shizzie make their way to the hallowed halls of MAGFest this January.

The album is available in both digital as well as physical form. The 320kbps MP3 files will run you a minimum $5 donation, whilst the fancy pressed copy will only set you back a meager $8 ($9 Canada, $10 Worldwide). Oh man that's about 32 cents per song! Let's see iTunes beat that price! Not to mention that they are all quality arrangements. From Shnabubula's jazz infused Virtigo to Alex Mauer's fast paced I Guess Your Face Fell Off. Not to mention temp sound solutions' grimey A New Dawn, and even chiptune star Neil Baldwin with his adventurous tune Trapped. That is just a mere handful of the quality tracks on display here. I plan on discussing them in greater length soon as this is an impressive album which I would certainly like to expound on further.

Finally, I hope you are sufficiently prepared to have your own face fall off at the amazing full track list I am including below!

01. MetalBishop - Famiclone Beatdown
02. M-H - Welcome To...
03. Mystic Nova - Fury of the Cyborg
04. bucky - The Exorcist (Final Area BGM)
05. Disasterphase - Ascend
06. temp sound solutions - A New Dawn
07. virt - Turbonugget
08. Wizwars - Fly Away
09. Phlogiston - I Was in the War, Damnit!
10. Zio and TEH LOLZ - Soul Snob
11. Norrin Radd - A Barrage of Hostile Abstractions
12. Alex Mauer - I Guess Your Face Fell Off
13. cacomistle - Blue, Brown, Pink, Grey
14. Alex Atchley - RUFFTRADE
15. Bit_Rat - Sunbeam
16. Prizmatic Spray - Desert Dilemma
17. temp sound solutions - Psionic Blast
18. RushJet1 - Boss9
19. Norrin Radd - Paradoxes Are Unveiled
20. Bit_Rat - Gimmick
21. Mystic Nova - Aerosaga
22. optomon - Hysteria
23. Shnabubula - virtigo
24. Neil Baldwin - Trapped
25. virt - Sorcerors Battle

New Disasterpeace tracks from High Strangeness soundtrack

Steve Jenkins, (the guy who runs the STFUAJPGM podcast, mentioned earlier on GM4A here) has another great project in the works: a retro-styled indie game called High Strangeness, which is being developed using funds gained through Kickstarter.com, the same website which was used to help create Kind of Bloop.

Since I was a kid, I have always dreamed of making my own video game. Now, armed with current technology I (with a few friends who have graciously donated their time and efforts) am hoping to do just that. For over a year we've been working on what some might call a 'retro game' inspired by the sights and sounds of the original Nintendo, and Super Nintendo video game consoles.

The game is planned to be released on PC and X-box Live in 2010. However, we can already take a sneak peek at the soundtrack to the game, currently being written by chiptune extraordinaire, Disasterpeace - download the preview ZIP of tracks here. You can also view a preview video over at the official game website. Look out for more news on this promising project in the future.

Miles Davis chiptune tribute Kind of Bloop released; Zen Albatross interview with Andy Baio and DisasterPEACE


As was announced a few months back, an amazing collection of chiptune artists gathered together to pay tribute to one of the most seminal works in 20th century music, Miles Davis' album Kind of Blue. The resulting effort is Kind of Bloop, and is available for download at the very low price of $5 at kindofbloop.com right now. This is a landmark moment in chiptunes and I am proud to be able to write about it as it happens. Also to commemorate this moment I am happy to present Zen Albatross, who comes to us with his second guest article for GM4A. This time he has landed an interview with two of the folks behind Kind of Bloop.

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Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue was a landmark achievement in the history of recorded sound. It not only pioneered modern Jazz as we know it, but also refined the art of recording and completely changed the way musicians produced albums. Since its release in the summer of 1959, Kind of Blue has been consistently regarded as one of the most influential recordings of all time. In honor of the record’s 50th Anniversary, Andy Baio of Waxy.org assembled an all-star team of chiptune musicians to create Kind of Bloop, a complete re-imagining of the seminal Jazz classic, created using obsolete videogame hardware.

Go ahead and shout ‘blasphemy’ now, if you like. But take a moment to consider the amazing nature of this project and the manner in which it came about; a method which very well may be just as revolutionary as the artistry it pays tribute to.

I had the pleasure of chatting with both project organizer Andy Baio and chip musician Rich Vreeland about the ambitious plan to create the ultimate chiptune jazz tribute album. Hit the jump to discover the story behind Kind of Bloop and a new breed of fan-funded projects that are changing the way people make independent games and music forever.

The setting of the story is Kickstarter, a collaborative fundraising website brainstormed by internet entrepreneur Perry Chen. The site launched earlier this year, featuring a smattering of start-up projects. Just 4 short months later, it now hosts hundreds of prospective projects, allowing users to get funding in order to create albums, games, books, magazines, iPhone applications and pretty much any other form of media you can think of. When Andy Baio was paired up with Chen through a mutual acquaintance, he began to realize Kickstarter as the perfect platform to launch a project of his own. Shortly after, Andy was made CTO of the site.

First off, where did the idea for Kind of Bloop come from initially, and what made you decide to raise money for it on Kickstarter?

Andy Baio: It started a couple years ago, a silly idea wondering what jazz standards would sound like in a chiptune style. I went searching for more information online, but amazingly, couldn’t find anything. After Kickstarter launched, I wanted to come up with a project to try it out and the idea came back to me. So I went digging deep, looking for chiptune jazz, and found a total of three covers. So I tracked down two of the musicians that did those covers, ast0r and sergeeo, and asked if they’d be interested in covering Kind of Blue. They both agreed immediately.

What was the criteria for the artists who contributed?

Andy: I was looking for musicians that were both capable videogame musicians and jazz lovers, which was surprisingly hard. I approached Virt, whose music I’d admired for years. He came on board, and introduced me to Disasterpeace and Shnabubula, both extremely talented chiptune artists and Miles Davis fans. Once the lineup was rounded out, I started the project on Kickstarter.

How did the fundraising go once everything was in place?

Andy: I was hoping to raise $2,000 in three months, to pay the artists and legally license the songs from the original publisher. I hit that goal in four hours.

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With $2,000 raised in a mere fraction of a day, the artists involved were rightly enthusiastic about the project. One of the artists, Rich Vreeland, known also by his creative handle, Disasterpeace is a Staten Island-born musician who composes 8-bit style music for videogames and films. Rich joined us to discuss his experiences tackling the monumental task of making a Miles Davis tribute using only electronic instruments.

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Kind of Blue is considered a Jazz bible of sorts, and proponents of Jazz will usually contend that music like that can’t be replicated by machines. Do you feel that the albums music does justice to the source material? Or were you going for a looser interpretation where the new instrumentation doesn’t try to be something it isn’t?

Andy Baio: Many jazz purists will hate the album, arguing that it’s too rigid and mechanical. But that’s what drew me to the project in the first place: making art within constraints is a good thing, and what’s more constrained than making music for a 25-year-old videogame console?

Rich Vreeland: I think all five of us approached the source material in different ways, which will hopefully at the very least provide something for everyone. Kind of Blue is such a human piece of work that it’d be silly to try and transcribe the whole thing and think that it would work, so many of us decided to play to what makes Jazz so successful and incorporate original solos and reharmonizations. In trying to incorporate some of who we are into the pieces I think we also took some liberty with the form at times, and the style, but in the end I think those were necessary to keep things fresh.

Andy: If the guys had made faithful note-for-note translations of the original album, it would’ve been deadly boring and borderline offensive. But they’ve made music that is true to the fundamental tenets of jazz: highly improvisational, interpretive, emotional, and personal.

What are your thoughts regarding the funding efforts on Kickstarter and how did that affect the finished product? Did you expect to get so much support?

