Hey ChipWINners! I’m excited to kick off the year here on the blog with an article about an artist whose work I’ve reviewed a few times in the past – Imaginary! Released under the fledgling Catskull Records label while I was in Italy on my honeymoon, ‘Lonely Idiot’ initially flew under my radar, but an email from the artist alerted me to its presence. I’ve listened through the album a few times, and am excited to share a few choice tracks with all of you! Let’s get started!
It’s last review of the year for me and I thought I’d continue the trend by reviewing absolutely no chiptune. Last year was no contest for me and I reviewed one of my favourite ‘Futurefunk’ albums of the year, ‘Watashi No Yume Diary’ by ‘Bigwave Mikazuki’. It was a wonderful release that I continue to listen to this day. This year however has been harder to choose. Originally I was going to review ‘Moe Moe’ by ‘Moeshop’, an awesome release with a variety of singers. Featuring a worldwide collection of artists from Manchester’s own ‘MYLK’ to Kyoto’s ‘Toriena’, ‘Moe Moe’ was full to brim with character.
However, as the year started to draw to a close, I came across another album; ‘Static Electricity’ by ‘Utsuro Spark’ (released by New Japanese Net Label, ‘Local Visions’). Whilst ‘Moe Moe’ was bubbly and colourful, ‘Static Electricity’ managed to instantly hook me, both through its mystical music and passionate vocals. Ultimately it was the heart of ‘Static Electricity’ that won me over, even when I compared both albums vigorously against one another.
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.
[Editor’s note: this album was moved elsewhere on Bandcamp well after the article published, so none of the embeds work. ƪ(‾ε‾“)ʃ ]
Happy November, folks!
This month, Spaceman Fantastiques is back with yet another gorgeously articulated record, scoring his life from the previous month, entitled ‘October (2018)’. Combining a mixture of well mixed sound textures with smartly composed arrangements, this record took me on an adventure that was left waiting to be continued from his last release.
One thing I deeply admire about Spaceman Fantastiques, and a couple reasons I review his work so much, is because I not only love it, but there is also a never ending stream of real creativity that spews out of every variety of instruments used for each album. A multi-instrumentalist, Spaceman Fantastiques uses each acoustic texture or synthesizer to new brinks of limitations, combining that art with both storytelling and beautiful, listenable music. This record, and his previous, have been so easy for me to write about because they’ve been so relatable.
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 sinceI 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.
A lot of people make the bassline (huehue) assumption that multiple musicians working together is automatically a band. While the vast majority of multi-man musical acts do come in the tried-and-true form of live-performance groups, the picture is much blurrier in the realm of electronic music characterized by digital production and playback. Due to the relative ease of collaborating piecewise with an individual thousands of miles away via the internet, you see things like features, remixes, and group handles all over the place. While this article is mostly aimed at getting into the “collab” side of things, most of what’s covered can be applied to anything similar enough.
So let’s dive into what a collab actually is, how it can help you grow, and how to manage the development of one!