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Chiptune Albums Pt. 1: Bits N Chips

Chiptune Albums Pt. 1: Bits N Chips

Super Mario Bros

I love video games. I love producing music I mean, I was into video games before I started producing music. At the same time computer music production is like a video game in itself. The first video game I remember playing was Super Mario Bros for the NES. I might have been like 4 or 5 years old. From the colors to the soundtrack. It was (and still is) an amazing, fun game. I’ve never made a Video game or Game soundtrack, but these two things inspired my first album “Bits N Chips”.

Fez

 

 

 

I’ve always enjoyed video game soundtracks, Final Fantasy XII is probably my favorite one. The use of a live orchestra for cutscenes, boss battles and different cities/levels all fit well. Even though FF XII isn’t 8 bit music, It’s just good music. I’ve always had a love for retro video games and their retro sound. I always admired it but didn’t know I could create it until I came across FEZ.

FEZ is a 2d platformer (like Super Mario Bros) for Xbox 360. It’s about FEZ (the main character) saving his family. The whole look of the game is 2d, but you can rotate the game stages in a 3d way. This effect ads more depth to the game and makes puzzles challenging to solve. The FEZ soundtrack is so amazing! The first song’s so relaxing and well written. All the music had the sounds and instruments of old NES, and Atari games.

I looked into the FEZ soundtrack and learned that it was composed by a musician called Disasterpeace. I just loved the fact that it was high quality music that sounded straight out of the 90s. I wanted to make music like this, I’ve always loved the 8 bit sound. I’ve used 8 bit elements in my music in the past. I’ve sampled 8 bit music before. I’ve just never thought to make a song with all 8 bit sounds. This album INSPIRED me to write my 1st album, my 1st concept album “Bits and Chips

Bits n chips

Bits n chips

Originally 15 songs and trimmed down to 8, “Bits N Chips” was a play on words. Bitches and Money was how I interpreted it. The artwork was made by Ghost/\/Ghoul. What I wanted to keep as a rule was to only use 8bit sounds and follow the rules for 8 bit, chiptune music. As far as the rules, in 8 bit music you’re not really supposed to go beyond 4 or 5 tracks (i forget) was the one I followed. The first song I wrote is “Chippy van Nathaan”. I wanted ZERO lyrics on the album, I wanted the lead instrument to be the vocal, the melody to tell the story. This was the 1st chiptune beat I made. Chippy is a superhero of my hypothetical videogame “Chippy van Nathaan”. It’s also the 1st single off the album.

The second Single Is called “This Bit Crazy” , Basically a rap trap beat with 8bit sounds. I had the most fun, I had a reason to put a bitcrusher on my 808 bass! This song was fun to make because I was automating the arpeggiator on the hook/drop. I actually played this song at my first beat battle with istandard producers back in 2012. The crowd went crazy! It just validated me as a chiptune producer and inspired me to finish the album.

My favorite song on the album is “Bits N Chips” featuring Zenojim. Zenojim is the first artist I collaborated with over the internet. He’s such a talented guy since he took my sample and flipped it into a banger. This is the only song thats fakebit (not completely using 8bit lofi sounds). But he took the song to another place. Blockhead is a close second because It tells a story to me, the drop is insane!

Shortly After I released “Bits N Chips” I immediately started working on my second album “The Return of Chippy

To listen to “Bits N Chips” You can go here or check out Itunes, Spotify, Tidal (or any music streaming service) and search “NateKodi Bits n Chips”

I’ll write about my 2nd and third albums in another post.

– NateKodi

Left Mixtape Out Now!

Left Mixtape Out Now!

This is my latest rap freestyle mixtape. All of these songs were recorded before I moved to LA. I was going through a lot of changes during this time period. It was recorded between October and February. The only song that was written was distraught. I called this Left because I’m left handed. Also didn’t care about making everything sound right. This is my rawest project yet.

It’s available on bandcamp and itunes, and all streaming services (spotify, apple music, etc..).

Hope ya’ll enjoy the artwork!

I’m leaving Soundcloud.

I’m leaving Soundcloud.

Soundcloud has been amazing since I joined it in 2011. I’ve discovered a lot of great music (there still is) and great people through the platform. I’ve been to Soundcloud meetups and have gotten to play shows in NYC and LA thanks to soundcloud (and twitter).

But since Soundcloud has gotten bought out by the major labels. It has cracked down on remix artists, and have deleted many people’s accounts. My original Soundcloud page was almost deleted 2 years ago, due to copyright infringement policies. So I decided to quit paying for a Soundcloud artist subscription. Before last year I had over 200 sound files on my page.  Now its down to 19. Soundcloud has changed, which is fine.. but I’m not riding the wave much longer.

I’m still looking for alternative Soundclouds. I do have art on Itunes, Spotify, Bandcamp and the others, but I’m still trying to find that underground hub for music of every genre. So far I’ve found yung.cloud, A website very similar to soundcloud, but It seems to learn towards lofi hip hop beats. Audiomack, which is awesome, has both hip hop and electronic music. It has a great look and its app is solid as well. I do upload my music on there. Only thing about that site is their embed player isn’t all the way there. And you can’t make money off streaming.

This past weekend I found the most interesting site for artists and music listeners alike. It’s called resonate.is

resonate is natekodiThe most attractive thing about this website other than it’s look is It’s business model.

The thing is that Resonate is built around blockchain technology. Which means that that not one entity really owns it. So there’s no true owner. Also, Resonate is a music streaming site like Spotify and its clones, but instead of paying a monthly fee to have access to a bunch of songs, its uses a system called #stream2own. This means that you’re only playing for the songs that you stream. There’s a points system so you buy points and you play as many songs as you want until you run out. The song starts really really cheap. The first stream starts at 0.002 credits, but it caps to the price of a normal download. Keep in mind that $5 gets you 4.0880 credits. When you sign up, resonate offers a yearly subscription of $5. Check out more info on that here. I just made an account with resonate, so far I’ve only uploaded my latest album “The Return of Chippy“.

 

The Return of ChippyIn fact you can hear the two singles off it, but you have to sign up to hear the rest of the album. I think this websites the best way to support artists so far since artists are getting payed. The only downside to this platform is that there’s currently no iPhone app for it. Only Android OS. Hopefully it will be on iOS soon.

You can check out my page at http://bit.ly/resonateisnatekodi

It’s still growing but I think it has a lot of potential. Here’s their music player below. Public tracks are free of charge. Definitely check out the site to hear my 8bit album “The Return of Chippy” and new exclusives!

 

 

Disclaimer: This is all my opinion. I’m not a writer, I’m just a musician and a tech head.