Short note to all reading: due to the pulling out or non-committal from some artists we're re-opening track submissions for artists who want to get involved! Email me at email@example.com or us both at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WT: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re based, and how you first discovered the chiptune scene please?
Steven: Yo! I'm Steve, I've been repping the Bromley Massive since '92, and I make garish rave music using junk consumer electronics.
I first discovered chipmusic in the womb, as my parents whiled away pregnancy with their NES. I was introduced to the new wave of artists using old sound chips via micromusic.net, which I think stands as one of the greatest achievements of the internet age.
WT: What artists from the chip scene have been of influence to you?
S: The video of Hally at Blip Festival 2007 is certainly one of the most inspirational things I've ever seen. YMCK, Rico Zerone, peeR, Zabutom and David E. Sugar have to be mentioned as well. That said I think my sound is really indebted to Japanese SNES composers like the Konami sound team, Toshiyuki Takine, Jun Ishikawa and so on.
WT: How did you come to release on Kittenrock, and what was your experience of doing so?
S: This was back in the days when netlabels were a big deal, and Kittenrock was (and remains) one of the coolest. Boringly it was a simple email demo affair, but I was overjoyed that Jellica liked my stuff enough to host it (mad props to him). I remember being surprised at how many downloads my first EP got, and also at one strange German review that compared its melodic FM synth-pop stylings to Justice.
WT: How did you find the experience of playing at ChipFest VII, and could you please explain a bit about the festival for those who aren’t aware?
S: Chipfest VII went off! It was definitely one of the best lo-fi shows I've played at - seeing 4mat rock out to 'Chipmusic Is Dead' was a golden moment. CalmDownKidder has been putting it on for a while, since the halcyon days of 8bc I think, and it's a valuable opportunity to catch artists from the UK and beyond. Liverpool should be very grateful to CDK!
WT: Do you play live often?
S: I play live fairly often yeah. Most of these have been in slightly downheel London sweatboxes with like-minded producers and hardcore ravers but I've had some arty larks too. I've also had the pleasure of playing in Europe - I did a kind of micro-tour of Holland a while back, and I've played several shows in Brussels. Benelux knows.
WT: Could you tell us what went in to creating your track and the inspirations behind it please?
S: I made 'Shinjuku Rainbow Ravers' one December evening to test some samples I'd made of the Super Famicom game Sutte Hakkun. All the sounds in the song are from that game (with one exception; kudos to whoever identifies the .spc source of that), which were sequenced in Logic. All the delay was done manually, though I didn't limit myself to the SPC700's 8 channels.
Musically it's a pretty shameless tribute to the British rave productions (Shades of Rhythm, N-Joi etc.) that some fourth-generation console composers aped. I didn't intend this but the track's brand of daft, cutesy .spc rave sounds like Super Aleste crossed with Wagyan Paradise or something.
WT: You recently helped compile the acid-house influenced chiptune compilation ‘Virtual Kikumoto’, what was the process behind putting this together?
S: I was thinking about how modern chipmusic artists had used different platforms to imitate or incorporate the sound of the TB-303 (for example, Matt Nida's 'Three Miles Per Hour' and gwEm's 'Acidic Tears' sound totally different, but are both unquestionably banging acid trax). After imagining how acid house could sound on different sound chips, the concept of Virtual Kikumoto - an album featuring ten artists using ten different platforms - appeared fully formed in my mind.
I emailed musicians who were both acid fans and masters of certain sound chips. Pretty much all of my first choices agreed to contribute exclusive tracks, so compiling it was actually pretty easy! Raquel Meyers also did a fantastic job on the artwork. The choice of label was a no-brainer too - I don't think anyone in the world is better suited to hosting this album than Kittenrock.
WT: What’s next for ‘Steven’?
S: The next major Steve event will be the release of my first 12'' this year; the result of several years of guerrilla rave production, it’s not chipmusic but does feature sounds generated by software like LSDJ and Pocket Music among others.
I'm also finishing some remixes, sorting out some shows and working on the novelty hit that will provide my pension.