Posts Tagged ‘art’

A Square Meal: ‘High Flyer’ by Karl Brueggemann

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About a year ago, the way I see, listen, and even make chiptune changed completely thanks to a brilliant album filled with funky rhythms and bright harmonies in a way I’d never imagined possible. So, when I discovered the songs were made using a huge range of techniques involving FM Synthesis and decided to delve into it, a whole new world of possibilities opened up to me. I discovered new sounds and styles; nearly infinite possibilities to express oneself through a limited sound chip.

A few months later, and with a musical phrase stuck in my head after clicking a link posted by President Hoodie, I realized the contrasting and flexible nature of FM chipmusic. All the credit for this epiphany of mine goes to a single person, whose fresh way of making music really stuck with me: Karl Brueggemann. Today, I want to talk about the album that made me realize just how cool FM Synthesis could be. So let’s take a look at ‘High Flyer’ by Karl Brueggemann, released through Super Marcato Bros.

Artwork by Karl Brueggemann.
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Clover Chain Reacts To: Purely Grey – ’27’

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On January 11th, 1992, Alex Soborov was born. Since then, he has made dozens and dozens of chiptune tracks and other music as Purely Grey and, previously, Twistboy. He has contributed to Chiptunes = WIN as both a musician and a judge, and he’s run a family-owned (aren’t they too cute?!) netlabel called Tracked for chiptune releases and cassette tapes for nearly three years now. In 2018, Alex released a track every single week, and on January 11th, 2019, many of them were put together to form ’27’, a celebration of Soborov’s 27th year on this earth. Supposedly. Based on this music, he may have been studying the arts somewhere else, learning another plane’s stellar wisdom.

Bursting with clarity, consistency, and an endearing freshness to it, ’27’ is shaping up to be my favorite album released this year, and I’m saying that in February. It’s full of enthusiastic decisions, delicious instrumentation, fun harmonies, interesting melodies, gutsy and smart rhythm, and an integral originality in how each track is structured and how they bounce off one another.

Let’s start at the ending.

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Aydan Appreciates: ‘Rikki & Vikki OST’ by RushJet1

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From my earliest days on FlashFlashRevolution in 2008, I was intimately familiar with a few of RushJet1’s compositions. ‘Almost There’ and ‘Fighting for Control’ are two pieces that I remember fondly as two of my favorite files in the game, and his complicated rhythms and use of numerous melodic voices gave me a deeper appreciation for the finer things in chipmusic before I was fully aware of the genre and community. Just after Christmas Day of 2018, a game called ‘Rikki & Vikki’ was released with modest, yet positive, acclaim. ‘Rikki & Vikki’ is a puzzle-platformer that can be played alone or cooperatively, and is highly reminiscent of the ‘Mega Man’ series, with each puzzle taking place on a single screen. In addition to its lovable visual aesthetic, RushJet1’s soundtrack perfectly complements the game and stands alone as a marvelous example of chipmusic done well. Let’s dive in!

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Aydan Appreciates: ‘Digression’ by Snesei

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Hey, ChipWINners! Long-time fans of ChipWIN may remember, on our very first compilation, a track called ‘Button Mash’ by a Detroit-based chipmusician named Snesei. With its high-energy percussion and cute melody, the track has cemented itself as a nostalgic trip down memory lane to the earliest days of my chipmusic blogging career. Every time I hear it, I can’t help but feel emotions rush over me as I recall my college years and the friends that I so cherished during that period. When I saw just four short days ago (as of the publication of this post) that Snesei released a short, 3-track EP with a guest remix included titled ‘Digression’, I was intrigued. Each track on this EP feels as though it’s been written from the heart, and with the central theme of growth, one can tell that a truly personal, loving touch is present throughout. But, I digress… let’s see what we have here.

Album artwork by Mitsuna Vinilo.

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Glenntai Got: ‘Magenta’ by Seajeff

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There comes a time in everyone’s adventure in music where one asks, “Is there such thing as ‘too much of a good thing’?” It’s easy to summarize your viewpoint on life in this question. This question, however, gets immediately muddled by the existence of Magenta by Seajeff (fka C-Jeff); founder of the gateway to a ton of excellent progressive jams known as Ubiktune. There’s literally so much content and so much quality that the answer is either “no, there’s no such thing as ‘too much of a good thing,’” or I’m now a self-declared hedonistic opportunist. Maybe the answer’s both at this point, but let’s save that quandary for another time. This album is a badass journey through time and demands a listen, and after the jump I’ll give some examples (and a music video) for you to understand why.

Album art by Taylor Crisdale (alt. cover by Diana Jakobsson).

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Clover Chain Reacts to: Impulses – ‘L | \/ E’

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Impulses’ Bandcamp description is simply “Emotional Underground Chiptune.” Started by Trevor Stafford at least a few years ago, their music is consistently calming, pretty, melodic, natural, and always makes me feel things. I haven’t stopped listening since I discovered them last month through the ChipWIN discord. Impulses’ sound is filled with the sincerity of 8-bit synths, and the occasional boppy modernity of edm, and I’ve enjoyed going through their full discography quite a bit. That being said, the latest release ‘L | \/ E EP’ easily stands out, with a polished cohesion, tightness, and clarity.

Album Artwork by Manuchi.
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