Interpretation of Universal Transmissions is a chipmusic netlabel that has quietly released four albums since August 2014. The label was fairly active between August and October of 2014 and spawned three delightful albums including the ‘Summer Soda Comp 2014’, featuring artists ChipWIN fans will recognize, such as Kommisar and DBOYD. A year after the release of the ‘Soda Comp’, Imaginary bursts back onto the scene with ‘Unnatural Flavors’, a carbonated album all his own. Let’s take a look at what’s in this assortment of aural refreshments!
The album starts off fresh with ‘Blue Razzberry ~Shocking Neon Heart~’, a high-energy melodic piece with a very dominant kick. Frequent changes in melody are greatly appreciated, and the level of intricacy in these varied phrases is far above and beyond any standard musician in any scene, period. Rapid duty cycle modulation within pulse channels creates an effect similar to a rapid re-triggering of notes, and these voicings almost sound as if they have a literal sharpness to them. For being composed on just 1xLSDJ, the first track already reveals Imaginary’s impeccable inclination to create tones with almost tangible textures.
‘Banana Milk ~Houseparty At The End Of Time~’, the third track on ‘Unnatural Flavors’, has a number of features that distinguish it from the upbeat vibe of the majority of this album. For starters, while it’s definitely still fast-paced, the tone takes a bit of a darker turn through several progressions. The song propels itself to a breakneck pace quite early on, then slows down immediately after until the song’s true speed is revealed. Finally, the classic “BREAK” sample can be heard late in the track if one listens closely enough; I didn’t catch it until my third or fourth time through, but it was a pleasant surprise and melds perfectly with the music.
‘Black Cherry ~Children Of The Nightshift~’ struck a chord with me from the moment I saw the track title, if only because I work third shift myself. This track in particular gives off an extremely eerie vibe through its darker melody and key signature, which is perfect for this Halloween-dated release. The chordal work in ‘Black Cherry’ is particularly expansive, with each one having a vast depth and pull to it; these are sure to grab even the most passive listener’s attention. Pulse toms around the 1:25 mark are used perfectly, and the subsequent passage features very powerful percussion in order to transition flawlessly between segments.
The final track being covered in this review is the album’s title track, ‘Watermelon Lipgloss ~Unnatural Flavors~’. Imaginary describes the track as being ‘…cheery and cute as long as things are going well, but falling apart into disaster at a moment’s notice’. Truer words of a track have never been spoken. ‘Watermelon Lipgloss’ starts off rather gleefully, hooking the listener with catchy percussion and a fantastically written melody. Things start to feel a little sketchier by the midsection of the track, however… almost like those cool music transitions between areas in Donkey Kong 64. By the end of ‘Watermelon Lipgloss’, the mood and key of the track have been significantly flipped to a darker tone, and simply contrasting the introduction to the end of the song is an absolutely absurd comparison.
Imaginary has been generous, listing ‘Unnatural Flavors’ as a pay-what-you-want release on Bandcamp. This is definitely not one that any LSDj fan is going to want to miss, and I personally hope that Imaginary flourishes within the chipscene. His music is melodic chipmusic of an extremely high caliber, and Imaginary is sure to fly even higher as he continues to write.