“I chose the name Blargg because it’s originally the name of a character from Super Mario World,” says sophomore Aran Testa, who is releasing a self-produced album entitled “SPEEDRUN” under the stage name Blargg.
“The name is just so guttural and instant; it stuck out to me for that reason. It’s very instant.”
Testa only recently started making music “I’ve been seriously listening to music since middle school.” Testa said. “[I] have always wanted to make it, but became really inspired about two years ago when I started listening to a musician named Machine Girl.”
Testa explained how Machine Girl’s music left an impression on him, saying “It [the music] was just so fun and exciting, so many different sounds and textures were used. I wanted to show all of my friends, and realized I wanted to be able to do that with something of my own.”
Regarding the style of music, Testa said “[It’s] a combination of samples and repurposed sounds.“Rearranged and reinterpreted sections of existing songs that have been chopped up, manipulated and combined to create a final new product.”
Testa described what he meant by this, saying, “So drums from one song, a melody from another, and maybe some vocals and sound effects added as well. Like you would make a collage out of magazine and newspaper pieces.”
The samples come from Testa’s own life experiences, “I grew up in Massachusetts, with a graduating class of ‘39. There weren’t too many people to hang out with, so I played a lot of video games and did a lot of ‘internet’, which is where the samples come from.”
Testa said the general feel of the album is, “A little more relaxed than my other stuff, but I wanted it to be mostly positive listening, […] whether it was high action or not, I wanted it to be a positive listening experience.
The aesthetics of the album come from an eclectic assortment of things, Testa explained, “A lot of the imagery in my head when making each song was stuff like rollercoasters, racecars, parties and summertime, as well as stuff like love and romance, cherry blossom petals, lullabies and other sweet or soothing stuff.”
Testa discussed the struggles of making his style of music while being a small artist, “I love making music, and wish that the landscape around music sampling was more open. There’s a lot of limitations in the way to stop it from happening. Sampling another song without permission is a no-no, but you don’t get a chance to do it officially if you’re not a big artist. I’d gladly give all the money to the original artists if it means I can make what I want from it.”
Testa continued talking about the struggles of being a small-time artist, “I think greater freedom, in that sense, could go a long way for creativity and inspiration going forward. The industry is run by money, and I think that negatively affects the potential for creative use of sampling. A couple of the songs on the album have been copyright claimed on YouTube because it found the samples, so all the money goes to the original artists. I saw the notification and was praying it wasn’t a copyright strike, but it was just a claim, so the only thing it affects is the money, which was never the point anyways.”
Along with making music, Testa has his own radio show with WKNH: Blargg After Dark, is a Resident Assistant in the Commons and a member of Keene State’s Film Society.
‘SPEEDRUN’ will be released on Friday, October 16 on streaming platforms such as SoundCloud, BandCamp, Spotify, and Apple Music.
Tom Benoit can be contacted at: