Archive for the ‘Album Reviews’ Category

The Unicorn Princess Royally Reviews ‘October (2018)’ by Spaceman Fantastiques

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[Editor’s note: this album was moved elsewhere on Bandcamp well after the article published, so none of the embeds work. ƪ(‾ε‾“)ʃ ]

Happy November, folks!

This month, Spaceman Fantastiques is back with yet another gorgeously articulated record, scoring his life from the previous month, entitled ‘October (2018)’.  Combining a mixture of well mixed sound textures with smartly composed arrangements, this record took me on an adventure that was left waiting to be continued from his last release.

One thing I deeply admire about Spaceman Fantastiques, and a couple reasons I review his work so much, is because I not only love it, but there is also a never ending stream of real creativity that spews out of every variety of instruments used for each album.  A multi-instrumentalist, Spaceman Fantastiques uses each acoustic texture or synthesizer to new brinks of limitations, combining that art with both storytelling and beautiful, listenable music.  This record, and his previous, have been so easy for me to write about because they’ve been so relatable.

Spaceman Fantastiques, courtesy of Bandcamp.
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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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❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

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‘ChipWINter Wilderness’ is LIVE! Both digitally and via cassette (!!!) here: https://chiptuneswin.bandcamp.com/album/chipwinter-wilderness

Heya ChipWINners! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ ʷᵃᵛᵉˢ

2018 is quickly drawing to a close, and this, of course, means that it’s time once again for the winter holidays! A big part of that for many of us includes holiday music.

Although now that I think about it, the last time that we released a ‘ChipWINter‘ compilation was in 2014. What say we fix that this December? (^_−)−❄️

Spellbinding ‘ChipWINter Wilderness’ album artwork by Nate Horsfall. Totes channeling a lil’ Bob Ross this round methinks! ♥

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Chip Bit Sid Takes On: Boaconstructor – ‘Winds Of Null’

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This year has been an excellent year for chipmusic using nanoloop. We’ve had a huge amount of releases ranging from the astounding ‘Geothermal’ by Classic Mistake, to the chilled as hell ‘Vanilla Dome’ by Glooms. This time we have Boaconstructor’s ‘Winds Of Null’. For context into ‘Boaconstructor’, he is a Seattle based musician who also runs ‘The Base bit’, one of the go-to net labels of chiptune. ‘The Base Bit’ have released a variety of accomplished albums such as ‘Refresh’ from Trey Frey, to ‘Steel City Zone’ by ‘HarleyLikesMusic’. It has been three years since ‘Boaconstructor’ has produced an album, with ‘Loop Dreams’ being released in 2015.

Whilst ‘Loop Dreams’ and ‘Winds Of Null’ were produced using Nanoloop, they are vastly different albums. ‘Loop Dreams’ focuses on using modulation to create weird and wonderful noises on a high BPM. ‘Winds Of Null’ on the other hand, focuses more on the bass, as well as detuning the melody and slowing down the music. For me I prefer Boaconstructor’s latest album, as I found it more accessible to listen to. The recording and mastering are also, in my opinion, much higher quality. Everything seems to pop better, with the levels balanced much better than ‘Loop Dreams’.

Album artwork by Dr!p.

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Aydan Appreciates: ‘Dizzy Knight Original Soundtrack’ by Norrin Radd

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Hey, all you chipfans out there! It’s been a hot minute because a lot of HUGE things have been happening in my life [Editor’s note: congrats to Aydan on getting married! ♥], but I’m back with an OST review hot off the press! Dizzy Knight is a mobile game released in October 2018, and is highly reminiscent of SNES adventure games, both in graphical aesthetic and in its music. When Norrin Radd released the soundtrack a little longer than two weeks ago on Bandcamp, I knew I’d heard his name somewhere, and upon further sleuthing discovered that he’d written a track for one of the greatest chipmusic compilations ever released, ‘Noisechan and Nugget: Adventures in Chiptunes’. As evidenced by his SoundCloud and Bandcamp portfolio, he specializes in writing highly polished OST music; however, in his own liner notes, he reveals that the tracks on the ‘Dizzy Knight OST’ are more raw in nature. Let’s see what’s in store for us on this OST!

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ChipWIN-tern Presents: Timespinner

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I turn 28 this month, in fact a week from today. At this age, I find myself wishing I had the ability to go back in time and change a number of things that led my life to be the way it is today. And honestly, not only that, but there are certain parts of my life I wish I could live over again, like the parts of my childhood I spent playing my Super Nintendo and my friend’s Playstation 1 after school, jamming out to the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST.

This will never happen, of course. I don’t have some kind of time machine to go back, and I’ll never be able to experience Michiru Yamane and Koji Igarashi’s masterpiece again for the first time. What I do have, however, is the next best thing: Timespinner, the first game by Lunar Ray games with an amazing soundtrack by Jeff Ball of Tiny Barbarian DX and Steven Universe fame (among many others), which follows the story of Lunais – a woman who must travel between the ancient past and ruined present of her world to put an end to the tyranny her people face from an intergalactic empire. Funded on Kickstarter back in 2014, this was one of those games I backed and hoped and prayed it would actually come to completion, having been burned by a number of other very promising retro-inspired campaigns in the past – and lo and behold, at the end of September of this year I got my hands on my pledge and devoured the game immediately. Instead of my normal “music only” review column this month, I’d like to actually talk about the game as well – and as with my occasional event coverage, I’ll give you the handy #MUSIC and #GAME tags to Ctrl+F back and forth to if you only want to read one of those reviews.

Let’s get spinning!

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