Friday, 10 May 2013

Week #19| Love Through Cannibalism- Beach Glitch

Week 19... And we visit Spain for a summer treat from our own resident artist, Love Through Cannibalism! The track is here, and below is probably the trippiest interview yet...

WT: To begin with, what was your first contact with the chiptune world?

Love Through Cannibalism: Paying attention to my favourite Gameboy game from my childhood: Kirby's Dream Land. I noticed how some parts of the soundtrack stopped playing when other sound effects were playing, same thing for Pokémon OST. I didn't know about channels and that kind of things! (Love Through Cannibalism laughs) I was around 6... (Love Through Cannibalism stares at the horizon with a nostalgic feel in his aura).

Then I got the Gameboy Camera, and I toyed around with Trippy-H for a bit. I was totally unaware of chiptune music or music making in general, I kind of just pressed buttons. But many years later, when I was 19, I gained my interest back while listening to iamerror randomly, then I was aware of the interesting point of mixing chiptune sounds with other genres.

WT: Was that interest in mixing chiptune sounds with other genres what prompted the very experimental breakbeat inspired sounds of your earlier work?

LTC: Definitely! What really interested me was the contrast that chiptune generates when you put it "out of context". To me, 8bit generated sounds were pure cute, innocent nostalgic sounds from my childhood, and I’m deeply interested in "decontextualization", so just mixing it with other genres was really appealing to me. (Love Through Cannibalism takes out a framed Saskrotch picture and puts it on the table)

I first started mixing my bleep and bloops with distorted guitars and shitty drums, but probably after too much listening to Venetian Snares / Saskrotch I became interested by jungle sounds and breakcore (drum and bass, etc.) Saskrotch pretty much did the kind of music that I was hoping for, but as much as I love him, something else was missing for my personal purpose and understanding of "chipbreak" (Chiptune mixed with breakcore / drum and bass / etc). To sum up: I was too much under the influence of artists that did that mixing of genres, and I took that as reference for my earlier work. As much as there was an experimentation goal on it, my earlier albums are more of technical exercises to get comfortable with a genre and slowly begin to craft my own sound.

I'm still experimenting and abusing the amen break, still looking for that missing thing, to achieve the sound that I’d love to hear. I pretty much do music for that, just music that I’d like to hear. There is not much chipbreak out there, why not make more? (Love Through Cannibalism pulls out a roll of bills and starts counting money)

WT: You’ve also formed a connection with the seapunk community through some of your releases. Could you tell us a bit about both this and your own label, Wavwave?

LTC: At some point I was tired of my "unhappy" or ultra-nostalgic sound (All my melodies ended up being quite "sad" without even trying) and decided to create a release strictly related to summer, warmness and tropical happiness.

While I was crafting this sunny style, seapunk started to grow up. There are lots of similarities with my electropical music and seapunk music, and I have lots of friends that are really involved with the seapunk world, but I think my latest music is more oriented to summer, while "true seapunk" music is about water, not only the happy beach party atmosphere that I do. So I’m not really seapunk, but it's pretty obvious that I share a connection with the aesthetics that it represents and we have similar ideas in many artistic areas. (Love Through Cannibalism opens a Mountain Dew bottle and drinks from it).

Wayde Harris and I decided to jump onto the seapunk bandwagon (not really to gain popularity, just to support some of the ideas that this culture represents) and create a Netlabel called WAVWAVE (Love Through Cannibalism points to Andrew that he should add a link there and try to make the hyperlink colourful and beautiful). Our only goal was to gather all the chipmusicians interested in tropical feels and sunny music, or at least related to oceans and that shit (Love Through Cannibalism apologizes for using dirty words). We created random GIFs to get tumblr followers, get noticed and help chipwave musicians to reach our website, without much success. We released my music and some Whitely too, but artists are not interested on the label yet. Like I fucking care LOL I’m rich anyways (Love Through Cannibalism starts to show his diamond chains and his Casio VL-1 made of gold to the camera).

WT: You’re WeeklyTreat track is quite different from your usual musical output, could you talk us through how you made it?

LTC: I like to do funny experiments on splits // compilations that are not under my own "released" material. I tried to do different styles on this one but ended up being just pure glitch after all.
This track is pretty different from my usual stuff because it's not as melodic or "nice" as my usual thing, it's pretty much noise and not cool at all. Lots of glitchy high-pitched crunchy kicks, bleep bloops and everything else that's beautiful in this world.

It features glitched LSDJ cuts, my new CASIO SA-10 (Just bought it yesterday) and my usual LxTxCx sounds. After "over-thinking" the track too much I decided to remove lots of unnecessary parts and keep it simple, it's around 2 minutes but I really hope you like it!

I'm planning a new LSDJ release with this kind of glitchy drums, but more dance oriented. (Love Through Cannibalism starts to glitch himself).

WT: Artwork also plays a big part in your involvement within the scene, can you begin by explaining the visual influences behind you work?

LTC: Yes, artwork keeps me busy most days. I don't really know about my visual influences! I take influences from almost everything, not only other visual artists. I usually take influences from music and use that ideas for my artwork, especially from abrasive and psychedelic electronic music, like Animal Collective, Flying Lotus, that kind of stuff.

