Interzioq #8: Nifflas interview (Nicklas Nygren)

Nicklas Nygren (better known as “Nifflas“) is one of my favorite indie game dev. I’ve seen some talks from him on Youtube about video games, creativity, etc. and I always share 100% of his thoughts about gaming and the importance of atmosphere & secrets in games.
I’m sure you’ve already heard about his “Knytt” series (if not, check it) but today, we are here to talk with him about his new release… and many other things!

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Hi Nifflas! I’m really happy to have you today for this new interzioq! Could you please introduce yourself briefly for those who don’t already know you.

Hi! I’m Nicklas Nygren, and usually create 2D games with a focus on atmosphere and exploration. My most recent games are affordable Space Adventures which I developed together with Knapnok games, and I’ve just released Uurnog on the Humble Store.

So let’s talk about Uurnog: is there any meaning behind this name?

I think it’s meant to be the word “Wrong” but spelled completely wrong. The W became a double U (pun intended), and some letters rearranged themselves. Mike Krolikowski (@mikekrolik) came up with the game for the Title Jam, which was a jam about coming up with game titles held by Simon Nielsen (@1000tongues)

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I really love the graphic style of the game and, obviously, some aspects of the gameplay remind me of Super Mario Bros 2. You’ve already been inspired by SMB2 when you made your game FiNCK : what is so special about SMB2 for you?

SMB2 was probably the only good game I had on my NES as a child, and I knew it inside and out. Since I still love its mechanics, I want to explore them further, and will probably return to them in the future as well!

What inspired you to have dynamic music in Uurnog and to create the algorithmic music program?

I’ve built up ideas for alternative ways to do music software for a long time, but the previous dev platform I used didn’t really have the features I needed to try them out. So, when I finally switched to Unity in order to work together with Knapnok on Affordable Space Adventures, I finally learned a set of tools where I could try these ideas out. Alongside ASA, I prototyped music software, and gathered enough knowledge to allow me to create what is now featured in Uurnog. The idea to rely on algorithms instead of placed notes was inspired by the youtube video 15 Sorting Algorithms in 6 Minutes by Timo Bingmann. David Kanaga’s (@dkanaga) work in Dyad also showed me a different way of thinking about game music.

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On the Uurnog site you wrote that the last Ghostbuster movie was part (amongst other thing) of your inspiration while making this game. I find it cool that you say that about a movie that received so many “extreme” negativity from some people… May I ask you what inspired you in this movie?

First, I actually rather enjoyed the movie. It was just fun and silly. The way the movie was colored though was amazing. I found myself pausing the movie just to take in its use of saturated greens, and the blend of smoke and glow. It’s so opposite of the cyan/teal and desaturated trends so common in movies now.

Let’s talk a bit about yourself if you don’t mind 🙂 That may be a tricky question but… I’m not specificaly speaking about videogames but : why do you “create”?

I create because I have to. To be honest, I don’t even know why. When I was young, my favorite toy was Lego. I picked up tracking software (a type of music software) as a teenager, and game development in my early 20’s. So, I’ve never not created, and I don’t really function well without it for periods longer than a few weeks. Some of my friends knows this well.

Could you tell us what is your oldest memory about video games or the first game you played? What’s the game you’ve got the more fond memories about?

That’d be the VIC-20 I had when I was really young. I actually think my uncle had made a game on it (or that’s how I remember it at least). It was a take on Space Invaders. Unfortunately, I lost the game since I was under the impresison the tape was magical and transformed whatever its content was into a game. So, I decided to overwrite the data with a song about riding trains, because I wanted to play a game about that.

What is the best or your favorite secret you ever found within a game?

I still remember the Special Zone in Super Mario World fondly. Back then I didn’t even think a game could have a secret area within a secret area.

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You also make music : what are your favorite video games tunes?

Probably the music David Kanaga created for Proteus and Dyad.

Except music, any good book or movie to recommend (in any genre)?

Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North. The world needs more chose-your-own-adventure books. Many more.

Speaking of recommendations : any game (indie or not) we should try? (and why do you like it)

Since I just created a game inspired by it, I have to say Lyle in Cube Sector. It’s one of the early indies and a must-play.

