What can you say about don’tblinkoryou’lldie (fka DBOYD) that hasn’t already been echoed by the community? Highly skilled with sound design and composition, don’tblinkoryou’lldie is a high-energy experience that puts your body and listening skills to work simultaneously with some of the most lush, fleshed-out detail I’ve heard from a Game Boy. If this is your first introduction to don’tblinkoryou’lldie, buckle up and get ready to never blink again in your life.
The new year is in full swing – MAGFest has come and gone, Chipwrecked is preparing for another great lineup, and we’ve already got a few fun 2019chiptunereleases! But such an active community also makes for a lot you may have missed, and I’d like to give the last year a final sendoff before moving onto this one. I’m proud of the work I did in 2018, but there was a lot I didn’t get to talk about as well. This scene is bursting with music to enjoy and appreciate, so while I can only cover a small portion of it, I’d like to try and spotlight some tunes that deserve the attention.
Naturally, I will be doing this in the silliest way possible.
Hey there, ChipWINners. It’s been a few months since I’ve written an article due to some extremely time-occupying life events, but I’m happy to be back now! At the end of May, Cheapbeats released an EP showcasing a new artist in the community named Ello Costello. This artist certainly isn’t a stranger to producing music; he’s released a few EPs independently prior to this, such as the freely composed ‘Just For Fun‘ and the environmentally influenced ‘Small Windows‘. With influence and assistance from DonutShoes, an artist who’s been featured on ‘ChipWIN: Volume 5‘ and on ‘Volume 6‘, Ello Costello makes his stunning debut in our niche with ‘started commuting’. Throughout this EP, Ello Costello draws influence from morning cityscapes, the excitement of travel, and his own musical interests. Let’s see what this release has in store for us!
This month, we were graced by a new Cheapbeats release written and produced by UK electronic artist, Gesceap. Released on May 4th, the seven track album is full of glitchy percussion and hypnotic melodies composed with Nanoloop. With a variety of digital elements comes a strong song structure created from from samples and soft synths. Interestingly enough, this was the first Nanoloop iOS album ever released on Cheapbeats, so on top of the sound being sublime, listeners can hear history unfolding right before their ears.
When I listen to a record, just like how when I make one, I tend to listen and check my mixes on both my studio speakers and headphones. I’m currently on the road and, as I write this, I’m limited to my iPhone speakers. Just from hearing it from this extremely limited audiosource, I can say the album’s mixes are done very well. The percussion cuts through perfectly, and the bass holds its own space without creating a centimeter of mud. While an album isn’t just about a great mix, I can honestly say that each track was wonderful to listen to and the album itself was easy to listen to at one time. As a whole, it was unique and beautiful, and I can see why Cheapbeats proudly released it.
When it came out, Tenfour’s “Wish Book” marked something wonderfully new for Cheapbeats. A popular label for chiptune and lo-fi music, this is the first time in my memory they’ve released something so distinctly modern and inspired more by videogame music than the chip scene. Soundtracks, and VGM in general, were my entryway to taking an interest in composition, which led me to the Chiptunes=WIN community, so I’m going to take this opportunity to try something new myself and write out my thoughts about it. Because this isn’t just a phenomenal album, it’s also *right* up my alley. Let’s dissect why it works so well.
Continuing this enjoyable ramble-fest (for me at least!), today we’re on to Year Three of ChipWIN comp story-time! If this is your first read in the series, feel free to check out parts 1 and 2 and then continue after the break.