Over the last few years, for reasons best left to the wastes of time, I’ve dedicated a lotmoretime on the blog writing about albums that feature FM synthesis, be it on live chips or emulated. It seems like in a sea of Gameboy music, FM often goes by the wayside. Thankfully, some folks in the frozen northlands of Mapleopolis Montreal are fighting the good fight and have been working to change that. If you’ve used a DAW to make chipmusic in the last 20 years, you’re probably familiar with Plogue and their line of chiptune emulation VSTs. Their latest release, the PortaFM, focuses on the emulation of the YM2413 chip (also known as the OPLL), and the good folks at Toy Company have released a small album to demonstrate just what this baby can do.
This month, we were graced by a new Cheapbeats release written and produced by UK electronic artist, Gesceap. Released on May 4th, the seven track album is full of glitchy percussion and hypnotic melodies composed with Nanoloop. With a variety of digital elements comes a strong song structure created from from samples and soft synths. Interestingly enough, this was the first Nanoloop iOS album ever released on Cheapbeats, so on top of the sound being sublime, listeners can hear history unfolding right before their ears.
When I listen to a record, just like how when I make one, I tend to listen and check my mixes on both my studio speakers and headphones. I’m currently on the road and, as I write this, I’m limited to my iPhone speakers. Just from hearing it from this extremely limited audiosource, I can say the album’s mixes are done very well. The percussion cuts through perfectly, and the bass holds its own space without creating a centimeter of mud. While an album isn’t just about a great mix, I can honestly say that each track was wonderful to listen to and the album itself was easy to listen to at one time. As a whole, it was unique and beautiful, and I can see why Cheapbeats proudly released it.
Knasibas has been my friend for awhile now, and I’ve been a fan of his music for even longer. In case you haven’t heard of him, he’s a chiptune/bitpop genius who has been featured on Tracked and Chiptunes = WIN compilations, along with releasing music independently since 2015. Inspired by the sugar rush of jpop, the writing in heavier rock/metal, the appeal of videogame music, and EDM sensibilities, Knasibas has a unique overall sound with distinct and memorable melodies.
So now that you know what to expect, I’m really excited to talk about his latest album ‘CRY’. This release has a lot of depth to it, but the great sense of style speaks for itself. It’s inviting, open and up-front, and I find that… comforting. So rather than try to talk about everything and how it works, I’ll be honing in on that sense of comfort, and figuring out why it stuck with me. Hope you like it!
Hey y’all! =) For this month’s interview, I’m reprising a 2014 blog chat that I had with a very talented Norwegian friend of mine whose music you’re very likely familiar with. Unsurprisingly, the man has accomplished more than enough in the four years since then to warrant yet another sit down with me here on the blog.
Everyone welcome back to the blog, Vegard Kummen aka Kubbi!
Not entirely sure what’s going on here, but it sure makes for a pretty sweet picture.
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. (more…)