Crashfaster’s performance Saturday at Rockage 2.0, alongside Slime Girls, Bit Brigade, Minibosses and more, was an unexpected surprise. Morgan Tucker has a deep, smooth voice in conversation but on stage he uses a Gameboy, NES, C64 and a Vocoder to manipulate his vocals into a gritty female robot effect.
Tucker started Crashfaster as a solo project before bringing in Keiko Takamura, Devin Nixon and Ryan Case to form the chiptune band. When Tucker went on tour with the Glowing Stars almost two years ago he was inspired by the richness of incorporating 8bit loops and effects with additional vocals, guitars and drums. Nixon first learned about chiptune through Lizzie Cuevas [The Glowing Stars], then joined Crashfaster and experimented with circuit bending, Gameboy modding and Little Sound DJ on his own.
The band’s name came to Tucker when he worked at a tech company, using Microsoft Visual Studio. “It was prone to both random and predictable crashes, some of which would hang the entire system for minutes at time,” explains Tucker. “Often I’d scream at my computer ‘crash faster!’ It just kind of stuck after that.”
Tucker played countless games on his NES and Gameboy in his youth and he especially loved tinkering with vintage video games and dabbing in circuit bending to create new sounds long before he realized that there were small communities for chiptune production. “[They were] making music with the ‘actual’ vintage hardware I was aping,” Tucker says. “They called their craft ‘chiptune’ or ‘chip music.’ I was instantly obsessed, and I’ve never looked back.”
Slowly crashfaster is growing their Bay Area chiptune presence through their online community, 8bitSF, a website and Facebook page dedicated to sharing news on chiptune shows and band developments.
Crashfaster remains busy writing music while helping to grow the Bay Area chiptune community. The band releases a split 7-inch vinyl with the the Glowing Stars on Feb. 14.