Archive for the ‘Album Reviews’ Category

ChipWIN-tern Spotlight: ‘chipsynth PortaFM SONGS’, by ToyCompany

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Over the last few years, for reasons best left to the wastes of time, I’ve dedicated a lot more time on the blog writing about albums that feature FM synthesis, be it on live chips or emulated. It seems like in a sea of Gameboy music, FM often goes by the wayside. Thankfully, some folks in the frozen northlands of Mapleopolis  Montreal are fighting the good fight and have been working to change that. If you’ve used a DAW to make chipmusic in the last 20 years, you’re probably familiar with Plogue and their line of chiptune emulation VSTs. Their latest release, the PortaFM, focuses on the emulation of the YM2413 chip (also known as the OPLL), and the good folks at Toy Company have released a small album to demonstrate just what this baby can do.

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The Unicorn Princess Royally Reviews ‘Novum’ by Gesceap

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Happy May, everyone!

This month, we were graced by a new Cheapbeats release written and produced by UK electronic artist, Gesceap. Released on May 4th, the seven track album is full of glitchy percussion and hypnotic melodies composed with Nanoloop. With a variety of digital elements comes a strong song structure created from from samples and soft synths. Interestingly enough, this was the first Nanoloop iOS album ever released on Cheapbeats, so on top of the sound being sublime, listeners can hear history unfolding right before their ears.

When I listen to a record, just like how when I make one, I tend to listen and check my mixes on both my studio speakers and headphones. I’m currently on the road and, as I write this, I’m limited to my iPhone speakers. Just from hearing it from this extremely limited audio source, I can say the album’s mixes are done very well. The percussion cuts through perfectly, and the bass holds its own space without creating a centimeter of mud. While an album isn’t just about a great mix, I can honestly say that each track was wonderful to listen to and the album itself was easy to listen to at one time. As a whole, it was unique and beautiful, and I can see why Cheapbeats proudly released it.

Album art for ‘Novum’, created by Gesceap.

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