This week on Twitch & Shout, I’m taking a bit of a different approach by shining the spotlight not on a caster, but on what makes a Twitch broadcast. There are many programs, applications, and utilities a caster can use in order to make their stream more appealing. However, there is one aspect of every stream that stands out to me second only to the casters themselves: the music.

While most casters have a heavy level of participation with their viewers, there are always those silent seconds in between gaming decisions, or those ten minute breaks where the deafening null can creep in and give an eerie feel to a cast. To avoid this, casters would play soft music in the background while they broadcast. Today I’m going to be looking into a chiptune artist that I first discovered on Twitch, and has since been part of  my every day music library.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d like to speak for a moment about Saska Ayris, known to those on Twitch as Tiasu.

The Man

I first became aware of Tiasu’s music through a number of streams I have been watching recently, and when the track switched over and those first notes would play, my interest would run to the song and I would need to know who had made this wonderful piece. The name was tossed at me a number of times, and I was dismissive for a number of weeks. Sure the odd tune was great, but I was a metal head. What interest could I have in 8-bit music?

Enter ExcessiveProfanity, likely my all time favorite caster. I (and a great many others along with me) was recommended to go and visit Tiasu’s Bandcamp to sample his work. I was immediately blown away once I did. To hear Tiasu recount it, Excessive Profanity has always been an adamant supporter of his music on Twitch, and one of the first people to support him.

Tiasu has been making music for 16 years now as he tells me, and while his music has always been “pay what you want” on Bandcamp, a recent amendment to Twitch’s terms of use has made his work all the more popular amongst streamers. As of August of 2014, new regulations were put in place regarding those who played copyrighted music on their stream. Any instance of music bearing a copyright will lead to that entire section of your cast being muted. This often leads to 30 minutes of silence for even a few short minutes of “infracting music”. The pay what you want nature of Tiasu’s music bypasses those regulations. He has always been more than pleased to let anyone use his music, so long as they provide a link to his bandcamp and give him proper credit. Upon asking him, Saska has told me that he has always used a pay what you want model, feeling that was the best plan for his music, but with the gaining popularity of Twitch, a free video service for streaming video games, he feels maintaining the current models holds a nice synergy.

The Music

Saska’s music is made in a style known as chiptune, a form of 8-bit music reminiscent of that found in retro video games. The majority of the songs he has support a strong bass with a light, quick melody. Instead of simply holding a repetitive beat such as many chip tunes do, Tiasu’s music is often unpredictable. He adds a much faster verse or replaces it with a bar of bass track. These slight changes are just enough to liven up the melody of the song, adding a surprising element that causes the fifth listen to be just as insightful as the first. Clear comparisons can be seen in many of the songs, such as his song Flashback, which made me feel like I was listening to the opener of a jovial Disney song from Alice in Wonderland prior to hearing the beat drop and being immersed into an intricate world of techno. Each song is crafted with its own care, with a touch of light or darkness that seemed for the most part inconceivable in an 8-bit track.

The Legend

Bottom Line: I adore the music Tiasu has brought to gaming, and I feel that given the chance, his creations could greatly benefit the gaming world. If he had been crafting music in the days of the SNES, there would no doubt be droves of composers influenced heavily by his style.

In recent days we’ve seen a return to our love of retro gaming, and I hope to see Tiasu’s name scrolling in the credits of some brilliant work! Anyone wanting to check him out should head over to and show him some support.