Friday, 22 February 2013

Week #08| Jellica- Remoss33

Week number 8 and we're back in Blighty visiting chiptune legend and owner of KittenrockJellica! Interview below and track here!

WT: Could you begin by giving us a bit of background info on yourself and how you got into chiptune please? 

Jellica: I am Jake. I am 33 years old. I live with my lovely girlfriend in a flat in Cambridge with a foster cat call poppy and she is black and white and quite old and deaf she is very cute and likes lots of cuddles and purrs a lot through her purr hole she is sleeping on the camel stool next to the radiator at the moment all of the cats in my life have loved the camel stool it is quite old. I had a c64 and we used to make tapes of the music with a cassette recorder next to the speaker of the television. I discovered tracking on the Amiga when we got Octamed on a magazine cover disk and me and my brother both got into it that way my brother still uses the Amiga to make music and he is very good at is because he has been doing it for so long. I played with fruity loops and Cubase for a bit but no one is allowed to hear that music but when I got the internet I discovered the HVSC, and then I got an Amiga again and a Game Boy.

WT: What motivated you to set up Kittenrock, and how did that come about?

J: A friend of mine actually set it up - he has a few early releases on Kittenrock under the names of Dr Dru/Grand Theft Andrew/Timmy Westwood - simply as a place to share the music that us and various friends made (did places like MySpace/ Deviantart /whatever exist to share worthless art then?), lots of it has been lost now but I'm kind of glad a lot of it isn’t online anymore. This must have been around 2002, I forget, but at the time I didn't even have the internet and had to go and look newsagents in the eye to get my pornography.

The turning point was when we did our 8bit megamixes and people suddenly noticed the site and it cost us lots of money due to the amount of downloads going over our bandwidth limit.

It just grew from there.

WT: What has been your favourite release?

J: Shit, difficult to choose a favourite, so I’m not! Some of my personal favourites have been by: Biographs, Joss Manley, Kraettz, Ovenrake, Steve, Flashbob and Silent Requiem.

WT: What would you consider are your main musical influences?

J: I guess the biggest one would be a lot of the great 90s Warp and Rephlex releases. Far too many to list! And all the great acid, italo, electro and disco that originally influenced them.

Otherwise, I've been listening to Pere Ubu's Modern Dance quite a lot, the 3 Can albums with Damo Suzuki, my Dad just brought me Faust IV, beautiful psychedelic German pop. Ha-ha and Kraftwerk of course!

WT: Could you please explain your involvement in the demoscene?
J: After about 4 years of making C64 music and keeping it to myself, I finally decided to share some and promptly got invited to join Hack n' Trade as a C64 musician. Their style is very unique, very different to the vast majority of C64 demos, so hopefully I’ll fit in!

I also found out that 4mat lives just down the road from me so we met up and we’ve been playing around with a few sounds – he’s been sharing some nice c64 tools and simple bits of code as well.

Being told your music sounds just sounds like a load of glitches (as opposed to sounding like Drax, I guess, which is what ALL c64 music SHOULD sound like) is a bit more refreshing that the usual endless whining in the Game Boy scene. At least someone one noticed and commented right?

WT: What you semi-recently released the ‘Everything Under The Sea’ trilogy under a different pseudonym, what went into creating these?

J: That’s a bunch of demos that came out of a collaboration that started in 2008 between me and another Cambridge musician, Man From Uranus, who makes library influenced psychedelic synth music.

Lots of finished stuff can be found on his YouTube, it’s basically just us getting together in a very smoky room and messing around all the hardware we have - Game Boys, old junkshop keyboards, Monotribe and some more serious synths.

It’s a lot of fun improvising and stumbling around, we've got some great stuff coming out soon. My favourite at the moment is this beautiful dreamy disco track that fell together. It’s a great way of working.

WT: Where do you plan to take ‘Kittenrock’ and ‘Jellica’ next?

J: For Kittenrock? I kind of feel that the idea of the netlabel is sort of dead, people host their own crappy music on Soundcloud or Bandcamp of whatever these days. I guess it is still nice to have some sort of curation though, so I’ve pretty much been blogging about releases that fit under the Kittenrock thing, with the occasional release.

For Jellica? I’m going to keep making music, you should hear some of my stuff on some C64 demos soon and I’m working on a new C64 release as we speak, mostly using the 3 x SID set up.

MMM that’s if I can draw myself away from all the great games I have discovered on Why don’t people make games like Planescape: Torment anymore? I didn’t play it at the time but it looks stunning and still feels very fresh.