Many of you may not be too familiar with Blue Navi. That might also change when you discover that they previously went under the moniker Ayoshutduff, who has been a seasoned veteran of many Chiptunes = WIN releases. With this EP, titled ‘Continue?’, we have a three-track collection of music finished since his previous, hefty album late last October. Like many artists expanding their level of versatility, Blue Navi decided to experiment with styles out of their comfort zone, and in this case we’ve been given some synthwave that carries a serious mood about it. If you’re looking for some solid music that isenjoyable both as active listening as much as background music, come see what this EP has to offer.
Starting off with ‘Day to Remember’, we’re given an opening that has some textural changes before the lone snare underneath those synth chords finally has purpose; providing a measurable point to the rhythm section. The closed hi-hat shuffle is well-layered with the DMG noise channel to provide what feels to the ear is a bit of reverb, and those not listening closely may not have noticed the difference until every 4th beat has a stuttering pitch slide only natural to a DMG’s noise channel. With the chords providing the ambiance, the melody gives us an exposition through a stoic but determined mood, as if the “day to remember” was one of less positive remarks.
Once we hit ‘Red Maverick’, suddenly the chiptune incorporation becomes clearer as you hear the combination of a very lively NOI rhythm section with a solid WAV channel bass line. The chords that come in give a repetitive, energetic feeling reminiscent of the Mega Man X series. A driven, rock-or-funk-like, four-on-the-floor rhythm with lush chords and padding to help create an atmosphere that really drives whatever it is set to. Then, just enough of a melody kicks in to help keep your attention from being completely sucked into just one part of the composition until the next part brings you back in all over again.
If ‘Day to Remember’ was about re-living a past struggle, ‘Replicator’ would be about facing (or re-facing) the cause of that struggle. The immediate tension in the chords over that helicopter bass line and the return of the melodic exposition layered on top (brought to you by pulse channels from a DMG,) bring out its own theme that alongside the title of ‘Replicator’ flesh out an imaginative story. Considering this track’s name and its many synthwave-inspired elements, I can only imagine some sort of bleak montage of the Terminator’s relentless pursuit of Sarah Connor as this plays. With the way this track sounds as if its the progressive variant of its inspired genre, I feel like I should have expected the track to go longer, but it fades out to the end of this EP just in time to leave you hanging.
Hanging, or in this case just anticipating, would be the better word to describe what I feel as I await to hear what comes from Blue Navi next. What’s funny is that I went into this completely blind of this rebranding. I didn’t know what to expect, nevermind that Blue Navi was an alias change. What I did get, though, was an EP I certainly appreciated the level of effort put into just as much as I enjoyed listening to it. You can pick up ‘Continue?’ at Blue Navi’s bandcamp to add to your collection today.