Shirobon is quite the shapeshifter. Making the most out of modern production plugins and old school synths, ‘The Arcade Dream’ stands as a testament to how differently we as humans understand sound and utilize it to create something much larger, much more in-depth, and much more complex than the decades preceding. It’s magical – but more importantly, proves evolution. That’s right, I just said this album proves evolution. Sure, we could go down the more literal path, and say, he hit all the right notes, but it’s something more than that. The detail, the nostalgia you didn’t know you had, it’s here, ‘The Arcade Dream’.
Relive the good ol’ days, hit up your local arcade and bust out those quarters.
The first track, “Countdown” opens up the whole shebang. Hello rising velocity levels, it’s nice to hear you too. Seriously this is amazing, the intro is perfect. It’s an ongoing buildup and by the time it ends you’re ready for the next track to begin. Basically, that quarter you just spent? Yeah, it was a level that you didn’t even get to play, it was just so awesome you were happy to put in that next bit of change for Level 1.
What that? Oh right, ‘Into the Zone’, you just got thrown into a battlefield yo, be ready. Get your guns out, enemies at 12 o’ clock. I’m impressed with just how smoothly I was thrown into this next piece, it’s seamless. It’s loud, it’s in your face, and you’re not ready for it. The 80’s vibe going on here? Perfect, definitely reminds me of Justice. Shirobon does a great job of keep my attention the entire time. I hope this is one of his opening songs for his sets.
I had a few moments to talk with Shirobon about his album:
DjjD: How long was this album in the works?
Shirobon: Around 5 months, from scratch to finish. I worked with the designer Josep Prat Sorolla on how to reflect the songs and themes into art. If you look at the details they respond to the different songs (Arcade Machine is ‘Under The Moonlight’ and the silhouette is running along a ‘Galactic Freeway’)
DjjD: I’d like to know, which track did you work on first in this collection?
Shirobon: It was balanced between Into The Zone and Under The Moonlight
DjjD: How long have you been working in the field of music?
Shirobon: Started under the name Shirobon in 2005/2006 but started earning money in music from 2012 onwards!
DjjD: What all did you use to create ‘The Arcade Dream’?
Shirobon: Gameboys, C64, Modular Synths and modern production!
DjjD: Which artists inspire you most?
DjjD: As a final question is there anything you’d like to say to your fans or inform anyone of upcoming projects?
Shirobon: Currently working on a split EP with another chip artist…. details to be revealed soon. ;)
Another highlight of the album is ‘Ralf’s Touch’. A bit of a jazzy feel going on here. This here is what I’d like to call the midnight level scenario: Smooth lead, 4 on the floor drums, and walkin’ bassline. It all adds up to a groovy song that emphasizes the after dark feel.
I gotta say, my favorite track on this album is ‘Sonder’, it’s just so smooth. I’m always one for progressive, plucked chord, 130 bpm tracks. Something about this one just triggers an old school amiga, almost deadmau5 sound for me. It’s one of those cruisin’ tracks that, you don’t necessarily pay attention to while driving down a highway, but it’s something to zone out to.
This album is just too damn good, it’s squeaky clean production mixed with an instantly recognizable old school feel. The blending of these two traits are absolutely mindblowing to me. This is easily in the Top 5 albums I’ve heard this year and it’s something I’ll continue to promote beyond this review. Clocking in at just over a half hour of playtime this is one of the longer released Shirobon has put out. I highly recommend listening to this album as…
…it proves evolution.
Thanks again for reading!