After taking a trip down memory lane with Diamond Machine, you find yourself now wondering where this aural adventure we call Chiptunes=Win will take you. As you venture along the path before you, a portal suddenly bursts open. It dares you to take a step beyond the known into something far more vast than anything you’ve ever known. Welcome to the outer limits of the cosmos. Your guide for this cosmic trip will be…
An eclectic man who’s carved his own unique niche into the chipmusic scene, Duane Starpilot has become well known for trippy, fast paced music that’s simultaneously stylish, dancey, and meditative. A song I’m particularly fond of that embodies these characteristics perfectly is “Psychochip Ravebot” off his recent LP Sparkling. At 8:22 in length, this song is a testament to Duane’s ability to combine aspects of different genres-such as chiptune, ambient and trance-into a uniquely cerebral auditory experience.
Duane’s unique style of music isn’t the only thing that makes him rather special in the scene. His unique artistic vision also expands into the graphic arts realm, & he’s continued to hone his visual craft as well as his musical talents over the years. The result has been an artist who’s not only quite political and mocking of the social status quo, but one that is incredibly prolific and stylized, at that. Hell, just this year alone, Starpilot has released 8 albums, almost all of which feature original album art work.
Yes, you read that last sentence correctly: Starpilot has released 8 albums this year, with a combined total of 108 songs. So if you happen to like Duane’s work, never fear: not only will you never run out of original music to listen to, but you most likely have a lot of catching up to do. That being said, let me leave you with one last sample of Star Pilot’s incredibly eclectic, glitchy, hypnotic (and even slightly political) fun that’s sure to delight: Tell Lie Vision.
Ho-Ho-Holy Shit. If the holiday season wasn’t exciting enough, the wonderful/not-workshy/probably mentally unstable people over at Chiptunes = WIN have graced the world with the first in a series of promised themed compilations, starting with the theme of winter. Sounding like a condensed audio personification of Christmas, if this doesn’t get you in the mood for mince pies, roast dinners and eggnog (is that actually a thing or have years of US Sitcoms been lying to me?), then nothing will. You utter Grinch. So without further ado, here is where we break it down:
BR1GHT PR1MATE – Linux and Lucy
Returning for their second bout on a Chiptunes = WIN comp, James and Lydia start proceedings with a sweet and sour swirl. Delicate melodies and jazz/funk fm influences swamp the track, and coupled with sampled voices which narrate, the track jumps between sugar and spice repeatedly; the sugar hook will stay with you for eons.
Having appeared on Fox News, released the acclaimed ‘Night Animals’ earlier this year and been credited for countless game OST’s, the Br1ght Pr1mate freight train appears to be doing the very opposite of slowing. Frequent live performances and an e-performance on the upcoming uber-web-show ‘WWCW 12’, keep a look out for this duet’s fantastic live show too.
Vince Kaichan – Midnight Snowflake
Soft and subtle seem to be the thematic qualities of this compilation, and if so then ‘Midnight Snowflake’ is the template. No jarring dynamic shifts or unannounced jolts, just blissful frolicking through winter tundra and the feeling the melodies could be icicle tendrils. Harmonically robust and beautiful, this track can be added straight to Vince’s long catalogue of fantastic tracks.
With releases as VCMG on Pxl-Bot and others on Noisechannel, Vince has shed his newcomer badge long ago and has since become a well-established name in the chiptune scene. If this is your first experience of Mr. Kaichan’s work, you’re in for an early Christmas treat.
Professor Shyguy – We Three Kings
Convention frequenter and pedlar of pop rock chiptune, Professor Shyguy brings his rather nice (trying not to sound emphatically romanticised here) to a cover of ‘We Three Kings’. How Christmassy does this sound? All of the Christmas.
Not one to do things simply, the climax breaks from the mould to provide a darker and far more Pink Floyd take on the classic carol, with screeching distorted guitars and acoustic fiddling aplenty.
With a full length and a new single both released this year, you’re more than spoiled for material to keep you happy(er than you would otherwise be) over the Christmas period.
Mark ‘TDK’ Knight – Sunrise
The prolific game music composer and BAFTA winner (!) TDK is returning to grace the chip world with his masterful compositions. With a single coming out soon on the deity house that is BleepStreet Records, Mark reintroduces himself here with a chilled and icy jam that melds eastern melodies and jazz elements into a consistently surprising and enjoyable track, with frequent nods to his previous soundtrack work.
With more skills, projects and awards than I can ever hope to cover in this short passage of text, it’d be wise of you to check out the huge repertoire of this brilliant composer and sound wizard. 20 pounds if you don’t see a game you recognise.
Storm Blooper – The Stellar Dendrite
Having been around originally as Sub-Woofer Special since 2008, the reincarnation as Storm Blooper has thus far brought with it two full lengths, a single earlier this year and plenty of live performances, morphing to a more standard chiptune affair to his present day dub inspired grooveathon. And here we arrive and Blooper’s magnum opus, The Stellar Dendrite.
