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BlipTalk with Chromix



Thomas MacLean is a Long Island-based chiptune producer who has been producing dancefloor-friendly music under the name Chromix since 1997. His output oscilates between low-fi melodic synthpop and hardcore fist-pounding chip, inspired equally by hours of misspent youth in his friend’s basement playing Megaman 2 and at DJ venues basking in electronic euphoria.

As a techno producer, Thomas has headlined raves around the Midwest and his releases have been played by such DJ luminaries as Armin van Buuren and Rob Rage. After experimenting with Gameboy music as part of an art project in 2002, Chromix began writing music on his Gameboy and NES which culminated in the release of the Basement to Basement EP in 2006.

Since moving to New York in 2007 Thomas has taken his explosive live show to audiences along the east coast and captured the energy of those shows on his releases Drop the Beat Not the Game and 101.

Blip: Before you got into making chip music, what type of music or art where you into?

Once upon a time I was very much into techno, trance and really any other kind of music you’d find at a rave. Actually, let’s be real, I still am.

Blip: How did you first become aware of the possibility of chip music?

I made a few faux chip songs using ScreamTracker back in the late 90s, but making music on a console became a reality as I was using the Game Boy Camera for a series of art projects and discovered Trippy H. I actually incorporated it into a few songs I was working on at the time, but it wasn’t until I heard about Nanoloop and Little Sound DJ on devrs.com that I really started making the type of music I make now.

Blip: How does your background influence your current work?

I grew up using trackers and playing Game Boy, so Little Sound DJ is like an extension of my hand. That and the fact that every other song I write sounds like a degraded rave anthem means that my current work IS my background influences.

Blip: Where do you see yourself in the greater chip community?

If the chip community were a game, I’d be a mini boss on your way to beating the USK stage. I’d throw broken Bung X-Changer cartridges.

Blip: Who are you most excited to see at blip? Why?

It’s hard to choose, but if MP3s wore out like tapes or vinyl I’d be on my 3rd copy of few songs by Leeni and Little-Scale. Also, I’m going bang so hard to Bit Shifter it’ll just be embarrassing.

Blip: Where do you see your progression as an artist heading? Deeper into chip music, or perhaps something different?

I love working with vocalists so I’d love to do more of that… especially because I can’t sing.

Chromix is playing Blip Festival on TBA

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