I’ve seen some really inspiring talks by you online : any piece of advice for someone who’d like to try making video games?

If you’d like to join a bigger company, I have no idea how it works. Game education maybe? If you’d like to start indie, pick up an easy tool like Game Maker. Follow some tutorials and make games on your spare time. So many games. Tiny games. I can’t stress the tiny thing enough. Post them online and show them to your friends and watch them play it. You’ll get to know yourself and the process so much better than if you start out with a big game before you develop a good sense what it takes to make one.

According to wikipedia you’re living in Sweden. I must say that I’ve always had a deep love for the scandinavian landscapes (I’m from France) and I had the chance to visit Norbotten once and it was one of the best travel I’ve ever made (around Båtskärsnäs in fact) Anyway : could you tell us if the place where you’re living inspires your art and, if yes, how?

Currently I’m moving back to Umeå in northern Sweden after having lived in Denmark for a while. I think the tone of my games are affected by where I’ve developed them and my previous time in Umeå resulted in a slightly more melancholic feel.

If you could visit any place around the world, where would you go & why?

Try to go as far north in Sweden as you can either during mid winter or mid summer. The light or intense darkness is a very nice thing.

And finally : what is your favorite Swedish meal?

Surströmming! I’m not kidding.

Many thanks for taking the time to make this interview. Feel free to share some links to any of your work here:

My latest release is Uurnog > http://uurnog.com

Watch the Uurnog trailer.

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Interview by izioq.

 

Interzioq #7: Disasterpeace interview (Rich Vreeland)

I had the great pleasure to interview the very talented Rich Vreeland, aka Disasterpeace! If you don’t already know him (which is a shame) he is the guy behind the FEZ video game soundtrack and the OST of the movie “It Follows”… but more than that, he is a man of many talents and a very innovative & cool musician that you can’t “put in a box”. It was a real pleasure to talk with him: thank’s Rich!

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Hi Rich and thank you so much for answering the questions of my interzioq! I was wondering what are your early musician memories? Do you remember the moment or what made you “fell” into music?

I remember having an electric guitar from a toy store that had a built in amplifier. I didn’t know how to play it so i played it flat on my lap. I just remember being mesmerized by the sound of distortion.

When you were a teen, what kind of music did you listened to and were you listening to videogame OST?

I grew up in a Christian household so definitely listened to a lot of Contemporary Christian music like dcTalk, but also music like The Beatles, George Winston, and Vince Guaraldi around Christmas time. As I got a little older I got into classic rock and nü metal. I always played games but I didn’t really latch onto the music until later, and I went through a period of nostalgia as I recollected all the music I had listened to over the years. Some of my favorites were the soundtracks of games like Chrono Cross, Yoshi’s Island, and Super Mario RPG.

What about today: what is your current playlist? 

I’m always listening to new stuff, or listening to my entire library on shuffle. I like to be surprised.

What are your favorite videogame OST and if it’s possible for you to say: why?

Hard to say definitively but there are a few that stand out for sure. I think a lot of it has to do with the experience. Some of the most influential were from games I played as a young person still developing. Lately my favorite is Samorost 3. A beautiful game.

Apart of computers, do you play any instrument?

Piano and guitar mostly.

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What are your favorite piece of software to create music? (DAW, vst, etc.)

I’ve gotten very comfortable with Logic Pro but I also like to write my own scripts to generate music via MIDI.

As we all know, your brilliant & innovative OST for FEZ was a big step in your musical career. Could you please tell us how have you been involved in this project, how did you met the team, etc. ?

I met the programmer of FEZ at a show I played in Montreal. They were looking for collaborators to flesh out a compilation style soundtrack, and I suggested they work with a single composer instead.

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After FEZ success, what did it change to you in your work ?

I haven’t had to look for work since then, so that’s obviously a very big change.

Today, what would be your biggest “musician dream”? (ex.: having your music being played by a philharmonic orchestra, making a collaboration with a famous artist, etc.)

I always get excited about dabbling in new forms, so working with an orchestra would definitely be exciting. I also dream sometimes about getting more into other art forms, like food for instance.

Excellent, I wasn’t expected this answer! You surely know that in France, food is a very important part of our culture so I can’t resist to ask you few questions about this topic… so what’s your favorite american meal ?

I love a good sandwich.

What’s your favorite foreign food ?

That is a very difficult question! I like so many types of food. I’ll go with miso soup. It’s a comfort food for me, and it doesn’t tend to affect my body negatively like other comfort foods might.

Do you like french cheese 🙂 ?

Yes! I like many kinds of cheese. I really like chevre.

Haha, thanks for this little food interlude and let’s go back to music now: when you start to work on a new videogame OST, what are the most important steps for you ?

 Gathering as much information as possible, both from the creators and from the project itself if it has already manifested in some form. Then there is an important period of trying out lots of ideas to figure out what the creative sandbox is going to be.

What do you like the most in the making of a videogame OST?

I like the freedom to experiment with form and structure, and the generally laid back culture.

On the contrary, what is the aspect of making videogame music that you don’t like or bother you?

The freedom to experiment with form and structure can sometimes get me in trouble. There are a lot of dead ends when you’re trying to push out into new directions.

Today, would you say you’re more interested in making videogames OST, movie soundtrack or just releasing an album of your own?

I don’t think I mind what the medium is so much. I tend to gravitate towards all different sorts of projects, so I think I’m looking for something other than the format. I like to try new things.

I’m personaly a huge fan of Brian Eno (both of his music & mind) so when you speak about new things, do you have any thoughts about new medium such as Virtual Reality or interactive music, generative music, etc.? I know it could be a long answer but I’m curious to have even few words from you on that topic.

I’ve been very excited about developments within the realm of virtual reality. Experimenting with creating the sense of sound all around you, and how that relates to VR is something I want to dive into, and I can’t wait until these technologies start to blossom and become largely available to consumers at affordable rates. I’m hoping to work on a VR project in the near future, though I don’t have anything planned just yet. That said, I’ll be working on a 3D game for the next few years where I hope to explore technologies that will carry over into my work with VR. I very much want to create 3D audio experiences.

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If it’s not a secret, what are your upcoming project? 

I’m working on another game with Heart Machine (Hyper Light Drifter), and David Robert Mitchell’s next film, ‘Under the Silver Lake’. I’ve also got a piano album coming out soon.

Any advice to people who’d like to make music for the videogame industry? 

Be yourself.

Any links you’d like to share with us ?

I keep an extensive blog: http://disasterpeace.com/blog

Do you know any word/sentence in French? Do you have a final message to the French audience?

‘ L’esprit de l’escalier ‘

Many thanks for your replies!

My pleasure !

>> you can stream or buy & support Disasterpeace music on bandcamp. <<

Interview by izioq.

HELLO! I’M AN ALBUM!

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I’ve just released a new album and his name is “HELLO I’M AN ALBUM” and this big square face up there is the cover art and you can listen to it or download it here: https://izioq.bandcamp.com/album/hello-im-an-album

I’m supposed to write here a very deep text about this album with preferably lots of key words and tags in order to help search engine to find this bloody page and get more fans and become the KING OF THE WORLD AND –

Well, what I can tell you is that I put a lot of myself into this album and a lot of work… so I really hope you’ll love it, cherish it and tell all your friends about it!

Thanks for being there!

// izioq //
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“World of izioq”: new album out!

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Guess it was time to update the blog a little bit so… welcome to this new journey into the world of izioq!
I’m super proud of this album and I really hope you’ll love this new mix of electro chiptune video game indie pop whatever music: I don’t even know how to name it but you’ll find here a lot of genre and influence to enjoy 🙂

// izioq //

P.S: I really want to thank you all for your awesome feedback & support. This is just awesome: the world of izioq is yours!

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“New Songs for Old Kids”: new album out!

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I guess it’s time to tell you here that my new album is out since the 4th of January 🙂

It’s named “New Songs for Old Kids” and you can listen to it here: https://izioq.bandcamp.com/album/new-songs-for-old-kids

This is my third album: it’s pretty diverse and filled with passion & personal meanings!
I’ve opened my sound to lots of new things and if you’re into video games & geekery I guess you might like it 😉

Welcome to the izio-World!

