Sladerfluous Reviews: ‘Spacesounds’ by JAMATAR

- Posted April 29th, 2016 by

Great chiptune music is evocative. Incredible chiptune music is cathartic. ‘Spacesounds’ by JAMATAR will draw you into a world of raw, uninhibited emotion and enrapture you from start to finish.


Hit play on ‘Gravity’ and once JAMATAR hooks you, delve into the full album review below…

It’s so easy to lose emotion to the machine, but JAMATAR brings a grounded collection of polished tracks orbiting the chill side of chiptune music with this debut album ‘Spacesounds’, released through Hyperwave Records on March 22nd, 2016. ‘Spacesounds’ is an incredibly polished collection with adept use of competing sound to create and release tension by harnessing the space between dynamic shifts in tone as a recurring theme.

There is something remarkably inviting and fresh about JAMATAR’s direction with ‘Spacesounds’.  A balance between minimalism and contemporary chiptune music lands you right in the sweet spot with ‘Spacesounds’, a house mix of sweet, light melodies and cascading synth that deserves a permanent place in your playlist rotation.

JAMATAR’s ‘Spacesounds’ is a welcome ride of warm and relaxing electronica. The craftsmanship is flawless; one would not expect this to be a debut album upon initial plays.  ‘Spacesounds’ works hard to create an expanse for your unconscious to wander while you listen with strategic echoing harmonies and playful use of pans with complimentary synth infused ambience. JAMATAR wastes no time during the album, and the listener is rewarded with a collection of six evolving tracks set in the unknown of the great expanse we know as outer space…


‘Singularity’ enjoys a peaceful exuberance, building into a chill groove beat. Intricate echoes resonate in the background, flitting behind ‘Singularity’s light-hearted pulsing melody. A swelling accompaniment of synth and static expands the scope of the piece, dancing between cheerful ambience and full-force electronica. JAMATAR’s ability to make left-turns feel completely intuitive during daring transitions, branching ‘Singularity’ down through paths of contemplation during what is ostensibly a house track, exploring avenues many would deem too risky. It works, and JAMATAR achieves balance, showcasing masterful control and creative insight.


‘Dead Space’ takes an expected haunting approach, setting the tone with crackling tonal accents and a descending melody over controlled use of pregnant pauses creating an eerie atmosphere before launching a cavalcade of intermingling, independent melodic off-shoots. The resulting chaos brings about a sense of dread that gives way to calm shores and “birds”, as if transitioning from dream state back to the waking world.


‘Asasamu’ brings back the energy with a dance track that isn’t afraid to weave in a little minimalism, inviting the listener to maintain their own beat through an extended drop that abandons the built beats for a whisper of a melody; a peaceful eye of the storm before the power returns to reclaim dance floor dominance. JAMATAR’s grasp of timing is of particular note here, with transition after transition bringing ‘Asasamu’ into completely unique territory with an inspiring level of ease.


‘Space Sounds’ plays with echoes extensively, bouncing a myriad of harmonic strings over the star cheerful melody in a near-chaotic explosion of soft-rock and electronica that works. It’s no mistake that the title track carries the strongest anthem-like tone of the album as ‘Spacesounds’ runs hard, building with more and more fanfare toward the strongest offering among the six of JAMATAR’s offerings on the album. The tone is one of uplifting expanse, which permeates through the full album but capitalizes here in full force.


‘Unity’ slips a little funk into this final track of the album, blending with ‘Spacesound’s intergalactic theme to create a low-key finale to wind ‘Spacesounds’ down. Taking the best concepts from throughout the album, JAMATAR brings ‘Spacesounds’ home with style. ‘Unity’s groove sinks straight into the pocket, playing off the album’s previously showcased strengths to achieve an equilibrium between a grounded funk bass and a rising collection of layered accompaniments all fighting for a chance to shine. Like the title suggests, ‘Unity’ works because all of these individual competing harmonies and runs hold an inherent synergy despite a thematic choice to play them so strongly off each other as aggressors. It plays against type and refreshingly shows that chiptune has plenty of room to benefit from more organic compositions.

JAMATAR’s efforts in this debut album shine bright, cementing a place among the stars of the chiptune skies as one to watch. With a clear vision and unique voice, JAMATAR’s ‘Spacesounds’ launches what promises to be a vibrant tenure for a solid chip artist. If ‘Spacesounds’ is any indication, the future looks bright for JAMATAR, and future offerings will be wholeheartedly embraced.

‘Spacesounds’ is a contender for chiptune album of the year. ‘Spacesounds’ by JAMATAR is contemplative, masterfully crafted, available now on Bandcamp for £3 GBP (or more). Highly recommended.


PixelRecall ~ (R. Morgan Slade) ~ Support the artists you love

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