Posts Tagged ‘clarinet’

Meaning in Chaos: Cityfires – ‘CCL Dive’

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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.

It is also a story of hope in moving forward.

Art by Alex Spivey
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Chip Treatment with Professor Oakes: ‘The Mineral Kingdom’ by The Mineral Kingdom

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While I’m sure many agree with the sentiment that their musical taste fluctuates often (and sometimes very rapidly), mine is especially the case when it comes to chipmusic. Due to the wide and oversaturated market filled to the brim with talent new and old, I’m always looking for new and exciting releases that push the boundaries of what these small (but mighty) sequencers and instruments are able to produce—as my article archive can attest. With releases sprouting up left and right, it’s quite a grueling, difficult journey to sift through them in order to find one in which I connect with on more levels than I can explain. However, when that does happen, I feel like I’ve hit a gold mine, and this is especially the case with with The Mineral Kingdom, Oakland’s first chipjazz/doom metal/bluegrass/
chamber music band, and their self-titled first EP. (more…)