Musician Jackson Scovel puts ailas astroskeleton to rest by covering his previous album art in emoji. Image from Scovel's Twitter account.

Lay These Old Chip Bones to Rest: Astroskeleton's Retirement

by Jillian Caulfield, posted February 10, 2020

Last week, Seattle-based musician Jackson Scovel added In Memoriam to his Bandcamp page, an archive of tracks produced under the chiptune-focused alias astroskeleton. After seven years, it's being put to rest.

The send-off for the project seems to be a good-spirited one. While Scovel is clearly no longer happy with some of his creative output under the alias, his comments on the project's death have a warmth to them as well. He has thanked several people for their support in the project and recently played a final astroskeleton set in Los Angeles.

"i think about good times in corvallis oregon when i listen to 'you are not alone' [sic]," his notes on In Memoriam say. He also says there that "its [sic] all good :)" in reference to tracks he say "have aged like expired food," and Tweeted about how cool it is that so many have listened to his work.

The current icon for the astroskeleton account (also posted on his main Twitter account), the album art for his 2014 chiptune album you are not alone crossed out and decorated with goofy death-related emojis, and the stylization of the announcement "▁ ▂ ▄ ▅ ▆ ▇ █ 🎀 𝑅𝐸𝒮𝒯 𝐼𝒩 𝒫𝐸𝒜𝒞𝐸 𝒜𝒮𝒯𝑅💀𝒮𝒦𝐸𝐿𝐸𝒯💀𝒩 🎀 █ ▇ ▆ ▅ ▄ ▂ ▁【 2013 - 2020】" (found here and here) feel distinctly playful, too, as does his reply to the In Memoriam announcement, "im going to the astroskeleton store, y'all need anything [sic]?"

What's next here? It looks like the astroskeleton Twitter will disappear soon, and Scovel's Soundcloud page will be wiped of many astroskeleton tracks. But In Memoriam exists to archive the project, and Scovel also made his first two EPs, 001 and 002, public again, indicating that the project, though dead, will not be forgotten.

And Scovel isn't done creating -- currently, he's drumming in several bands, producing happy hardcore and drum 'n' bass, DJing, touring, doing graphic design work and more. The astroskeleton project may be coming to a close, but the end of this chapter in Scovel's work feels like the beginning of another.

Note: Some linked Tweets here may no longer exist, as Scovel has indicated plans to deactivate the astroskeleton account. Screenshots of Tweets in question can be found in the documentation I've put together for this piece, available to the public here. For those using screenreaders, the stylized announcement says "rest in peace astroskeleton, 2013-2020" with fancy script, skull emojis, bows, and shaped blocks that make it look important but a bit fun.