Andy: I was stunned by the response and happy that I could pay the artists. Getting funded that quickly meant the artists had much more time to work on their projects, which was a very good thing. The additional time really shows on the album.

Rich: I think we were all surprised at how much support we’ve gotten and obviously, we’re very grateful. Knowing that so many people were looking forward to what we were doing was definitely some additional encouragement to make this project as good as it could be.

What about the future? Do you think we’ll be seeing more chipmusic projects like this on the site?

Andy: I’d love to see more genre experimentation in the chiptune scene in general, whether on Kickstarter or not. Currently, Kickstarter is invite-only for new projects, but we’re opening to the public very soon.

Rich: I imagine that there will be more projects down the line similar to this, both in terms of concept and as far as using sites like Kickstarter which seems to have been a success. At the moment, I’m lucky enough to be a part of another Kickstarter project for an indie game that has just ended and we were able to reach our funding goal, so I can’t say enough good things about the site and its service.

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Kind of Bloop is available for download now on the project’s official website. Backers of the project received an advance copy of the album earlier this week, among other goodies depending on how much they contributed. Thanks again to Rich and Andy for answering all our questions! For more fan-funded goodness, check out Steve Jenkins’ 12-bit adventure game, High Strangeness.

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Thanks again to Zen Albatross for contributing the article to our site. Be sure to download the album from kindofbloop.com right away! You will not be disappointed!

Kind of Bloop: An 8-Bit Tribute to Miles Davis project announced


I can't really say much about this. Kind of Bloop: An 8-Bit Tribute to Miles Davis project has been announced. 5 amazing chiptune musicians creating an amazing tribute to one of the most important people to ever write music. An interview I heard with Rich Vreeland on Meteor Radio also made mention that the individual artists will be writing solos for one another's tracks in true jazz fashion! Basically this is going to be an amazing milestone in chiptunes and anyone who doesn't order a copy is surely going to be kicking themselves for some time. Here is more info straight from the source.

What would the pioneers of jazz sound like on a Nintendo Entertainment System? Coltrane on a C-64? Mingus on Amiga? For years, I've wondered what "chiptune jazz" would sound like, but there are only a tiny handful of jazz covers ever made.

To satisfy my curiosity — and commemorate the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" — I've asked five brilliant chiptune musicians to collaborate and reinvent the entire album in the 8-bit sound.

The lineup, in alphabetical order:
Ast0r (Chris J. Hampton)
Disasterpeace (Rich Vreeland)
Sergeeo (Sergio de Prado)
Shnabubula (Samuel Ascher-Weiss)
Virt (Jake Kaufman)

To create this album, I hope to raise $2,000 to pay royalties, pay the artists, and print CDs. Legally releasing cover songs requires paying mechanical licenses to the song publishers through the Harry Fox Agency, totaling about $420 for every 250 downloads and a $75 processing fee. I'll be using the remainder to print a very limited run of CDs for Kickstarter backers, and split the rest evenly among the five musicians for their painstaking work. (This is a labor of love for me, so I won't be keeping a dime.)

I hope to have the entire album download ready for Kind of Blue's 50th birthday on August 17. (Printing and shipping CDs will take longer.)

All project backers will get exclusive first access to the album download before anyone else in the world, and exclusive updates during the album's creation. Backers donating $30 or more will receive an extremely limited-edition CD, printed only for this Kickstarter project. Once the August 1 deadline is reached, the CD will never be sold again!

Track Listing (Tentative):
1. So What - Ast0r
2. Freddie Freeloader - Virt
3. Blue in Green - Sergeeo
4. All Blues - Shnabubula
5. Flamenco Sketches - Disasterpeace

Thank you so much for being a part of this.

("Kind of Bloop" pixel art by SnackAdmiral.)

