nope GOES TO PULSEWAVE NYC
Hey gang, this past weekend was the monthly chiptune show, Pulsewave NYC! I am not any kind of authority on chiptunes, and I honestly didn’t know what to expect going in. The simple wood plank keeping the front door to 15 W. 28th Street open, along with a very simple flyer taped up had me worried and hopeful. I had that horrible feeling that this could be a long and disappointing night but at the same time the hope that I had come across an awesome subculture.
I met up with Ben Carignan - he works on the podcast for the awesome dudes over at Fangamer, he also makes pretty swell chiptunes on the side as evidenced in the video above. He came up for the weekend, on the feeble back of a Greyhound all the way from Virginia. Ben is an awesome dude who I met IRL back in September when he let me and The Front Bottoms crash on his floor for the night with only hours of notice on our parts (thanks again Ben!). Ben was super accommodating and it’s so exemplary of his character - a super solid dude.
He came up to New York to visit his girl, and our good friend, Jane Mai. Jane, like everybody else, got pretty durnked at Pulsewave. You already know all about her.
I also finally met up IRL with a friend I had made from the internet - mainly due to his online friendliness and our having mutual friends - Dannel (aka DeMarko). Super cool dude, he was generous enough to give me the general rundown of Pulsewave when I first arrived and then could be caught doing miscellaneous things here and there to help keep things going smoothly at Pulsewave the rest of the night. Dude also works at Etsy and has been known to have some fun roof parties. He’s also rocking a Seibei classic.
So after the open mic was over, an0va took the stage and I got my first REAL taste of live chiptunes. In short, I was not disappointed. The bleepy bloopy sounds combined with the trance-y graphics works to take you out of your body, forget your inhibitions, live in the now, all that motivational speaker stuff. It was so interesting to see these artists rocking the shit out of brick-sized gameboys, the frenetic energy matching the scene I had in my head of a video game mad scientist chopping and splicing together 8 bit sounds.
In between sets, games of Johann Sebastian Joust were played, a crazy creative indie game that combines elements of tag, flag football (the flag part), and dueling to the death. I played it, was “out” within seconds, and managed to catch a slap in the face. Very fun.
Next up was Kris Keyser who saw the energy bar raised by an0va, and took it a step higher doing 4 foot high jumps on chiptune drops, flailing up from the table that so precariously held all the electronics, and at one point downing his beer atop the table, half covered in the projector’s light.
Last up was Burnkit 2600 who used a variety of synthesizers, keyboards, and other electronic amalgams to create their deeper, wubbier, and more bass driven sounds. Different and a great way to cap off the night.
I said my goodbyes, headed down the stairs, and out the door to stumble home, stopping to chuckle at the wood plank propping the door, the simple flyer, and my negative thoughts, just hours before, that tonight would be anything other than a fun and eye-opening experience.
Check out future Pulsewave dates, shows, and information HERE!
some photos by Ali Berger