What can you say about don’tblinkoryou’lldie (fka DBOYD) that hasn’t already been echoed by the community? Highly skilled with sound design and composition, don’tblinkoryou’lldie is a high-energy experience that puts your body and listening skills to work simultaneously with some of the most lush, fleshed-out detail I’ve heard from a Game Boy. If this is your first introduction to don’tblinkoryou’lldie, buckle up and get ready to never blink again in your life.
Battle Jazz Classics II encapsulates a very solid repertoire of what you can expect from don’tblinkoryou’lldie’s entire discography. Very few people manage to make their music fast-paced and intensive while managing to still make it melodic enough to be something you could expect out of a dramatic scene in a video game. Even then, out of those very few, even less manage to put in a technical flair that would seem overwhelming to even the average aspiring chipmusician. This is where don’tblinkoryou’lldie walks through a crowd towards the camera, hands off a water bottle and, keeping with the meme, says “Hold my beer.”
Nothing better encapsulates that statement than songs such as ‘Michiko’. Meanwhile, other tracks such as ‘The Anxiety’ also explore slower rhythms and melodic structures while still managing to keep the same level of energy throughout the whole album. On top of that, there are a lot of times where don’tblinkoryou’lldie fills in any potential ’empty’ space with little quips from other channels or instruments to help keep things interesting to your ears and attention span.
One track that really stands apart from the rest of the album is ‘Undone’; bringing out what sounds like the internal conflict of one’s perception of good and evil and then having aesthetics from each perspective influence the next part of the track. Here is where I’m blown away that this track is made with one instance of LSDJ, as the arps that bring in the dramatic, evil-sounding section are so incredibly lush that it almost feels unnatural for them to cut so immediately during moments of the percussion making quick fills. You’d expect to hear the tail end of the delay and reverb, but instead you realize they’re still just two dry instruments playing tricks on your ears. Then, suddenly, you’re brought back to the song with some catchy d&b rhythms and a change of mood of the track and along for the ride once again.
‘Battle Jazz Classics II’ is as one would expect from don’tblinkoryou’lldie; it’s a highly impressive piece of work on a technical and composition standpoint that still sounds ever-so-unique to the artist. It’s got a lot of high energy moments and really drives home its own unique story that keeps you listening on repeat. Something I specifically enjoy about this EP is that the more you listen to it, the more you pick up details you’ve missed the last time around and it really makes you appreciate the level of detail that’s gone into this five-track beast. You can pick up ‘Battle Jazz Classics II’ from Cheapbeats’ bandcamp, and you’ll thank yourself later for doing so.