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20 feb. 2020

Interview met CoolAm7

Iemand die nog maar kort geleden begonnen is met het maken van muziek is de Griekse producer CoolAm7. De soundtrack van de game ¨Fez¨ was uiteindelijk van doorslaggevend belang om ook echt te gaan beginnen. Met al meerdere EP´s op zak gaat het lekker met CoolAm7. Dus tijd voor een interview.

Someone who recently started making music is the Greek producer CoolAm7. The soundtrack of the game "Fez" was ultimately of decisive importance to actually start. With several EPs in his pocket, things are going well with CoolAm7. So time for an interview.

CoolAm7

CoolAm7, can you please introduce yourself?
Hello everyone, I am CoolAm7, a chipmusic/synthwave ¨bedroom¨ (after working hours) producer from Greece. I am an ´80s kid who spent a lot of time (questionable) playing video games. I also like classical music, heavy metal (especially ´80s/´90s) and disco! I’m still playing video games, occasionally. I’m currently living in Poland.

How do you look back at 2019?
I’ve always wanted to compose music. 2019 is the year that it all started for me. Last year, I’ve decided to do something about this. The final push was the soundtrack from the game ¨FEZ¨ by Disasterpeace. I was blown away by the music. I watched a video on YouTube where he was describing how he created this soundtrack. So I’ve followed some online tutorials to learn some basics about production and refresh some music theory knowledge from the past.

So I did it. I composed my first piece of music and published it on Spotify: ¨Aman the Snake Is Moving¨.

I must admit that it felt lonely at first, but after joining Twitter I found a very supportive and fun community!


What are your plans for this year?
This year I would like to try and collaborate with some of these amazing people in the synthfam and chipfam communities. I believe it will be a fun experience!

It would be also awesome if my music would be featured in a videogame (if not this year maybe someday).

You create both synthwave and chiptunes music (and also combine these two into chipwave). What did you decide to choose for these styles?
Synthwave/outrun:
I’ve always liked the synth music in the ´80s/´90s movies (best example would be Brad Fiedel’s ¨The Terminator OST¨). I wasn’t aware this is still “a thing” nowadays. After watching the movie ¨Drive¨, I’ve found about ¨Kavinsky¨ and through Spotify more related artists. At some point after watching ¨Kung Fury¨ I realised that this is indeed a ¨thing¨ and there are many artists making such music! With the help of YouTube channels and Spotify playlists I found more and more music and artists.

Chiptunes/chipmusic:
I was always a fan of this music, this was the music from my GameBoy childhood! Back then, I had also found the ¨demoscene¨ and the tiny executables with music! I started to look into Fast Tracker II ¨module¨ songs and learnt how this software works, although I hadn’t compose anything on my own.

So you could say, this music was always ¨in my head¨. During the last years I was influenced by artists such as Algar, 047, Malmen, Arcade High, Disasterpeace and others. I felt that there is no big gap between these two.


What equipment do you use in your studio?
I would love to have a room that would be my home studio. Maybe one day! For now I am constraint, spacewise. Everything has to fit on my desk.

I am currently using:
DAW: FL Studio
Headphones: Samson SR850
Plugins:
For synth: Massive from Native Instruments and Serum from Xfer Records
For chipmusic: Chipsounds from Plogue
For ¨input¨: Alesis V49 keyboard, Novation Launchpad pro and… a mouse :)

On your website I can read that you love to play (retro) games? What console and which games are your favorites?
I owned a Nintendo GameBoy, a Sega Master System and an Atari 2600 JR.

My favourite games back in the days were: Tetris, Super Mario Land, Skate Or Die, Smurfs, Sonic the Hedgehog and Jr. PC-Man.

Later, the ¨PC era¨: DOOM, Warcraft, C&C, SimCity 2000, Age of Empires, Dungeon Keeper, Diablo.

Nowadays I still have a GameBoy, but I don’t use it that much. Who knows, maybe I will use LSDj one day (too noob for that now)!

How is the synthwave- and chiptunes scene in your country?
Truth is that I didn’t know anyone from the synthwave scene in Greece until recently.

I was excited to find some Greek synthwave artists on Twitter: Dimi Kaye, Erebus, TZA, IamMANOLIS. For chiptunes, I already knew about “Videogame Orchestra [VGO]” and Chris Christodoulou.

My favourite Polish artists are LukHash, Konrad Celinski, Adrian Kwiatkowski. I am sure there are more and I will find them!

What do you like most about the ´80s?
I can tell you what I miss from the ´80s (and a bit from the ´90s):
  • The movies
  • The cartoons
  • The cassettes and the mixtape concept
  • The VHS tapes and that effect on the video and sound when the tape was getting bad
  • The floppy disks (this is NOT the save icon people) and how I had found a program to force a high density format to fit some kilobytes more and ofc lost all my data sometime later
  • The videogames
  • How the ball in the tennis game in Atari was actually square
  • My 486DX4/100 desktop with the “TURBO” button (I’ve always had the feeling it didn’t actually make any difference)
  • The rotary dial telephone
  • The dialup modem sound to connect to the internet (with amazing speeds)
  • The .XM and .MOD files
  • The “SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T4” in the AUTOEXEC.BAT
  • The hair metal bands
  • The hair!

And finally, any last words to the synthwave/chiptunes communities?
Thank you for welcoming me. There are so many nice people here! Let’s be supportive and inclusive. Show no tolerance for hate.

Is there some space left for a special shoutout? I would like to make one for these great people:
Baddon, Kemikziel, Tioux79, A.GE, Jacob Calta, Gary Blake, Erebus, Gab Manette, Jetfire Prime, Miles Matrix, Ozzed, C Z A R I N A, Sofaspartan, Techno Mage, Dimi Kaye, Erebus, iamMANOLIS, CAT TEMPER, LukHash, Adrian Kwiatkowski, Alpha Chrome Yayo, Neon Fawkes, Kaarin Zoe Lee, the guys at Nightride FM, cerror, Kind Regime, Nathaniel Wyvern, P R I M O the A L I E N, PXZEL, Dark_Bit_ , MisterMyr, Iterations, Akseli Takanen, Joseph Tomkins, Sonic Gap, SovRin, Synth Redneck, Nuk3z, Casual Boys, Mskra, Andreas Rohdin (MrGamer), LooneyJetman, P.J.J, Endemico, MicroMatscenes, Watch Out For Snakes, The Institute 91’, Holo Ice, Tali Dennerstein.

OK, I guess I should stop now.

Thank you Sander for supporting the scene and for this opportunity!

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