Boy, 2020 has been a long decade, am I right? It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that just over a month ago, I was attending the Richmond, VA stop of ANAMANAGUCHI’s [USA] tour. As you may have read in the past, I always love checking out them ‘guchi boys when they’re in town, and this was to be no exception. However, unlike in years past, this concert was preceded by something completely unexpected – ANAMANAGUCHI’s press folks apparently read one of my old event reviews and wanted me to interview the guys! Obviously, I wasn’t turning that down.
Anyone who’s ever listened to chipmusic has assuredly heard of the legendary Anamanaguchi. A four-piece group from New York City, their 2009 ‘Dawn Metropolis EP‘ was likely the first taste of chipmusic many of us received upon exploring the genre – myself included. 2013’s ‘Endless Fantasy’ saw a departure from this style and marked their first full-length foray into the world of electronic dance music, and spawned a semi-viral video in which the band launched a slice of cheese pizza into space. In October of 2019, they released ‘[USA]’, their second full-length album, and on the off-chance you missed it on release, I’m excited to share it with you all today!
This month’s artist is as skillful with words as he is with music. An artist that loves to experiment with different types of artistic expression, and a designer at heart, he often dazzles everyone with his ability to communicate his enthusiasm, verbally and visually. It’s pretty clear from his social media profiles that he takes Chiptune seriously, and it’s very refreshing to see such an unbridled enthusiasm.
His first album was titled ‘Bomb Crusader’ and his friends influence is definately felt on his latest album, named ‘Blaster Raster’, after a lifelong connection that he shared with a rastafari that endured a life threatening motorcycle crash.
After a long hiatus I’m back with ChipWIN writing about some chiptune music, and what better way than beginning with the fantastic album, ‘Illegal Street Racing’ by MisfitChris? This was initially released towards the end of January as solely a digital album. However, it wasn’t until June 24th, when ‘Data Airlines’ produced the cassette release of ‘Illegal Street Racing’, did it come under my radar.
Cityfires’ latest release is fire.That pun is too easy not to make, but I really mean it. With buoyant emotional synthpop, some of the most magnetic sound design I’ve heard all year, and fascinating lyrics – this album’s spirit is most deserving of the title “adventure” out of all that I’ve written about. It’s full of surprises and seriously fine-tuned, with tracks like ‘The Tangle’ trimmed down to interesting ideas, while others such as the titular song take the time they need for a core feeling to hit home.
Full to the brim with electric melody lines, immersive sound design, and creative mixing decisions, this fifteen-track masterpiece never sacrifices quality for quantity. Tight vocal tracks are infused with textured electronica, and organic instrumentation as well. Instrumentals are just as diverse: ‘Daybreak Apparatus’ echoes the peppy videogame joy of earlier ChipWIN comps, while ‘Dreamshifting’ feels like some more recent chiptune which draws from mathrock. Alternatively, ‘Mothfold’ defies description. The whole album is kinetic, and really integrated, a trip through clear landscapes and sights to behold.