4 x Mortimer Twang: (sound)chip(based)non(chip)music

There’s been another discussion at 8bc about what chipmusic is. It seems to me that there are more people talking about genre than technodeterminism compared to a few years ago. There are thoughts about what building blocks make it sound chip (Sound chip here means: proper chipstyle, sounding-like chipstyle, soundchip). That could be due to the new perspectives that come with non-techno-purism. If you don’t use soundchips and trackers you need to be aware about what you’re doing in order to make it sound chip. When you’re using soundchips and trackers, you don’t have to worry about those things. (form vs medium)

It is interesting, because the technodeterminst view has tended to build this defensive discourse during the 2000s. “If you make chipmusic that’s not coming from a soundchip, we don’t want you around here boy!”. In the 90s it was about filesize instead, because a lot (if not most) chipmusic in the 1990s was sample-based on Amiga or PC. But still, if we say that the Paula chip of the Amiga is a soundchip, it is possible to stick with the soundchip-determinst definition of chipmusic. (A bit like pretending that the Gameboy has a soundchip)

Anything made with the internal sounds of the Amiga then, is chipmusic, e.g. Amigacore, Osdorp Posse, Bruno. Which finally brings us to the reason of this post. Up Rough has posted mastered MP3-versions of four Amiga MOD-classics by Mortimer Twang (Lukas Nystrand): Agima Blues (515kb), All Times by Music (588kb), Burning Chrome (350kb), Moonmaster (390kb). Calling this chipmusic is a bit useless, because the music form is quite far from quantized geek bleep museek. This has more to do with hip hop, jazz, and drum n’ bass. If you put Mortimer’s music into a mix, you no longer have to put your brain into tracker-data-analysis-mode when you hear it. Just listen to the music. Sometimes music is just music, nowhaddayouknow.


8 Responses to “4 x Mortimer Twang: (sound)chip(based)non(chip)music”

  1. peter Says:

    I think at the end of the day itll come down to two kinds of artists: ones who are defined by the tools they use and ones defined by the music they make.

    My favorite chip artists tend to be the ones who style would shine through on whatever instruments they write their tunes on.

  2. M-.-n Says:

    “Paula is primarily the audio chip, with 4 independent hardware-mixed 8-bit PCM sound channels, each of which supports 65 volume levels and any sample rate from roughly 20 Hz to 29 kHz”

    so, AFAIK, the amiga DIDN’T have a ‘soundchip’ per say. It was just a 4 ch sample playback engine. If there was any synthesis, it was purely generated from samples and modulation of these.

    If anything “defines” the style, it’s the tracker’s command-style mecanism leading to heavy modulation and it’s tight integration with the sound generation parameters, *not* the synthesis style that is behind

    Barriers should be blurry, genres should mix.

    People should also get a life.

  3. chipflip Says:

    @m-.-n: it’s intentionally provocative to call osdorp posse chipmusic. and with a strict definition the Amiga doesn’t have a soundchip. (maybe it should be called a soundcard?). neither does the gameboy :) still, the word chipmusic was invented on the amiga, and so were the (sound)tracker standards (e.g. Protracker, LSDj, Renoise). and as you say, software is very important in defining chipmusic. imho, the soundtrackers encourage more delicate programming than a lot of other trackers. in that way, i can still say that osdorp posse is chipmusic :D

    and life is for losers!

  4. peter Says:

    Is beeper music chipmusic? What about pokey, which is really a keyboard controller? Not being snarky just wanted to ask.

  5. chipflip Says:

    or washing machines, door bells, TIA, 2A03, etc. i think we need a jury to settle this, once and for all.

    imho, beepers and pokey is all good. and plenty of the above ones aswell.

  6. M-.-n Says:

    @peter: I’m all for beer cheermusic !

  7. disconinjaz Says:

    that’s why i prefer to call lot of things “chipstyle”. “chip music” is very strict in sense of pure defenition.

    btw, just for your info, i got a new release on my disconinjaz netlabel

    and even a new cd (though it is definitely far away from the topic of discussion here, but you might like that crazy abstract rave we do;) )

    dmitry (chipcult)

  8. Octamed Jungle with Mulder « CHIPFLIP Says:

    […] the sample-based music that was chipmusic in the 1990s. I’ve touched on this semi-absurdity before and by including Osdorp Posse in the timeline. […]

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