Interview with Eirik “Phlogiston” Suhrke and Rich "DisasterPEACE" Vreeland of Pause music netlabel

Recently I had the chance to talk to two amazing artists Eirik “Phlogiston” Suhrke and Rich "DisasterPEACE" Vreeland who on top of making music and art, have collaborated to bring us the Pause netlabel which is dedicated to bringing the world amazing and unique chiptunes, and more recently incredible game soundtracks as well through their PLUS moniker. For those who have yet to check out II, head over to their site right now! I myself have downloaded pretty much every album off their site and enjoyed every single one immensely.

So read on and find out what these two hard working folks had to say about their site.


What made you decide to create your own chiptune netlabel?

Rich: Eirik and I felt like we were part of a niche of artists that didn't really have an outlet at the time to express ourselves, so we sought to address that problem by starting a label.

Eirik: Yeah - we had both been part of several different netlabels/ communities, and wanted more of a permanent home for the lot of us - so we made one.

What do you think sets you apart most from other chiptune labels?

R: I think our label seeks to associate itself with a particular type of sound, probably more so than some of the other prominent chip labels. 8bitpeoples for instance tends to have a more all-encompassing catalog with a much broader variety of artists and styles, and I think that's probably their strong suit. They're a much more active label with a larger reach and fanbase, so it's the perfect introduction to 8-bit music. We're definitely less hands-on, leaving things up to the artists a bit more.

E: I see Pause as a band / demoscene group or whatever you'd like to call it, as much as I see it as a label. I'm not sure about other labels, but we're just a small group of musicians/friends who decided to create one collective outlet for our creativity. I guess there's no point in pinpointing exactly what it is.

When you started your label, what were your initial goals and ideas for what you wanted out of your site?

R: We initially wanted Pause to be a team of musicians who exclusively released all of their music on Pause, essentially to use the site as a homepage on the web. It was going to be the place for this small group of artists to have all their music either available or linked to, blogs, and all sorts of information that people might care about. Ultimately we decided to go for a broader variety of releases and pass on the team idea, at least for the time being.

E: The idea was that we'd get more exposure if we made one website instead of as individuals. As Pause grows we get new ideas and set new goals. I guess now one of the main goals would be to find ways to generate some income, so we can treat our fans to more merchandise, gigs and what not. But for the time being, Pause is still just on the hobby level.

Have you met any of those goals? Also, is there anything that has come as a surprise in running your site, such as press, reception to certain albums, etc?

R: The reception has been overwhelmingly positive, which has been great. I suppose the biggest surprise has been the amount of work required to be serious about running a label. Our style has traditionally been pretty casual, despite being serious about the music we release. If we dedicated more time to Pause we probably would be in better shape than we are now!

E: Yeah, note that Pause is still just on the hobby level, so there's only so much time to devote to it. One thing I came up with back with the initial idea for Pause was Plus, and getting that one up there was certainly accomplishing a goal.

Has their been any runaway hit albums on your site? Any album or artist that has done surprisingly well?

R: Actually one of our PLUS releases, the music from "Immortal Defense", is far and away the most downloaded album on the site. We count over 7,000. The Pause compilation "Heartcode" is second at almost 3,000. Among regular artist releases, Animal Style's Gameboy Madrigals and iqtu's Embarrassing Triangle seem to be the two most popular releases. Naturally over time our viewership has increased to somewhere between 100 to 300 unique visitors a day, so the more recent releases are getting more downloads than the earlier stuff.

E: I was very suprised with how much attention Heartcode got. We didn't promote it anymore than our other releases, but for some reason I saw it popping up all over the place. I guess it shows that if we put together a tight release, people will check it.

It seems this site came to fruition around the time of the demise of former chiptune netlabels Megatwerp and Betamod. Did those sites have any impact on the artists on II or the forming of the label, or was it just coincidental timing?

R: I think Betamod went under after we had already started, but Megatwerp definitely had something to do with us starting Pause. Eirik and I had both released material on Megatwerp, but I think we just had different ideas about what we wanted to do and release than what they were doing.

