Archive for January, 2016

Sladerfluous Reviews: ‘Venture Kid’ by Norrin_Radd

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In a word, ‘Venture Kid’ is CLASSIC.

Matt Creamer AKA Norrin_Radd delivers on pouring a 15 year pursuit of recreating near-perfectly authentic NES sounds into the fantastic soundtrack for the Mega Man fan-service platformer ‘Venture Kid’ (the iOS/Android game is out now). Energetic control shifts with each chaotic transition in this retro game microcosm as the album pulls you through all of the tentpole moments of any typical original Nintendo Entertainment System title.

Hook into the album right now with ‘Title Screen’ below!

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Chip Mom’s Kitchen #27: Double Chocolate Cookies

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Greetings ChipWINners!  Welcome to Chip Mom’s Kitchen, which this week has the honor of being The ChipWIN Blog’s 500th publication! If you keep up with the happenings in the ChipRealm, then you may have noticed that Chiptunes = WIN got together with the folks over at Groupees to put together a hella sweet chiptune Bundle of WIN (linked below!).  Along with that bundle came a few fabulous prizes, not the least of which (in my not-so-humble opinion) was a batch of cookies provided by yours truely!  Chiptune artist JKLOL was the lucky winner (song below!), and today you are going to join me in the making of said prize and learn all about…

Double Chocolate Cookies

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Chris Considers: ‘Lumine’ by bansheebeat

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I just can’t quit you, 2015. You’ve lavished us with so much incredible music that even with our thrice-a-week coverage, true gems will inevitably fall through the cracks. I’d like to fix one such oversight by highlighting one of my favorite albums of last year, ‘Lumine’ by bansheebeat (Dylan Browne). This Tucson, AZ based musician has poured his heart and soul into writing, producing and mixing every aspect of ‘Lumine’ for over a 2 year period, and it clearly shows within the finished product. During my dayjob as a mail carrier, repeatedly listening to ‘Lumine’ played an integral role in carrying me through the long, busy holiday season. Read on to see why I will never tire of this phenomenal album.

Cover art by Grant Newbold

Cover art by Grant Newbold

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Office Hours – Keiji Yamagishi ‘Retro-Active Pt. 2’

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Welcome to the January edition of Office Hours, where the weather is frigid but the tunes are smokin’ hot! This month I have the distinct pleasure of reviewing a release that isn’t even available if you are reading the column the week it was published – how cool is that? Keiji Yamagishi is one of the pioneer composers for the original Famicom, and his soundtracks for Ninja Gaiden and Tecmo Bowl are among some of the best chiptunes of that era. Last year, Keiji released his first solo album ‘Retro-Active Pt. 1’ on the Brave Wave label. This album was the first in a planned trilogy of releases with the theme of a ‘futuristic emotional chiptunes world,’ and it is my great pleasure to review ‘Retro-Active Pt. 2’ this month.

Like last year’s release, ‘Retro-Active Pt. 2’ blends Yamagishi’s Famicom roots with modern production techniques and synths. For those readers who might be unfamiliar with the trilogy so far, I would describe the overall sound of the project as similar in production value to Shirobon or Chipzel, with slightly more emphasis on the Famicom’s instrumental capabilities. Despite the long wait for a dedicated solo album from Yamagishi, the tracks on ‘Retro-Active Pt. 2’ sound immediately current with their crisp production, while still retaining some of the magic inherent to the original chiptune era. Each track manages to carve a unique niche for itself on the album, and there are a variety of musical styles with something sure to please even the pickiest listener.

Retro-Active Pt. 2

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Stokin’ the Forge: ‘Genesis’ by Chronowolf

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Happy New Year Chipfam! This month, the Forge has been graced with the copy of ‘Genesis’, the debut album from Chronowolf (Mat van Rhoon). Mat’s been writing music since 1997, getting his start on an old Atari 1040ST that he purchased from his school when he was 12. His composition style has leaned to the orchestral since the beginning, but thanks to chancing upon the styling of noted Dragon-rider and friend of the blog Kubbi, Mat has joined the ranks of the Chiptune elite.

His chiptune exploration led to Singularity, his wonderful contribution to Chiptunes=WIN Vol. 4, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The positive response that he got to his early work, including ‘Singularity’, inspired Mat to put together Genesis. Overall, its an innovative melding of an orchestral style with what we know and love of chiptune. Personally, I immensely enjoyed the album, so join me past the fold and get your listen on!

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The Unicorn Princess’ Start Guide for Live Gigging

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Happy January, folks!

This month, instead of the usual review, I decided to put together a helpful guide for those looking for more insight on playing live shows. Playing shows can be super fun, but being less than prepared can cause a ton of stress.

Here’s the scenario: Your show’s date is set. You have a month or more to prepare. Tons of time, right? Wrong. Chances are, you’ll procrastinate. You have other gigs to focus on. You’re working on an EP (or four). You’ve got somewhere between one and three jobs. You might be studying. Maybe you have a family.  Everyone has a million things on their plate, and that’s OK. It’s normal. With that in mind, you need to keep your eyes on the prize, because rule number one of this whole thing is:

  1. If you commit to something, do everything in your power to produce good results.

Maybe you just like playing shows for fun. Maybe music is how you pay your bills. Maybe you create as a way to express yourself, maybe you’re more of a programmer and are developing music tech tools as a way to test them. Whatever. Regardless of why you’re part of the industry, it all comes down to this:  If you are not reliable, people won’t want to work with you. People serious about their craft do not mingle with people who aren’t dependable, professional, and on time. It doesn’t matter what field that you’re in.  As Jim Rohn said in one of my favorite quotes: jim_rohn_find_a_way_motivational_vinyl_wall_decoration__51411.1422495171.1280.1280 (more…)