Many members of the chiptune community have heard of halc’s work. No stranger to the chipscene, halc has been featured on many albums through OverClocked Remix and has been remixing music on the site since late 2009. Tuberz McGee, on the other hand, is a relatively new name in the community. His earliest Bandcamp release, ‘Discordant Existence’, dates back to April of 2012, but his talent really shines through in his many productions, particularly Fatalism and Estimation. You might be asking, “What do these two artists have to do with each other?” Well, the two of them released an absolutely amazing collaborative effort called ‘Menagerie’ just last month. You folks are in for a real treat this week.
‘The Beginning of a Beautiful and Highly Sexual Relationship’ is an excellent opening to the album. The use of arpeggios throughout the track is fantastic, and the melody to the song is quite interesting; it sounds mysterious at the beginning of the song, but by the end of the track is transformed into something entirely different, but with only a few subtle changes. Another track on the album with quite an interesting introduction is ‘Psychedelic Panda Pounding’. The song opens with a quiet percussion, and suddenly throws the listener into some seriously awesome riffs. Adamant use of arpeggios is present again throughout certain points of ‘Psychedelic Panda Pounding’, and I really enjoyed the floaty feeling the track gave me as a result. Also of note in this track is the false ending; this is a highlight of the album, in my opinion.
It’s uncommon to hear vocal work in chipmusic, and even then I dare say that it can also be rare to hear it done as well as Tuberz demonstrates in my personal favorite track on the album, the mellow ‘Squidzilla’. With a vocal sound that reminds me of Wolfgun, one of my favorite artists of all time, I couldn’t help but love ‘Squidzilla’. The lyrics to the track are enthralling, telling the tale of a squid who faces rejection and feels like a monster as a result of society’s views on him. Even though the premise of the song itself is quite silly, I can’t help but think there’s some kind of deeper message behind it. It could be interpreted as a message of universal acceptance and understanding, alongside looking past stereotypes and other things that could be construed as social barriers. Simply put, it’s a fantastic track.
And there you have it! ‘Menagerie’ is one of the best chipalbums of 2013, if not simply for the sheer variety and incredibly detailed tunes throughout the album. I highly suggest providing a donation to these two wonderful artists when you pick up this album. Hopefully, there’ll be more collaborative efforts between these two artists in the future!