E: Like Rich said, we had both been through a few rounds with Megatwerp, and then there was ChipCache whiich died pre-birth. I remember having alot of ideas that I contributed to both those labels, so in the wake of them it seemed like a good idea to just make my own label instead. Seems Rich had the same idea. I honestly don't remember Betamod - but the name sounds familiar now that you mention it.

How did the Plus portion of II come about?

R: PLUS was actually Eirik's idea, and I totally agreed that'd be great to have a section dedicated to releasing Game Soundtracks.

E: Having been involved in the indie gaming scene for a number of years, and having enjoyed quite a few soundtracks from indie games, I just couldn't see why there wasn't a central site for that stuff. So when we made Pause I immediately throught that I wanted a section for that as well. Obviously I wanted to do it so there could be a home for my game soundtracks, as well.

How did you come up with and decide on the name "II"? Does it have any particular meaning to you or the site in general?

R: We wanted something iconic, laconic, easy to remember, but also musically relevant. Ultimately we've decided to go with Pause though, mainly because people don't seem to be smart enough to figure out that the two II's mean Pause. It's not really their fault though, people spread the domain out as being iimusic.net (which it is) and people as a result lose the intended meaning.

E: We also had some fun ideas for plus, like having it be Play, and write it >, so it would go next to the II like on a VCR. I think we also toyed with the idea of calling it Equal, written =. Tilted II, get it? But yeah, ultimately all of this stuff is too gimmicky, and people don't get it anyhow.

For musicians wondering how to become part of your label, what is the criteria you look for in an artist and their music?

R: Our criteria is simple. Do whatever it is that you do, and do it well. And if we like it, we'll release it! Eirik and I have different litmus tests for quality and so on, so we don't always see eye to eye. But generally one of us will succumb to the other if they're absolutely in love with an album. If we both like it but aren't crazy about it though, we probably won't release it. We try to keep a high standard so that the things that we do release are really great. At least, in our biased opinions. And we ask that people send us finished or close to finished releases so that we know exactly what we're working with.

E: I always try to be as strict as possible when deciding upon what to release or not. There's so many netlabels out there, so in order to stand out I think you need to set the bar pretty high. But please do send us demos - we do get ones we really like from time to time! Our compilations are also a good way to get a foot inside. Just recently with the Sea of Ice comp we came into contact with ZZZV, which now has one EP out on Pause.

What are both of your duties in maintaining II music?

R: Traditionally I've been in charge of most of the web maintenance type stuff. I built the website, and usually post the album releases and finalize the album artwork. At some point though Eirik learned how to do that stuff too so now we both post to the blog and add releases. I've also generally prepared the releases, and come up with the track orders for the compilations. Beyond that we do pretty much everything 50/50. PLUS is Eirik's baby though, so he handles that more than I.

E: Like Rich said, he definitely used to be the boss. I was coming up with alot of ideas, and maintaining contact with artists, but Rich was doing all of that hard work. This was because he built the website, which I wouldn't know how to do anyhow, and once the site went online
I was without internet for a few months, so we got off a little unbalanced. At some point Rich decided to focus on school and his own music for a while, so I ran Pause solo for a couple of months. I guess it was then I realized how much work he was putting into it, and I think we've been equals ever since he decided to come back and do it with me again.

What do you tend to look for in artists who release albums or hope to release albums on your label?

R: We try to look for people who have their own unique voice, who would contribute something new to the catalog, at the same time, adhering to a certain level of quality.

E: Honestly, it just boils to "do I like this or not?". Sometimes we get demos that I can tell are really well made, but are not in a style that get's me excited, so we might not put it out - unless Rich digs it.

What future releases do you have in store?

R: We always have something coming up! I'll be releasing my next album "Rise of the Obsidian Interstellar" by the end of the year. We also have Nonfinite's next album coming out soon, and Eirik also has something in the works which maybe he can talk about.

E: Yeah there's some Phlogiston coming up, too. I haven't been to active when it comes to releases, because I've been trying to focus on my soundtrack work, but there should be something soon.