// izioq //

P.S: …and to all of you who support and appreciate my music: thank you so much, you rule 😉 !

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Interzioq #6: Jacob Buczynski interview – Revenge of the Sunfish

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Jacob Buczynski (aka Jinxtengu) is an indie video game developer from Melbourne, mainly known for his very original, strange (sometimes weird) and personal video game “Revenge of the Sunfish”. He was kind enough to reply to this interview with lots of interesting and detailed replies: thanks Jacob 🙂 !

Could you tell us what is your oldest memory about video games or the first game you played?
The first video games I played were on the Atari 2600. They were: River raid, Frogger, space invaders, Berzerk, Cross force, Combat, Kung fu and Pitfall. The Atari belonged to my older brother. River raid was one of my favorite games at the time, I still find it sortof fun. It uses procedural generation to generate the terrain and it was programmed by a woman (Carol Shaw). Later on my family acquired a dos based ibm pc, and I got into dos games. I also had a commodore Amiga an Atari lynx and finally a play-station one (for a short period).

What’s the game you’ve got the more fond memories about?
I have fond memories of playing “Slime world” and “Gates of zendocon” on the lynx, both were coded by a guy called Peter Engelbrite. I don’t think much of his more modern “christian themed” games but his early games were very ahead of their time. Slime world was multiplayer compatible for up to 8 players and has an expansive game world with an automap, way before Metroid did. Gates of zendocon had quite distinctive enemy behaviors and was also somewhat non-linear. Both games are kind of clunky by today’s standards, but they were great at the time. I also have fond memories for alot of Amiga games (Flashback, Another world, Turrican, Adams family, Apidya, Harlequin, Elite, Moonstone, Paradroid 90, Llamatron, Populous, Shadow of the beast, Syndicate) And a few dos games (Cosmos cosmic adventure, Commander Keen series, Chopper command).

How and why did you start making video games?
I’ve always been creatively inclined. I loved drawing and painting from an early age. Before i had access to computers I used to make interactive postcards that would fold out or have slots to remove pieces of paper or characters, choose your own adventures, comics and paper mache costumes and masks. When I was in primary school, a few students had designed some games on the schools mac computers. Their games were in black and white and were inspired by a combination of Earthworm jim, stick death and southpark. I have no idea how they made them and I’m not sure if their games were lost, but they amazed me, they were fantastic (this was in Tasmania, i don’t know the names of the students unfortunately). When my family finally got a computer with an os (windows 3.1) I started experimenting with gif animations. Those gif animations were probably the first step towards game design. The first pc “game” that I made was done in powerpoint, it was called “larry the mouse” It featured horror shock screens, collision detection, levels, and a game over screen. It was quite a hit around the school, unfortunately I don’t have a copy of it now. A few years later I got into “Click and Play” because my highschool had it installed on the school computers. At the time i had an IT class. Instead of doing classwork me and my friends used to design games. My school was pretty rough (on a school field trip a student threatened the class with a loaded shotgun, a Chinese student got bashed with a crowbar) designing games was better than getting into fights, and generally better than what the school had to offer. After a short time i moved onto using “the games factory” instead of the extremely limited “click and play”. Game design became more of a weekend activity, were i would meetup with friends and we would make games. Most of our early games are lost unfortunately, especially some games by a friend of mine. Later on I became friends online with Kimberly Kubus and he got me involved with mark overmars “Game maker” (which is really better than “the games factory”) From there I’ve continued to design games, it become part of my life, part of how i express myself. Now I need to keep doing it to survive.

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How the idea of “Revenge of the Sunfish” started in your mind?
I like games that contain distinctive sub games, for example “Tondemo Crisis” on the playstation one, also games like that are quite rare.
In 2005 I started working on a game with a friend that was to contain many distinctive levels connected by a weird story, but we never started coding it. It started off with the player running away from a lion and then getting trapped in a box that was sinking in the ocean. Thats all I remember, but i think that was the seed for Revenge of the sunfish. The idea of non-linear games has also interested me, (I mentioned gates of zendocon and choose your own adventure books). Non linear structures are great because they increase replay value, but I think it’s harder to design games like that. Just before I made Revenge of the sunfish I had released a bunch of my early games in the WTF series. I was thinking, what if I made some custom levels similar to the WTF series but linked them with a plot and a non linear structure. Then I just sort of got into a nice work groove. Obviously it should be about sunfish, because they are weird and awesome. Also originally revenge of the sunfish was going to be longer but it used up the maximum memory capacity of my very old and lame computer.

