Greetings and salutations my fellow ChipWINNERs!
Viridian Forge here, and I am honored that you’d feast your eyeballs upon the first installment of “Stoking the Forge”, where I plan to take a look at a recent sliver of the chiptune world that especially fueled the fires of my imagination. The inspiration for this idea is simultaneously my first topic of examination: ‘Corset Lore‘ by Corset Lore. This self-titled EP, her debut album, was released through 8Static to her “absolute delight” this very October. It was similarly my delight to get the chance to indulge in her self-described “fantastical sound constructions”.
With expert control over the pitch and presence of pulse and noise channels of LSDJ on a single DMG-01 (‘Turn’ being an exception, utilizing a second DMG) , Corset Lore crafts melodies that range from hopeful and uplifting to cold and haunting. She describes her style as being at the intersection of “baroque style, Asian folklore, science fiction, and underground music of the late 20th century.”
The one track that I feel really highlights all of these traits, is ‘Touching Space’.
The beginning and end of the track are comprised of a musically tuned electric buzz through the pulse channels accompanied by a marching beat drummed out on the noise channel. The combination evokes the clinical feel of an 80’s hard sci-fi movie.
At its heart, the track takes on a waltz-like rhythm. The pulse waves become reminiscent of strings and pianos, with endings expertly manipulated to trail off like twinkling stars. Together, the music takes off on a dance through the stars in a starship of the imagination.
The composition of this piece, however, is what really made it pop out at me. Specifically, it was how Corset Lore uses fascinating transitions between the piece’s thematic components. The transition from the beginning to the middle of the piece is abrupt, and is done using sounds reminiscent of a channel being changed on an old television; the hard sci-fi reality is interrupted by a movement that is uplifting and almost whimsical. The contrasting movement from the piece’s middle to the end comes with a return of the buzzing pulse wave, fading softly into the final few moments of the piece; a gentle return to hard reality from a moment of fantasy. The ending, with its sudden cut to cold silence, fully grabbed my attention by dislodging me from any semblance of comfort.
If you, dear reader, find your own interest snagged by that tidbit, I would say that it merits a listen of the entire EP. It isn’t long, and for what it is worth, even after a dozen listens, I still find it a wonderful auditory indulgence. If you find you like it, even half as much as I do, I highly encourage you to support Corset Lore, and 8Static, by picking up a copy of your very own.
With that, I’m closing the forge for this month. I hope you’ll be so kind as to join me again next month as I explore more interesting tracks and techniques from the world of chiptune. Until then…
Get out there, multiply the win, spread the love, and make some chip!