Happy total solar eclipse of the heart Monday to one and all Chip-denizens! On a momentous day such as today, why bother with watching rare astronomical phenomenon when you could instead have your ears rocked by the constant stream of epic that is another ten tracks from Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 6. Don’t risk your valuable retina, and join us past the fold to hop right in!
Starting this section running, ‘Call 911’ by Turbo Chip wastes not a moment in letting you know its time to get down with a bit crushed cry to call your local emergency assistance line. Hard hitting beats, siren styled pulses, and an ass-kicking pace demand attention and dance moves. Even what might be a brief moment respite in the middle of the track is a barely disguised means to get feet grinding deeper and heavier until the entire tracks feels like it collapses, gasping for air and energy, to a halt.
Libla’s ‘On the edge’ applies a similar amount of energy in a very different way. True to its name, its spirit is effused with tension and drive. Its rolling beat and smooth NES-styled pulse riffs will keep a listener on the run for the duration of the music, riding that fine line between terror and excitement. Ducking the occasional noise channel explosion, the composition evokes both the mad grin excitement of facing danger head on, and the trouser wetting terror of probably getting your head blown off. With the way this track closes, that’s probably exactly what happens.
I was a huge fan of AYOSHUTDUFF’s submission to Volume 5, and I’ll be damned if I don’t love ‘BLUE STRIKER’ just as much. Taking things more introspective from the previous track, the instrumentation, pace and composition of this track paint a picture I never mind returning to. The come down after an adventure that you’re going to remember for the rest of your days. Finally stopping, leaning back against the night cooled concrete of a building. Tasting the twilight dew in the air. Processing what the hell you just went through as you turn your face up to what few stars can be seen against the bright city lights, and sincerely enjoying the fact that you’re still standing.
‘Gangstacream’ is an abrupt change to the flow of instrumentation that’s bound to bring the listener back to attention. sylcmyk’s noisy and at times dissonant composition of SMB fireballs, deep synth bass and other intriguing synth sounds is mentally stimulating. There’s a carefully balanced interplay between instrumentation that is borderline irritating and composition that compels one to sway their hips and tap their toes. The result is music that compels a listener to pay attention to every note and beat, to take in and appreciate all of it.
Forget arrow guns, or sword guns, cactus. is taking us straight to ‘bulletGun’. This track has plenty of elements that would make it prime NES level music. Thick grinding rectangles, chest swelling duty cycles, and a bluesy, swinging, high reaching melody that scream heroics at high noon. Punctuated with that characteristic pump-loader click-clack-boom, the cactus.’ final movement is the stuff of Western legend, head held high, going out guns blazing.
The flow returns to dank and grungy with Crab Sound and ‘Bakvgo’. Turn the lights low, drop your head, and just let that dark, almost demonic, bassline pull you along. The twanging pulses and bursts of white noise punch through here and there, but all of it comes together into music that can’t help but suck you deeply in. Surrounding you with a dark, almost inescapable soundscape that keeps you entranced right to the explosive end.
‘Tech Support’ will rip you right back out of that mesmerization. I honestly feel that She Wants the D-Pad has perfectly captured the abject terror that has likely crossed every tech support professional’s mind at least once in their careers. With sharp, dissonant, and scary instrumentation, the entire track feels like confronting a boss-level technical error. The powerful and punching guitar riffs as it is discovered that the pr0n virus isn’t contained to one user, but is quickly spreading to the entire server and risks demanding an arbitrary number of BitShares from a Carribean crypto-exchange to decrypt the CEO’s data. With the ending of the track perfectly aligned with the bone-deep sigh of relief that comes with solving the problem.
‘DON’T STOP’ by DEFENSE MECHANISM keeps up the apparent theme of wild emotional swings by taking us from abject horror to beachside sunniness. Illustrating the just the variety of what can be accomplished by the styles of instrumentation that have been on display in these last few tracks, we’re taken on a lively summer jaunt in this track. Stomping down in the sand to the beat, with the welcome relief of being able to take a moment to breathe during the action. A little bit pirate, a little bit introspective, and a lotta bit hands and beachballs to the sky.
Vying for the title of longest title on the comp, Roboctopus brings some restorative tones with ‘The 2nd Annual Slumber Part for Biological Specimens, 1983’. Smooth instrumentation and a slowed paced will let your grey matter calm down and your ears recover after the last few tracks. The bright twinkling pulses atop the warm beating heart of electronic rolling bass inspires breath and relaxation that rolls wonderfully final movement of the track. Chipguitar and warm pulse waves take over, and wrap you up in a warm and safe soundscape. Something to gently usher these young and impressionable specimens to sleep with.
8-BITchin’tendo closes my section with a composition that calls straight to both my boyhood and adult hearts. Not only does the instrumentation and character of ‘I Got the Beat’ remind me of the music I enjoyed from Ultra and Sunsoft games on the NES, but the pacing and construction of the track are perfectly placed to close out a set of ten tracks. ‘I Got the Beat’ is simultaneous triumphant, empowering, and restorative. The pace is slow enough to let yourself stop and smell the roses, without losing so much energy to not keep you moving forward into the next section with your head held high.
And hold your head high you should, and walk straight into the next ten tracks, which you can catch a review of on Wednesday right here at the ChipWIN blog. Here’s hoping we catch you then!