In a far off place, untouched by worldly woes, there is a place where friends can get together and make sentimental chiptune jams for all to hear and enjoy. The people who hear these songs know that their lives will never be as perfect as the emotions they experience from these magical tunes, but they listen all the same, hoping to experience that moment – no matter how briefly – that they’ll never truly feel in real life. A moment of nostalgia for something that never happened to them, but they wish it had.
As it turns out, that place is apparently Los Angeles, and the people responsible are Pedro Silva and his friends. Pedro, better known as Slime Girls, dropped ‘YUMEMI/LONELY PLANET GIRL’ last month, and I still can’t get over it. In a scene where everyone is clamoring to collaborate with everyone else, how simple and pure is it to go “Hey guys, I wrote these two songs, you wanna do some remixes?” and then publish it? Amazing. This album is comprised of two new Slime Girls tracks, plus remixes from Clover & Sealife (who you may previously remember as Space Boyfriend and yotsuba lifestyle), bansheebeat, Shoujo Kiss and Uio Loi. Clocking in at just seven songs, there’s a surprising amount of content here both in terms of length (a little over half an hour) and musical stylings.
‘Yumemi’ is the sort of chiptune jam-band rock that I think so many of us got hooked on. It’s the kind of song that would play equally well live or blasted over your car speakers – one that gets you hype and makes you forget what you’re doing or where you’re going, giving yourself completely over to the music. The blending of live instruments plus chiptune has always been one of my favorite flavors of chiptune, and the fact that Slime Girls has been expanding on this aural æsthetic since his first release ‘Vacation Wasteland’ continues to give me hope that this type of tune will continue to live on within the community.
‘Lonely Planet Girl,’ is, by contrast, a slightly detuned, sparkly heartfelt ballad. The album description talks about the songs being about winter mornings and isolation, among other things, and that definitely comes through by the use of slight delays on notes and more bell-like tones on top of the slower melody in the beginning. I might be biased because of our chipWINter albums, but I’m always quite fond of people creating the winter feel in their music – it’s something hard to put to words, but instantly recognizable to our ears from years of people doing the same. And Pedro sure as hell knows what he’s doing with his sound design here.
For the most part, the rest of the album is remixes of ‘Lonely Planet Girl,’ and they each have their own neat spins. The Clover & Sealife Graduation Mix turns the song into this positive, upbeat track with some slick percussion – it’s amazing how someone can change the feel of a song just by adding some splashy drums and some cowbell. The Beautiful Dreamer/My Sanctuary rework almost completely remixes the song, leaving only the core melody as an anchor for the track and adding a new vocal track on top of the slow, spacey new bits that bansheebeat is known for. The Shoujo Kiss remix sounds like it forgoes the mixture of programs used in the original to render it back down to just an LSDJ track, which is always an interesting remix trick since it requires the composer to not only pick and choose what parts of the original song are most important due to limited channels, but also how they have to change it up so it’s not just a shot for shot cover. The Uio Loi remix also goes the “rad drum tracks make everything better” route, which they absolutely do, and just samples a few bits out of the song for something that seems halfway between a soothing track to play in a garden and an EDM track.
The sole Yumemi remix, the Prom at the Aquarium version, is perhaps the most interesting rework of the entire album. The album was led off by this big high energy poppy rock track, but this mix is extremely slow and calm. You can hear the original song in it, sure, but it has all the energy drained out of it without taking away any of the feelings. In fact, it goes out of the way to add in more feels, as it uses a vocal sample of from one of the most tearjerking moments from the Steven Universe cartoon. It’s a wonderful way to calm down from the rollercoaster of different emotions you’ll get from the album, and especially if you’re a Steven Universe fan, it’ll leave you with a smile on your face, a tear in your eye and an urge to get out and live in your heart.
“But Adam!” I hear you say, “I want to go to this magical nostalgia place too! I want to feel at peace with the world, surrounded by my friends!” Well you’re in luck, reader. It just so happens Slime Girls is playing with Paladin Shield, Buried for a Day and astroskeleton at The Smell tomorrow, 6/19/15, with our very own Professor Oakes on visuals! What, you want an event link too? I guess I can oblige. If you’re in California and you don’t go to this, you are very wrong, and you should reevaluate your life choices. Oh, and did I mention that while you CAN get this album for the low low price of free, you COULD give into your nostalgia fully and buy it on vinyl? Grab ’em while they’re hot!
That’s all for today! Linkage below. Seats out.