Here’s a little taste of the R_Garcia Band performing “A Lakeside Morning” from the 2005 album, Nerd Parade. The recording was culled from a recent rehearsal and highlights the way in which some of Garcia’s solo electronic music has been re-envisioned for full band performance.
R_Garcia’s latest album, Resurgensis one of our favorite releases here at Nophi, as it represents an heady blend of abstract and pop elements while overlaying a thick, sugary glaze of fuzzy guitars. Check out R_Garcia on tour this year or visit him at our booth at MAGFfest XI in DC this January.
However, we are committed to telling the rest of our MAGFest story — so grab a delicious beverage, sit back, relax, and prepare to be regaled with a tale of EPIC MUNDANITY!
DAY THREE: SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 2012
Saturday was a barn-burner! The surge in attendees was significant, as all the folks who had to work on Friday began washing up on the shores of MAGfest. We rolled out of bed at the crack of 11:00am and went down the exhibition hall to crank up some tunes and enjoy our morning coffee. As with all cons, the first half of the day is best spent people-watching, because the cos-players are still fresh looking and the drunks from last night are still comically trying to make sense of their ambulatory abilities. Unlike MAGFest 9, we chose to stay away from the fire-water this year — lest we wind up singing Bill Withers songs with Duke Nukem again.
Q. What kind of music do you guys release? – A: Spacecore
We must admit: the daylight hours of Saturday were all work and no play this time around. Luckily, we met many awesome people from all over the country who were willing to give our music a listen. Many remembered us from the previous year, and some of those folks even came looking for our new releases. We had a great day selling our wares, and before we really had a chance to relax, it was already 9:00pm — so, rather than become dull boys, we opted to temporarily close the booth and take on some of the evening’s scheduled events. First on the list was the main attraction for the evening: Earthbound Papas.
Just in case you have no idea what we are talking about:
“The Earthbound Papas are a band formed by veteran Final Fantasy composer, Nobuo Uematsu, after his other project, The Black Mages, disbanded. According to Uematsu, they will play Final Fantasy music that The Black Mages had not played. It has also been suggested that they will play video game music from titles other than that of Final Fantasy.” --Final Fantasy Wiki
The fun certainly didn’t stop there. At some point we stumbled into one of the performance halls and happened upon An0va, who’s track “Flow” opens our 99 Problems but a Chip Ain’t One compilation.
An0va writes really awesome chiptunes — some of the best we’ve heard to date. On top of that, he is one of the nicest people on the planet. It was cool to see him slinging a guitar + gameboy live rig. You can download his latest album, The Teaching Machine for for free. Check out a bit of his MAGFest X performance below.
Following the evening performances, we returned to the booth for a brief red-eye sale and impromptu DJ set by R_Garcia. We then ate more pocky and drank a every variant of Mt. Dew before closing down for the night and heading over to the arcade for some sweet-sweet retro gaming love. However, our attention was drawn to something much more interesting…
Stay tuned for the final installment of our MAGFest X recap where we develop a new sales strategy based entirely on polyhedral randomizers!
It’s no easy feat to set up a functional convention booth on 3 hours of sleep. Our booth was not a run-of-the-mill set-up either, as we had integrated an audio mixer, amplifier, speakers and laptop to allow for playback. Additionally, we had all the makings for live DJ and chiptune performances (a feature we would eventually get good use out of.) We opened the booth at 11:00am and luckily were treated to a nice, slow start to the day.
Above: The view from the booth. Below: POCKYHENGE.
Folks, we really must urge you to watch out for Japanese snacks. This stuff will take you from casual use to straight-up addiction in a weekend. Pocky is the gateway snack — simple, delicious, inexpensive. Pocky comes in chocolate, milk cream, strawberry, nut-encrusted, and a few other variations. If you’ve had it, you know it’s the sh*t. If you haven’t, we suggest finding an Asian market near you and picking some up. The Pockyhenge above was just 20 feet away from our booth. Achievement Unlocked: Snackpocalypse.
Friday flew by criminally fast. Sales of our new chiptune compilation were brisk — and we were meeting so many freaking awesome people that we had completely lost track of time. This, unfortunately, meant that we missed out on the featured musical performances for the night. Tired, hungry, and razzed about missing out on some awesome tunes, we set out to console ourselves in the game-room… with a mouth full of Pocky.
MAGFest X was an absolute blast! Held at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center near Washington DC, the festival was a 4-day whirlwind of videogames, panels and live performances. In 2012, MAGFest was bigger and better in every way — from the massive 24 hour game room and vendor space, to the mind blowing line-up of video game cover bands, chiptune artists, and DJs from all over the world. This was Nophi’s second year tabling at the festival, and we’re already looking forward to next year and beyond!
DAY ONE: THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2012
Above: The Lobby at the Gaylord Hotel:
The word of the day for Thursday was “drive.” It’s 11 hours from Nophi’s home in Atlanta, GA to the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor, MD. Driving the east coast at night is not the most exciting thing in the world, but good music and nervous energy propelled the Nophimobile forward through the night. When we finally arrived, it was after midnight, and the exhibition hall was starting to buzz with sleepless festival-goers looking to settle in for a long weekend of gaming and rocking-the-hell-out.
Above: Beetlechu (Not the Nophimobile). Below: Dinner and breakfast all rolled into one.
Loading in was not easy! Hotel staff was under-informed about festival details, and there was a 90-minute debacle involving the concierge and the loading dock that kept us from reaching our vendor booth til almost 2:00am! Once we were finally loaded in, we set out in search of delicious Japanese snacks and some red-eye arcade time. Megaman, Katamari, Galaga, Dig Dug — sometime around 7:00 am, there may or may not have been sleep…
We’ve always had a dangerous love affair with video games. Nophi’s first logo was actually a riff on the Atari logo, and we’ve been borrowing from video game culture ever sinse. It’s safe to say that Nophi would not exist — at least not in the same capacity — without influence from the gaming world.
Last year, we entered our name into the chiptune/vg music hat with a compilation of classic chiptune covers known as Eightest Bits. The project was so much fun, that we just had to have another go at it in 2012. This time, however, the compositions would need to be originals!
We certainly wanted to pay respect to the “hardcore” chiptuners, but also highlight composers who employ elements of chipmusic alongside broader instrumentation. Therefore, we opted not to limit the tracks on this compilation by the equipment used to create it. What we ended up with was an excellent cross-section of compositions ranging from Gameboy bangers, to slickly-produced “crossover” tunes.
We seriously can’t thank the artists who participated in this project enough, and we hope you enjoy this collection as much as we do, because we feel it’s right up there with the most awesome things we’ve ever done!