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You’re now working on the sequel “Revenge of the Sunfish 2” : how the project is going?
I feel like it’s not going too well. I showed the demo at a game festival 2 years ago and promised to release it in 6 months. It was very well received at the festival, but I feel like it was a wasted opportunity, since i didn’t finish the game. The truth is I’ve been struggling with finances and housing for years. At the time of the festival in the UK (Rezzed) I was living in a garden shed, probably made out of asbestos. There were spiders in my bed and holes in the wall through to the outside (probably how the spiders got in!) I’m not living there anymore but my work environment still isn’t very good. People just expect that I should be able to work under any conditions, i don’t know where people get such an idea. I’m a sensitive person. I find noise and high temperatures very distracting ( I’m living next to a construction site now) I also have some health problems. The issue I’m having isn’t with the game, (I’m making progress albeit slowly) the problem is that I’ve been in living situations which are essentially bad working environments. I could finish ROTSF2 in a few months If I somehow miraculously procured a suitable-place to live and work. Indecently, would anyone like to donate me a house 🙂 ?

What tools do you use to make video games today?
Mental tools such as meditation are essential for my work. Without the ability to meditate and also breathing exercises, I would be overwhelmed. In terms of computer programs, I use Ms paint, Paint shop pro 7, bero tracker, Audacity, Game maker, Multimedia fusion, z game editor, Blender, also some programs that I’ve written in Game maker mostly for compositing animations and also drawing animations. I wrote a program in Game maker to actually animate inbetween frames between 2 key frames using vector lines. It works but doesn’t look natural so I don’t use it. I try out alot of new programs but I’m often disappointed with the results. I’m probably going to start using unity 3d at some point.

What inspires you?
The idea of creating a new culture, showing an alternative world view within a game, even if it’s tangential. I mostly prefer the world in my games to the real world and i like to escape into my work. I don’t feel comfortable with the current status quo in western society particularly here in Australia. The prevalence of bigotry and the widespread apathy towards it disgusts me. Social inequality grows and kills off creative people who aren’t investing all their time and energy into making money. Money is vulgar. People with money should not be placed on a pedestal as they currently are by the media, nor should celebrities. A life goal aimed only towards making money is an empty calling, yet many people can’t move past this primitive cultural level. I’m worried about the trend towards materialism, consumerism, anti-intellectualism and fascism that seems to be spreading across the globe. It inspires me when people play one of my games and then email me to say they would like to design games themselves because of it. That means to me that I’ve succeeded in passing on some of my creative spirit. A creatively awakened mind is safeguarded against some of the madness inflicted by society, since creativity expands peoples perspectives and awareness. I want to inspire people so they can actualize their dormant creativity (which is within everyone).

Any piece of advice for someone who’d like to try making video games?
I would advise them to just jump in and try it. Download Game maker studio, or unity and just try. You might find you like it.

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Except your own, any game (indie or not) we should try?
I’d recommend Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou. If you can get it to work, it’s brilliant. I came across a dos game called Ecstatica recently, and I would recommend that. Also “Papers please” if you haven’t already seen that.

Any good book, movie or album to recommend?
I’d recommend the movie Stalker by Tarkovsky, the book Hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world by Haruki murakami, and the album unknown pleasures by Joy division.

Feel free to share some links to your work here:
Thanks for the interview! Check out my site at: http://www.revengeofthesunfish.com/

Interview by izioq.

Interzioq #5: Slime Girls interview – YUMEMI​/​LONELY PLANET GIRL

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Hello what’s your name and how do you feel right now?
My name is Pedro Silva and I just woke up so I’m feeling hungry and a lil bit tired.

Anything else about you that you’d like to share (age, country, favorite food, shoe size, etc.)?
I’m 25, from the USA, my favorite food is curry or carnitas, shoe size is 10.5. I like cats more than dogs, waterslides more than rollercoasters and I like juice a lot.

