8-bit Fractured Adventure Themes
Xrei and Evix

aphasein™  Story


“It was many years ago (1997) that two dashing young lads (Xrei & Evix) happened to meet, and soon began unleashing industrial-strength video-game music. After merging empires, they had between them an old Amiga 600 and sampler (and, perhaps, just enough naivete), and the world was their’s, provided they could keep it under 200k.

Their deep, deep lovin’ of hip-hop and industrial music (and basically anything else) was finally finding focus in experimental, well, dance music (like The Aphex Twin and Mu-ziq.) Anyway, friends came from far and wide to hear this new music, and on the rare occasion that they did play out, they were always asked, what the hell was that, and would they please do it again.

Over time and lots of experience, their music quickly grew and expanded (not unlike a mogwai in water) into the happy monster that it is today. Enjoy. And don’t be afraid to get any on you. It’ll soak in eventually.”

– The Story So Far (edited), from the liner notes to their first compilation, 1999.


The Process

We write almost all of our songs on a computer in tracker programs, which if you’ve never seen one before, is very different to most types of composition or sequencing. Trackers are usually based on sound samples that are triggered in time by a sequence of coding. They are not very intuitive like loop-based programs or visual multi-track recorders; this is programmed music in the literal sense, step by step, line by line. Trackers are very efficient and cheap, though (cheap as free). And there is something visceral about lines of coding streaming by during a fast song.

Over half of our songs were written on our first computer, an Amiga 600. For those who understand, this was quite a feat: We had a 7 MHz processor, 1 MB of RAM, and no hard drive to work with, which meant that after loading the tracker program we had only 200k to load samples and write a song with. This is why all of our early material is 8-bit (that and we love the sound). The program (OctaMED) could also only handle 4 tracks, which forced us to be economical with our choices (though we still often created sonic overload).

A couple years later we purchased a used Amiga 2000 (with a hard drive) and a dodgy IBM computer. Both of these could now handle 8 tracks of audio on their respective versions of OctaMED and several Megs worth of samples, which for us was mind-blowing and promptly began to slow down the rate of song creation (that and jobs starting to get in the way). Now we both have modern gaming-quality computers and use ModPlug Tracker for sequencing (which combines virtually all the attributes of all the tracker programs from the 80’s and 90’s, has 64 tracks, plug-in effects, and limitless memory), and now our song creation has dropped to 1% (but the quality is great).


The Music

Our songs and style are a strange amalgam of many different things: Our love of videogame sounds and theme songs, of all genres of dance/club music, of experimental and classical sound composition, of cheesy synth sounds and tongue-in-cheek parody/pastiche, of purposely choosing and creating things that are over-the-top and should be horrible, but making them work somehow. And the limitations of our equipment and our personalities/sense of humor play a big role too. It is what it is and it often even baffles us.

We are always surprised by the amount and type of people that seem to like our music; we love it, but we know how strange and quirky it can be. And people are always telling us it’s relaxing and great chill-out music, which is not at all what we intend and we know a lot of it definitely gets crazy hectic. Maybe it’s the nostalgic factor. Find out for yourself.

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