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’.
Getting into why I prefer ‘Winds Of Null’, the best example is the first track ‘Rainier Dub’. It begins with an excellent introduction by detuning the melody. ‘Boaconstructor’ does this by using a slow LFO on the pitch. It’s eerie but very effective as it provides a nice contrast to the main hook that begins afterwards. As soon as that starts, it hits you like rolling thunder; the twisted, bassy notes flow free and sounding dangerous & detuned. The drums are also alive and kicking, complimenting each bass note played alongside. The snare and kick both pack a massive wallop and due to the slow BPM, are only used when necessary. This allows the sharp bass to breathe and be heard more clearly.
Another track which took my fancy is 2nd song off Winds Of Null’, ‘Ditch The Biscuit’. Whilst ‘Rainier Dub’ focused on the aspect of slow dub step, ‘Ditch The Biscuit’ dabbles with a more fast paced rhythm. We begin the track a rolling introduction that’s slowly built up alongside some super percussion. Some filtered chords are then brought into the mix, further adding the build up of ‘Ditch The Biscuit’. This all leads to the hair-raising crescendo, a result of the brilliantly structured intro. The hook itself is a tremendous mash up of all things trap and dub, with ‘Boaconstructor’ relying on the FM synth and its harsh sound. As soon as it hits your ears, the thump gets your joints pumping, with the kicks and snare even sounding like an explosion. It is that much of an impact on your ears.
One last track I’d like to feature is Boaconstructor’s final track, ‘Winds Of Null’. As you can tell this is the signature song off the album. It begins slow, starting around the same tempo as ‘Rainier Dub’, as well as using similar detuned notes and structured melodies. What’s different to the first track, however, is that ‘Winds Of Null’ builds itself gradually, rather than going into a catchy, heavy hook. As well as that ‘Boaconstructor’ also keeps the song feeling fresh by constantly changing melodies and fills. One part which I particuarly like is at 2:09, when Boaconstructor reaches the bridge of the song. Some of the sounds produced are quite mind-blowing, with one only wondering how an earth was it created.
For me ‘Winds Of Null’ is a welcome album in a year which already seen many fantastic releases recreated on Nanoloop. It is well crafted featuring many hell raising hooks that will leave you scratching your head on how it was produced. Those snares in particular will make me re-think on how I create them on Nanoloop.
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 once a week on my own blog. To get in touch, please message via the social media links below! I also do my own music under the banner as ‘Kojin’.