Johan Kotlinski aka Role Model, the spider in the web of the Scandinavian chip music scene, was born 1979 in Sweden on an island in the Baltic Sea. His first introduction to computers was when his dad brought home a Commodore 64 in the mid eighties. As many others, he developed a deep interest in music during the teenage years. He learned to play the piano and also started using an Amiga to compose own tracks, which at the time (about 1992) was state of the art technology for hobbyists.
In 1996, Johan took the name Role Model and started to make his own electronic music on the Amiga, which was released on demo tapes. The music had a very raw and unpolished sound, compared to contemporary electronic music, and had a hard time getting much acceptance from the house and techno scene at that time. But there was still much positive feedback from friends and strangers.
In 2000, Johan started to develop Little Sound Dj (LSDj), a music editor for the Game Boy. The goal was to create a tool for making music during long subway commutes. When LSDj v1.0 was finished in end of 2000, he started to sell it on home-made cartridges. Many hundred cartridges were sold over the coming years, that were used by artists such as Puss, Nullsleep, Covox, and even Beck… but most importantly it helped giving chip music a revival, building a new scene with artists and people loving music built with basic analog waveforms.
Musically, Role Model's breakthrough started when he started to upload tracks on the site micromusic.net around 2000, which soon reached a global audience. Attention followed and soon Role Model started to get live gigs all over Europe. Eventually the music was acclaimed by the likes of Malcolm McLaren, Sven Väth and Kraftwerk, and one Role Model track was even featured on Cocoon Compilation D. It gave him inspiration to make more music, and also made him go further with his record label Bleep Street. A string of 7" records were released, including best seller "Papaya EP" by Goto80. Later, Rebel Pet Set was launched, a record label explicitly focused on releasing chip music style. So far records by Covox and Goto80 have been issued on Rebel Pet Set.
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