What’s your last release and do you have something special to say about it?
My last release was a vinyl double single for YUMEMI/LONELY PLANET GIRL. That vinyl release was a LONG time in the making and both of those songs were probably about a year old by the time the release finally came out. I’m happy with it though! My friend OMOCAT did the album art and my friend Bob from Shinobu released it through his label and also played bass on it. How fun.

What software, gear, setup, etc. do you use to make music?
I mostly just use Reason 8 these days with a bunch of samples and stuff I’ve collected over the years, and then a fender mustang. That’s kinda… it.
For live shows we either do a full band setup with an iPod and then for solo shows I like just having a big table full of instruments and MIDI controllers that I can mess around with for the whole set.

How would you describe your music, with words?
Memories of fantasy. And maybe sometimes reality.

What inspires you?
City pop, playstation beaches and n64 skies, raw earnesty.

Any musician, famous or not, we should check?
Everyone should know the words to あいどんわなだい by Ging Nang Boyz so they can sing it with me at shows. That’s all I ask. It’s the most important song in the world.

Tell us about a movie, a book or a video game you liked recently…
I recently played through Undertale and it’s probably the most significantly important video game I’ve played…like..maybe ever? I dunno, it’s perfectly up my alley for what I want out of the medium. I suggest everyone go buy it and support it! I even covered a song from it a couple weeks ago, its on my soundcloud.

Please describe your actual haircut.
Kei from Dirty Pair.

Any other links you’d like to share here(youtube, twitter, etc.)?
You can buy my music at slimegirls.bandcamp.com
Listen to all my music at https://soundcloud.com/slime-girls
Follow me on twitter @slimegirls
Like me on facebook at: www.facebook.com/slimegirls

Interview by izioq.

interzioq #4: Cyborg Jeff’s interview – Super CJ Land

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Hello what’s your name and how do you feel right now?
Hi Izioq, I’m Cyborg Jeff and i’m completely overbooked in my crazy life right now, as I’m waitin’ my 4th child !

Anything else about you that you’d like to share (age, country, favorite food, shoe size, etc.)?
Yep. So I’m… arf… 37 years old! I live in Belgium and for sure I eat Belgium Fries and drink special beers… No. In fact, I prefer drink wine and eat a barbecue with many friends! Gosh, In my young time my parents bought me shoes size 47. I hate that so I always lost them… Now, after a long work, I can buy size 44!
Well, for now I don’t have spoke about music, but that’s also my real life where music is just a part of all that crazy things I do like professional photo and video, playing old video-games and trying to be a Super Daddy!

What’s your last release and do you have something special to say about it?
My Last CD album was “Super CJ Land” and was released during Xmas 2013. It was around my 30 personnal albums… wow it’s incredible! And that album includes more than 30 tracks. It was a long, long project. I thought the first idea of this album came from 2004. At that time, I especially wrote Electro Dance/Trance music. But I already liked what we called Chiptunes Music for fun. I had in mind to do a new album around the idea of the oldschool Pixelised theme of “eMail to Elise” with a CiJibastian Bach using a crazy chipinstrument…
That folder stay many years on my computer and I’ve added and removed some new stuff from time to time. But “Electro Dance” was still the genre I mostly made till my first child was born. At that time I needed to change many things, and then during few years I didn’t wrote any music. Then in 2010 I came back, but only on a minimalist music style that realy fitted to this project.
So I wanted to change the concept of the album to “Super CJ Land” that really fitted to my new passion of oldschool video games. So I’ve asked my friend the talentous graphist Tohad to think about that for the cover while I was trying to finish to write songs and find an idea to create a whole ambient for the 30 songs (in fact, at first, there were 50 tracks !)

What software, gear, setup, etc. do you use to make music?
This album have something really special because the older track was written in year 2000. So I’ve used a patchwork of softwares. Impulse Tracker, Open Modplug Tracker, Schism Tracker, Jeskola Buzz Tracker, Goat Tracker and a Demo version of Renoise. I’ve often used just “samples” like the demosceners but I’ve also had fun with 8bits VSTi like Farbrausch V2, 4KLang, and Plogue Chipsound.

How would you describe your music, with words?
Super CJ Land : Welcome to my TinyWorld is not just a simple album about Chiptunes nor an album composed with GameBoys: this is a trip in Cyborg Jeff land with all those simple sounds and miniaturation competition from that universe. Tools have changed during this project! You’ll hear tracks wittten with the FM synthesizer well known in Demoscene world but also mood of the mythic C64 of my childhood… or some tracks sounding more Amiga and Nintendo Video Games. So I hope this diversity will be enjoyable! It’s fresh and happy !

What inspires you ?
For sure there are many things that inspire me, especially in this album that have many many references during those long years. There are inspiration coming from the great Commodore and Amiga compositors : Alister Brimble, Barry Leitch, Chris Huelsbeck, Jeroen Tel, Rob Hubbard or Laxity.
There are also an important inspiration coming from the Demoscene World like Bzam, Dubmood, Zus, KB, Rez, Ultrasyd, Maf for instance… and some of them are also now compositors for Indie Video Game like Frédéric Motte and Jake Kaufmann.
There are also just simple moments, like Xmas mood, like Fukushima fears, like discovering the Pix’n’Love books or some melodies from Owl City at the radio…
Finaly there are also people that have given to me some special power to get inspired from. My Brother Pype and his Bilou video game, my friend Pierrick who teached me how to make music with a computer, Zavie and LLB from CTRL-ALT-TEST that waked me up to write music again, my wife, my children,…

Any musician, famous or not, we should check?
Well, about other musicans, there are 3 new artists I’ve discovered and they would be my forthcoming inspiration: Lindsey Stirling, Caravan Palace and “Les Déménageurs”…
I could also invite you to listen to the last album of Zus, izioq (ed.: thanks! ^^) and Ben Landis if you’d like to hear something in the mood of Super CJ Land. All of them have written kwel chiptune albums:
https://zusmusic.bandcamp.com
https://izioq.bandcamp.com
https://music.adventuresinpixels.net

Tell us about a movie, a book or a video game you liked recently…
Oh yeah, I read a lot of books about old video games. I’ve read a lot Pix’n’Love and for now I’m reading “Le Petit livre des Jeux Vidéo” from Marabout Edition. I though it was not interesting, but there are a lot of games from the seventies and early eighties I’ve discovered!
I can speak about “Player One” from Ernest Cline that was for sure my favorite book till I’ve finished Harry Potter! It’s a story about Virtual World and a quest for Atari’s artefacts. You should read it!
For now I’ve just bought a Master System, so I’m discovering some 8bits Sega games !

Please describe your actual haircut.
Hehe… I’m realy proud of my haircut. Vegeta and Sangoku have tried to do the same… but mine is better!

Any other links you’d like to share here(youtube, twitter, etc.)?
Well till 2000 I’ve seed my CD albums around the web… there are a lot of free CJ’s music on Jamendo and Bandcamp… One day, there will be a quest to collect all the 1200 tunes I’ve written on big open massive game… or not ! You should may be start it now?
Thanks Izioq for your interest about my work. For now I’ve a lot of ideas in my head… But I don’t have the time to give them birth… see you soon!

(english) http://www.cyborgjeff.com
(french) http://blog.cyborgjeff.com

Interview by izioq

interzioq #3: SoulEye’s interview – MMMMMM and PPPPPP

PPPPPP

Hello what’s your name and how do you feel right now?
My powerful-viking-sounding name is Magnus and I am on a sugar high frenzy from eating a good-sized piece of chocolate and washing it down with an energy drink!

Anything else about you that you’d like to share (age, country, favorite food, shoe size, etc.)?
I love going deep and getting philosophical in addition to making music. So much so that I’m just about to arrange a weekend workshop in how to relate authentically and dropping into deep connection with another person.
Mmmm, don’t you just wish this was an interview with follow-up-questions now? 🙂

You mean like this?
What!? How did you do that!?

