Last March I wrote that “…we should be so lucky to get a follow-up album in the future” from Marissa Hapeman after reviewing her chiptune debut ‘Pretty in Pixels’. Forget luck. Marissa Hapeman returns with explosive fervour with her second major chip-release ‘Solstice’.
Tease your musical palette with ‘Waiting For Good News’–
–then dive into the full ‘Solstice’ review continued below!
Howdy, Carbon-based lifeforms! It’s been quite some time since I’ve been around these parts. Life has been one extremely wild ride—with work, other adult responsibilities, and slinging visuals at shows, I’ve had to take some time off from writing but it feels great to be back in full swing! Without further adieu, I’m sure you’re all DYING to hear ONE GIGANTIC ANNOUNCEMENT THAT I’VE BEEN HELPING PLAN:
8bitLA’s 4th annual chipmusic festival, freq.fest.v.4.0 (previously known as Frequency), will showcase three nights of music made with obsolete video game and computer hardware. Taking place January 30th–February 1st, 2015, we will be returning to LA’s legendary punk rock DIY venue The Smell for three days of bleeps, bloops, and blips featuring one of its most ambitious lineups to date.
Told you it was punk rock! However, don’t let the facade gross you out—this is one of the cleanest bathrooms I’ve been in!
For the first time since 8bitLA’s conception, nearly half of this year’s bill features artists from out of state:
We assure you this will be a fantastic time—as attested to by the above fantastic GIF teaser poster! If you’re planning to attend, ticket presales will be announced closer to the event date, but you can always purchase one directly at the event.
Finally, in order to completely cover the costs of making this event gobsmackingly awesome, we are running a GoFundMe campaign.There are some fantastic reward tiers set up as an incentive, such as exclusive 8bitLA freq.fest.v.4.0 t-shirts, a signed poster featuring this year’s artwork, and a three-day pass into this year’s festival. Any funds raised beyond our goal of $500 will be allocated to the performers! WIN/WIN.
Big things come in small packages, and that’s exactly what you get with ‘Jelly’ by Roboctopus.
Lighthearted, explorative and accessible, ‘Jelly’ by Roboctopus does more with four tracks than others often can with eleven. Roboctopus redefines the meaning of “full album” with ‘Jelly’, a 4 track EP that will leave you full, and craving seconds.
Thoughtful harmonies employed by Roboctopus throughout the album keep transitions fresh, with title track “Midnight at the Ice Palace” showcasing Roboctopus’ ability to flow into new and unique transitions, ensuring intrigue with each purposeful deviation.
‘Jelly’ does a lot with a little. Roboctopus infuses excitement into this latest EP, employing clever tweaks and variations on its own established melodies with an efficiency that inspires. “Evening for the Rest of Your Life (Remix)” even goes so far as to pull the rug out from its own melody during a midway transition to spotlight its bassline undercurrent with refreshing abandon.
While strong ties imbue ‘Jelly’ with a certain uniformity throughout its four ambitious tracks, “Memory Erasers Local” is the strongest departure from the rest of the album with deep explorations into echo, pans and distance, creating hypnotic hooks alongside an upbeat anthem.
‘Jelly’ has a trademark effervescence that culminates with “Can’t Have the Fish if you Ain’t Got the Jelly” which, simply put, is a quirky experiment that WORKS. It’s lighthearted and fun, infusing an unexpected drop into explorative basslines underneath an unapologetic grab-bag of chip pop-blips and synth that dares to redefine the term “melody”.
‘Jelly’ by Roboctopus is available on Bandcamp right now for “pay-what-you-want” at a minimum of $2(USD). For the LSDJ curious, the .wav files of all 4 tracks are included with your purchase of the album.
“Jelly” is a must listen that plays out as its own mini-odessey, weaving through each of its four distinct tracks with a finesse that evades expectation.
Pixel Recall (R. Morgan Slade) ~ Support the artists you love