What advice do you have for anyone interested in starting their own netlabel or looking to get their music on one?

R: I would definitely say that make sure your label is addressing needs, whoever's or whatever needs those may be. Secondly, have fun! As far as getting music on a netlabel, promote yourself as best you can, get on myspace, twitter, all those good things. And it never hurts to send demos to netlabels of course, and/or make friends with people who run labels.

E: Like all big stars say; Just believe in yourself and keep working and you'll get there. No, what do I know.

Anything else you would like to add?

R: Keep checking in for new releases! We have a few good ones coming up and are currently working on improving the site with new/revised features.

E: A big thanks to everyone who's supported us with Pause and before that, so far!

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Once again I would like to thank Eirik and Rich for their time. I once again urge everyone to check out the site at iimusic.net! As I have been doing lately as well I would like to end the interview with a music video. This is not exactly related to II but includes music by Rich Vreeland. The video is a trailer for an upcoming game called High Strangeness, and I think the interesting artwork alongside the DisasterPEACE tune seems to fit the idea of II. so enjoy the video!

II releases Heartcode compilation

Joining forces to bring you something worthwhile. Something from the heart.

So what happens when you take some of the best chip musicians around, throw them all together, and add a little bit of old fashioned love to the mix? You get Heartcode! The newest compilation from II (pause). The album is pretty much a list of some of my favorite musicians around! We've got Alex Mauer, Animal Style, disasterPEACE, Norrin Radd, Phlogiston, Shnabubula, Temp Sound Solutions, and finally XOC. With a list like this do you really have to wonder how great it is? You should just feel it in your very heart. Not to mention, like most II releases, this one is 100% free for download, so head over there and get it!

Gamewave Podcast Episode 39

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Gamewave Podcast Episode 39 is now available, and it's a good 'un, featuring music from Spamtron, Pixelh8, NES1, The Depreciation Guild, cheap dinosaurs, Jay Tholen and Sintecoraz. There's also a track from Disasterpeace's awesome new full-length, Level. Make sure to listen on some nice headphones.

(Like you haven't already), subscribe at www.gamewavepodcast.com/rss.xml.

Individual episode

New Disasterpeace album


Disasterpeace's long awaited Level release is now available to buy on CD.

Disasterpeace’s second full-length release is the narrative of an uphill battle, increasingly difficult and complex as it progresses, told through the sounds of the 8-bit electronic medium.

MP3 download is coming soon too, and you can preview the whole album at www.virb.com/disasterpeace.

Gamewave Podcast Compilation Volume 2 album release


To celebrate the launch of Pterodactyl Squad we present the Gamewave Podcast Compilation Vol. 2! Featuring a selection of artists from the podcast, this 2nd compilation once again showcases the many sounds of original video game style music, something for which the Gamewave Podcast is now famous. Either a great introduction to the scene, or just another load of awesome tunes!


This is one of the first five releases and re-releases coming from the brand new Pteradactyl Squad netlabel. Definitely some great music and a healthy mix of styles from Phlogiston, ArcadeComa, Electro Static Discharge, Spheres of Chaos, Disasterpeace and more. Also, as with everything coming from Ptera Squad, the compilation is completely free. So head over to Pteradactyl Squad's site and hit the releases section to get a hold of this compilation. And if you haven't, grab the equally amazing Gamewave Podcast Compilation Volume 1, which is also up on the site!

Oh yeah, and subscribe to the Gamewave Podcast of course!

Return of the Gamewave Podcast

After 4 months away the Gamewave Podcast returns! Episode 31 is now available featuring awesome music from Hige Driver, Disasterpeace, Nullsleep, Norrin_Radd and Sabrepulse. Make sure you're subscribed to the feed to receive new episodes as they're released.

A new web banner is now available too. Show your allegiance to the GWPC by inserting this code into your webpage:
<a href="http://www.gamewavepodcast.com/"><img src="http://www.gamewavepodcast.com/images/88x31.png"></a>