September 12th, 2012 | by Case Nine | posted in Interviews, Specials

In the true spirit of Art of Noize (that is not giving a fuck about genres) I have what I consider a really sweet post today. I had the chance to ask one of my all-time favourite Chiptune artists some questions: Sabrepulse. Although his music could be broadly tagged as “Chiptune”, the amount of influences cooked into his music is so broad that one YouTube commenter calls it ‘Symphonic Nintendo Fuckcore‘. I have to say that after reading that description it is what I will be calling his music from now on. Unfortunately his Soundcloud is pretty bare, but if you have Spotify, make sure you check out his music as you read the interview. I will post some of my favourite tunes of his in the post!



Art of Noize: You are a heavily video game inspired artists who both produces and performs on hardware primarily used for playing games (eg. Game Boys). How has your interest in Video Games influenced your sound itself rather than just as a platform for production and performance?


Sabrepulse: Videogames had a heavy impact on some on many of my earlier works, however now I’m more focused on what those sounds can be sculpted into and added alongside, rather than where they came from. The idea of ‘play’ is secondary to ‘creation’ for me, and as I grow up, I’m realising that videogames can remain a fun pastime, but not something that affects and influences my musical output forever.


AON: Tell us what makes producing and performing on a Game Boy using something like LSDJ special? Why not just use a chiptune VST?


SBP: Using musical hardware such as Drum machines, synthesisers and even gameboys gives you an experience of creating something ‘outside of the box’, that is – away from the computer. In the 21st century we spend so much time each day in front of laptops and phones, that as a musician it’s attractive to be able to get away from that. However I still love writing and producing music with my computer, and vst’s are really easy to manage and sound good enough that it’s not a big issue. I think that whatever you feel comfortable making music with, you should do that.


AON: With your “First Crush” EP from last year, you leaped into genres such as Drum & Bass, Dubstep and Electro (even a Liquid Drum & Bass tune there at the end which was fantastic). Tell us about what drove you to tackle these new territories!


SBP: The First Crush EP was a collection of songs written over summer in the uk and usa which were never actually intended to be on the same record together, it just kinda came together and I thought what the hell, I’ll release them! I’ve always been a fan of drum and bass and wanted to include some melodic and heavier tracks. The collaborations came together really easily and I really admire and respect luke (knife city) and Tom (Henry Homesweet) for their work.


The ‘dubstep’ (read: brostep) tracks were an experiment for me in terms of sound design, I found the skrillex sound really interesting and wondered if I could create something similar – after I played those tracks out a few times I thought it would be cool to put them on the record as they got a decent response. I’m totally aware of the divisiveness of this ep, a lot of people hated the house, the dubstep, the dnb or whatever and thought I should stick to chip music. A lot more people actually said they loved how diverse it was and that’s what I was going for in the first place.


AON: Could you tell us about one of those surreal “I made it” moments. Would it be getting booked somewhere crazy? Or seeing a great response on a release?


SBP: When I got invited to play blip festival in New York back in 2007 I could not believe it. I was just a small town kid from england making weird music for fun, i never thought people actualy knew about my stuff beyond myspace. All of a sudden I thought maybe there’s something to this. That trip changed my outlook on music and literally affected the direction of my life so I’d say that was my proudest achievement.


AON: I know you’ve toured in Japan. What with Japan having such a rich Gaming culture, was it exciting to play in front of those crowds and how do they respond compared to European crowds?


SBP: The Japanese tours have been totally surreal. I think chipmusic over there is still very much a niche thing, maybe even more so that Europe or the USA. they respond really well to western performers and I loved every minute I’ve been there.


AON: A two part question a) If you could listen to one last game soundtrack before you died, which would it be? b) if you could play one last game before you died, which would it be?


SBP: Game soundtrack it would have to be ‘Wipeout 2097′, the game would be ‘Ikaruga’


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