Hello! It’s my first review of the year so I thought I’d begin with a compilation straight from down under. Released on 18th January, ‘The Great Australian Barbecue Bash’ compilation is the first of its kind featuring an all aussie line up with all the artists, covering an fellow artist from the country. It’s a fantastic line up, with prolific artists such as Ctrix, Tomfoolery and The Family Jewellery, Calavera, and many more!
We begin the compilation by taking a look at the opening track of ‘Barbeque Bash’, with ‘Tomfoolery and The Family Jewellery’ covering ‘Singularity’ by ‘Jamatar’ (from the album, ‘Spacesounds’). The track starts with the iconic melody of singularity, whilst ‘Tomfoolery’ peppers the beginning with ‘fast, poly bent keys’, their sound being slowly released further until the crescendo. To me, this certain instrument seems almost reminiscent to the keys from this certain part of Calvin Harris’ ‘I’m Not Alone’. It adds a nice build up towards the drop, but it also gives Singularity more colour to its tone. However, this sound is entirely discarded at 0:54 and goes into dub madness with ‘Tomfoolery’ turning Jamatar’s Singularity on its head and into a heavy dub/dnb track; it’s crazy but it works like a charm. Racing, pulsating vibes fill the track with such raw aggression, whilst bassy kicks pepper the melody, changing ‘Singularity’ from a chilled out, relaxing song, into something you would rave out to.
The next on my list is Tuberz Mcgee’s rendition of Ctrix’s song, ‘DX H34V3N’. This has always been a standout track for me on Ctrix’s back list, and to hear it in a different kind of style is always welcoming. Created in Famitracker, ‘Tuberz Mcgee’ ulitises all channels extremely well, albeit some parts like the staccato of Ctrix’s version are missing (see, 2:09 for a good example). I think this might be because of the NES soundchip’s limitations with legato and pitch. Although this is an excellent cover of ‘DX H34V3N’ ‘Tuberz Mcgee has brought small changes to the track, namely in tone. This especially true at 0:21 where Tuberz introduces the squarewave as the main lead. It sounds very different compared to the original, as it sounds more triangular. We also have the difference in soundchip from 8bit – 16bit. Ultimately Tuberz’s cover of ‘DX H34V3N’ is a great 8bit rendition from the NES, and it was nice to revisit Ctrix’s music.
Finally we come to my final pick track, 0f.Digital’s ‘Mesh’ and covered by, ‘Classic Mistake. ‘Mesh’ begins with a slow and sexy introduction, dripping with so much filter, until the bass line kicks in. Ever since I’ve been using Nanoloop 2.0 for my music, I’ve been fan a of the bass sound that comes out from the synth and poly channels. Although it’s simple to understand, Nanoloop is incredibly hard to master and I’m constantly finding people creating new fantastic sounds by either one channel, or blending them together. This is evermore true in Classic Mistakes’ rendition of ‘Mesh’ as the bassy raw sound he manages to create is both powerful and addictive. This alone makes Classic Mistakes’ cover of ‘Mesh’ much more awesome. One final thing I also particularly liked, was the Classic Mistakes’ use of rhythm and percussion. You tell can he’s really thought about how to represent the drums using the Noise channel of nanoloop, as to me it seems that Classic Mistake uses the noise for his kicks. One thing I say can with prior experience of Nanoloop is that it’s quite hard to get the right sound for the kick, you generally have to resort to using one of the other channels which can be regrettable (especially if you want to keep one channel for just the leads).
For the first iteration of the compilation, ‘The Great Australian Barbecue Bash’ is incredibly strong. It shows off an excellent collection of tracks, whilst also showing how really talented the Australian chiptune scene actually is.