My main occupation (for the past 4 years) is being a Fine Arts student here in University of Barcelona. I specialized in image developing (photography, video, design, etc). I've been forced to see tons of artist's work there, but nothing related to pixel art or glitch art. That's a good thing, because I always try to apply influences from other fields of art to pixel/glitch art. In fact I tried to solve all the examinations from my career using pixel art! (Love Through Cannibalism laughs). Pixel sculptures, glitchy drawing, using Gameboy camera pictures for an advanced Photography class essay, etc

What I do mainly is pixel art and glitch art, and I’ve been doing artwork for my project and for many other chipmusic artists out there (Cheapshot, Whitely, Holy Konni, PXL-BOT, the list could go on). You can check my portfolio here.

I developed my style and learned about pixel and glitch art just by interest. I always loved that kind of graphics. I must say there are a lot of "contemporary" pixel, nes and glitch artists that do things like me and that inspire me a lot, like NOCARRIER, Party Time! Hexcellent!, Max Capacity, Ralp,  Raquel Meyers, etc. They have more experience like me but I hope to become as good as them soon! (Love Through Cannibalism stands up and points at the sky with his finger, with an epic glow on his eyes).

WT: You’re also the artist for this here project, could you tell us a bit about the creative process behind that and how you thought it up?

LTC: I did a couple NES / Chiptune related hardware mock-ups in the past, and since my bosses Andrew and Alex wanted something like a cartridge I tried my best to create album art that looks like a physical videogame.

The creative process is really simple, I already have a formula for it. Once the main design is done, I only have to arrange the text and do a selective and tasteful pick of colours. Then I use the artist's favourite NES game to create the background of the cover.

I take sprites and screenshots from the NES game and convert the colours to create a 2 colours image that works well with the whole design. Working with pixels is great because you can take pixels from a Gameboy, a NES or any other computer graphics that are based on the pixel system and they mix together very well. I like working with sprites as much as creating pixel art from scratch!

WT: How did your T-Shirt designs come about?

LTC: Same as creating music, I designed the t-shirts that I’d like to wear. I also loved the idea of other people wearing t-shirts with my design on it. I kind of enjoy thinking that someone is doing things, like, living nice experiences while wearing my shirt, and I’m there in some way. (Love Through Cannibalism shows his self-designed t-shirt to the camera).

The only problem is that I don't have the time / the resources to do the t-shirts by myself, so I must use Spreadshirt. Spreadshirt is really great because they provide high quality t-shirts and the design is amazingly printed, they also do the whole shipping process etc, but their prices are kinda high (15 euros per shirt minimum) Then I must choose the price that I want to gain per design, so I must say something like 1 euro to keep the shirt affordable for the people, so I don't really see much money for this and it's kinda for love of the art.

I'll probably increase prices eventually since I’m growing up and have bills to pay so get hurry and pick one for low money because I’m already talking about a partnership with GUCCI and shit will become expensive at the speed of light.

WT: You recently performed live at Low Cycle, could you tell us a bit about this experience and the set-up you used?

LTC: My good friends at Lowtoy are organizing a great chiptune cycle in Barcelona, for local artists and celebrities over the world (they got Je Deviends Dj En 3 Jours, Nordloef, China Toy and many more). They are doing great things for Spanish Chiptune!

The experience was really great! I'm not used at listening to my own music through a powerful audio system, and playing live is always really fun. I need to work on my live performances to add more energy to my stage presence and get some people dancing. For my next live I might do some stupid stuff like a silly dance contest or something like that.

My setup was my girlfriend's laptop + Akai MPD26 (A midi controller to do skrillex things, send glitch shit to the main audio output and play some live drums), my CASIO VL-1 and my CASIO SA-7. Oh and some Gameboy too, going from Ikumi to Trippy-H. I play some melodies and harmony over the main mix!

WT: What is the chiptune scene like in Spain?

LTC: Not as big as in other countries like UK, Japan or USA, but still growing and healthy. I'm part of a collective named Cultura Chip we are one of the most active chiptune collectives in Spain, we do lots of stuff, and we have some crazy talent flowing around there. We are also open to Latin countries and pretty much everyone that speaks Spanish.

We also have Lowtoy303bcn, Club Sprite, AAMSX, SebityaFamiliar and a few more!

But regular people here don't know much about chiptune or anything related to the scene, still pretty unknown but we are working on it, one festival at a time! 

I'll probably create a new Spanish collective named Amigos Del Supermario and we'll discuss super mario related stuff the most part of the day because super mario is one of the best chiptune DJ's and we must pay respect to him he pretty much created the 8bit as a concept. (Love Through Cannibalism starts playing a Super Mario Bros flash game in his PSP).

WT: In terms of both art and music, what have you got planned for the future of Love Through Cannibalism?

LTC: I started this project while I was a teenager, but I grew up and now I have a life and bills to pay, so I’ll probably end up focusing more on artwork than music, because I already have commissions for artwork and if I apply myself I can end up having a job related to pixel graphics making, and that would make me incredibly happy! (Love Through Cannibalism shows a printed screenshot of his PayPal account, showing to the camera how rich he is).

However I don't plan on quitting music or anything like that. I feel like I abused the amen break and the "moombahton" beat enough, so maybe I start doing different styles of music now, but keeping the chiptune elements and my current flavours. At least for a while I would love to do more experiments and glitchy music ;D I also would like to experiment more with legit chip sounds, and don't force myself to use DAW's and do a more "live" oriented kind of music.
By the way my name is Víctor.