Author Archive

Wounds and Resolutions: Curious Quail – ‘Twelve Months’

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Curious Quail’s ‘Twelve Months’ opens with a simple, quiet guitar chord, E major. A single pulse plays, E, the tonic, a perfect resolution in isolation.

The gameboy falters, falling down until it reaches a B. Perfect fifth. The next best thing.

For the first minute, each phrase ends in one of these two notes.

This song is titled ‘Resolutions’.


“a collection of twelve songs about life, love, loss, beauty, and so much more told through a canvas of hasty melodic decisions and instrumentation that you don’t often get together”
(photo and quote by Curious Quail)
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Clover Chain Reacts To: Purely Grey – ’27’

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On January 11th, 1992, Alex Soborov was born. Since then, he has made dozens and dozens of chiptune tracks and other music as Purely Grey and, previously, Twistboy. He has contributed to Chiptunes = WIN as both a musician and a judge, and he’s run a family-owned (aren’t they too cute?!) netlabel called Tracked for chiptune releases and cassette tapes for nearly three years now. In 2018, Alex released a track every single week, and on January 11th, 2019, many of them were put together to form ’27’, a celebration of Soborov’s 27th year on this earth. Supposedly. Based on this music, he may have been studying the arts somewhere else, learning another plane’s stellar wisdom.

Bursting with clarity, consistency, and an endearing freshness to it, ’27’ is shaping up to be my favorite album released this year, and I’m saying that in February. It’s full of enthusiastic decisions, delicious instrumentation, fun harmonies, interesting melodies, gutsy and smart rhythm, and an integral originality in how each track is structured and how they bounce off one another.

Let’s start at the ending.

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THE CLOVER AWARDS: 2018

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The new year is in full swing – MAGFest has come and gone, Chipwrecked is preparing for another great lineup, and we’ve already got a few fun 2019 chiptune releases! But such an active community also makes for a lot you may have missed, and I’d like to give the last year a final sendoff before moving onto this one. I’m proud of the work I did in 2018, but there was a lot I didn’t get to talk about as well. This scene is bursting with music to enjoy and appreciate, so while I can only cover a small portion of it, I’d like to try and spotlight some tunes that deserve the attention.

Naturally, I will be doing this in the silliest way possible.

(Collage by Hoodie)
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Clover Chain Reacts to: Impulses – ‘L | \/ E’

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Impulses’ Bandcamp description is simply “Emotional Underground Chiptune.” Started by Trevor Stafford at least a few years ago, their music is consistently calming, pretty, melodic, natural, and always makes me feel things. I haven’t stopped listening since I discovered them last month through the ChipWIN discord. Impulses’ sound is filled with the sincerity of 8-bit synths, and the occasional boppy modernity of edm, and I’ve enjoyed going through their full discography quite a bit. That being said, the latest release ‘L | \/ E EP’ easily stands out, with a polished cohesion, tightness, and clarity.

Album Artwork by Manuchi.
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Clover Chain Reacts To: ‘Nascens’ by meganeko

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My friend was on TV recently. He was shopping at a bookstore, and the local news was doing a segment on reading, interviewing customers there. When asked to “talk about your favorite book”, he panicked, grabbing the first book that came to his mind: ‘The Crying of Lot 49’, a mere 160 page novella. Now, the interview went fine; he talked about its good writing and such. Upon relaying this story to me, however, my friend expressed regret. He told me it really is one of his favorites, and it’s surprising to find so much value in a pretty short book, and he wishes he could have pointed that out. He’d say something like, “It’s a really small book that says a lot of big ideas.”

meganeko’s ‘Nascens’ is one of my favorite music releases. It’s full of originality. It surprises me. Yes it’s short, but it’s a small EP that shows a lot of big ideas.

Album artwork by CA CHOU.

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Clover Chain Reacts To: Tuxic – ‘Oblivion’

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Tuxic’s riveting concept album ‘Oblivion’ was released through Russian netlabel BleepLove in June 2018. Featuring some fantastic LSDj chops, low-fi drum’n’bass grooves, and hostile progressive metal, this music stood out to me from the moment I first heard it for its strong drive and dynamic execution. Making use of some really interesting pacing decisions alongside active melodies and uneven rhythms, the tight composition creates an intriguingly mechanical feel with incisive focus. This is balanced out nicely by the more free-spirited sound, full of surprises, where even the vocals display quite the stylistic range – composite instrumentation with a penchant for harsh qualities and sudden appearances. The most natural aspects of this album are presented through an artificial texture. The result is engaging, self-contained, expressive, abrasive, and GREAT.

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