Possible 2023 Slate

EDIT: I’m going to keep this stickied to the top of the Blog for all of 2023, and keep it updated as the year progresses.

I’m only a couple of days into 2023, and already i’ve got a stack of really interesting things that I’d like to accomplish this year.

On top of playing as many shows as possible, I’ve already got a stack of ideas scribbled down. . . almost one a month for all of 2023.

Lots of things can get in the way, and plans always change, but as of 4pm on Tuesday, January 3rd, here’s a rough list of everything I’d like to do this year (in addition to 12x VJOLTRONS, and whatever releases I end up duplicating for Virtua 94, Retro Release Video, and anyone else who’d like to release some VHS tapes).


✔ denotes completion!

Jan
VJOLTRON – 1/9
8 HOUR SMART TAPE
• 8 HOUR CYBER TAPE
8 HOUR BEMANI TAPE

Feb
✔ VJOLTRON – 2/13
✔ STREET SPIRIT (FADE OUT) 2019 Photodiary
✔ STREET SPIRIT (FADE OUT) 2020 Photodiary

Mar
VJOLTRON – 3/13
• STREET SPIRIT (FADE OUT) 2021 Photodiary
• STREET SPIRIT (FADE OUT) 2022 Photodiary

Apr
60 Second Wipeout Video Installation
VJOLTRON – 4/10
• VXPX_048 – #PureMoods 2023 – VHS release – V94
• VXPX_051 – Future StreamsVHS release – V94
Dirty Epic Photo Book

May
Home Away from Home Photo book (title subject to change)
VJOLTRON – 5/8


Jun
VJOLTRON – 6/12

Jul
Music for Three VCRs – “Decay” Live Performance
VJOLTRON – 7/10

Aug
• VXPX_050 – H4XOr5 – VHS & Cassette Release + Tour? – V94
VJOLTRON – 8/14

Sep
V I D E O H E X installation
Music for Three VCRs – “Stasis” Live Performance
VJOLTRON – 9/11

Oct
VJOLTRON – 10/9

Nov
Music for Three VCRs – “Growth” Live Performance
• VXPX_054 – Music for Three VCRs – VHS release
VJOLTRON – 11/13

Dec
• VXPX_020 – Tomorrow is Code for a Bright and Shining Future – VHS release (finally)
VJOLTRON – 12/11

———-



Currently On Hold

• VXPX_045 – VVerevvolf Fucktape – VHS & Cassette (re)-release – V94
• VXPX_046 – Perfect Tone – VHS Release
• VXPX_047 – Untitled SC – VHS Release
• VXPX_049 – GREETING THE NEW DAY – VHS release
• VXPX_052 – $kinhead Fucktape – VHS & Cassette release – V94
• VXPX_053 – Øbject Fucktape VHS & Cassette release – V94
H4XOr1 digital release
H4XOr2 digital release
H4XOr3 digital release
H4XOr4 digital release


Gearlog: VHS DJ Rig for 2023

The Youtube Algo Gods have blessed me again.

Last night, I was poking around Youtube, and stumbled across this truly incredible DJ mix by Kerri Chandler, and it reminded me of a LOT of things.

After much brainstorming, I’ve come to the conclusion that really the only thing to do is to sell (almost) all of my VJ gear (the wearable wireless rig, the “cruiser” rig, and whatever else I have laying around that’s not part of the Butohscope), and build a fresh rig from scratch.

The first Videopunks live rig was originally built around a Numark AVM-02, and now they’re a lot harder to come by, but they’re a really great mixer. I’ve owned two. . . the first I killed at the FIRST Videopunks live set in Manhattan (due to sketchy ass power), and the second I killed onstage with Angelspit. 4 channel Vision Mixer, 4 channel DJ mixer, and a lot of knobs/buttons/faders. Shit’s fuckin’ great.

There’s a lot of ways that I could monitor this, but I think the ol’ standby Numark VM-03 is a solid choice. I’m not sure if there’s something slimmer, but this seems like the move.



Out of the mixer would need to be some sort of HDMI upscaler. . . there’s a lot of options out there, and I’ve owned a bunch of variations of THIS GUY, and they’re pretty OK.

Cool. . . So, that’s Mixing, but what about Playback? Ideally, I’d like to have a pair of Rackmountable VCRs with JOG WHEELS and Pause Functionality, with S-Video out, so I can get the cleanest image out of the VCRs, and into the Mixer, with bonus ‘FX sends’ for whatever Glitch gear I’d like to have chained in.

