Broken, Dumb and Fake.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I can't speak for a couple of pieces of music on the network. Kole wrote and recorded the themes for Bonfireside Chat and The Level. And I believe TDRK. I'm responsible for the music for WOFF!, Abject Suffering, Check it Out Comrade, The Pitch, Dead Idea Valhalla, WOFFTrax, Watch Out for Interactions and our video work. I'm not saying this as some sort of braggadocio. Kole's music is excellent and if anything, I probably horned my way into this role.

On the laundry list of dream jobs I'll never have, creating theme music is near the top. I have a frankly insane amount of respect for the jingle. I like music short and catchy with a strong melody and I don't tend to give much of a fuck about lyrics. All of this adds up to 30-45 second dynamic numbers. So much so that, when shows didn't present themselves, I kept making theme songs. Enough to fill an album. I love doing this, regardless of how successful I am.

My preferred medium in recent years is Mario Paint Composer. I have a vast amount of nostalgia for Mario Paint, one of the very first composition programs I ever used. The sounds therein recall the NES pallette without directly emulating it. It just FEELS nice. MPC adds a bit of functionality to classic Mario Paint, not least of which being able to record songs piecemeal and then string them together.

See, I started making music with hand-me-downs and never really advanced past that. My first drum machine, given to me a heavy metal uncle, was a Kawai R-50. Too old to sound realistic, not old enough to sound vintage. This wasn't an 808. This was state of the art 1988 in 1996, which is the worst of both worlds.

But it operated on the same structural principles as Mario Paint Composer. It taught me that songs are made of component parts. ABBBCCCDCCCDEEEE could describe an intro, couple of verses with a fill at the end and then a chorus. This way of thinking about music, as cold and inorganic as it is, has followed me my whole life. When I was in bands, I thought of music as collections of parts. Getting the parts right, putting parts together, etc. This leads to some compositional oddities that have in turn influenced my appreciation of music. I love the "left turn" that comes in tricky pop music. Things that seem like they shouldn't work but somehow do.

I think growing up lacking any sort of real encouragement in music, lacking resources to update my tools, I developed a sort of Stockholm syndrome. I've grown to love shitty piano patches, casio beats, distorted organ, barely on key vocals. At my most self reflective and wanky, I think growing up sans means informed my taste in all things. I think polish is the enemy of art, in many cases, and I'm a firm believer in "No Junk/No Soul." Virtuosic over-singing is a greater crime than off key caterwauling, at least in my book. It's good and just to appreciate frozen pizza as well as high end delivery.

I wanted to bring this aesthetic to the intro theme music of WOFF! Something that recalled old video game music without explicitly being a chiptune. I appreciate chiptune music, to a degree, but it often feels a little like it's trying too hard. The same could be said of bands like Metroid Metal or The Minibosses. I think that Anamanaguchi layers a breakneck speed and dancable beat to everything they do because it's meant for performing live. The metal bands in question add hard style posturing to add energy. I think this is because video game music was composed in a way that leant itself to the living room rather than the dance hall. It's stiff, dorky, windup. And as I previously mentioned, when it comes to music, I love broken, dumb and fake.

I composed the WOFF! themes on a Yamaha RM1x sequencer. This antiquated piece of technology isn't going to win any awards, you're not likely to see anything of it's ilk trotted out other than at a Freezepop show. It's a dorky, shitty piece of technology, which I love.

This working within limitations and embracing technological half measures is something I try to bring to all the music I do, the music for our shows being no exception. This may not be to everyone's taste but I like to think that it adds a sense of idiosyncratic character.