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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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Rhyphte’s Remarks: Why Collabs Are Pretty Cool

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A lot of people make the bassline (huehue) assumption that multiple musicians working together is automatically a band. While the vast majority of multi-man musical acts do come in the tried-and-true form of live-performance groups, the picture is much blurrier in the realm of electronic music characterized by digital production and playback. Due to the relative ease of collaborating piecewise with an individual thousands of miles away via the internet, you see things like features, remixes, and group handles all over the place. While this article is mostly aimed at getting into the “collab” side of things, most of what’s covered can be applied to anything similar enough.

So let’s dive into what a collab actually is, how it can help you grow, and how to manage the development of one!

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Rhyphte Reviews: Game Over Richmond

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The MAGFest: Game Over series is a more intermittent offshoot of the greater MAGFest umbrella of events that fills some of the gaps between larger and more prominent episodes. Game Over: Richmond took place at Fallout in — well, Richmond — on Saturday, October 6th from 7pm to… Whenever it was we funneled out of there. I don’t remember. It was very late.

I’m in Hampton for work at the moment, so I figured I’d drop by and check it out. I wasn’t expecting much going in, but it was a total blast and I was inspired to share my experience when I saw that The ChipWIN Blog team was looking for new hands. Before we even got in the building, I noticed several #chipmoms there supporting their adult children, which was very sweet but also somewhat alarming, given the aura of the venue.

The event catered mostly to the local nerdcore scene, featuring popular “brand-name” regional acts and aspiring local artists in a (Bethesda) Fallout-themed barcade that moonlights as an exclusive BDSM club! CLEARLY the venue had a lot of different stuff going on, and it was extremely refreshing to see members of so many different subculture groups coming together to jam out to some retro tunes. If nothing else, it was (what I’d imagine is) a relatively unique opportunity to see a model cosplaying Bowsette rave-hopping her heart out to Castlevania remixes. So, I can cross that off my list of things that I didn’t know I needed to see.

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