Hey, all you lovely readers! It’s been a while since I’ve written for the ChipWIN blog, but it feels great to be back now! With the first official day of spring behind us, I couldn’t think of a better way to welcome the season than by checking out The One Electronic’s latest release, ‘April Showers & May Flowers’. You might recognize Michael Vallejo’s stage name from ChipWIN: Volume 2, but he’s been a part of the Piko Piko Detroit crowd for quite a while. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
The first track, “Nimbonebula”, opens calmly and quietly before blossoming into its simple-sounding, yet effective melody. A multitude of different sounds are utilized effectively throughout the song. From the sparse notes of the xylophone, to the chords strummed from an acoustic guitar, nothing sounds out of place in this melodious piece. The second track, ‘The Warmest Week’, also has a soothing melody, and The One Electronic’s lyrics make the song all the sweeter. ‘The Warmest Week’ is aptly named; just listening to the song warmed me up inside.
‘It’s Spring and I’m Thinking of You’ is another one of Michael’s tracks that uses live instruments in addition to chipsounds. The light-hearted chords in the beginning of the piece, while not necessarily the focus of the listener once the electronics come into play, are an aural treat and provide a wondrous backdrop to a well-written song. The rewinding effect used on the chords at about the midway point caught me pleasantly by surprise. The melody ringing over the acoustic chords could have just as easily been replaced with vocals or another instrument, in my opinion, but doing so would have changed the overall feeling of the song, and I feel that it’s perfect as is.
The third and fifth songs on this release are differently paced than the other three songs; they’re faster and more energetic. ‘Carpig’s Wild Ride’, the third track, utilizes a kick that reminds me of Kommisar’s music. The vibrato-esque pitch bending at 2:17 is one of the small things about this track that makes it truly excellent. The 32nd-note drums used in a few places give the track an even more energetic feel. Closing out the release is ‘Sushi with Raeko’, a track that opens rather modestly in comparison to the rest of the songs. ‘Sushi with Raeko’ builds slowly into a carefree, danceable vibe that’s sure to have you bobbing your head to the beat.
You can nab this release for just $3 on Piko Piko Detroit’s Bandcamp page, more than a fair price for an album this lovely. But before I sign off, I’d just like to point out that The One Electronic is trying to become the first chiptune artist to play on Vans Warped Tour, but he can’t do it without the support of the community! Check out his campaign page here, listen to some of his previously unreleased tunes, and make sure to share the link around and show your support!