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Rhyphte Reviews: (EMPTY) by toasterpastries

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Hey folks! It’s ya boi rhyphte here with some more great summer tunes to talk about. In the midst of V8 submission prep, a very special member of our community was working hard on his first feature length release with his new label! I meant to put this out sooner (closer to the album release and farther from V8), but moving sucks (Editor-in-chief’s note: 100% AGREED), traveling sucks, and doing both in the same week is a gigantic pain in the ass.

I like Catskull Records because of its position as the nucleus of the Midwestern scene. There’s a lot of action on the coasts but the great interior of the states is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Toasterpastries, aka Jack Danial Young, has officially been inducted into the same cabal as the likes of Immortan and ChronoWolf, and I’m glad to see it because he’s definitely been on the come-up for a hot-ass minute now.

I also want to point out the awesome fucking album art. Jack took a picture of the solar eclipse (you know the one) with a GAMEBOY CAMERA. What a badass power move, am I right? The font chosen is very recognizable to the LSDJ goonsquad, of which I am a card-carrying member.

album art by toasterpastries

Normally I’d say it’s a little late in the game to be bringing out a “Game Boy/LSDJ-themed” album (it’s INSERT_YEAR_HERE, after all), but Jack has a strong argument for reminding us what these tiny old computers are really capable of. Not that any of us here at Chiptunes = WIN have ever actually forgotten. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

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Rhyphte Reviews: ‘color wheel’ by business pastel

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Happy Pride Month, everybody! To fit the theme, I’d like to cover a very special release from Business Pastel that is quite literally a rainbow of expression.

Album art for ‘color wheel’ by Beatrix Urkowitz

With a vast array of technical styles and moods, this album is just jam-packed with content. All of the tracks flow into one another seamlessly, and serve as little windows into the depth of the character of Billy Murphy, better known as business pastel.

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Rhyphte Reviews: ‘We Were Once Called Spring’ by Azuria Sky

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It’s finally summer, and I’m finished with college and coming out of hiatus. The last few months have been crunch, and I’ve had much less time to produce or review, but I’ve still been able to hear so many of the great new titles that have been dropping this year. Among them is yet another excellent indie-chip hybrid, a subgenre of a subgenre I’m starting to notice I have a weakness for.

We Were Once Called Spring‘ is Azuria Sky’s experimental and significant expansion into the constantly blending realm of folk and indie. It’s an eclectic assortment of LSDJ riffs, folksy chord progressions, and poignant, sentimental lyrics backed by acoustic guitar.

Album art for ‘We Were Once Called Spring’
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Rhyphte Reviews: ‘.​-​-​. .​.​- .​-​.​. .​-​.​.’ (pull) by null

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Back in 2011, before I had been formally introduced to chiptune, I listened to a lot of folk and indie artists. Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Tree People, and AJJ (then Andrew Jackson Jihad) dominated my playlists and YouTube history. I listened to that music so often that as I got older I had to start taking breaks from it because it felt too familiar. But nevertheless, those records maintained their value to me over the years, acting as my go-to answer when asked about the kind of music I like.

So what does all that have to do with ‘.​-​-​. .​.​- .​-​.​. .​-​.​.’ by null? Well, there’s a special feeling you get when you hear a song that sounds enough like your favorite band to make you do a double take. When you find yourself wondering if you didn’t get the memo about their early-years alias. When you realize you’ve discovered something completely new, but so similar to what you’re fond of. It’s a good feeling – and when you hear chiptune in it, it’s an even better feeling. And here’s where I tell you all about it.

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Rhyphte Reviews: Home World

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I wanted to take a break from the showcasing of big chiptune talent to put the spotlight on a lesser-known duo of soundtrack artists from Dallas, Texas. Home World is a proof-of-concept demo album demonstrating the eponymous band’s burgeoning aptitude and enthusiasm for crafting musical accompaniment to video games.

Album Art by Cameron Tanner
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