For this review I’m going back in time to last year with Zabutom’s ‘Redux34’ released via Ubiktune. Zabutom is an artist who resides in Gothburg, Sweden with his main styles being based around electro, vgm & progressive music, finally taking his roots from the swedish demoscene. Not tied down to a single instrument, Zabutom uses a variety of different hardware, ranging from the iconic game boys, to more technical musical instruments, such as FM Synths.
‘Redux34’ is Zabutom’s latest release from a long line of material. Whilst getting into this review, the progressive genre had been a love of mine for a long time, and so it was extremely easy for me to enjoy this right off the bat.
Zabutom kicks it off with a great introduction to ‘Redux34’, ‘Initiate’. It’s some nice progressive use of gameboy-made sounds, built up sing layered music & digital delay. The introduction alone is amazing through its overt impact that hits you. I’m also interested to see whether Zabutom used a wide range of gameboys, or were they recorded sounds and structured in ableton. One other thing that stands out is the intricate use of drums throughout the song, as they are extremely varied and complex through the use of the WAV channel and NOISE channel alone. Finally, the end of ‘Initiate’ is rather unique, opting for the use of guitars with heavy effects & samples of voices in the background. It’s a nice, unique ending to an already fantastic opening track.
After starting off with the longest song, ‘Initiate’, we’re treated to ‘Jasmin White’, which features some cool old school FM Synths, along with the use of game boys used as leads and guitar. This is the progressive genre at its core, mainly due to its use of rather unique time signatures. The creation and overall structure of this song really gives that whole ‘Music Jam’ feel, something you generally associate with rock music. It also reminds me of progressive bands such as Rush or the Battles. If you really like proggy music and haven’t listened to these bands, I highly suggest you do!
One last fantastic song, is what the album is named after, ‘Redux34’. It opens up with a fantastic arpeggio scaling down until going for a walk, up and down the scale. Then at 1:23, you’re hit a huge blast of one of the bassiest leads off the album! During ‘Redux34’, I also felt that a lot of the arpeggios and leads which played, seemed to have been inspired by traditional Gaelic & folk music, as they’re featured in much of its scales throughout. It’s not prevalent at first but by the end, they start to turn this song into a real folky tune!
By the end, Zabutom’s ‘Redux34’ feels like an ode to all things related to progressive music. It’s compositions are intricate, with every lead and line being well thought out (especially some of the drums in ‘Initiate’ & the frantic melodies in ‘Redux34’). However it also feels quite accessible to other people not too familiar with the genre, but if you’re a seasoned prog enthusiast who loves, Battles, Pink Floyd, Rush as well as many others, then you’ll get into ‘Redux34’ pretty quickly.
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 twice 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 ‘JELLYATRIX’.