Ceephax, The C-men, gwEm & The Commodore Amiga 500

Østre Hus for lydkunst 26.10.2019 19.1526.10.2019 20.30


BEK meets EKKO: Musical collaborations and alternate methods for production.
Marieke Verbiesen in conversation with Andy Jenkins (UK), Gareth Morris (UK) and Julian van Aalderen (NL)

The talk starts 19.30 sharp, has free entry, with free ID and will be held in english.

The talk will focus on alternate methods for creating music, starting with a demonstration of the 1987 Commodore Amiga that made music production possible as one of the first software sequencers available as a consumer product, and is still used by musicians today.

Although the Commodore Amiga was mostly a game console and never had serious music production in mind, it became one of the most popular music instruments available – offering a distinctive new sound, stemming from notes generated by the Commodore’s computer chip. Due to its synchronization possibilities, this production method also became popular as a source for new musical collaborations.

For this talk we will dive into the history and future of home music production, looking closer at the role it has in live performance and how it established collaborative projects. Marieke Verbiesen, Advisor in Art and Technology at BEK – Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts, will be leading the discussion.

The talk is a collaboration between the Ekkofestival and BEK. Ceephax will play at EKKO 2019: Den store Ekkofesten later this evening, while Vj The C-men will do the visuals!

Andy Jenkinson / Ceephax Acid Crew (UK)

Ceephax Acid Crew (often simply credited as Ceephax) is a British acid house, and drum and bass electronic musician named Andy Jenkinson. Jenkinson is also known simply by the pseudonym Ceephax, which is a pun on the BBC teletext service Ceefax.

Ceephax’s music made between 1998 and 2003 took the sonic styles of vintage Roland drum machines TR-909, TR-606, Roland synthesizers TB-303, SH-101, Korg MS-20, and a Roland MSQ-700 sequencer. This music was recorded onto a 4-track cassette tape deck. The music was released on vinyl records and cassette tape. This primitive Acid House aesthetic and methodology countered the growing popularity of the computer music and compact disc releases of the time.

In 2003 Ceephax played songs live on BBC radio from a Commodore 64’s SID sound chip, indicating a change in direction from Acid House to Chiptunes. He also releases drum and bass songs made on early Akai samplers with the clichéd and copyrighted “Amen” breakbeat drum sample, again displaying an interest in 1980s and early 1990s dance music.

Andy has collaborated a number of times with his brother Jonny and Phillie T, all members of the Chelmsford Film Society, in comical side projects such as rap outfit The Odd Job Men and improvised blues project The Chelmsford Blues Explosion.

Wikipedia on Ceephax
Ceephax’ website

Julian Van Aalderen / The C-men (NL)

The C-men has utilised an own unique brand of what is referred to as “LowRes Hardcore” Vj-ing, using two classic commodore amiga gamecomputers from the 1980-s – in a resolution of 16 colors – into a badass live VJ performance.

He has brought his unique brand of epileptic and brightly coloured imagery to cities like Moscow, New York, Pusan, Tokyo, Stockholm, London and hometown Enschede and often collaborates with artists who create chiptune music- with the same principles as the C-men creates visuals, with the use of vintage gameconsoles – such as Psilodump, Chipzel & Ceephax Acid Crew.

Gareth Morris/ gwEm / 8bitpeoples (UK)

gwEm, known to his mother as Gareth Morris, creates his chiptune music using the maxYMiser software he wrote for the 1980s Atari ST homecomputer and talks excitedly about the artistic freedom the chiptune scene gives him; – “chiptune music gives me the carte blanche to explore any genre I want, while still remaining under the umbrella of the friendly chip music scene”. Certainly his extensive back catalogue of material bears this out, with drum’n’bass, punk, heavy metal, garage, electro, folk, house, grime, dad rock, happy hardcore and dubstep all present and correct.

gwEm’s releases can be found on a number of net- and physical labels including Astralwerks, Cheapbeats Tokyo, 8bitpeoples, micromusic, Shitkatapult and Muller. Collaborations with fellow London based artists, grime MC Appljuice and jazz drummer/jungle MC Counter Reset have been more than fruitful.