I’m lowkey looking at the JVC-HR-s3600u. . . it ticks all the boxes (minus TBC), and seem like they’re still pretty cheap & available.



Here’s an interesting forum post breaking down some of the taxonomy of the JVC model numbers at the time.

Something else to consider would be getting a pair of Mitsubishi HS-MD3000‘s. . . they’re really rugged, meant to be kinda beaten on, and most importantly, I already have one. . . So sourcing a second one might be cheaper.


You can’t really modify VCRs for Speed Adjustments, so I’d have to Pre-Stretch all of my tracks to a specific tempo. . . I think 120bpm is the move, since VHS is ostensibly 60fps (60i), and those numbers fit into each other pretty well. Additionally, 120bpm is pretty damn funky, and I happen to have quite a bit of experience DJing at that tempo.

I’m not sure if you can scrub audio with a VCR (pretty sure you can’t), so I’ll have to bake in some flashframe Cue Points. . . and a lot of the music that I would want to play probably never had music videos for it, so that’ll give me an opportunity to make a bunch of Music Videos for all sorts of stuff, which is fun as all get out. In terms of tapes, I’m thinking that a STACK of T-10’s would give me more than enough material to DJ with (maybe with color-coded labels? Why Not?!), and Really Just Get Weird With It.

The last piece of the puzzle would be some sort of DJ mixer case, like this SKB jawn. . . All I’d need to do is find a way to rackmount the VCRs, and I’m golden. A rackmount powerstrip seals the deal, and makes it real.

A lot of people have done DJ sets with VHS visuals (kinda), and a lot of people have DJed with Tape. . . but I can’t seem to find anyone who’s combined the two. This is gonna be a super fuckin’ wild.

Videopunks – “H4XOr5” Recording Day 0

There’s a lot going on, all the time. Lots of ideas, lots of neat things to do, lots of great ‘art jokes’ to put into the world.

Here’s one of them.

Vinny Videopunk & I are making an All-Hardware Jungle album, that’s also a live-score/rescoring for the VHS version of the movie. Ultimately, it’ll be 3 different versions. . . One is a Digital Release of 8 finished, dancefloor-ready jungle tunes, one is an hour long VHS release of the movie Hackers with our score throughout (16ish tracks worth) WITH the Dialog & Score intact, and one is a C60 Cassette of that score, minus the dialog & sfx.

We’ve been talking about it for months. . . and yesterday was our first day of recording.

Unfortunately. . . we didn’t make it into the studio.

BUT. . . that’s ok. Here’s a little bit about the process of the project, and how we’re going to really freak this thing out.

First up, preparing the VHS for performance.

The soundtrack to the movie Hackers is widely available, in various formats, and is FUCKING AWESOME. Finding that movie when I did was EXTREMELY FORMATIVE FOR ME, and has routinely shaped & reshaped my approach to a lot of things. It’s also goofy as FUCK, and I highly recommend.

If you’re trying to rescore a film, having the music present is hassle. Getting versions of the film WITHOUT score is nearly impossible for scrubs like you & me, so the next best thing is to drop it into ProTools to line up all the music, and then use the following Inversion tricks to remove the music automagically. I’m a videopunk, not a fucking wizard, so someday I’ll have to get Vinny Videopunk on video to explain how he did it. It looks something like this:

Full Disclosure: As of 12/26/22, this is 100% theoretical, and we haven’t done this yet.

Once we have the soundtrack removed, it comes back to me for my magic.

First up is Scene Edit Detection.

From there, I can rip through the entire movie on a timeline, easily identify/colorcode scenes, and condense the entire 107 minute film into roughly 60 minutes (I have a feeling we’re going to lose a lot of Fisher Stevens, sorry bro). Again, purely theoretical, but we’ll see what shakes.

Going into the album, we’ve agreed on a tempo (170 bpm, if you’re curious), and thusly I have a 170bpm Click track that I will manually retime the ENTIRE film to (using the Rate Stretch Tool in Premiere).

Why retime the whole movie to 170, you ask? Because we’re mad fucking scientists, and we’re going to put an FSK midi clock across the whole fucking movie for live performances.

