Author Archive

What’s On Tap – chibi-tech

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Hello and welcome to the February edition of ‘What’s on Tap?’ After a work-related hiatus of a few months, we are back and ready to brew up a review for the ChipWIN blog! This month I have an excellent pairing of the earthy, spicy saison style with a brand new EP ‘The Mutual Promise’ from chiptune legend chibi-tech. Here w-

*record scratch*

Yep, that’s me. Bet you’re wondering how I got into this spot, huh? Reviewing new music by chibi-tech, chiptune mad scientist and compositional hero to anyone who has even considered installing Famitracker. Well, that’s an interesting story and I’ll try to keep it short – I called dibs.

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What’s On Tap – Norrin_Radd

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Hello and welcome to the October edition of ‘What’s on Tap?’ Your host is very excited about this month’s pairing as they are two of my favorite things – new music by Norrin_Radd and the double IPA. Both of these selections push the envelope of their style and are unique, intense experiences. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Matt Creamer is the mad genius behind the moniker Norrin_Radd, and his music has been influential to me in the years since I first heard his album ‘Anomaly’. His musical style tends to lean towards progressive rock and thrash metal, with plenty of complicated riffs and sudden mood shifts. Matt takes plenty of musical risks that usually pay off; where other artists might not explore such diversity in a short track, his music always seems to have a coherent trajectory.

The soundtrack for ‘Treasure Buster’ benefits from this approach, as most of the tracks are well under two minutes and still manage to cover a wide array of musical territory. ‘Treasure Buster’ is a game for iOS (and Android soon) developed by Reggie Schrieber with Pixel Licker Studios, described as ‘Zelda 1 meets pinball’ in the style of 90’s Capcom arcade games. While this review covers the music, I highly encourage you to follow this link to read more about the game and check out the videos!

Norrin_Radd 'Treasure Buster'

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What’s On Tap – Petriform

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Welcome back to ‘What’s on Tap?’ where we explore all sorts of pleasurable sensory experiences and pine over the last days of summer. This month I have the pleasure to review an artist whose work I really enjoy (Petriform) and a beer style that is in perfect season right now (Oktoberfest). Combining these two will be certain to please, and I hope you will seek out both the album and some of the beers listed at the end of the review.

Released in August, Petriform’s latest album ‘Don’t Worry, You’re Great!’ is an uplifting and cheerful collection of 13 tracks packed to the brim with catchy melodies. One of the things that makes this release unique in the realm of chip music is the artful combination of chip sounds from Famitracker with guitar and vocoder-laced vocal tracks. Not every song features the voice – and Petriform includes the instrumentals in the full album download – but those that do contain lyrics that tell interesting stories, and the voice blends among the chip synth in a beautiful tapestry of sound.

'Don't Worry, You're Great!'
cover art by Petriform
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What’s On Tap – Prof.SAKAMOTO

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Welcome to the inaugural edition of ‘What’s on Tap?’, a monthly article combining chip music and an exquisite craft beer pairing. Contrasting with President Hoodie’s Beer & Chip Manifesto series, we will talk about a general beer style to pair with the album, along with several recommendations for specific brews. The musical main course this month is a new release by Prof. Sakamoto, a Japanese VGM composer whose wonderful work has not yet been reviewed here on The ChipWIN Blog. In addition to composing soundtracks for (real) video games, Prof. Sakamoto is working on chipmusic inspired by imaginary retro video games. The most recent entry in the series is ‘INSERT vol. 3 – NINJA or DIE’, featuring a ninja protagonist in contrast with previous themes of action/adventure and a space shooter.

INSERT vol. 3 - NINJA or DIE

 

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Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 5 [Tracks 11 – 20]

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Welcome to the second day of reviews for the newly-released Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 5! As a reviewer, this is a really interesting way of breaking down such a large compilation because we essentially have a separate ‘album’ worth of incredibly diverse material to prepare for dissection, while still relating it to Volume 5 as a whole. I have the distinct pleasure of going over tracks 11-20, which contain some of the best melodic, heavy, and just plain weird tunes on the compilation. Here we go!

V.5 art

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Office Hours – Gors ‘Limitless’

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This edition of Office Hours will be my first opportunity to review an artist that I have previously covered, which is exciting for me to see their development and revisit some old favorites. Gors follows up his 2015 release of ‘Brave New World’ with ‘Limitless’, a 10-track album exploring the endless facets of creativity. The sounds and styles of this release are widely varied but form a cohesive whole, and the Famitracker work is top-notch. From retro action-platformer jams and bouncy Nintendo-esque textures to chippy pop-punk inspired tunes, you will surely find something to satisfy your aural palate with this album!

Gors - Limitless Cover

 

album art by Gors

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