Aydan Appreciates: ‘Boner Machine’ by Solarbear

- Posted September 19th, 2014 by

Hey, ChipWINners! Solarbear’s been in the chipmusic community for some time now, and by now everyone knows how much he sucks. I mean, progressive-influenced, stylistically expansive, phenomenally written chipmusic? BOOOOOOOOORING. Don’t even get me STARTED on how bad his latest release, ‘Boner Machine’, is. It’s so bad…ass. Who am I kidding? If you haven’t discovered the sheer joy that is Solarbear, now’s as good of a time to find out about him as ever. Today, we’re going to be diving dickbuttfirst into ‘Boner Machine’, track-by-track. Let’s get started!

The release opens with ‘The Fluffer’, a chiptune waltz of sorts. Melodic focus is reinforced by the slow addition of new voices, up to the point of climax at 1:55, where Solarbear’s incredibly heavy signature kick comes in. The track quiets down afterwards, using a diminuendo into a time signature change by the end of the song. The sound of noise channel waves crashing segues into ‘Bad Lag Bedlam’, which quickly morphs from the mellow mood of ‘The Fluffer’ to an aggressive time signature and tempo-varying masterpiece. Seamless transitions between 3/4, 4/4, and 5/4 make this track one incredible, continuous experience. While the entire track is essentially a 3-and-a-half minute amalgamation of different ideas, each rhythm and each melody flow perfectly into one another. Jacob Cooke of Final Weapon provides his shredding talent near the end of ‘Bedlam’ for a truly memorable finish to the song.

‘See You Later, Emaciator!’ is another track that blends time signatures to an absurdly awesome extent. Changes in style and constant key changes send different vibes to the listener, remaining varied until the halfway point of the track, when it transitions into a danceable piece. Tempo increases tell the listener that something is coming, but nothing can prepare them for the ultimate Spanish-influenced song that is ‘The Ballad of El Gohque’. Fast, aggressive chip riffs reminiscent of flamenco music lead into a gallop – the main melody of the song – which quickly turns into a death metal ballad without warning. Rainbowdragoneyes lends his unique growling to the song, singing of El Gohque’s rise from the grave to put down one final criminal in order to restore justice. Just as the vocals end, claps and a vocal sample segue flawlessly (and hilariously) into something that can only be described as ‘chiptune mariachi’. A classic and instantly recognizable tune takes a Solarbear twist, featuring polyrhythms and numerous different voices, before transitioning back into the main melody and mach-speed clapping to bring the song to a screeching halt.

‘Boner Machine’, the album’s namesake track, features the vocal talents of Hype Squad – Janx and Sam Mulligan – and has the two of them singing about escapades involving fornicating whilst sailing, orifices, and traditionally prepared Japanese squid. The track goes from a relatively tame dynamic in the first portion of the track to absolute ear-splitting cephalopod bliss. A scream and single note crescendo into the artistically abrasive ‘Sleaze Grater’, featuring the compositional talent and guitar playing of Mr. Wimmer at the end of the song. With regards to time signature, again it changes almost constantly. There weren’t a lot of moments where I could easily determine what it was in, but the entire track is fluid and comprehensible. Interesting rhythmic choices and well-timed duty/noise changes alongside very punchy square voices make this a standout track.

Die-hard Solarbear fans may recognize ‘After A While, Pedophile!’ from the album ‘wiki random article’ by parsley collabs; it’s been remastered for this release. Previously titled ‘robert booth’, the track has a similar melody to that of Smile.dk’s ‘Butterfly’, but with a distinctly Scottish feel to it. The square imitation of a bagpipe is extremely accurate in tone, in addition to cello-like effects featured at certain points in the song. Fluctuating tones in the noise channel morph into ‘Kuso Kurae!’, which begins as a more mellow track with a catchy melody. The chord progression in this track is something to behold; slower, chromatic arpeggios mix in quite well with a minor vibe prevalent throughout most of the track. The vocal sample at the end – which sounds like a record being played backwards – is an oddly nice touch.

‘Boner Machine’ closes out with the epic, nearly 15-minute long ‘Comemierdas’. While the track opens up with its own danceable chord progression, new melodies are featured alongside throwbacks to earlier tracks from the release. From dance to prog-rock to a 5/4 accordion ballad over square arps featuring Seth Twardy to a minimalist percussive segment, this track covers a slew of different genres. ‘Comemierdas’ is so expansive in its nature that it could almost be considered a series of unique pieces performed one after another; this is definitely not an easy feat to accomplish with the awesomely erratic nature of ‘Comemierdas’. For one edition of the release, ‘Boner Machine’ doesn’t end there. The album was released through the Madmilky Records label as well, and there’s an exclusive track on this version of the release. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say two things about it: listen for awesome chromatic climbing progressions in “How To Properly Write An Exclusive Track”; and ‘EXTRA TRACK’.

So there you have it – ‘Boner Machine’. Solarbear has shown his deep technical knowledge of music with this astonishing release, in addition to his absolute wizardry on LSDJ. Considering ‘Solarbear Daisuki’, his first release, and ‘Boner Machine’ were both out-of-this-world incredible, I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this chipmusic prodigy and pioneer.

Solarbear
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