It’s time to turn the spotlight this month to the far frozen northlands of Canada – Toy Company has put out volume six of its compilation series and let me tell you, if you’re not already sitting down to prepare yourself for this I’m going to need you to do so. I’d try to use modern parlance and say things like “this album slaps, my guy” or “this album is full of bangers” but I’m officially old enough to be out of touch with modern slang, let alone to know if what I consider modern slang actually is or if it’s already old by the time it reaches my ears. But look – sit down, put your overpriced headphones on and get ready for a ride.
Clocking in at just over an hour, this year’s compilation is certainly a bright way to start off the year. With so many different styles spread across all the various artists, it’s difficult to call this album one you can just pop in and jam to, but if you’re looking for new artists to check out then this is definitely a great place to start.
If you like your chiptunes full of FM fatness, then Game Genie Sokolov’s ‘Blue Level’ is where you want to go first. Game Genie Sokolov is one of a growing number of folks who focus more on FM chips rather than the more common NES and Gameboy sounds – and let me tell you, this is a welcome trend. Innovation keeps the scene fresh, and the beautiful bassy sounds and soaring soundscapes Game Genie Sokolov can make on the YM2612 are great. If you want to hear more of his music, he’s featured on our collaboration with the fine folks at DESKPOP.
256k’s ‘eko’ is the perfect chill song. Sounding at once extremely atmospheric and like the quintessential version of what someone in 1999 would think of when you said “computer music,” this is just a great track to wind down with. It’s also the longest track on the album, clocking in at just over 6 minutes. From what I can tell it should also loop pretty well, so set this baby on repeat, plop down wherever you find most comfortable and just embrace the calm.
My favorite track on the album is Fengir’s ‘Wisdom Victory.’ It’s not a complicated song, and it’s fairly by-the-numbers when it comes to compositional style, but at the end of the day I think that’s why I like it so much. This is a song that you can jam to because you can predict how it’s going to move while still being surprised at the execution. It’s no wonder that Fengir is really able to show that he knows what he’s doing – he also runs Ancient Robot Records, so check that out if you want even more music from all over the electronic spectrum.
That’s all for now! Keep an eye on Toy Company’s page for upcoming events, and if you like their music, buy all their compilations at a super reduced rate on Bandcamp! Support your local scene, man!