Week 22 and we're visiting sunny old England with The Hamlet. Having formerly released on Pxl-Bot, The Hamlet brings the same awesome style to this weeks track!
Grab it here!
WT: How did you originally come into contact with the Chiptune scene?
The Hamlet: It was down to nostalgia I guess. I have fond memories playing on a variety of 8 bit consoles and home computers as a kid and the complex but 'bitty' soundtracks were always a massive part of these early adventures. Cut to about 7 years ago and I came across 'the advantage', their NES covers took me right back to the days of sitting on the floor as close to the TV as possible screaming at pixelated ducks. I was hooked again, and so I grabbed a NSF player and started trawling through the Nintendo back catalogue and enjoying a slice of my childhood. It wasn't long before I came across the newer original NSFs and the work of people like Rushjet1. It expanded from there really, as soon as I found people were making their own stuff I looked for it everywhere.
WT: Could you explain what you use to create your music and why you chose this method?
TH: I've messed about on a few trackers like Famitracker and Goattracker but I found them a bit complicated if you're trying to get an idea down quickly. As most of my tracks come from something I've whistled while going about my day I need to get it down before I forget it, so I have found that Renoise is brilliant for this as it's just straightforward and intuitive. I use 8bitmagic VST to get the chip sound I want and the in-programme drum kit for the beats. I know a lot of purists look down their noses a bit at this, but for me it's the feel of the track that's the main thing. If it sets off an image or narrative in the listeners mind then job done.
WT: What is the story behind your name, 'The Hamlet'?
TH: I enjoy the contrast between the old and new. With the name and cover art I trying to give a feel of a time when to walk to the next village was a step into the unknown, when it was conceivable to Johnny Everyman that weird, scary shit lived in the dark forests and caves. Also, as I used to be in a band and now my musical output is a solo affair it fits with the idea that I'm kind of cut off, doing my own thing. Alienated but still industrious I guess.
WT: Who or what are the main influences behind how you write your music?
TH: Many and varied I guess. At times it could be a Bach piece by Julian Bream as that kind of duel melody seems to suit the medium well, and other times it could be a hook on an advert or a phone ring tone. I love the time changes and stop start elements of math rock but I've never really managed to pull it off as well as I would have liked in my chiptunes. I use bandcamp a lot to keep up with the chiptune stuff and the Nintendo composers like Kōji Kondō still definitely get a look in.
WT: What went into writing 'A Journey's End'?
TH: When you asked for tracks it was lucky and sort of fitting that I had just finished this track. I had it in mind that it would be my last (hence the title) as the birth of my daughter was imminent I couldn't see how I could fit in the time to make more tracks. It started as an idea on the piano (which I can barely play may I add) which I then fleshed out when I got it on to Renoise. It was completed pretty quickly as it's just playing around with one element but I'm pretty happy with the finished track.
WT: What are your future plans for The Hamlet?
TH: As it happened, having Mollie didn't stop me messing around on Renoise, but it certainly slowed me down! I've got about 5 tracks I've been tinkering with and so they're close to completion but probably won't get an airing until I've got enough for another album. I've been listening to John Carpenter's The Fog and Assault on Precinct 13 soundtracks recently and their influence seems to show in the new tracks so it's safe to assume the new album will have a different feel to the previous one. Just want to say how brilliant Pxl-bot have been in promoting my 8-bittings and supportive throughout, cheers guys!