Yo, what’s up ChipWINners? Welcome back to Quick Shots: the album review column where I give you the nitty gritty of some of the newest music to hit the scene, then offer you a numerical little tl;dr to help you decide if an album is right for you. This month, I’ll be examining two high energy LPs that showcase some very different talents and styles. One is from a well known artist in the scene, and the other is a new face looking for their time to shine. Let’s not waste anymore time. Grab a seat and some headphones, and get ready to shake that booty, because this month we’re checking out the latest from DJ SUPER SONIC and Katherine Allan!
Hey wassup ChipWINners! Welcome back to Quick Shots: the album review column in which I break down the highs and lows of new releases, then give you a numerical TL;DR to help you decide which new releases give you the most bang for your buck! This week, I’ve got two albums that are very much skirting the fringes of what can be considered chiptune. But, they’reboth incredibly bodacious records from two rad artists thatyou guys should be paying attention to. So if you’re in the mood for something new, straps yourselves in and take a ride with a black guy as we check out new music from Hyperultra and Slothfella!
Hey all, DjjD here. Whether you’re a chiptune fanatic or someone who prefers massive, epic sounding anthems, there’s probably a very big chance you’ve heard of Jimmy Hinson a.k.a. Big Giant Circles. As a major influence of mine, this is an article I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. His music? Excellent. Those who know him have nothing but high praise for the man. For over a decade he’s been contributing numerous video game remixes and original material; his presence in various communities has not gone unnoticed. He has been a judge in OverClocked Remix and worked on major AAA games, all while contributing to various groups such as Desert Bus for Hope and Songs For The Cure.
Back in Sept. 2013, Jimmy unveiled his plan to unleash a Kickstarter campaign to crowd-fund his new album. The concept was sound and the album was already finished before the campaign had begun. This allowed him to create various perks and a promotional video. However, ‘The Glory Days’ being a spiritual sequel to ‘Imposter Nostalgia’, I’d be lying if I said my expectations weren’t ridiculously high. That being said, with BGC what we see with every album he generates are the products of a dynamic, evolving artist. Sure, this isn’t strictly chiptune but, this 21-track compendium of rich, thick, and slick tunes is sure to fill your nostalgic appetite with a wide array of melodic bliss.
Taken from Ubiktune: “As Jimmy explains, “The Glory Days, as the name suggests is a 2-way perspective of game music and life. Naturally, the first part is reflecting back on those days where my daily worries consisted of getting past the boss on level 4 or collecting enough coins or beating the game with a record number of extra lives. And as I relive those Glory Days, I remember that back then I used to sit and fantasize about what life would be like in 10 or 20 years.”
To me that implies, it was his intention to create a sentimental trip down memory lane and explore the human connection with how video games are an integrated part of life. Ideas to memories, story-driven albums are a powerful thing. When you spark an idea, and travel down the paths it leads you, you’ll be amazed to find out how complicated and intricate that one concept can become. I genuinely believe this album brings people together in a special way.
There’s such a huge lineup of awesome songs here. It’s no coincidence, there’s some straight up tributes to specific video games here. “Wintory Fresh,” while bearing the last name of another video game composer, took me to familiar aqueous environments for at least a few brief moments. With all this said I can’t really decide on a favorite track and I’m sure if you’ve yet to listen, you’ll share this same dilemma soon enough. There’s just so much good in this, it’ll require multiple playthroughs. If I absolutely had to choose though, it would be between “Houston” and “Vindicate Me“. One of them is an growing phenomenon that, to me, feels like an evolution of sound. It’s an ever-changing entity for just over 5 minutes; a euphoric narration of organic, subtle development.
This is – hands down – one of the best albums I’ve heard this year so far, and as it’s been for the past several years, I always look forward to what Jimmy is coming up with next. This is one of the longest albums I’ve reviewed and it was a pleasure to listen to. Track by track, I was amazed by how much diversity was presented in every single tune. None of the tracks ever felt like a hassle; it was all smooth as butter. I highly recommend this album to anyone taking a long journey or for looking back at your life; reminiscing on the good times, the once in a lifetime opportunities, and thinking about the people you’ve met along the way. Take it from me, it’s how I felt 2 days ago when I went to Video Games Live for the first time in 9 years.