In my time here as a blogger, I’ve had the opportunity to choose my own album reviews, chat with some really great artists, and explore creative opportunities I would’ve otherwise been unable to without the help of Chiptunes = WIN. For this entry, I called upon another chip advocate, my girlfriend. At some point in the middle of – I think – a discussion about programming, I asked her, “If you had to choose one chiptune album to listen to, what would it be?” Puzzled, she searched around her hard drive for the next few minutes and came back to me. On one hand I have to say, I’m not entirely surprised at the choice she had made. On the other hand, I’m glad it was another album released through Ubiktune.
That’s right, the Ubiktune love train keeps-a-flowin’ in this article. I really can’t help myself, it’s too much goodness for one label. With that, the decision was made. She chose ‘Wintertunes‘, a compilation of chill and refreshing tunes from 11 different artists.
You have quite a full range of tunes to choose from on this one. Whether it’s light and fun, or darker with a much more ominous tone, the mixture of things is quite pleasant, save for a few tracks.
The album starts out perfectly, “Magic Snow is White and Slow“, generates a light-hearted, whimsical resonance with a flute-like chip that embraces the brisk, invigorating draft just as you take that first breath outside, just before the sun rises. The impact of it all sends a chill down your spine and by the second track, the sun has set; you’re in survival mode battling harsh arctic conditions and yetis as the snow waves crash over the mountainside. You can almost picture a wind sample playing the background. *end wind.wav*
Derris-Kharlan’s track “Reconciliation” feels like the conclusion of the odyssey even though it’s the 4th track on the album. It’s a great tune, but feels very unnatural in the course of the album. ‘Cough Syrup Overdose’ wins the top spot in the album for me. Jazzy? Yes. Chiptunes? Yes. Chord progressions a plenty, this tune certainly goes all over the place; it’s lively, easy to groove to. It’s like if Vince Guaraldi had access to a tracker, this would be some of the music represented in the Peanuts NES game.
Bordering on 4 years old, if you’ve never heard this album since it’s release back in 2010, you’re missing out. Each song has its own unique essence to bring to the table, and while some of the songs might feel weird from time to time, it’s an enjoyable album. With lots of very talented artists such as Blitz Lunar, coda & surasshu, and a $0 price tag, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get this. I’ve listened to this for years and since I haven’t seen any reviews of it online, this is my gift to you. Please hold your applause.
But seriously, today’s my girlfriend’s birthday. Happy birthday, Parvathi, ya 23 year old goofball. :)
Thanks for reading.
P.S. This will be my last article for a month or so, gonna take a small hiatus for makin’ more music. \m/