Jack Rubinstein is a Chiptune musician in Las Vegas who writes music under the name solo name De La Decay, two piece Decaying Tigers and builds custom glitch equipment under the moniker Decaying Electronics. He can be seen posting on the Glitch Art Collective Facebook page
Michael Television: How did you start off with circuit-bending and modding electronics?
Jack Rubinstein: I make Chiptune music so the first thing I modded was my Game Boy. A few years ago I started with the pro sound mod then went to doing led backlights. The reason I did the mods because modified Game Boys on eBay were like $90 easy. I’m cheap and I wanted to get my hands dirty so I performed the surgery myself.
To compliment my chiptune music, I opened up a Nintendo NES. followed some instructions on how to get started on Casper Electronics web site and had real Glitch visuals for my shows. Before this I was using a GlitchNES cart from No Carrier. GlitchNES is a soft circuit bending tool. (It’s still one of my favorite visuals.) At this point I was happy with soldering and wanted more.
Were you part of the early era of console gaming? NES, Atari, Master System? When did you adopt that part of it. Do you consider yourself a gamer? Are you still a VHS / Laserdisk / Betamax purist? Did you formally study or is it something you’ve been into for a while?
Yes, I was a early Gamer. I was 5 when the NES came to the market. I got it for Christmas and loved it instantly. I’m an only child and having R.O.B the robot for help was awesome!! Although after a while I just use my feet for the second controller, it was faster. I like 2D side-scrollers and some RPG.
But when the Sega Genesis hit I really loved the speed of Sonic and NES took a back seat for a few years.
Video Games music and visuals have been the biggest part of my life so I can say I never adopted the 8-bit lifestyle it’s infused into my blood.
I don’t consider myself a gamer. I’m not up to date on the most recent games and consoles. I know a crap ton about retro gaming. I live in Las Vegas so we have great conventions. I Have attended everything from EVO to the Classic Gaming Expo.
I don’t game as much as I should because I’m too busy make Chiptune with LSDJ on a Game Boy; [takes me hours to create an original song.]
I do love the look of a VHS tape but I’m not a purist. I use DVDs and burn disks from Datamoshing to YouTube clips. I like using different video sources because they have different output looks after its Glitched.
I went to a Vocational High school for T.V. production. I’m glad I went because the equipment we used was very antiquated and it took up many rooms. By todays standards you can do all of it on your laptop. But my teacher was a stiff and didn’t like any of the experimenting we did. The rules of editing a commercial is so boring back then. We were doing what car commercials are doing today with fast cuts and Drum and Bass. But I was in the class of 98′ with equipment from 78′
What sort of projects are you working on in the future?
The projects I have now are with people in Las Vegas. I do visuals for a monthly live show in downtown call Friday Noise. I’m doing collaboration with 710 Visuals. He’s more of the hippy visuals and I’m more robotic. I’d like to collaborate with people all over the world if I could.
You produce glitch art, circuit bent equalizers, video mixers. Why don’t you talk a little bit about that…
I wanted to make video Glitch unit so I created the Glitch Zapper. It’s a dirty video mixer housed in a Nintendo Zapper. I started sell them on Etsy and sold 28 so far in a few months. The reason I started selling them is because i wanted people to have a legit Glitch tool for cheap. Under $50. The next Glitch tools are around $200-$700. So my product has a purpose.
When I circuit bent my Videonics mx1 and posted it to social media no one has bent it yet and got some respect for my masters. So I circuit bent the Videonics titlemaker 2000 and got the Glitch Fx I was really looking for. And now I sell that one too I call it the Dream Crusher. $179
I found over 15 different Glitches on that unit.
My mx1 unit is for sale but it’s hard to track down the proper board to bend. It’s called the Psytronic.
Glitch has been around a long time and still continues, like Chiptune, to remain wholly popular in some circles, but still kind of underground to mainstream counter culture. Give me some examples of the sort of chiptune and glitch art you really inspired and what kind of visual and musical work you’re trying to put out there?
…Glitch fucking art. I Don’t care for App Glitch art to start out. If you do it’s your life and time used. I have never left a negative comment on someone’s app art. But it is a pain in the ass to go through the Glitch Art Collective and find pixel porn after pixel porn. It’s just not what I like. I like O.G. rainbow feedback and real sync corruption. The Masters I follow and talk to are Portland’s own BPMC (glitchart.com) and Florida’s Tachyons+