This month’s review is ‘The Land Behind’ by Brick BRKer (AKA Neil Williams). While this was first published on ‘Chip Bit Sid’, after listening to it plenty of times, I decided to expand my review and include two more tracks. ‘The Land Behind’ is Brick BRKer’s 2nd release, created on LSDJ v6.8.2. According to Brick BRKer, ‘The Land Behind’ is a collection of tracks written over a period of 5 years. They are a record of growth, change and graduation in the Ozark mountains. Being someone who used to live in the countryside, I welcomed the approach from Brick BRKer. I enjoy constantly remembering memories through England’s Northern greenery. So without further ado, here are just a few tracks that I absolutely loved.
‘The Land Behind’ is a nice relaxing change from what I usually listen to. It’s slow yet warm in its use of wet, ‘pulsive’ melodies. This is ever more true in the opening track, ‘Jade’, which at 2:20 long is a beautifully crafted song containing some of the best swan song melodies I’ve heard in a while. Beginning with a lovely arpeggio from the pulse channel, the lead then kicks in on the second pulse, its sound a sharp yet with a balanced touch of noise. It’s a particularly nice song to relax and have a beer whilst it plays throughout its runtime. ‘Jade’ had some excellent pieces to hear, there are more track below further on in this review that contain some astounding melodies.
Next up we have what is probably the funkiest track off the entire album in ‘Swingset’. Out of all the songs off ‘The Land behind’, ‘Swingset’ stands out to me the most. This is due to the unique bluesy style that Brick BRKer creates, jam packed with melodic goodness. Throughout the track we hear variety of tones from punchy to fat. This gives ‘Swingset’ dynamic sound, allowing certain notes and tunes to really resonate. In fact, a good example of this can be heard right at the offset. Brick BRKer uses the sawtooth wave to create a fat, sharp tune that, whilst is really deep in tone, can reach such peaks in its pitch. This dynamic use of sound can also heard through other tracks such as ‘Jade’ and, my final pick track, ‘Fade’.
Although ‘Fade’ has the simplest structure on ‘The Land Behind’, it is also the catchiest. Immediately it starts off with an incredibly memorable bass line. Rhythmic and sharp in tone, it kicks off the flow of the beat and rest of the song. This is then intercepted by a rather harmonious melodic PULSE channel. What is astounding about this piece is how it slaps against the beat and bounces off the bassline. ‘Fade’ becomes more funky throughout its jam, allowing for more melodies to open up. Speaking of melodies, Fade’s main line is to die for. Beginning at just after the 00:30 mark, it is the strongest written line in ‘The Land Behind’. It kicks off so spectacularly that I find myself humming along without realizing. Controlled, yet at the same time free, ‘Fade’ rarely ever feels repetitive and its sound beautifully mixed between one another.
Relaxing and not shy from being slow paced, Brick BRKer’s ‘The Land Behind’ stands out from both the hardcore chipmusic and the hyper & melodic VGM. What really does it for me is the varied sound, tone, and depth. Each song covers all bases and, along with the sharpness of each channel, ‘The Land Behind’ is diverse throughout. It’s a breath of fresh in a scene that is already chock full of gameboys running LSDJ.
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’.