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How Jamatar Uses A Game Boy To Make Music

7 November 2016 | 4:23 pm | Joe Dolan

"I'm starting to refine the bit-crushed sound that melts the instruments together with the Game Boy."

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Melbourne producer Jamatar aka Jam Nawaz adds an element of nostalgia to his music, but not in the usual way. His style of "retro electronic, featuring live Game Boy and guitar" has astonished audiences around the world. "I've always been a fan of chiptunes and making music using old video game systems," he says. "I was experimenting with writing my own material, and I found a tutorial online about building a circuit that would let you use your Game Boy as a synth. From there I had discovered my sound!"

Nawaz's latest single, Interstellar, marks a new place in the musician's recording and producing style. "I'm starting to refine the bit-crushed sound that melts the instruments together with the Game Boy, so it was good to have control." Along with the single, his latest EP followed a similar suit. "I loved discovering new sounds and melody lines," he continues, "I go through a few songs in the writing process, so if something doesn't jump out at me straight away, it gets shelved."

This new EP, entitled Journeys, continues Nawaz's penchant for audio-visual, multi-sensory experiences. "This EP got me really excited to take it out in front of an audience," he recalls. "I took the set on the road for five months before [recording] to get a good feel for the songs and to test audience response. It helped me learn how to build the songs dynamically."

As his second release this year, Nawaz was sure to keep the creation process new and exciting. "It's so important to get fresh takes and even a day away from a song brings it back in to focus so much clearly." The final product? "It's an exciting new set of songs and I can't wait to get on stage with them."

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