Swedish chiptune musician Zalza (Alexander Bulér) is a legend of an artist whose experience with chipmusic stretches back to the 90’s demoscene. When a demoscene veteran releases a new full-length album, it’s something that you don’t want to miss. It seems to me that those long-standing chiptune heroes are physically incapable of producing an average or sub-par melody. Such is the case with Zalza’s excellent new album, ‘Superposition’.
While I enjoy many of the numerous styles and genres represented within chiptune, ‘Superposition’ reminds me why I fell in love with this music in the first place. From beginning to end, ‘Superposition’ bears all the hallmarks of everything you could ever want from a truly great chiptune album. There’s an unwavering focus on infectiously upbeat melodies tinged with nostalgia and the sense that anything is possible. A powerful low end holds it down, complete with warm n’ fuzzy bass and a driving beat. All of these elements are contained within a handful of channels that perfectly complement one another, deceptively simple yet intricately composed.
The opening track ‘Remanence’ delivers all of this and more, hooking the listener with a solid bassline and beat, while also introducing a running theme of our universe and quantum physics through the use of samples. Many thought-provoking and inspirationsl scientists are sampled within this first track and throughout the rest of ‘Superposition’, giving this “retro-sounding” album a nice forward-looking aesthetic that I really enjoy. It’s just one of those opening tracks that immediately grabs hold and says “Buckle up, you’re in for greatness.”
‘Window of Opportunities’ is another standout track; it’s one of the smoothest chiptune tracks in existence. The steady beat gets your head bobbing right from the start, and its smooth-as-butter descending melody is a beautiful foundation for a truly impressive sonic showcase. I see ‘Window of Opportunities’ as being the perfect track for night riding with your shades on into the neon-filled city. The bass’ endless groove grows ever more prominent as this track continues, strengthening its hold upon the listener.
‘Chasing the Clouds’ is another fantastic track that is among my favorites from the album. It has such a brightly optimistic and soaring melody, couched in an unshakeable groove. It’s a weightless and breezy groove that could honestly go on for at least 5 more minutes and I wouldn’t even complain. Interjected samples of air traffic controllers and airplanes flying overhead add to the overall sense of flight throughout this track. There is an effervescent brightness to ‘Chasing the Clouds’ that exemplifies chiptune in its purest form.
Those three tracks only scratch the surface of this album’s gems. ‘Love is the Cure’ smoothly shifts the overall tone of the album to become a bit more melancholy, while rapid-fire arpeggios steal the show in ‘Magnolia Bakery’. ‘Superposition’ is a brilliant tour de force from a true master of Milkytracker, Zalza. It’s incredibly inspiring to hear such an accomplished and remarkable talent speaking through his instrument of choice, knowing all of the hard work that went into it. ‘Superposition’ is a thoroughly enjoyable and endlessly repeatable album that is well worth the $7 asking price on bandcamp.
Keep your hands and heart held high! \m|♥|m/