You’ll have noticed the emission of anything even slightly wobble-influenced (now that I’ve pointed it out) and not one to displease, Storm Blooper handles the job solo and with gusto. Whilst not a wobble track per se, the grooves and dub flirts will have you chomping at his hyper sweet bit through the pieces duration and beyond.
Glenntai – Snowfall and Snowballs
With the fondly remembered EP ‘Silly Hats Only’ from 2010 and a new EP in the works and his hands full with the planning and leader of the newly formed and already respected ‘Clipstream’, a monthly online chip festival (it is as brilliant as it sounds), seeing Glenntai’s name appear on this compilation will likely have excited many.
And here is why: complex and experimental melodic tinkering laced into an upbeat and wintery socket, carefully crafted to the smallest degree. Feeling fuller and longer than its mere four minute play time, this masterfully conceived track is a refreshing take on the hyper-happy chiptune of ye olde.
ABSRDST – Let Me Freeze
Since July ABSRDST has released the mammoth-sized ‘Home Sweet Home’, the brilliantly received and diverse ‘Sugar Blossom and the Space Cadets’ and most recently his albumette ‘Rigby Wearing Shades’. Definitely a busy fellow.
Lending his expert meanderings to chipWINter, ‘Let Me Freeze’ takes six minutes of your time to lead you through multiple genres and styles, coaxing out memorable and tightly constructed melodies at every intersection, giving the track an unparalleled flow. Building to an incredible climax with one final violently adrenaline-coaxing twist, ABSRDST sure knows how to do ‘epic’ as well if not better than most.
Daniel Capo – Frosted Over
Featured on multiple compilations including a past Chiptunes = WIN and the fantastic Perelandra Records compilation ‘Tide’, Daniel, has been carving himself a name for professional sounding and presented chilled chiptune. ‘Frosted Over’ is no different.
Mixing EQ manipulation with subtle breakbeats and sporadic melodies, ‘Frosted Over’ has an almost glitch-like quality to its wintery demeanour. The rising a falling of the backing synth’s pitch and volume help add the dreamlike qualities of the understated piano and unimposing harmonies, creating a track that truly embodies the term ethereal.
Jay Tholen – Justice Delivers Its Death
There is a lot to say about Mr. Tholen. The prolific progressive rock and chiptune connoisseur has graced labels as respected as Pause and Ubiktune, with plenty, and I mean plenty, of self-released pieces in between. With his game Dropsy in development under the Tendershoot studio name, Tholen is truly a man of many talents.
And creating catchy chipfolk is one of said talents. Backed by female vocalist(s), the slow crescendo of chiptune and acoustic builds to a tightly woven and emotional end. The lyrics, whilst at times slightly unsettling in an obviously deliberate way, work cohesively with the music to create Tholen’s truly unique and remarkable atmosphere and style.
Vegas Diamond – The Ghost Of Christmas Dance
Featured on the Spanish equivalent of 8bitpeoples, LowToy, Vegas Diamond’s bittersweet jams having begun to tease the ears of chiptune fans everywhere, and here is no different.
Scales flow over each other jumping from major to minor to create that bittersweet tinge of sweet and sour. Starscream (Infinity Shred/Whatever) influenced chords rain from this, sending astral snow into your speakers (I’ve always said the line between space and ice themed is only a contextual one). Featuring one of the most memorable melody and chord progression dualities on this compilation, Vegas Diamond has continued their thus far unblemished record for great music.
The Bitman – Next Stop, Detroit
Visitor on the release pages of Noisechannel and with two other Eps under his belt, Bitman’s dance LSDJ boogies this time go for winter’s thorax. Pulsating drums and scales carry the first half of the track gracefully, before the mid-break switches up the formula into a wide-eyed melodic call and response as scales dance around each other in a hypnotic cycle. Memorable 3/4 hooks and dragging drums help the track stand out from the LSDJ pack, and dissonant bleeps help create and uneasily sub-zero atmosphere. Apparently Detroit is cold this time of year.
shanebro – A Chipwinter Stroll
Winter drum pumps fill the space left between the rising and falling scales of the tracks beginning. Flowering into a melodic to and fro with the beats, Shanebro spends the rest of the track experimenting with constantly shifting melodies and brief motif reprisals. The mid-drum break has a real 80s ad-vibe about it, primed to tug at the nostalgia toggles on anyone’s hearts.
With the release ‘The Sky Is Ours’ over on Noisechannel and a full length in the works, look out for this up-and-comer taking over this place.
an0va – Christmas Time Is Here
Frequenting stages in the US and teasing the general populace with only one released EP thus far, the fantastic ‘The Teaching Machine’, an0va is already a well-known name and unique talent in the chiptune field.
‘Christmas Time Is Here’ starts, sounding eerily similar to a lost song from The Snowman soundtrack, an0va uses a blend of chiptune, guitar and expert atmospheric control to create an audio personification of the festive season. Even before the jazz guitar begins, the track’s slow lounge croon carries the listener, only heightened by the presence of lucid and fluid guitar playing.
