Hey ChipWINners! 2016 has been a breathtakingly impressive year for chipmusic. It’s not even the end of February yet and we’ve already seen amazing work from the likes of LITTLE PAW, Awesome Force, Conquer Monster, and many others. While there have been some rising stars and a lot of new talent hitting the scene, chiptune veterans are strutting their stuff as well, pushing our community into the brink of mainstream music culture. One such example would be the legendary Shirobon, whose most recent releases, ‘The Arcade Dream’ and ‘Infinity’, blew a lot of his impressive earlier work out of the water. Just last week, he released his latest work through Hyperwave Records, ‘Dimensions’, and it’s already been received with astounding applause and praise from the community. Let’s take a look at what Shirobon’s EP has in store for us!
Hey there, ChipWINners! London-based chipartist Shirobon has recently graced the world with a new EP, ‘Back Tracking’, comprised of five unique (and very danceable) tracks. ‘Back Tracking’ melds elements together from chiptune, electro, and house, and Shirobon has done an excellent job in blending these three genres together to create something unique and incredible.
Shirobon’s melodic prowess frequently shows itself throughout ‘Back Tracking’. ‘Super Human’ starts off with a quiet melody, building in volume as a brief monologue is given on man’s only salvation from a robotic takeover. A chip lead is layered over the first instrument, and is cleverly brought to the forefront as the track progresses through variations and a solid, house-inspired beat. The last track, ‘As Vivid As You’, also showcases Shirobon’s ability to write excellent, memorable melodies, and with its minimal beat there is ample room for Shirobon to expand on the theme established by the beginning of the track.
The focus on melody and thematic expansion is made more prevalent through Shirobon’s use of vocals and minimal percussion in some tracks. ‘I Need You’ starts with a fade-in to the track’s namesake vocals, and while they are the focus for brief moments, they help the melody shine the majority of the song. Throughout ‘Born Survivor’, well-written chiptune phrases and catchy vocals are blanketed over minimal beats that would be just as fitting for a straight-up house track.
A masterful fusion of modern EDM and retro-sounding chipmusic is apparent throughout, but the track that blew me away more than all the rest is the third, ‘Trouble ft Brandon Marx’. This is an extremely well-written and catchy track, and Shirobon perfectly melds elements of electro and chiptune throughout it. The build-up is marvelous, and the main melody of the track is phenomenal.
Overall, this is a fantastic release from a true pioneer of the chiptune genre. If you have the (approximately) five U.S. dollars to drop on this EP, I would highly recommend it as an addition to any chiptune fan’s music library.