Greetings to you all, fans of chiptune. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all of the artists who have submitted a track for consideration for ChipWIN: Vol. 5! As Hoodie and the rest of the judges undertake the difficult task of
preparing the album for release, I’d like to highlight a recently released EP that has caught my attention, ‘Galaxies Collide’ by New Jersey-based chiptune artist Sparky+ (Bruce Gil). Sparky+ has been releasing a steady stream of straight-up lsdj bitpop tunes with a driving house beat for about a year now. In ‘Galaxies Collide’, Sparky+ has expanded the scope of his soundscape through the use of a midi tracker. This delightful and catchy selection of tracks is wrapped up in a galactic theme , which I’m always a sucker for. Hit the jump as we go ‘Beyond’…
‘Beyond’ kicks off in the thick of its groove with a steadily thumping beat. The
ethereal tones on the high end are evocative of the twinkling unknown that is space while also carrying a happy-go-lucky and carefree vibe. 50 seconds in, the beat drops out from under us as Sparky+ shifts the mood to being more personal and contemplative, before smoothly filter sweeping back into his catchy groove. ‘Beyond’ does an excellent job at setting the overall tone and atmosphere of ‘Galaxies Collide’.
a darker and more melancholic tone, with a slow but deliberate buildup with the low-pitched lead melody mirroring the bassline until the 1:20 mark reveals the song’s character. A high-pitched, borderline abrasive lead writhes and wriggles its way through your eardrums in an unpredictable and satisfying fashion before falling back in with the bassline groove which by this point is at full gallop. The snare hits here are piercing and potent, with each beat given an added oomph , making the track danceable while maintaining an air of brooding mystery.
‘Last Hope’ rolls steadily with a sense of determination, cheered onward by its rhythmic claps and a descending bassline. Many interesting sonic textures that sound similar to my circuit-bent Speak & Math, glitches and blips are interspersed throughout this track as it careens forward
. ‘Last Hope’ is a driven and ultimately intensely expressive track, as the lead erupts into a higher pitch during the last minute, wailing across an emotional solo section replete with gratuitous glissando.
‘There’s No World For You Now’ is an ominous tune infused with dread and woe. Its forlorn, defeated melody creeps along with the last of its strength.
The unyielding beat that throbs and hisses throughout this track pushes it onward. A mournful tone permeates every measure of this track, and towards the end it diverts into chaos as the pace quickens and multiple blips frantically rise and fall away from the central melody as if everything has become unhinged. ‘There’s No World For You Now’ drives home that sense of the vastness of space and its many unknown delights and horrors.
Sparky+ finishes his ‘Galaxies Collide’ EP with the upbeat and inspirational tone that he set out with. ‘Winter’ is a remix of a track from last year’s EP, ‘Dreams’. Everything is shifted up here into a higher register, and the mix and overall production is much cleaner in this remix. With sharp, swift percussion and a soaring, hopeful lead, ‘Winter’ leaves the listener with a whimsical and optimistic outlook for the future.
With the release of his newest EP ‘Galaxies Collide’, Sparky+ has grown and evolved his sound from previous releases. The mud has been considerably cleaned from his mix overall, with this EP sporting a much higher level of production quality
. His simple, yet catchy tunes are versatile earworms, lending themselves well to a party atmosphere as well as solo listening. You can simply let your mind wander and enjoy the space theme tied together so well by these stellar tracks. If the steady rise in quality over the past year is any indication, Sparky+ is an artist that you should support and look out for in the future, as I feel that ‘Galaxies Collide’ is ample evidence that his music will only increase in caliber. You can grab a copy at Sparky+’s bandcamp, name your price, and the atmosphere that this talented artist creates within is well worth supporting.
Keep your hands and heart held high!