Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

The Download on… Chronowolf’s ‘Meet At the Gazebo’

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‘Meet At the Gazebo (Tales from MAGFest)’ is a love-letter of sorts to National Harbor, Maryland’s ‘Music And Gaming Festival,’ featuring tracks written for and performed at the convention over the past few years. Following up from his debut record ‘Genesis‘ in 2016, ‘MAG’ evolves and elaborate’s on Chronowolf’s experimental melding of chiptune sound design and orchestral instruments and composition. Genesis was an extremely strong first outing, so how does album number 2 stack up?

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Sladerfluous Reviews: ‘Orbit5’ by Matthew Squibb

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‘Orbit5’ by Matthew Squibb is an adventurous ambient odyssey that you need to add to your collection right now. Hit play on ‘Horizon Problem’ below if you still need convincing, THEN pick it up on Bandcamp, AND THEN explore ‘Orbit5’ in my album review below.

Told ya.

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Aydan Appreciates: OISHII

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Hey there, all you ChipWINners! Rather than do a typical album review this time around, I thought I’d try something new and showcase some of the freshest talent in the scene. Very recently, an individual known only as OISHII (Oishii Chan on Facebook) was added to the ChipWIN group, and posted a few of their pieces, which were met with an extremely positive reaction from the community. While there are only four tracks on their SoundCloud at the moment, each one is polished, sweet, and energetic in its own way. Let’s hop right to it, and check out these delightfully delectable songs!

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PAX East 2017 POST-PAX PAX-PACKED PAX POST

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Hello everyone! As it happens, every year the vast unknowable demon entities that power the gaming world have aligned and another PAX East has happened without a hitch. I was fortunate enough to once again travel with the MAGFest Jamspace crew to help do some social media coverage and go play some games so I can yell about them on the internet! As with previous editions of the “POST-X X-PACKED X POST” column, this is split up into two sections: #GAMES and #MUSIC – tagged as such so you can jump around with your fancy Find In Page function if you’d prefer to read about one over the other. Also, you should know that much of this article also appears on MAGFest’s fledgling blog, which is where you can find similar content written about MAGFest events and more in the future.

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The Unicorn Princess Royally Reviews ‘199X’ and Interviews Spaceman Fantastiques

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Happy March, folks!

Anyone who releases music knows how tough it is to actually put an album out for the world to see (at least, that’s how I roll). There’s getting an idea, writing it, trying to create instruments that sound like how you hear them in your head. Then there’s the getting frustrated, producing, mixing, mastering, self doubt, and excitement. However, on January, 23rd, NYC based artist, Spaceman Fantastiques was able to defy any negative law that would normally convince an artist to stall on sharing their music to the world, and released two. Writing music for games, film, and for our ears, both albums own a sense of depth and storytelling with one focusing on guitar composition (From The Inside), and the other veering towards synthesizers, electronics, and chip (199X). This month, we’ll take a look at 199X and interview Spaceman Fantastiques learning more about his writing process, what brought him to NYC, and what his goals are as an artist.

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What’s On Tap – Pete Ellison

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This month’s edition of ‘What’s on Tap?’ combines three of my favorite things into one deliciously awesome cornucopia: video games, breakfast, and beer. VGM veteran Pete Ellison returns to the soundtrack world with #Breakforcist, a breakfast-themed brick breaking collaboration with Kevin John at Lucid Sheep Games. Demonic waffles fall from the sky and your task is to destroy them by any means necessary, augmenting your ball with bacon lasers and pancakes. #Breakforcist is currently available on iOS devices, with an Android port coming in the near future. In addition to the soundtrack, Pete did the artwork for the game and you can unlock iMessage stickers by progressing through the levels. Play this game for ten minutes and the only person more enthusiastic about breakfast than you is Leslie Knope:

Musically, #Breakforcist sits squarely in an uncanny valley between retro gaming and contemporary music production. Soundfonts resembling the SNES and Dreamcast-era classics mix freely with Absynth-like patches and filters, wrapped up in a tight and clean package. Although designed for handheld devices, the #Breakforcist soundtrack plays well through laptops, headphones, and normal speaker setups – a testament to Pete’s solid production skills. The soundtrack has a common theme of uptempo, danceable grooves to keep the player’s energy high, but there are a surprisingly wide variety of sounds from beginning to end. The more ambient tracks function well as both background music and standalone pieces, with several standout melodies and funky basslines to keep the listener engaged. Perhaps the most unique portion of the soundtrack are Pete’s tracks that utilize the sexy vocaloid known here as Cyber Diva. If you are having trouble envisioning this sound, imagine Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Superman’ with a thumping backbeat and lyrics about waffles instead of nuclear war.

Now, let’s bust out the maple syrup and dig into some of these sweet tunes, shall we?

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