I haven’t really talked about the GOAL of this thing yet. . . not only are we trying to do two different physical releases AND a digital release (with subsequent single/stem digital releases), but I want to book a TOUR. That tour would be 2x MC-101’s (my Drum Machine of choice), but also a Mitsubishi MD3000, all run to DI’s. Hi-Fi VHS is Stereo, so if you hard pan your Movie to one channel, and your Midi Timeclock to the other channel, you can feed midi timeclock to your Drum Machines, which will not only stay in sync with the movie, but each other.


So, yeah. 2 drum machines, a VCR, and a 60 minute live jam. Ideally, i’d like this to be the first in a Trilogy of bootleg VHS release, across the next 3 years. . . but we’ll see what sort of legal hurdles/logistical hurdles impede us. I’d love to do Johnny Mnemonic next, and I’m pretty unsure what the third one could be. . . maybe Virtuosity? All three movies were released in 1995. . . there’s something special about that, I think.

I’m going to do my best to post random notes from the entire creation of this project, warts & all, so I can have a record of everything that went down in these sessions. We’re tracking all 8 tracks for the digital release this week, so we can really get a handle on the MC-101 to ProTools workflow (32-64 bar loops, recorded directly into ProTools, with arrangement & mixing happening “in-the-box“), then removing all the music, preparing for trimming, and finally recording our live score for the VHS release (performed live in our studio).

7 Years of DIY VHS

Happy 7th Anniversary to Videopunks VHS!

On this day, 7 years ago, I released my first VHS release, “Video Art is Awful”.

To commemorate this, I’ve gone back through ALL of the releases, added blog posts to line them up with my personal timeline, and added a new section of the Blog that’s JUST focused on VXPX video releases.

My goal (in the near future) is to provide all the Art Assets, Video Masters, and labels for folks to make their OWN copies of all of those out-of-print releases, so that they’ll hopefully live on far longer than the rest of us.

Having gone through all of these releases today, I realized that there’s a lot of gaps in what I still have. . . but it’s a really dense discography.

I’m particularly proud of some of these releases (I provided visuals for a lot of them), and I’m really looking forward to adding to this body of work in 2023, alongside my label partners Virtua 94 Records.

I like nice, round numbers, and the catalog numbers already have three digits. . . so the goal is 100 releases. After looking at the 45 (official) releases i’ve done in the past 7 years, that feels particularly attainable.

If you’d like to have a look back at all the released, jump over HERE.



Frataxin – Copulatory Transvection VHS

I got asked to do the Editing & Analog processing for this VHS release from Frataxin on Invocation Films (as released by Black Ring Rituals).

I’ve seen Joe perform a couple of times, and though Power Electronics really isn’t my thing, this dude gets me every fucking time. What an absolute ripper.

In a new personal first for me, this is getting released on Betamax, in addition to the VHS. What a treat.

VXPX 8 HOUR NOISETAPE

I ran into some old friends at a show the other day, and they mentioned that they got a CRT TV, but didn’t have any thing to show on it.

That immediately got my wheels spinning. . . I’ve got a small collection of New Old Stock T-160s, and I’ve always wanted to put together some 8 Hour SLP Mixtapes.

VHS is unique, in the fact that you can record such an extreme amount of useable information on them. 8 Hours in SLP might not be the best quality (Combination of tape speed, and tape thickness), but it’s definitely watchable. Cost-Conscious consumers used SLP to maximize their tape lengths for a large chuck of the VCR’s lifespan, and nobody seemed to mind.

Additionally, for the right content, it lends a certain ‘crunch’, not unlike recording drums to tape.

Anyway, I’m laying off the first of the ‘Noisetape’ dubs now. . . and I can’t wait to see the result.

No one can conceivably sit down, and watch an 8 hour VHS tape in one go. That’s not what it’s designed for, I think. . . I think they should be played on loop, in the background of one’s art studio, quietly influencing the people around it.


I’m only making 4, to pass along to 3 folks that I think will get the maximum yield from them, and I can’t wait to see how it influences their work.

Here’s some examples of what’s on this particular tape:

DO IT YOURSELF VIDEO

Right now, in the 21st century, there’s a ROBUST community of folks STILL MAKING VHS TAPES!  VHS was one of the first home video formats that allowed people of all walks of life to create and distribute their own high-quality moving images quickly & cheaply, and we’re keeping that tradition alive!

