It’s that chiptastic time of the year again! The long-awaited ‘Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 8’ has finally arrived! Newcomers and veterans from across the globe unite to bring us some of the best chipmusic of the year! Join us as we review the compilation in its entirety!
Welcome to the fall edition of What’s On Tap! Cooler weather pairs nicely with cool tunes and the first fall seasonal beers this month – let’s rock!
Cambridge-based musician Jellica is a veteran of the chip scene, having released 14+ EP/LP online, running the Kittenrock netlabel, and performing live both in the United Kingdom and abroad. Jellica’s style is somewhat fluid between releases, moving deftly between various genres of electro-pop oriented sounds.
Released on August 31st, Jellica’s newest offering ‘Retrotech Romance’ is a masterclass in SID sounds, with dual Commodore 64 chips pumping out waves of intense textures and funky rhythms. An interesting aspect of this album is that it takes time – each track is at least 4:00 long and all evolve organically rather than using a standard verse/chorus approach. In the style of the American minimalist composers Philip Glass/Terry Riley/John C. Adams, musical events unfold over a series of minutes rather than seconds. Sometimes these are small nudges to the musical orbit rather than colossal impacts; the addition of a higher set of accompanying blips or a 7-tone melody that unfolds over twenty seconds. In our current environment of 140-character snippets, ‘Retrotech Romance’ closes out the summer with a marathon session of electronic jams.
Sup, ChipWINners, and welcome back to Quick Shots! This month, I have two very cheerful, funky albums from two very different parts of the globe to help kick off your summer right. One is from an artist who’s ready to go out with a bang, the other is from someone whose career is like a juggernaut: it just can’t be stopped! With that in mind, I cordially invite you to sit back, relax, and join me as I review music by veterans Super Robotic Encounters and Svetlana.
Nearly a year and a half has passed since the release of ‘THE OTHER SIDE’, LukHash’s most recent musical excursion. Kuma reviewed this album quite favorably in a Quick Shots article shortly after its release, and while I hadn’t heard much about LukHash prior to this, I became a huge fan and eagerly awaited an announcement for his next album. A track titled ‘Round the World’ was posted on his Facebook page last April, and I immediately knew that LukHash had something in the works. So when I got a message from Brandon last month saying that I’d be able to review his latest release, ‘GLITCH’, to coincide with its unleashing, I was pumped. For those who don’t know who I’m talking about, LukHash is a stellar chipmusician who fuses chiptune with electro and modern EDM to produce astonishingly hard-hitting beats. But enough of my rambling…let’s get right to it!
‘Autre’ by xyce is one of those “YOU GOT CHOCOLATE IN MY PEANUT BUTTER” moments if the peanut butter was a grassy meadow of adorable frolicking chip-bunnies and the chocolate was a giant head-bangin’ bridge troll shoulder-checking said bunnies into a mosh-pit style frenzy.
Get hooked with this intriguing mix with the title track ‘autre’, then jump into the article for a closer look at the full album ‘autre’ by xyce!
Welcome back to the regular edition of ‘Office Hours,’ where school is in full swing and fall weather is finally just around the corner. A great deal of quality chip music has released over the past six weeks, and today I have the privilege of reviewing a brand spankin’ new release from For Astronauts and Satellites titled ‘Then, By the Light of Our Own Creation.’
Released on September 12th via chipmusic netlabel extraordinaire Cheapbeats, ‘Then, By the Light of Our Own Creation’ is an ambitious blend of traditional chip sounds combining seamlessly with guitars and live drums to create a lush, inviting sonic landscape. Formed in 2013, For Astronauts and Satellites [F.A.A.S. henceforth] are a post-rock trio from London whose members have been playing together in various incarnations since 2002. One of my favorite things about this album is the way that the Game Boy and Commodore 64 blend seamlessly with the live instrumental elements in all six tracks. Many musicians who blend chip sounds with live instruments attempt to give equal attention to each layer, but often end up with somewhat unbalanced textures, such as ‘guitar solo + Game Boy percussion’ or ‘chip sounds crazygonuts + one guitar chord.’ F.A.A.S. appear to have mastered (no pun intended) a true balance between these disparate elements, and I would love to hear how the group handles these challenges in a live setting! Rest assured that the next time my wife and I are in London, we’ll be looking these lads up and hoping for a show.