This week’s review is on ‘Bitonal Landscape‘ and their latest album, ‘Electro Arcade Madness‘. BL is made up of two artists, Ludwig & Markus Highland, both creating music around the genres of VGM, Chiptune & EDM. Whilst I’d heard a little from their submissions to the Soundcloud group, I‘d yet to form an overall opinion. Although that’s the beauty of music; some of the best you’ve never heard will sneak up on you! And, suffice it to say, ‘Electro Arcade Madness’ exceeded my expectations exponentially.
As soon as you start to listen to the opening track of the album, ‘The Last Contact’ you immediately get a feel for Bitonal Landscape’s style of music. It’s like a mixture between Shirobon & Ultrasyd and sprinkle of Justice, but still wrapped within their own style, featuring soothing organ keys whilst using the tinny 8-bit style. The drum and bass also comes out clear, albeit a bit less on the fills than most dnb composers.
‘Blitz’ is the next song which comes straight after ‘The Last Contact’, and further increases the hype of the album. It gradually opens with a funky swing through a combination the drums, bass & keys, giving a nice mixture of disco & EDM. The staple kick & snare from the gameboy is also used, linking further to it’s 8bit nature. ‘Blitz’ perhaps pricked my ears up the most, as it’s glitchiness, punchy keys & funky nature really put a swing on chiptune as a whole. It really reminds of what Ultrasyd has been doing with his latest work, the perfect example being simply put, :)
The final pick can only be the forth (and incidentally, last) track, ‘Insert Coin’, which is a lot lighter in its swing & beat, coming off more melodic & calm in how the the drums, keys & lead are conveyed. It’s a nice track to end on, setting itself further apart from the rest of list. However ‘Insert Coin’ also contains some of the best lead solos off the album, specifically at ‘2.40’, which contains the slickest arpeggiated solo I’ve ever heard!
To reiterate, Bitonal Landscape have succeeded my expectations. Being a new group, this an inspiring thing to see in the chiptune scene, as generally most artists grow from their first album. I’m looking forward to seeing more stuff from the duo in the future, and what they may do next!
This has been a blog post from Chip Bit Sid, a UK based Chiptune Blogger. Along with monthly features here on The ChipWIN Blog, I post music every Sunday and play key tracks of each review every 2nd Sunday of each month on GameFace at 6pm UK GMT. To get in touch, please message via the social media links below!
Chip! Bit! Sid! Soundcloud Group ~ I listen to every song and give love to each one, because all chipmusic needs it!