IDecade—yet another amazing Italian chipmusician—is a relative newcomer to chiptune. You may have seen him posting his LSDJ tutorial videos around the Facebook group recently, but he started in 2015 using Milkytracker. Since his transition to LSDJ in 2016, he’s been making catchy dance tracks in various genres, and he’s made an immense amount of progress in the 2 short years he’s been releasing musi. With his latest album, ‘Sinergy’—released this past December—he’s ready to set the international chip community on fire.
IDecade uses 1xLSDJ with a unique blend of old-school LSDJ melodies (similar to that of early Trey Frey or any number of harder chipmusians you’d hear circa 2008-2011) mixed with modern dance music production found on recent LDSJ albums such as ‘REFRESH’ or any of Monodeer’s albums. This unique blend showcases his impressive channel economy in many of his songs.
The track ‘Benjo’ is a great exhibition of this style. Yes, this album contains a lot of drum & bass, and yes, it goes hard. This song showcases IDecade’s mastery not only of LSDJ, but also drum & bass. I’ve spent the past three years trying to perfect the genre, and I’m still learning a lot of the in’s and out’s of the genre, but it’s clear that IDecade has the genre nailed with this track. The structure of the song is amazingly well-paced, and it builds to an incredible break-in. The frenetic 16th-note sections that flit around the pounding bass and percussion add a manic energy to this song. His albility to juggle bass and melodic fills in the wav channel while cramming main melodies and backing into both pulsep channels makes this song feel deeper than the 3 melodic channels available that 1 gameboy usually allow. Just like many of the other songs on this album, it’s short, sweet, and doesn’t over-stay its welcome. Though I’d argue that this song should have continued longer, there is something to be said for the brevity exercised in many of the tracks on this song.
If brevity is used to contain some of the more hectic, dense songs on this album, the longer ones certainly stand out as the hit singles that bring to bare every trick that IDecade has learned since he started making chiptune. One of the features of LSDJ he makes heavy use of in his songs is panning. In ‘Catastrophe’, he uses panned instruments in a few ways to keep the song interesting. One of the ways he uses this feature is the distortion caused by incredibly rapid panning between left, center, and right stereo channels with pulse instruments. It causes a rapid clicking sound to almost cover up the center channel, creating an angry, full-spectrum sound over top of the wav bass in the main sections. It gives the song more energy than even the insane panning pulse runs already grant the song. The underlying drum and bass rhythms are also rock solid, with fills and groove changes sprinkled in to keep the song from feeling too repetitive.
To keep the album equally as varied, IDecade also changes up styles regularly. Whereas the first few songs feature slower tempos and house rhythms, the middle of the album feature faster bpms. IDecade also seems to pay homage to the styles of other famous LSDJ artists such as Monodeer in the incredibly bassy trap hit ‘Far’ or from Hypnogram in ‘Mad’. He uses these pastiches to build upon his already stellar composition, but he also makes these songs his own. In ‘Far’ he drives the song into a catchy, loopy drum and bass banger, while in ‘Mad’ he mixes in some of that old-school LSDJ flavor while showing off with some triplet WAV fuckery. Both songs are amazing testaments not only to his ability to learn the styles of two bonafide LSDJ experts, but he also masters and manipulates them to create something entirely new.
This album easily places IDecade up with his other Italian contemporary, StarvingGOGO. Europe has always been home to many great chipmusicians, but this past year has seen the rise of many new hard hitters. I’m always happy to see new blood in the scene, but the talent some of these artists have is insane. I can’t wait to hear what IDecade has planned for his next release. It can only get crazier from here on out!
ઈ(@̴̨̊̋̐̃̀̽̽ͅ❦@̴̨̊̋̐̃̀̽̽ͅ)ૐ \Keep Chip City w e i r d/ (๑ ऀืົཽ₍₍ළ₎₎ ऀืົཽ)✧