Kubbi – Polar Bear Rides
Chiptunes = WIN’s very own Master Of The Tracklisteh provides another track for another compilation in the wake of his fourth full length release, ‘ Circuithead’. With a progressive twist to the melodically founded chiptune, these 80’s-esque synths bring to mind Drive during the winter months, snow drifting and cold stares. Melancholic and with the spirit of the festive months etched into its psyche with great force, this winter paradise stands out starkly in Kubbi’s extensively eclectic as another choice cut.
If you enjoyed this track, definitely check out his other release from this year, ‘Sleet’, and last year’s full length ‘Transmittance’.
Anyone interested in a ChipWIN Blog with 100% more Kuma in it??
WELL OF COURSE YOU ARE!!
And now? Starting with this ChipWIN write-up on Diamond Machine, you shall have it!! Welcome to the blog, buddy! ♥ ^_^ ♥
So you just finished surfing the wave that was Kubbi‘s “Tidal Force” and you find yourself coming to the shore of a strange, new place. It’s a place that fills you with trepidation and anxiety, twisting your stomach. The melody kicks in as you walk down the beachy island that is this song, and soon you feel less anxious and more at ease. You come to realize that this song isn’t one of anxiety or tension, but of memory and nostalgia. It’s the memories that come flooding back to you like an old friend just looking to say “Hey!” after all these years. This nostalgia that’s enveloped you is what the man behind “Hey!(No E)” is all about.
Diamond Machine is an artist who wholeheartedly embraces the idea of music as an expression of his experiences, which he then shares with the world. A quick peek at his other works reveal this much to be true. The man not only produces original music, but proudly covers other well known music, as well. A work I’m particularly fond of is the song “YesterDJ” off his EP Furore, a chiptune cover of the classic Beatles song. While replete with the nice, fuzzy noise channel, snares, and BRKs that many have come to embrace in the chiptune scene, the song stays true to its roots while being an entirely new and different experience of its own.
That being said, while nostalgia is a big part of who Diamond Machine is as an artist, it’s far from being who he is as a whole. He has stated several times in his comments on SoundCloud that he still has a lot of growing to do musically and he’s slowly but surely making confident strides towards other sounds. But don’t take my word for it, let the man’s work speak for himself. This WIP “Puma Child” is proof that Diamond Machine has nowhere to go but up, and that we can all expect great things from him in the future!
And now for some more goodness from the ChipWIN blog’s latest writer, Danny Pryor!! This time, instead of doing an awesome interview he ‘s penning his own thoughts about the composer of ChipWIN track #12:
…has had a lot going on for him this year. If you have missed anything, let me catch you up to speed: he has released THREE ALBUMS in 2012, Transmittance, Sleet, and Circuithead respectively, and yet has still found the time to play a major role in the Chiptunes = Win community. The original ChipWIN compilation, subsequent Expansion Pack, and theupcoming chipWINter release are ALL sequenced by Kubbi. Because of his work, each track has a beautiful way of complimenting each other nicely. Regardless of tempo, mood, or melody, each song makes it’s way into the next almost effortlessly. This would be a challenge for anyone when you have so many different artists with so many different styles, and yet Kubbi humbly graces the project. He not only provides amazing music, but gives the album a wonderful flow and vibe that is as important to any album as the songs themselves. If you want the best example of just how good he is at sequencing, then look no further than the track before and after his: ROBOTSEXKUBBIMACHINE.
Now regarding his OWN musical contribution to ChipWIN:
I won’t lie, this was a challenging song to describe. I have so many feelings when I start this track up. For instance, one of the first images I conjured was how it makes me feel like I was in a submarine, diving underwater on an epic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea adventure. With the slow build of the drums and the pulsing repetition of each note hitting harder and harder, it is almost impossible to not feel complete oneness with your surroundings. The song then crescendos in what feels like a climactic journey to explore the unfathomable depths of pure joy. In short, it is a complete experience within itself, driving a style of music that will only evolve into a composer of great magnitude in the music industry. The emotional drive in his music allows Kubbi to push through to all forms of music and expression, only to leave a loss of words and a sense of fulfillment.
Fast forward 6 months later and you have THIS masterfulness:
It’s been a little over a month since the wonderful insanity that was Clipstream II happened. Lots of excellent chipmusic was performed, chair dancing was done, screen grabs were taken & posted, jawharp was jammed, & beer was drank and/or spilled all over the carpet (sorry again honey~ :3 ). GOOD TIMES FOR SURE. So good in fact…
THAT IT’S TIME FOR CLIPSTREAM III, BABY!!! 8D
That’s right!! THISsaturday, starting at 12:00PM EST (-5 GMT), Glenntai & Co. are once again bringing 12+ more hours of chipstreaming excellence to the intertoobs!!Craptons more of AMAZING chipartists braving the intertrons for your chipertaining pleasure!! Wanna know who exactly? ***BOOM*** Just inserted (-snickers-) a purdy flyer with ALL of the artists!! SO LOOK AT IT AND STOOF. :3
For the rest of the details, go to the fb event HERE, and join the Clipstream Ustream channel HERE to catch the show on Saturday! MOAR GOOD TIMES ARE A’COMIN!!