Welcome to the final Sladerfluous Reviews of two thousand and sixteen ladies and gentlemen!
This year we’ve explored newcomers and veterans, official soundtracks and original indie fare. Endeavouring to highlight albums and works that deliver inspiration, authenticity, skill, and entertainment is our unending task here at Chiptunes = WIN.
Hopefully you have found a new favourite or two through the Sladerfluous catalogue, but as 2016 draws to a close, let’s take a look back at the defining tracks from this year’s Sladerfluous Reviews!
R. Morgan working hard w/his doggo companion on 2016 blog reviews.
If you’ve been following the Chiptunes = WIN: Vol. 2 writeups so far, you’ve heard some incredible talent covering enough styles of chipmusic to make your head spin. Can you believe that we’re only halfway through this beast of a compilation?! Let’s do this!
Track #22: Gravity Distortion by YZYX
Coming off the heels of the soothing “Miami Lights”, YZYX pulls a bit of a fake out on the listener. For the first 15 seconds, it seems that we have another light and breezy track on our hands. Then BAM!: In an instant, the song launches into lightspeed with furiously kinetic kicks and frenetic, jazzy melodies. This is YZYX’s ChipWIN debut, and he does not hold back. He has stated that this song is inspired by the the universe, dark matter, black holes, and the theory of relativity. It definitely shows! One could easily lay this track over 2001’s Star Gate sequence and it would be a perfect fit. The song is called “Gravity Distortion”, but I think a more appropriate nickname is “Gameboy Destruction”. This track had to be made on an overclocked Gameboy Color, as it crashes any DMG it touches. YZYX is definitely living on the edge of hardware limitations, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Track #23: Infinite Skyline by Beatscribe
Beatscribe is a freelance musician who has composed many incredible tunes for a number of great indie games. He brings his A-game to ChipWIN and showcases his fakebit mastery using the extremely authentic sounds of the Plogue Chipsounds Audio Unit. A strong, determined melody is punctuated with a bouncy bassline. About halfway through, Beatscribe mixes things up and everything gets deliciously circuit-bent. The track starts bursting at the seams with glitched percussion and effects that cut like a buzzsaw. An effortlessly graceful diminuendo returns the song to its original beauty. Upon hearing this, it immediately brought to mind images of Space Harrier; always running towards a horizon that is just out of reach…
Track #24: Dreamscar by Foil Variant
Trying to choose a favorite track from ChipWIN Vol. 2 would be a fool’s errand. “Dreamscar”, however, is most definitely up there for me. Dreamlike arpeggios form the backdrop of the luscious soundscape that this song creates. Foil Variant gives his song and the listener time to breathe and reflect, resulting in a track that is gorgeously downtempo and rich with atmosphere. It’s a truly remarkable highlight of Vol. 2, to be sure. To date, Foil Variant has only released a few tracks, but there is no filler in his Soundcloud. Every composition has been crystallized with loving care into things of beauty. It’s amazing that with only a few tracks under his belt, he’s managed to create one of the most critically acclaimed songs from Vol. 2. If “Dreamscar” is anything to go by, something tells me that our bodies won’t be ready when his first EP drops.
Track #25: DEADPAN DA by Mr. Foetus
The parade of incredibly talented ChipWIN newcomers continues with Mr. Foetus’ “DEADPAN DA”. He lays down an infectious, head-bobbing beat and a groovy bassline. The hook-laden melody is perfect and just when it seems that it’s about to loop, it just keeps building onto itself. There’s a rising intensity to this track while still remaining relaxed and chilled throughout. The whole track has this happy-go-lucky vibe to it, yet percolating beneath the surface one can sense Mr. Foetus’ delightfully twisted aesthetic. I’m not sure how he pulls this off exactly, but he does it with gusto, making this one of those tracks that worms its way into your skull and stays there long after the song is over.
Track #26: Infinite Overdrive by Brick Brker
Brick Brker’s “Dusk Runner” was one of my absolute favorite tracks from Chiptunes = WIN Vol. 1. Therefore, I was pleased to discover that he makes a glorious return here on Vol. 2. Well, he’s proven that he’s no one trick pony! We have another track of unbridled LSDJ bliss on our hands here, guys. “Infinite Overdrive” absolutely rocks your socks from beginning to end. And with a 4 minute running time, the song manages to pull off that jealousy-inducing feminine gift of multiple climaxes.The guy’s only 16 and was born well after the NES was “dead”, yet he somehow carries the formula for Capcom levels of chiptune awesomeness in his DNA. A must listen!
That’s all for now, stay tuned for the next batch of amazing tracks from ChipWIN Vol. 2 next Wednesday! As a matter of fact, keep watching the blog all week for all the latest chiptune info, as well as all kinds of unexpected awesomeness to surprise and delight!