Welcome back, ChipWINners! Are you enjoying your guided tour of our fourth mainline compilation? I hope so, because now that my dude Wayne is done with his part of the trip, it’s time for me to play captain on the SS Chiptune! So sit back, relax, grab yourself a drink, and put those headphones on, ’cause these next five tracks are some of the most lush, dynamic, and eclectic tracks on the entire album!
31. Daniel Capo – Arrival
I’m incredibly proud to start off my section of this album review with Daniel Capo’s ‘Arrival’. Daniel first captured my attention with ‘Wake’ on ChipWIN’s premier compilation album, showcasing his ethereal, hypnotic style. Since then, Daniel has continued to stir the soul of many a listener with slow, thoughtful arias, as he’s continually contributed to various ChipWIN compilations over the past 3 years. ‘Arrival’, his fourth song in our roster, continues that trend in graceful fashion. Opening with a sense of trepidation that comes with all things unknown, the ringing and pulsating tones get followed up by dulcet guitar chords, invoking powerful images of sunrise over a tropical locale. As the waves slowly ebb and flow against the gentle shore, the song picks up a bit more thanks to a gorgeous rhythm from the drum section as lovely pulsewaves and subtle noise fills the background. The combination of all these elements conjure memories of summers past spent in Costa Rica, in which I would trek along sandy trails through various rain forests to watch the sun rise over a pristine waters, and stare in awe at the majesty that laid before me. That experience, that life affirming, soul filling wonder, is something I haven’t thought of or experienced in a long time, and for reminding me of that beauty, Daniel Capo has my sincerest gratitude.
32. 505 – Adventure At Silly Venture
Another veteran of the ChipWIN compilations, 505 is back for a third consecutive year with another banger of a song. Wasting no time with getting that booty into gear, 505 works his Atari magic deftly with ‘Adventure At Silly Venture’. Pumping out strong, slightly wubbing bass, crystalline synth leads and popping drums that get interspliced with robotic vocal samples, 505 makes it clear that when he takes the stage, there’s no fucking around. The whole experience reeks of the awesomeness that was 90s demoscene and computer gaming, but has a vibe to it that’s highly reminiscent of fighting games. In particular, this song is strongly reminiscent of irq7’s ‘Twisted‘ off of PXL-WIN in that it’s a song that just as easily conjures the urge to quarter-circle forward + punch someone in the face as it does to make someone wanna shake their money maker! Whether it’s a night of grinding butts on the dancefloor or grinding shmucks in the arcade, 505 is an artist that can do no wrong. I just hope he can continue to kick ass so he can continue his streak and make it for a fourth round of ChipWIN goodness.
33. Glenntai – The Duel of Solitude Hill
What can I say about the indomitable Glenntai that I haven’t said to him in person? A stalwart, upstanding gentleman with the gift of gab, a penchant for the nerdy and a diversity of skills I’ve come to admire both online and in person, Glenn is a welcome recurring artist here at ChipWIN. With this third contribution to our catalog, Glenn shows off his incredible compositional skills with ‘The Duel of Solitude Hill’. Inspired by battles with his inner demons, Glenn encapsulates what it is to struggle with one’s greatest foe, and he does it in a way I haven’t heard since Disasterpeace and Derris-Kharlan dropped ‘West‘. Invoking the spirit of the western frontier, Glenntai’s Duel plays out the trope of the high noon standoff perfectly, from the setting of the glass from one’s last drink before leaving the town saloon to the lonely walk toward the center of the road while pedestrians clear the way for the looming showdown. Subtle bass, soft steady hand drums and gorgeous sounding Spanish guitar build gorgeously amid subdued noise channel snares and sparkling pulses as the scene grows more and more tense. In the end, after the final shot has been fired and only one duelist is left standing, my hairs stand on end and all I can do is applaud Glenntai’s work. Not only has he crafted a wonderful scene, but he’s done so in a way that is bound to encourage others to create shudder-inducing songs in Famitracker the way he has. Well done, Glenntai. Well done.
34. Sk8bit – Knife and Flame
Continuing with songs that send shivers down one’s spine is a newcomer to Chiptunes = WIN! Sk8bit is an artist who, despite his skill, hasn’t released much publicly. In fact, outside of a couple covers he’s put up on youtube, there aren’t any releases you can find of his music online. That sense of scarcity, combined with the powerful, haunting vocals and the fact that “Knife and Flame” is a track that uses only 1 LSDJ cart makes Sk8bit’s offering one of the strongest premier pieces I’ve ever heard off our albums! Opening with a waltz like melody and rhythm, Sk8bit soon starts crooning over square waves and noise channel drums that combine for ghastly effect. As he sings of love lost and toyed emotions in a way that I can’t help but fall in love with, I’m reminded of two artists I admire deeply in the scene. Somehow, this young man is able to combine the torrid, heart rending lyrics of Hyperultra‘s music and the smooth, pop style singing of The Flight Away to create an enchanting new siren altogether. It’s an absolutely enthralling experience that I’m honored to have listened to. If this truly is Sk8bit’s first publicly available original tune, well then all I can say is bravo, sir, because I’m an eagerly awaiting an encore in the form of an LP from you.
35. L_qcy – NOMORETEARS
Wrapping up my leg of this awesome journey through ChipWIN Vol. 4 is another new artist to our collective. L_qcy, however, has been around for a while, contributing here and there to various compos such as BleepLove5 or creating music under his other moniker, DenisDasen. Crafting eclectic tunes ranging from atmospheric postrock to clubbanging trance, L_qcy uses his incomparable skills with LSDJ to crank out ‘NOMORETEARS’. A song that starts out with vocal samples from cubist Vladimir Mayakovsky, ‘NOMORETEARS’ initially comes across as an LSDJ take on exepiremental, dadaist music a la Corkscrew No. 4453556. This changes at the 1:12 mark, though, as hard, staticy bass starts thumping in alongside strong kicks and a solid trinagle lead which culminates in sick drop at 1:32. Rapidfire hihats, square arpegios and interlaced noise come crashing in, complimenting the heavily increased bass, making for a listening experience akin to a good night at 8static of I/o. Hips swing, sweat flies and fists pump as L_qcy lays down dance floor mayhem that is sure to delight and leave you wanting more.
Well, boys and girls, just as soon as it began, my leg of the Chiptunes = WIN Vol. 4 tour has come to a close. I hope you enjoyed the album so far as well as this journey through it with me. I now leave you in the very capable hands of Candy Rave Galaxy to take you through the next few tracks and would like to remind you guys to come back to the blog, not just for this continued trip through awesomeness, but for all the shenanigans we have going on here every week!
Love and Peace to you all!!
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