Name: Aaron Gelblat-Bronson
I just witnessed your set live at Ecchi Party, which was a live stream of you playing at your birthday party. How was your big day?
The party was a ton of fun! I had three of my other friends perform as well! The first was Discipline Jar, who is a noise artist, Nobility, a rapper, and DJ Dustoff/ScreenSavior who played a righteous deep house set. The party was a blast with a lot of good food and all of my best friends there dancing and going hard.
Also I'm an adult now, which is still sort of weird.
How did you first get into chiptune music? Any particular favorite artists?
I first heard about chiptune from this old magazine called "Anime Insider" which Wizard used to put out. They talked about a group called YMCK, which made NES style music. I looked them up and instantly fell in love. After that I found out about other artists like Tugboat, Anamanaguchi, and I Fight Dragons. It wasn't until a friend of mine my freshman year of high school showed me his LSDJ cart that I really felt a desire to start producing.
My favorite artists right now are Knife City, Slime Girls, Space Boyfriend, Snesei, Shoujo Eyes, and the always fantastic Anamanguchi.
When writing a song on Gameboy, where do you begin? Which song are you most pleased with so far?
Typically I start with an Chord progression in the bassline or the countermelody. After that i just sort of look at the notes I picked and write all the other parts out. I typically start with more of a particular sound in mind than a melody, but it quickly evolves. Also having 9+ years of classical training (oboe, but now bassoon) doesn't hurt from the music theory department.
My favorite songs right now are Bonafide Cutie off of my new album or, strangely enough, my Justin Bieber cover because the crowd reception to the latter is really hilarious and fun, and I'm really proud of the breakdown in Bonafide Cutie.
Tell us a little about your newest album, Picopop and Pocky. Who did the artwork? Will it get a physical release?
Ok, story time:
Acen is this big anime convention that happens every year in Chicago, and this year I showed up and busked along with Snesei, Shoujo Eyes, and Volcano Themed Bathroom from Detroit. We drew a crowd and I noticed that my songs I was playing were not as dance-y as the other guys tracks and I felt my songs didn't really capture the fun spirit of these conventions I have been attending (this was my 7th Acen). So, I set out to write an Anime-powered super up-beat dance album inspired by the new friends and memories I had from that weekend. The first song on the album, Milkis, was actually written the week following that convention.
About a month later I met some people in a chat for a Zoom Lens netlabel web show, and the dug my stuff so they asked be to play at an Ecchi Party, which I did. After that show, I asked on twitter if anyone was interested in doing remixes of my old songs for my new album. Many of the artists I had played with that night were interested, so I emailed them some stems of my songs, and the remixes came into being.
The artwork was done by Lady Fiona Buchanan of Sealand (by way of Chicagoland). She is a close personal friend of mine and IRL anime thug.
Right now I have about 20 home made physical copies that I'm gonna be selling or giving away at shows, but If enough people show interest, i might do a professional printing of it.
What's the best live set you've played so far?
My best is probably my set at my "201X" launch party, but my favorite is the one I played on my Birthday!
the 201X show was very tight and well mixed but it wasn't as upbeat. This one, was super exciting and fun, and I was less worried about making mistakes (which notably, I did make several of).
What non-chiptune music do you listen to?
I listen to a lot of non-chiptune artists, but most of it is either electronic or dance music. or K-pop.
Right now I've been listening to Kors K, Die Antwoord, Grimes, Blood Diamonds, Porter Robinson, Diplo, R.I.O. , Spazzkid, Super Junior, Big Bang, Yelle, Starfucker, Kitty Pryde and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.
Outside of music, what do you enjoy doing?
I play a decent amount of video games. Lately its been Melee/Project M, Wind Waker (again), and Mario 3D World on Wii U.
I like to go on hikes and explore. I used to rollerblade a lot, but I fell and hurt my arm recently so I'm staying off of those right now. I like to swim, I like to tell stories with my friends.
I like to sleep and eat pop tarts and watch movies.