PLACES TO MAKE VHS TAPES:

Duplication & Manufacturing Services for hire!

VXPX.INFO – Based in New York, NY
The Basement Labs – Based in Worcester, MA

Cryptic Carousel – Based in Upstate NY

Duplication.ca – Based in Canada

PLACES TO BUY VHS TAPES:

Weirdos, Beardos, and Videopunks of all Stripes!

Lunchmeat – The OG, stocking ALL THINGS VHS

Horror Boobs – Schlocky Horror B-Movie Madness!

The Basement Labs – specializing in Ambient/Experimental Weirdness

Factory 25 – Indie Film Distributor with VHS feature film releases
Retro Release Video – Officially Licensed VHS Re-Issues!
Bleu Nuit Video – Analog Experiments from Montreal

American Piss Video Magazine – NYC based VHS Zine focusing on Graffiti, Raving, and Havin’ a Good Time.

Baudway Video – Vaporwave VHS label

Vill4in – Dark Vaporwave & Industrial

SRS Cinema –  Horror/Scifi/KAIJU distro!
Witter Entertainment – Horror Distro!
Black VVideo – VHS label for horror/action/bizarre
Pacific Plaza – Vaporwave Label w/ VHS releases
Unstable King – UK based VHS Bootlegs

Kitty On Fire Records – Vancouver Label with some VHS releases

Oscilloscope Laboratories – NYC Based Film Distributor w/ some VHS releases
Devaughn’s Tapes – Cute Customs for Sale
Black Ring Ritual – Fargo, ND based Noise label that releases on VHS & Beta

VHS DUPLICATION ESSENTIALS

Export presets/templates/etc

NTSC Title Safe Framing Chart (.PNG)
Spine Labels (.PDF
Face Labels (.PDF)
Bottom-Loading Slipcase (.EPS)
Bottom-Loading  Slipcase (.SIT)
Bottom-Loading  Slipcase (ALT)  (.PDF)
Bottom-Loading Slipcase (ALT) (.PSD)
Side-Loading Slipcase (.SIT)
Clamshell/Library Case (.EPS)
Clamshell/Library Case (alt) (.JPG)

Adobe Media Encoder (AME/PPRO) .EPR

Vector Assets & Templates (from Mediafire)


Our recommendation for anyone delivering a file for
VHS duplication would be the following delivery spec:

DV NTSC Quicktime .MOV
720×840
29.97 (30i)
Field Order: LOWER first
0.9091 (DV NTSC) Pixel Aspect Ratio
and ALWAYS full screen 4:3 (not letterboxed)

OTHER RESOURCES

Further down the Spiral


Scanlines.xyz – Forum for Experimental/Analog Video
BPMC – The GOAT of Glitch Video Synthesis
Lunchmeat VHS – the OG VHS Zine

Strange Tapes Zine – Another VHS Classic

Video Circuits – The Biggest/Best Analog Video Facebook Group
Coaxial Arts – Experimental Media Art center in LA
Signal Culture – Experimental Media Art Center in Upstate NY
r/Video Synthesis – Video Synth Subreddit
r/CustomVHS – DIY Customs
Andre Jay’s Resource Page – The GOAT, with LOTS of great stuff
Bootleg VHS – Cool VHS-Themed Merch
Capital Waste Pictures – AU analog video productions
Color VHS Shell Database
r/CustomCovers

Experimental Television Center | Title Safe | NTSC | Aspect Ratio | VHS | Spool Swapping

Wanna get added to the list?  Shoot us an email!  We wanna hear from you!

videopunksnotdead@gmail.com

High Five the Birthday Boy – “BLESSURE ONE MEGAMIX”

BLESSURE ONE MEGAMIX
DIRECTED BY VIDEOPUNKS:
http://vxpx.info
@thebasementlabs

PHYSICAL RELEASE AVAILABLE ON SERIAL ART OBELISK, A NEW MONTHLY VHS VIDEOZINE FROM THE BASEMENT LABS.
THIS MONTH’S VIDEOZINE FEATURES ARTISTS FIRE-TOOLZ, HIGH FIVE THE BIRTHDAY BOY, MORGAN RASPANTI (MORGANPOINT0), AND CASSIE BARALIS.
(LIMITED TO 100 COPIES)

DOWNLOAD BLESSURE ONE HERE:
https://h5bb.bandcamp.com/album/bless…