Disclosure: This charity album is my own project. However, after discussing it with Brandon we decided it would be fine to promote, as all of the proceeds are going to charity.
Back in 2014 when Chip Bit Sid had just started, Superbyte was well into it’s 4th event and was popular as ever. I had been getting sucked into the chiptune community, had made a lot of friends, and was building a lot of traction with the blog. It was at this point that I decided that I wanted to sell a compilation, but with all the proceeds going to Barnardos, a charity that helped abandoned children. I immediately got a lot of artists who wanted to give a track to the cause and
I got into making a physical CD to sell at Superbyte. Sales were better than expected, making over £220, with some of the money being given by the Superbyte group themselves! It was a great project which made me feel proud of the chiptune community as well as what I’d managed to achieve!
Fast forward to this year and Square Sounds Toyko is happening. I’ve managed to scrape the money for a holiday in Japan and, with some cash left over I decided it was time for another charity album called, ‘Chip To Be Square’. This time however I decided to team up with people from all over, with the money going towards Special Effect, a UK based charity which helps the less-abled play video games, by modifying controllers as well as utilising eye control.
Since the release of ‘Chip To Be Square’ on Bandcamp (02/09/2017) we’ve raised a bit of money (as now £60), which has shown what the chiptune community capable of as well as how big its heart is. As the album is still fresh, below are a few choice tracks off the album to entice your ears; to people who are waiting to buy the CD at Squaresounds…I’ll see you there! ;)
We’ll begin with the opening track from x Critical Strike x, ‘Rainbow Storm’. This was taken from his newest album ‘Operation: Rainbow Storm’. This was a good track to open up the album due to x Critical Strikes x’s signature style, which is reminiscent of the ‘Kirby’ days. It’s also the high impact energy emitted from the whole track, as well as the constant pitch changes that illustrate how ‘x Critical Strike x’ pushes the momentum further and further. If you liked this track, you’ll be happy to hear he’s playing the ‘Squaresounds Toyko Pre-party’. Hopefully he’ll be his full pac-man suit like he was at ‘Chip Bit Day 16’.
The next track up is ‘Party Brew’ by 2xAA using the signature instrument he is known for; Nanoloop on a Gameboy boy advance. What I like about this track is that everything is so incredibly tight in terms of percussion and rhythm, with the parts like the snare coming in crystal clear. It’s also one of the only tracks to not really feature a clear structure, playing one unique piece after the other. Out of all the tracks, Party Brew is the danciest song off the compilation, with 2xAA’s proggy house vibes coming in beautifully.
Probably one of my favourites from the whole compilation, Bubu’s ‘Ability’ is one ultra amazing song created using 2x gameboys with LSDJ. As soon as you begin listening to this track, you’ll realise the production values are amazing, with much of the leads done through the the WAV channel. The dnb beats are also to die for, with Bubu showing off some brilliantly crafted patterns. This track alone was one of the reasons why Bubu was invited to play Chip Bit Day this year. That and he’s one amazing dude! :)
One final track before I head to pack for Japan: I’d like to give a shout out to Joshquery and his track, ‘Spectre’. The reason for this is predominantly due to how much I’ve seen him progress as an artist. I first gave him a shout a year back for his track, ‘Spaceshuttle‘.The track’s style is completely different than what ‘Spectre’s is now, with a lot of grimecore and chipstep coming to the front in Josh‘s new work. I’d say ‘Spectre’ is one of heaviest tracks off the entire compilation with a lot of Josh’s focus on the WAV channel, trying to create the sickest bleeps and bloops. That’s not to say the other channels are neglected. The pulse channel is heavily used as the beat, producing one fat and juicy kick, that slices through all the noise the WAV. It’s great to see a chiptune artists music get better as they go forth, and I’m looking forward to see what he has in the future!
Although these tracks are fantastic, there are plenty others that are epic to listen to, with tracks from ‘Crab Sound‘ & ‘Cyanide Dansen‘ making huge waves in the community! There’s also this Kojin fella, he’s pretty neat too… I guess.
Anyway, It’s good to see musicians from across the world in the community wanting to help and raise money towards a good cause, and is something I’m very glad to be apart of. If you’d like to help me raise money towards Special Effect, it would be hugely appreciated. If not, that’s cool too. :)
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’.