Just as everyone is arguing for warmth and humans and “organic” music, Diskette Deluxe is here to save us with inhuman and unoriginal goodness – and we couldn’t be happier.

Composer Rutger Muller can sometimes be found composing angular music for instruments, colliding with electronics, defying genres and easy categorization. But we first got to know Rutger as a chip music lover and creator. And maybe those go together – defiantly rebellious about genre, hedonistic about enjoying sound.

Photo: Bas de Boer.

I know Rutger pretty well as a friend (I think!), so “whimsical” as Secret Thirteen writes – sure. I mean, if people aren’t enjoyable to be around, if we don’t actually have fun with music, then what’s the point, exactly? I suppose we could all launch careers in being professionally over-serious, and arguably some have, but … let’s ditch those people and see if we can sneak away while they’re not looking to go for drinks without them.

Under his chip-infected alias Diskette Deluxe, Rutger is as good a tour guide as you can have to chip music’s weirdly eclectic world. Rather than being about nostalgia or games, chip music is then a low-resolution digital imprint of the love of music itself.

That’s what you hear on Rutger’s own 2016 album “Space Tourism” – but he knows his stuff outside that.

I love his quote for Secret Thirteen:

My favourite chiptune has stolen all its influences (from pop, prog rock, funk, (italo) disco, reggae, baroque, Chinese music, and what not) and disregarded the idea to sound “human”, warm, organic, original, or any of those notions (which are often very esoterically misused anyway). The evolution of chiptune was powered partly by video game culture, and partly by hacker/cracker (demoscene) culture. I think composers on both sides of that spectrum had a healthy sense of absurdity: how else could you get the idea to translate the complex instrumentation of for example progressive rock music to computers that could produce the simplest of sounds? The makers of chiptune composing software (trackers) were equally as creative, they implemented the sound design and composition tricks that still can’t be executed with modern software to this day. Goethe said (freely translated): “It is precisely because of limitations that we can discover virtuosity.” Have fun!

Secret Thirteen is always wonderful and digs deep into the underground with their mix series, so this is an appropriate chip contribution to their ongoing work. Track list:

Diskette Deluxe. Photo: Irina Volgarev.

1] 0:00 – Goto80 – Break3A [Rebel Pet Set, 2005] (made on Commodore 64)
2] 1:00 – Ryu Umemoto (梅本竜) – “Spiral” from the NEC PC-9000 game “Desire (デザイア) ~Spiral of Perversion~” [C’s Ware, 1998]
3] 3:20 – Martin Iveson – “Moody Breeze” from the Commodore Amiga game “Jaguar XJ220” [Core Design, 1993] (made on Commodore Amiga)
4] 6:30 – Simon Stålenhag – “Ripple Boogie” [Ubiktune, 2011] (made using Yamaha FM7)
5] 9:40 – elmobo (originally called Moby) – “Groovy Thing” (Remastered) from the Amiga demo “Dreamdealers” by demogroup Inner-Vision [ranked 1st in the demo compo at demoparty “Iris New Year Conference”, 1991]
6] 12:45 – elmobo (originally called Moby) – “88, Funky Avenue” (Remastered) [ranked 2nd in the music compo at the demoparty “Iris New Year Conference”, 1991](made on Commodore Amiga)
7] 15:45 – Martin Iveson – “Title” from the Commodore Amiga game “Jaguar XJ220” [Core Design, 1993]
8] 18:05 – Firefox & Danko – “Galaxy II” [ranked 1st at the 4-channel music compo at demoparty “Phenomena and Censor Party”, 1990]
9] 21:40 – Excerpt of Firefox & Tip – “Hyperbased” from the Amiga demo “Enigma” by demogroup Phenomena [ranked 1st at demoparty Anarchy Easter Party, 1991]
10] 22:15 – Xtd – Knick-Knack [1995] (made on Commodore Amiga)
11] 23:45 – Friendship – “Let’s Not Talk About It” [Elektra Records, 1979] covered by Dimeback [self-released, 2019]. Made with Famitracker (NES/Famicom/2A03 sound). Mashes in a few elements of Koji Kondo’s “Underworld Theme” from the NES/Famicom game “Super Mario Bros.” [Nintendo, 1985]
12] 26:05 – Peer – Dance3 [Pause (II), 2010]
13] 30:10 – Fearofdark – “Don’t Go Outside” [Ubiktune, 2017]
14] 34:30 – zinger & bacter – “Sky Stroll” [Ubiktune, 2011] (made using Yamaha FM7)
15] 38:05 – dogs++ – “Hot Poppers” [Cheapbeats, 2019] (made using LSDJ 6.8.2 for Nintendo Gameboy)
16] 40:20 – Allister Brimble – “Menu” from the Commodore Amiga Game “Body Blows Galactic” [Team 17, 1993]
17] 42:06 – Katakura Mode – “リラックス広場“ (Relaxation Square) [Yotsuchi Records, 2014] (made using KORG M01 for Nintendo DS)
18] 44:05 – George & Jonathan – “Out With My Girlfriends” [2010] (made in PxTone Collage for Windows)
19] 45:50 – Chipzel – “Come On Down (Character Select)“ from the PC game Dicey Dungeons [Terry Cavanagh, 2019]
20] 46:45 – elmobo (originally called Moby) – “Dragonsfunk” [1990] (made on Commodore Amiga)
21] 49:30] – cTrix – “DX Heaven“ [Bleepstreet, 2013] (made on Commodore Amiga)
22] 53:10 – Jester – “Stardust Memories“ [World of Commodore 92, ranked 2nd in trackmo compo, 1992]
23] 55:15- Dizzy – “Banana Split” [ranked 24th in the Amiga Music compo at demoparty The Party, 1993]
24] 56:50 – PROTODOME – ”Wingroovin.mid” [703089 Records DK, 2018]
25] 58:40 – Yuzo Koshiro (古代 祐三) – “Player Select” from the Sega Megadrive/Genesis game “Street of Rage” [Sega, 1991]

And there’s evidently more coming from Mr. Muller. He passes along this preview of a live set which is also morphing into some new release:

My cartridge is ready.

Photo at top: GAG.