What’s your last release and do you have something special to say about it?
My latest big release was the hard rocking MMMMMM (http://souleye.se/m) and it’s a cover album of my chiptuney album PPPPPP (http://souleye.se/pppppp) that I did for the game VVVVVV (http://thelettervsixtim.es/). Some people are creative with their album titles, I seem just be hitting one key over and over until I’m satisfied.

What software, gear, setup, etc. do you use to make music?
Madtracker 2 and a PC. Some VSTs. Hardware wise I have a nice Ibanez electric guitar and a guitalele too. Combined with an Audio-technica microphone I can be quite a menace to some eardrums if I decide to do a hidden bonus track for an album, which I frequently do.

How would you describe your music, with words?
How to give a description of chippy game music… Well… Have you ever heard game music that’s so catchy it’s virtually impossible to stop listening, let alone forget? The ultimate chiptune for instance. Have you heard it? The one that kicks so much ass that it’s impossible to create anything better. The flagship triumph that transcends what is normal chiptunes and explodes into your mind, leaving your mouth open, knees trembling, and thoughts in disarray. As you’re grasping for air after the first play, you play it again. And by some unbelievable freak of nature, it’s even better the second time. You have a new favorite, and there is nothing better. It has the kind of melodies that burn themselves into your mind and keeps you humming and grooving even when you’re not playing the game?
Yeah? Well me too. I don’t know if I have created said tune but something was stirred in me. It got so bad that my mind starting making up melodies of its own without my permission and wouldn’t stop until I penned them down.

What inspires you?
Happy harmonies. Good vibes. Nature. Connections with friends. Truth. Love. Play. Games. Shall I go on? Ok! Life. Movies. Travel. Exercise.

Any musician, famous or not, we should check?
My homie-bro-ham Scattle, my Burning-Man bro Chris Huelsbeck, the oh-so-real Jeroen Tel… Take your pick.

Tell us about a movie, a book or a video game you liked recently…
I re-watched Wolf of Wall Street the other day. Crazy ass stuff. Then I went and looked up the guy it was inspired from and – he’s actually great and I found some profoundly cool sales training videos of him online. Then I looked at the movie again and saw that he is actually IN the movie, presenting Leonardo DiCaprio as being, well, himself! That was a great fun thing to see!

Please describe your actual haircut.
Sure, if I can find it. I’ll let you know. Once my trimmer dies and if I don’t replace it, maybe one day I will grow enough hair to go have a haircut.

Any other links you’d like to share here(youtube, twitter, etc.)?
https://twitter.com/MPSouleye (most action here!)
http://www.souleye.se (when you wanna actually hear some kickass game music)
https://www.facebook.com/MPSouleye (this account just copies what I say on Twitter, but hey, maybe you don’t use Twitter, so here you go!)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsyZCpD8Pboi-NGhbw7wylw (some things that don’t show up on my website show up here instead!)

Interview by izioq

Jim Guthrie – “Children of the Clone”

jim guthrie

I guess there is no need to introduce Jim Guthrie, the genius craftman behind the Sword & Sworcery LP – The Ballad of the Space Babies OST.

However, it is not about this (awesome) video game soundtrack that I want to talk today but about his beautiful “Children of the Clone”.

Entirely recorded on a Sony Playstation (one) using MTV Music Generator this is a plainly inspirational album.

Finding this little gem was very important to me because it made me realise that it was possible to release a record made with a pretty “sequenced” sound without it being dance, house or techno music. I was personaly messing with music trackers and small pieces of sampled sounds since I was a teen in the 90’s but I’ve always thought that my “cheap sequenced” sounds couldn’t be share around… I don’t know why… Apparently I was completely wrong and, as always, technology doesn’t matter in the end: only the talent of Jim Guthrie, his musical ideas and an old playstation game are enough 🙂

The compositions on Children of the Clone are very original and, in a way, video-game sounding but, at the same time, they really got a “rock’n’roll attitude” you know… an “indie DIY” feeling… no doubt because “home is were the rock is”.

It is also interesting to note, for example, the evolution of a simple but beautiful track such as “Light Flute” from its early form here to its final appeareance under the name of “Dark Flute” the opening track of the Sword&Sorcery LP.

I definitely recommend you to check this very charming album. It is deep and raw at the same time, honest and brilliant!

by izioq