After I finished my 1st Chiptune album Bits N Chips, I immediately started working on a 2nd album. I named my 2nd album The Return of Chippy based on my song “Chippy Van Nathaan”, which was the 1st Chiptune track I ever made. I wanted the 2nd album to be even more versatile in genres than the 1st album, and have some original vocals on it. Bits N Chips was originally going to have 18 songs. I trimmed the tracklist down to 10 songs. The album took me 3 years to complete due to working on other peoples albums. The only artists featured on this project are Pittsburgh Artists JKJ and Iamusick. I’ll only speak on 3 songs off the album. The first track I worked on was a house song called S.S.T.
S.S.T. means Sines Squares and Triangles
S.S.T or Sines Squares and Triangles is an uptempo dance song that uses simple synth sounds to give an 8bit feel. The song starts out as house and builds into a dubstep drop. It was my 1st house song where I incorporated a sidechain to the drums (audio nerd alert lol). It was just great making an instrumental track using the instruments to tell a story, rather than incorporating vocals. I released S.S.T on Soundcloud in 2014 and So I continued to make more Chiptune songs and experiment with different genres, synths and sounds to make a crazy project!
I made a lot of Chiptunes and fakebit (Chiptune mixed with regular sounds) between those 3 years. I made genres from boom bap, to drum and bass to hardstyle to pop music. I was still trying to figure out what direction I wanted to go. I thought I’d make an album with half rap/hiphop beats and half EDM tracks. The 18 songs I ended up with got split into 2 projects. Before I released The Return of Chippy, I released a beat tape called More Chips.
More Chips is a 8 song tape of hiphop rap beats that I didn’t want to put on The Return of Chippy. A great track off the track off the album is 8bit Based Neva Die, a heavy bass rap trap beat which has a moving sine wave going up and down in the background.
Another track off The Return of Chippy is “Never Falling Down” featuring JKJ of RARE Nation.
Never Falling Down ft JKJ
The beat took less than 10 minutes to make. I’m actually singing on this track on the hook. I couldn’t come up with any verses, so I reached out to my fellow RARE member to lay some verses down. JKJ killed it, his verses totally complemented the few emotive lines I said on the hook. At the end of the song, I decided to re record the hook in a different style.
Final Boss ft Iamusick
The third track I want to mention is the track “Final Boss” featuring Iamusick. This track Is like a hiphop, twerk like beat with dark tones and a deep intro, the track builds into a heavy 8bit lead with 808s under it. I was stuck with the beat and wanted to make a 2nd drop that was sicker than the 2nd drop. So as the homie Iamusick always does he help me produce the 2nd drop! He came up with this sick moving sound and we made the drums slow down half tempo, and ad a lot of pitch bending on the 808 bass.
More Chips and The Return of Chippy are sort of brother sister projects. Just that The Return of Chippy has more production value. These two, along with my 1st album, Bits N Chips are my favorite albums I’ve ever made. I’ve always wanted to make video game music. So this is def a personal accomplishment to me. Next is to actually get the music on an actual game.
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”.
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
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.
If you didn’t know, I’ve been producing music for almost 10 years now which is crazy. I think i made this track around 2012, this was the period I finally understood how sampling works. I was in a phase where I was experimenting with audio (trying to make trippy music for the stoners) and sampling everything i could download off the internet.
Low key this was my first time making 8bit music. This track samples Route 4 off the Pokemon Red/Blue Yellow. Pokemon blue was the first game boy color game I owned and it was amazing! So When I started sampling, I was just like: “I GOTTA make a beat out of this!”, a few hours later and voila! Game Boy Color Music was made. The artwork (like most of the album artwork was made by me).
It’s not downloadable (thanks to soundcloud for taking down alot of my artwork) but you can stream it on my youtube channel. I’ll post a downloadable link for it soon as I can.