Q. How can I contact BipTunia?
A. Info is here.
Q. What does the name “BipTunia” mean? How should I pronounce it?
A. It’s my wife DJ’s nickname for our cat, BipCat. The black and white cat on the t-shirt. Also has “tune” in it when you say it
There are two correct pronunciations. One has 3 syllables, one has 4.
First is “Bip-TUNE-ya.” Sort of like “petunia.”
Second is “Bip-TUNE-ee-ah.”
Q. Oh. So what GEAR do you use?
A. Less than you’d imagine. Mostly soft synths and a midi controller, and an inexpensive but good mic. I’m not a gear head. I’d rather make another album then fret over getting some module that is easier emulated with soft synths that will actually stay in tune.
Gear doesn’t matter. I mean, a good musician needs good gear, gear that stays in tune, and won’t break down. But once I have that, I don’t think about it much.
I currently (as of the 6th BipTunia record) use less than 500 dollars worth of gear to make this music, but it works.
Q. BUT WHAT GEAR? I NEED TO KNOW! I LOVE GEAR! GEAR man! GEAR man!
Q. What is the BipTunia music mood:
A. It varies. Usually some combination of darkly cheerful, happily introspective, manic-cranky, driving, reflective, + NOTA.
Q. What kind of music is it?
A. It will appeal to fans of Gary Numan, Brian Eno, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Doors, Depeche Mode, Jim Carroll, Frank Zappa, Robert Fripp, Blondie, The Residents, Kraftwerk, Velvet Acid Christ, Front Line Assembly, Led Zeppelin, Suicide, Marilyn Manson, Dead Kennedys, Devo, and Nine Inch Nails.
Q. No, really, what STYLE of music is it?
A. Hard to say, and doesn’t “fit in a box.” It’s often many styles on an album, and sometimes different styles in the same song. And some styles there isn’t a name for, that I invented.
If you have to put a title on it, it can include different flavors of electronic music, including; Darkwave, Synthwave, Industrial, Synth Punk, Downtempo, Trip-Hop, Minimalism, Experimental Electronic, Minimal / Deep Tech. None of that even fits a lot of BipTunia’s music. I call BipTunia “NOTA electronic music.”
It’s also hard for me to say what it is. Because I don’t listen to a lot of electronic music, so I don’t know the names of the styles. I don’t listen because:
–I don’t like most of it
–I don’t want to be influenced by it
–I can’t listen to a lot of it because of my tinnitus (more below)
BipTunia is mostly head music more than dance music. But it is body music, i.e. it’s head music that has a physical effect and makes you tingly and groovy and wiggly, even if you’re in a big fluffy beanbag chair with headphones on.
It’s also got Rock, Pop, Ambient, Jazz, Space, Glam.
FYI, most (but not all of it) is 120 BPM. I like that tempo.
Q. What do you mean by the tagline, “heavy electronic music that doesn’t hurt your ears”?
A. Our tagline used to be “Music for the drive to Alpha-Centauri.” But I wanted something more literally descriptive.
I have very bad tinnitus from playing in and seeing lots of loud snotty bands in the 80s and 90s. I have to put on hearing protection to put away dishes. Because if two clang together, it’s painful. I also have a hole in my left ear drum, from a procedure called a Myringotamy. THAT is totally metal dude. Brutal, even.
I can’t listen to most electronic music because so much of it has lots of white noise “woosh” sounds and clanging percussion. I understand why people use it. That stuff is fun and easy to make. But for me, even a little bit of that, even at a fairly low volume, hurts. So my music has none.
I make BipTunia at a low volume. Like with my wife sleeping in the next room without headphones and it still doesn’t wake her up.
I mix with probably less high end than some musicians. It’s there, but not prominent. I do this so it doesn’t hurt me and make my ears ring when I listen. If my EQ is too flat sounding for you, turn up the treble a bit on your listening system.
I make the music for me. But you’re welcome to enjoy it too. And even though I make it at a quiet volume, you should probably listen loud. But not so loud you end up like me.
Q. Why don’t you list any new musicians in your list of “Will appeal to fans of …”
A. My music has a lot of melody, and actual song structure, which is lacking in a lot of electronic music.
Another reason I don’t listen to a lot of electronic music is I don’t want to be influenced. I don’t want to sound like anyone else.
Plus, most of it has the clanging and wooshing that hurts. Hell, even older, mellow Portishead, hurts my ears because of the sharp guitars and snare sounds. (!)
Q. When did you start doing this?
A. Fun fact: I only started playing keyboards in earnest in August 2017. The first BipTunia record, “Felis Bippus”, came out 3 months later.
I mean, I could play 3 chords on a piano since I was about 16, but I had only even touched a synthesizer probably 3 times in my life when I started BipTunia.
The reason I was so good so quick is that I already knew how to play, write, sing, and record music from being in bands since 1985. Been in and out of studios much of my adult life. And I was an early adopter with digital recording, starting at home in 1997.
Q. If you’re a no-gov man, why do you use American flag postage stamps to send out your merch orders?
A. Because it’s all they sell at WalMart. I’d rather use flag stamps than actually have to set foot in t government-controlled area like the post office.
BipTunia is former Warner Brothers artist Michael W. Dean (singer / bass player in Bomb) playing everything and singing. Sometimes there are guest performers reading their non-sucky poetry.
Unlike a lot of electronic music, this has melody and structure, won’t hurt your ears (even loud), and you’ll be humming it later. Basically it’s heavy as heck AND radio friendly.
BipTunia is based in Wyoming, yet exists everywhere.
Sometimes BipTunia also includes spoken word by Phil Wormuth. He runs the JipProd word gang in rural Maine. He and Michael went to college together during the Cold War, in the Rust Belt of America. They tried making this music back then, but the technology had to catch up.
These two guys were best friends in college, played in a bar band called “The Armless Children.”
They lost track of each other for 30 years, got back in touch in 2017, and immediately made this music.”
Their music is a series of concept albums about dancing out the end of the world. But it’s not depressing. There is hope.
WHY WE HAVE WRITTEN EXPLANATIONS OF THE WORDS IN OUR SONGS:
BipTunia’s work with Phil is good music, it’s also art. But it’s also a “teaching hospital” to get people into poetry more and help them understand it. Thus, the notes.
Phil and Michael started doing poetry readings together in the early 80s, and feel that poetry is kind of a dying art. We want to bring it back from the dead.
“Hot damn. I am loving it. It’s dark. Like a punk rock & synth Leonard Cohen.”
–Derrick J. Freeman, co-owner, Free State Bitcoin Shoppe
“BipTunia is proof positive that we are not alone in the universe, that someone (or thing) is taking our calls…and listening.
“The sound is of cosmic cats stopping by to use the earthly litter box, trample our truffles, and share some sage advice (namely that the enemy is us – it’s in our blood on the floor) before departing for home to Alpha-Centauri.
“If you listen between the lines, these cats are purring pure philosophy and polemic poetry. But you can also dance to it.”
–Sid Cusk, the Cusk Agency
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