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Texarkana, Texas, United States | SELF

Texarkana, Texas, United States | SELF
Band EDM


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Move over, Mario Bros.—Soundchips also make musical magic"

For Denton, Texas-based musician Chris Finley, a computer chip is more than a piece of electronic wizardry. It’s also an important little piece of the instruments he plays.

Finley, a Texarkana native who performs as Kashioboy, returns home tonight for a 9 o’clock concert at Club Next.

For him, equipment like a Nintendo Entertainment System, a Game Boy, a Gamepark GP2X, a HardSID 4U, software synths and similar gadgetry are what he plays on stage. The result is a type of music known as “chiptunes.”

“Chiptunes are tunes that are made on real soundchips,” Finley said in an e-mail interview, explaining that chips in various systems like a Commodore 64 have limited capabilities with a limited number of notes. “So a good chiptune includes a good use of the limitations of the particular chip,” he said.

As with any instrument, what comes out as music depends on how those chips are used.

“I think that a good music show consists of original use of the instruments being used,” Finley said. For him, those instruments are things like a Game Boy.

“I mix all of them together via the devices themselves or control them via a modern computer. There are tunes that are strictly performed with only a Game Boy, the NES, or the Commodore chips,” said Finley. Most songs, however, use a mixture, and some include vocal work, he explained.

His own listening preference is for chiptunes that use older games from the past, he said. And in Denton, he’s found a welcome audience and more interest in his kind of music in recent years.

“I have noticed not only solo artists like myself, but DJs, rappers, and even pop/rock bands incorporate ‘chip’ sounds in their music,” Finley said. He believes that creates more interest in artists like himself, something he discovered by moving to a college city like Denton.

“It has also allowed me to collaborate with artists from diverse genres, which may lead to some interesting projects down the line,” he said.

Part of the appeal of chiptunes is the ability to “tweak every aspect of every song” and to “imagine the most fantastic bands and bring them to life alone.”

“It allows musicians to use their imagination to the fullest extent and explore sounds and experiment with various music combinations,” he said.

He says it’s a pleasure to come back to and perform in Texarkana, where he’s also found an enthusiastic audience for his electronic tunes.

“I have such a supportive fan base here,” Finley said. “Since I grew up in Texarkana, my friends and fans have been able to observe how my music has transformed over the last several years, so it is nice to get their feedback on my current set.” - Texarkana Gazette

"Introducing Kashioboy and his Chiptunes."

Watching Chris Finley ready his gear before performing a gig as Kashioboy is like watching someone preparing for an '80s computer techie's yard sale. At a recent fund-raiser for The Bee's Fifth artists' collective, held at Matthew Gray's house (aka Bee's Manor), Finley spent nearly 20 minutes connecting several different Game Boys, an original two-tone gray-box Nintendo Entertainment System, a desktop PC and other hand-held gaming consoles all with yards of wires and cables.

Artists often use programs on modern computers to sample or synthesize the glitched-out 8-bit "bleep-bloop" videogame sounds. But performers like Finley actually synthesize the sounds by using the antiquated videogame or computer consoles; in his performances, Finley mixes those live chip sounds with digitally emulated chips and other samples.

For the artists making chiptunes, as the music is called, the appeal seems to fall somewhere between novelty and nostalgia—but the chips' sound and limitations prove more than early game-console sentimentalism. Finley, who has been writing music since 1998, started with circuit-bent Casio keyboards and other toys, but quickly gravitated to chiptunes. "I grew up around that hardware, and sure, it reminds me of my childhood," Finley says. "But what I really love is the simplicity of chiptunes. They're simple, yet you can make them very complex, like doing more with less. And it's fun to push the chips to their limits, making new sounds that you've never heard."

Of course, making music with outdated home gaming consoles is nothing new. Treewaves' Paul Slocum got started decades ago: "I was editing programs and making music on my Commodore in the '80s when I was a kid," he says. For him, the allure of making music with old equipment stemmed from the actual programming paired with the machines' limitations. "The way those devices make sounds, like the Atari 2600, the pitch is terrible and every note is out of tune, in a different way," Slocum says. "And you can't really find an instrument that can do that. It's not anything you could just buy at Guitar Center."

Since moving to Denton from Texarkana in fall 2007, Finley has only played two Denton gigs and just one show in Dallas. But the audiences in the metroplex—so far, at least—are much more receptive to the music, Finley says. "In Texarkana, I used to play for mostly friends, people I knew and the occasional redneck drunk."

Look for more performances by Kashioboy in the coming month as DJ Joey Leichty (aka Yeah Def), a self-described "big fan" of chiptunes, is in the process of booking an all-chiptune show in Denton. - Dallas Observer


2012 - Free album using only raw Nintendo DS and Korg's M01 software.

2009 - "Denton Deluxe Volume 5"
"God is Imaginary"

2008 - "Some Bizzare Double Album" Compilation.
"People Food Not Dead Animals"



Kashioboy found his love of video games as a child and always loved the bleeps and bloops the hardware produced while playing the games. As soon as he figured out a way to make music that used and mimicked the sounds he adored he was hooked. Kashioboy uses real Nintendo Gameboys, DS and a wide arrange of other small portable devices to produce digital music. The kashioboy project has been well received in the USA and abroad and has made him an oddly respected musician. Kashioboy currently lives in his native town of Texarkana, TX, birth place of Scott Joplin and Conlon Nancarrow. He is also a known native of Denton, TX.