DESKPOP & ChipWIN: PART 1

- Posted September 25th, 2017 by

Hhhhhheeeeeeeey what’s up YouTube it’s ya boi the ChipWIN-tern and I’m here to show you the speed glitch in my playthrough of – wait, no, I’m sorry, wrong medium, let’s try that again.

Hey blog fans! We just released a new compilation with the cool folks at DESKPOP. You know what that means – we’re gonna talk about all the cool tunes! I’m sure you all got to check it out on the live release show, but if not, we’ve got it all right here for you. Listen and read along below!


First up on the album we have ‘Bliss’ by MBtech – a slow and funky FM jam which serves as the ultimate background music. This isn’t a song you put on to throw down on the dance floor with, this is a song you cruise around town with your friends and jam to. Compositionally, it’s just complex enough to catch your interest but not so intrusive as to draw you away from what you’re doing. You could pull a John Mulaney and put this song on loop 27 times with one ‘It’s Not Unusual’ snuck in to the mix and not a single person would be upset.

So SHADY MONK does something I really love in ‘Streets of Shade’ – as opposed to just sticking with one set of electronic voices, there are all sorts of fun sound effects thrown in spanning from vibraslaps to frog sounds. We don’t get much of this style music these days – if I had to liken this to music of Chiptune Days Past, this is like a much more complex George & Johnathan track. It’s really interesting how a song that isn’t very fast can feel extremely high energy – all the piano and synth runs really help get your blood pumping while the rest of the track keeps all the rest of your emotions in check. This is a song that says “Alright kid, it’s almost time to party, but you’ve still got time to finish your drink.”

RoBKTA has been getting his music all over the place in the world of Bandcamp music labels recently – and while the songs he sends to the different labels all sort of emulate the flavor of that lable, ‘Psycho Mojito’ seems to be what I might consider the most DESKPOP of tracks: You’ve got your standard chip music base with live percussion and some vocals thrown in for effect, a few weird animal sounds sprinkled in, and an overall funky vibe with lots of synths and instruments that they sound like they came out of a Super Nintendo or Sega Saturn. Although, while most DESKPOP tracks seem to trend towards funk in this case this song is much more salsa flavored.

Four tracks in, TheOfficialLobst gives us something shaped more like a modern dance track with ‘COLORS.’ Compositionally, this song uses more of those fancy modern dance track accouterments like doing that filter thing that makes it sound like the music is in another room (hello yes I are educated music man please listen and respect muh opinyunz) and changing the shape of the wave on the instrumentsin such a was as to sound like they’re being manipulated in realtime as you listen – and honestly, I think that’s one of the coolest things about this track is that it really does sound like a live piece. Being able to fake that live feel well is one of the marks of a great musician in this genre in my opinion, and TheOfficialLobst definitely knows what’s up.

I really appreciate how the oldschool hip-hop record-scratch kind of sound effect Game Genie Sokolov kicks off ‘Wonder Force’ with – it’s a good effect and it’s not appropriate for every situation, but like some sort of bourgeois salt, it’s great when sprinkled in on the right dish (or tune, in this case). I really appreciate how this song flows – each instrument comes in like another gear in a great machine and just slots in and turns with the others. The transitions between instrument voices and different sections of the song is never jerky or sloppy – and while this song feels like it goes a lot of different places, each step it takes is measured and confident. It is, as the kids say, That Good Shit (TM).

I always love when someone takes conventions of a certain genre of music and changes the instrumentation up, and that’s exactly what ell yot has done in ‘wuf.’ This is absolutely a modern club dance track, except with mostly marimba and flute sounds along with smatterings of traditional chippy sounds. Not a whole lot more to say here – ell yot picked a method and executed on it and did extremely well.

Slow synths. Fast breaks. If you let That Andy Guy add them up, what you get is ‘The End Result.’ It seems like we’ve kinda moved away from break-style music, so I’m happy to hear someone’s keeping it alive. Additionally, I really love smooth bass jams, and a goodly chunk of this song is just that. Groove on, man.

Speaking of things that don’t get used much, I love bouncy tarantella/polka-style tunes, and aside from like the Shovel Knight soundtrack and that one goto80 track, Jakk’s ‘Uncle Karlov’s Kompot’ is all we’ve got. And I don’t say that as if to say I only like it because there are so few examples – no, this song would stand on its own even if it had more things to stand with. This song is like if someone took a bag of “cool music tricks” and dumped it out in song form. Driving bass? Gotcha. Cool string parts that make it sound like some kind of traditional folks song? Bingo. Constantly changing the actual composition up between “real” instruments and electronic ones? It’s here too. Sweet-ass key change? Intense choral section? Jesus man where are you getting all this stuff? In all seriousness though, this is my favorite track on the compilation, Jakk absolutely killed it.

And that’s all for now folks! Tune in Wednesday for the other half of the album review! For more information on the artists, check out the individual track pages on the Bandcamp release. Also, feel free to hit up this link for all streaming versions of the comp! And to get all the tasty links to DESKPOP content, see immediately below!

DESKPOP:
SoundCloud Bandcamp | Spotify | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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