Whatup ChipWIN! Been too long. Having had a lot of time to ponder over this next review, I really wanted to explore a unique facet of talent among the community. There’s a ton of creative material out there being produced at an exponentially increasing rate, and while that’s incredibly awesome, it isn’t without a sense of struggle. The more material equals the more time listening which equals a more specific approach to writing these reviews. You can’t write it exactly the same way every time, variation is key. And while I’m sure you’re reading this because either you’re genuinely interested in a proficient artist or because you just like reading about all things chiptune, just know that I hope you all gain a new perspective, and challenge yourselves to find music that’s outside of your comfort zone. Gain new, different ideas about music you wouldn’t normally listen to.
Through endless searching and a few suggestions thrown my way, here we are, reviewing ‘Insomnia‘ by tiasu.
Sup y’all? =) President Hoodie here, excited to introduce our multi-writer, full track-by-track breakdown of our latest compilation, “CheapBeats = WIN“, a fantastic collaborative release between CheapBeats & ChipWIN!
Yes, it’s another all-in-one review featuring multiple writers from the blog, much likewe did for TWG’s ACC release. In other words, time to review ALL OF THE THINGS. 8-)
My silly little introduction completed, let’s move onward to the first 5 track reviews by the decidedly dashing DjjD!Enjoy!
Yesterday the CWB’s First Lady Ryn, the resident Chiptune Newb and Chip Mom, guided you through the first six tracks on the Chiptunes = WIN Volume 3 compilation album, and today our very own PixelRecall, the man responsible for the monthly “Sladerfluous” reviews & interviews, covers the next batch of five tunes below!
In my time here as a blogger, I’ve had the opportunity to choose my own album reviews, chat with some really great artists, and explore creative opportunities I would’ve otherwise been unable to without the help of Chiptunes = WIN. For this entry, I called upon another chip advocate, my girlfriend. At some point in the middle of – I think – a discussion about programming, I asked her, “If you had to choose one chiptune album to listen to, what would it be?” Puzzled, she searched around her hard drive for the next few minutes and came back to me. On one hand I have to say, I’m not entirely surprised at the choice she had made. On the other hand, I’m glad it was another album released through Ubiktune.
That’s right, the Ubiktune love train keeps-a-flowin’ in this article. I really can’t help myself, it’s too much goodness for one label. With that, the decision was made. She chose ‘Wintertunes‘, a compilation of chill and refreshing tunes from 11 different artists.
You have quite a full range of tunes to choose from on this one. Whether it’s light and fun, or darker with a much more ominous tone, the mixture of things is quite pleasant, save for a few tracks.
The album starts out perfectly, “Magic Snow is White and Slow“, generates a light-hearted, whimsical resonancewith a flute-like chip that embraces the brisk, invigorating draft just as you take that first breath outside, just before the sun rises. The impact of it all sends a chill down your spine and by the second track, the sun has set; you’re in survival mode battling harsh arctic conditions and yetis as the snow waves crash over the mountainside. You can almost picture a wind sample playing the background. *end wind.wav*
Derris-Kharlan’s track “Reconciliation” feels like the conclusion of the odyssey even though it’s the 4th track on the album. It’s a great tune, but feels very unnatural in the course of the album. ‘Cough Syrup Overdose’ wins the top spot in the album for me. Jazzy? Yes. Chiptunes? Yes. Chord progressions a plenty, this tune certainly goes all over the place; it’s lively, easy to groove to. It’s like if Vince Guaraldi had access to a tracker, this would be some of the music represented in the Peanuts NES game.
Bordering on 4 years old, if you’ve never heard this albumsince it’s release back in 2010, you’re missing out. Each song has its own unique essence to bring to the table, and while some of the songs might feel weird from time to time, it’s an enjoyable album. With lots of very talented artists such as Blitz Lunar, coda & surasshu, and a $0 price tag, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get this. I’ve listened to this for years and since I haven’t seen any reviews of it online, this is my gift to you. Please hold your applause.
But seriously, today’s my girlfriend’s birthday. Happy birthday, Parvathi, ya 23 year old goofball. :)
Thanks for reading.
P.S. This will be my last article for a month or so, gonna take a small hiatus for makin’ more music. \m/
Hey all, DjjD here. Whether you’re a chiptune fanatic or someone who prefers massive, epic sounding anthems, there’s probably a very big chance you’ve heard of Jimmy Hinson a.k.a. Big Giant Circles. As a major influence of mine, this is an article I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. His music? Excellent. Those who know him have nothing but high praise for the man. For over a decade he’s been contributing numerous video game remixes and original material; his presence in various communities has not gone unnoticed. He has been a judge in OverClocked Remix and worked on major AAA games, all while contributing to various groups such as Desert Bus for Hope and Songs For The Cure.
Back in Sept. 2013, Jimmy unveiled his plan to unleash a Kickstarter campaign to crowd-fund his new album. The concept was sound and the album was already finished before the campaign had begun. This allowed him to create various perks and a promotional video. However, ‘The Glory Days’ being a spiritual sequel to ‘Imposter Nostalgia’, I’d be lying if I said my expectations weren’t ridiculously high. That being said, with BGC what we see with every album he generates are the products of a dynamic, evolving artist. Sure, this isn’t strictly chiptune but, this 21-track compendium of rich, thick, and slick tunes is sure to fill your nostalgic appetite with a wide array of melodic bliss.
Taken from Ubiktune: “As Jimmy explains, “The Glory Days, as the name suggests is a 2-way perspective of game music and life. Naturally, the first part is reflecting back on those days where my daily worries consisted of getting past the boss on level 4 or collecting enough coins or beating the game with a record number of extra lives. And as I relive those Glory Days, I remember that back then I used to sit and fantasize about what life would be like in 10 or 20 years.”
To me that implies, it was his intention to create a sentimental trip down memory lane and explore the human connection with how video games are an integrated part of life. Ideas to memories, story-driven albums are a powerful thing. When you spark an idea, and travel down the paths it leads you, you’ll be amazed to find out how complicated and intricate that one concept can become. I genuinely believe this album brings people together in a special way.
There’s such a huge lineup of awesome songs here. It’s no coincidence, there’s some straight up tributes to specific video games here. “Wintory Fresh,” while bearing the last name of another video game composer, took me to familiar aqueous environments for at least a few brief moments. With all this said I can’t really decide on a favorite track and I’m sure if you’ve yet to listen, you’ll share this same dilemma soon enough. There’s just so much good in this, it’ll require multiple playthroughs. If I absolutely had to choose though, it would be between “Houston” and “Vindicate Me“. One of them is an growing phenomenon that, to me, feels like an evolution of sound. It’s an ever-changing entity for just over 5 minutes; a euphoric narration of organic, subtle development.
This is – hands down – one of the best albums I’ve heard this year so far, and as it’s been for the past several years, I always look forward to what Jimmy is coming up with next. This is one of the longest albums I’ve reviewed and it was a pleasure to listen to. Track by track, I was amazed by how much diversity was presented in every single tune. None of the tracks ever felt like a hassle; it was all smooth as butter. I highly recommend this album to anyone taking a long journey or for looking back at your life; reminiscing on the good times, the once in a lifetime opportunities, and thinking about the people you’ve met along the way. Take it from me, it’s how I felt 2 days ago when I went to Video Games Live for the first time in 9 years.