Have your musical tastes left you unable to interact with your family? Do people tell you that it sounds like you just strung together an unintelligible series of words when you describe what genre of music you’re listening to? Do you need a really, really chill deep house album composed on various FM synths by one of the best musicians in our circles who thinks he can hide by using a pen name? Then congrats, because ‘Coastal Breese’ by Local T under the new Pen Name label is exactly what you need to kick your warmer months off right.
I’ve always had a fascination with how sounds are interpreted by other people; is it too rough, too high or too intense? Why do people like it? That’s because, in the end, and as almost everything else, music is communication. Sometimes, even without noticing it, I have ended up with my nose between sounds I didn’t fully comprehend at the first listen. Of course, the wrong context could ruin your enjoyment of some music, but there are some albums that seem to remain unchanged regardless of where you listen. That is the case with Ca5’s music. The urban landscapes with shades of drum and bass stand by its own and go straight to the point; whether you are at a rave, in the waiting room of your dentist, or enjoying the afternoon coffee. So let’s take a look over ‘City EP’ by Ca5 released through Esctrax.
Two and a half years ago, I had the honor of reviewing an album that heavily altered my perception of chipmusic. That album was ‘GLITCH’ by LukHash, and its smooth fusion of genres blew me away; so much so that it became a permanent addition to my playlists. While I missed reviewing the musical artisan’s October 2018 release, ‘GHOSTS’, he’s quickly come out with yet another mindblowing, genre-defying release with ‘BETTER THAN REALITY’. Plug in your headphones and prepare yourself…this is one hell of a ride.
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 very rare that I get to announce that one of my favorite acts has come back from the dead, but mark my words – like a sleeper agent activated by a numbers station broadcasting for the first time in years, The National Broadcast Network has started transmitting again. And my friends, the signal is strong.
DDRKirby(ISQ) has composed an absolutely obscene amount of quality tunes over the past decade and a half, and is a long-standing member of both the OCRemix and chipmusic communities. Predominantly composing music for a series of themed game competitions called the ‘Ludum Dare’ series, DDRKirby(ISQ) and friends have created dozens of these small, entertaining, browser-based games. With this competition being held once every six months, a colossal amount of material has been composed; DDRKirby(ISQ) has graciously compiled what they consider to be their best hits over the past few years. From video game remixes to original compositions, the album is simply packed full of memorable music!