Week 33: And we welcome the multi-aliased chip scene veteran Carl Peczynski, or more specifically OxygenStar! Grab the track here!
Weekly Treats: How were you first introduced to Chiptune and what cemented your place in the scene?
OxygenStar: I'm pretty sure my first exposure to chiptune was when I came across a video of Nullsleep performing on a NYC street. When I noticed he was using a gameboy, I had to delve further and find out all about it. However, composing on a gameboy with a tiny screen never appealed to me, so I starting composing chiptune on the NES initially via midiNES.
I had been on the forums for sometime prior to meeting anyone but my first contact with people in person was a random show put on in Brooklyn some years ago. This girl emailed me out of the blue asking me to play a "chiptune" show in Brooklyn. She asked me first (for some reason) and had no other artists in mind. So I blindly emailed some artists that I never spoke to or met before, and asked them to play. They all said yes. And that was cool! Those artists were minusbaby, glomag and 8GB. I have played many more shows with those folks since then. That was my first contact with the scene and I was immediately hooked/inspired from then on.
WT: Who or what would you say are some of your main influences musically?
OS: This is a tough one since I tend to write a lot of different forms/styles of music. I would say I tend to get inspired by other means, rather than just hearing a particular piece of music. But If I had to name some general musical influences I would have to say: The Flaming Lips, Air, Beck, Ulrich Schnauss, Gangpol Und Mit, Boards of Canada, just to name a few...
WT: Could you tell us a bit about what you use to write your music?
OS: In the early days, I started out composing "nintendo-esque" tracks by using simple sampled NES waveforms. I would mix them with lo-fi drums and that would be pretty much be it. But when I learned more about the hardware end of it, I researched any and all of it. This helped me move onto the the midiNES cartridge, and eventually onto MS-DOS production. Once I discovered all the audio programs and tools that were designed for MS-DOS/Sound Blaster 16, I stopped everything and just concentrated on those aspects. Since then, I still tend to use MS-DOS in terms of music production frequently. I stick to using Adlib Tracker II and Impulse Tracker mainly.
WT: As well as OxygenStar you write under a number of different aliases, can you tell us a bit more about some of these?
OS: OK HERE WE GO! Yes, I have many different names due to infinite boredom. Ideally, it would easier for me if I could just have one name and do anything I wanted. But I always felt that just doesn't work. I created OxygenStar to be my "catch-all" funtimes chiptune act. It has a certain writing style and sound, but not limited to a medium for creating on. And then when I came up with sadNES, I felt I could not do that under the OxygenStar name. They just differ in sound too much, and would most likely confuse people when going to a live show, or trying to find my music online. So, the main reason I have all these names are to help categorize what I do. It helps me keep them more organized. For those interested here, is my breakdown and thought process behind it all:
OxygenStar - NES and Adlib Tracker II (mainly). Happy, fun, quirky melodic tunes.
sadNES - NES with guitar and vocals. 90's grunge Nintendo music
Doomcloud - NES agressive dance music. Created specifically to make y'all dance.
Radlib - Adlib Tracker 2/Impluse Tracker, MS-DOS. Created specifically to make y'all dance.
Steady C - NES. My outlet when I feel like rapping, which tends to be rare!
MyTwoRobodads - My oldest stuff, sampled NES wavform tunes, live drums.
(??????????) - COMING SOON. Cyberpunk electro MS-DOS, Impulse Tracker. This will replace the O2STAR project, due to his retirement)
I feel I still need to create another new name, again just to be a "catch-all" for anything chiptune. I had a vision to create an act that only performs first, when playing live. It would be fun to always be the first act of the night as people are coming in, and perform some songs that prepare people for the rest of the night.
WT: You are working on an OxygenStar album to be released later this year, can you tell us a bit more about this?
OS: Yes, for the past couple years I've been struggling to finish a new Adlib Tracker II album. Most of the songs are older but just have never been released. I really need to get these songs out there! And it's possible it may be my last OxygenStar album, but who knows!
WT: What is the reason behind the retirement of OxygenStar?
OS: I have too many names! And I kind of got tired of that name altogether. So now it's time for the future!! And new names and sounds!!
WT: What are your musical plans for the future? Can you tell us anything about the previously mentioned cyberpunk electro project coming soon?
OS: I wake up with visions of new projects all the time. For example, I came up with "Doomcloud" completely random day, but within those 5 seconds I knew exactly what I wanted it to sound like, as well as how it should be presented. This new thing happened occurred to me in that same fashion, except I have no name yet. But I do know that I want it to be heavily old school PC computer based, using MS-DOS mainly. I want more people to be exposed to that sort of thing, so maybe it will inspire others to get into it! MS-DOS is what I grew up with and it means the most to me. I never had a Nintendo, Super Nintendo or Sega, etc... I had to go to my friend's houses to play them. So I feel going all out with a complete MS-DOS project is what needs to be done. I will most likely be playing some sort of synth along with it, possibly the Alpha Juno. I want it to be somewhat "performance" based. I may do vocals here and there as well. All I know is what I want to use, how I want it to sound and how I should dress.