Hello beautiful people and thank you for reading Paul’s Tech Talk on The ChipWIN Blog! It’s been a while since I’d last whipped out a good ol’ techy article so I decided to make this one extra special. Today we’re going to delve into one of my all-time favourite aspects of chiptune production: Arpeggios!
Most of you probably know quite well what an arpeggio is, and why it’s widely used in Chiptune music. So in this article, I will try to dig a little deeper, examine closely how they work and what they can do, and experiment with some more advanced techniques to unleash their amazing potential.
Hello and welcome to a snow-filled1 winter edition of Office Hours right here on the CWB. I fully expected to talk about a more straightforward chip release this time after my previous review of Oldstyle’s ‘Baroque Remixes,’ but I lucked out with a new release from Soleviio titled ‘Sonus Antiquitatum: Sonata for Two Game Boys in F minor.’ This release is again closely tied to my teaching, as my students learn a great deal about sonata form in my theory classes. Before diving into Soleviio’s music, let’s have a quick crash course in sonata form, shall we? (more…)
Hi peeps, my name’s Morgan and I’m SUPER STOKED to join the bloggers for Chiptunes = WIN and help get more awesome tunes onto your radar. Pleasantries = DONE. Let’s get to the music!
Can chiptune be integrated with acoustic instrumentals for the betterment of ear-holes everywhere? For the answer, look no further than Breakbeat Heartbeat’s latest release HOLD ON.
Hold On has a chill, funky feel. There are no power ballads, no hard-core wub-wubs. What we have here is an album of 9 uplifting tracks melding together a unique blend of chip-funk with classical elements making for an intriguing release that is absolutely worth your time.
What impresses me the most about HOLD ON is how Breakbeat Heartbeat has delivered a musical bob-and-weave of acoustic with electric that ensures both sounds have their day in the sun, but never at the expense of the other. Make no mistake, the choice to combine chiptune bleepy-bloops with deep acoustic sounds is a risky proposition. Too much chip and the instrumentals sound forced. Too much instrumental and the chip comes off as a gimmicky afterthought. Chiptune has the tendency to sound harsh when forced to play nice with traditional instrumentals, but that’s simply not the case here. The result is a unique mix that is polished, elegant and deserves some serious name-your-price love.
HOLD ON shines in the center of a chip/acoustic venn diagram playing off the lighthearted nature of chiptune and a natural depth drawn from classical instruments that offers a lot of room for exploration. Some tracks do less to innovate than others with “The Time Is Right” and “On My Own” offering a consistent loop of chill beats without pushing the envelope. Tracks “Night”, “Roads” and “Flashback” act as the tentpoles of the album, taking the fusion to its peak with an intriguing use of classical violin, piano and bass guitar respectively for a classical/funk/chip mix that underscores Breakbeat Heartbeat’s ability to combine wheelhouses.
(I just Googled wheelhouse and discovered the term is in reference to the individual swinging range or sweet spot within a baseball player’s strike zone. THE MORE YOU KNOW.)
It’s worth mentioning that if you’re unfamiliar with Breakbeat Heartbeat, there are two previous releases that also explore the fusion of chip with acoustic styles available on Breakbeat’s Bandcamp titled 22:06 (which, interesting fact, was originally released on Andrew Kilpatrick’s blog/label The Waveform Generators) and DELTA. It’s fascinating to be able to listen to those two albums and hear the leaps and strides Breakbeat Heartbeat has made honing this unique style. With such growth apparent from these three releases, Breakbeat Heartbeat is definitely a rising talent.
I love the pay-what-you-want business model, by the way. I personally believe that there should not be a financial barrier between people and experiencing music. Supporting the artist if you have the means is absolutely vital and if you can afford it, you should pay them. But with the pay-what-you-want model, that payment is more than a transfer of funds for a product, it’s a “thank you”. I think that’s an important distinction. Music as “the gift given” instead of “the product sold” bridges the gap between artist and fan.
Breakbeat Heartbeat’s HOLD ON is a gift given. Take a listen below, then go say thank you.
Pixel Recall ~ (R. Morgan Slade) ~ Support the artists you love :)