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Chip Bit Sid Takes on: TRUTHR – ‘Self titled’

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Hey guys, it’s been a while but I’m back and I’m reviewing Henry Homesweet’s latest inclination, ‘TRUTHR‘ and his self titled EP. I’ve been a huge fan of Henry Homesweet and his music, ever since he released his album, ‘Luke’s Atari’, and have since been following any music released under both his primary pseudonym and the various other names he’s released material under (e.g: 2a0xCYMBA, Essential Chip, Yeon).

Instead of the usual Nanoloop escapades we generally see with Henry Homesweet, he’s opted to use the soundchip from the classic ‘Commodore 64’ as the machine for TRUTHR’s music. This is something I’ve liked with Henry, as I too like to push myself and experiment with hardware (I’m always trying to further refine my style). Through his different pseudonyms, he’s experimented with various equipment, from using a NES with ‘2a0x‘, to using an Amiga with ‘Yeon‘. Both are different in style but very high in quality.

Getting in meat of the review, TRUTHR’s first opening track’s called, ‘Astro Ivory’ and feels almost ‘vaporwave-like‘, both in its wispy notes and keys, as well as it’s distorted sampling and slow tempo. All are closely linked to the genre. Focussing on instruments, there are certain sounds that really jump out at you, most notably the bass, with its pulsating vibes moving from left to right. It’s also the glue that holds track together, as it’s the most used hook through the track. Another fantastic pick is the melodic hook through the chorus, It’s staccato rhythm almost giving the vibes that we’re in ‘ancient china’. ‘Astro Ivory’ is a great track, however for me it’s one of the weeker songs. Not because it’s not powerful, but the last two tracks are probably my favourites (I’ll get to them later).

As we move towards TRUTHR’s second track, ‘Chem Moon’, the vibes of ‘Astro Ivory’ are quickly forgotten. Instead replaced with more a sinister style, relating to likes of ‘Hip hop’ and ‘track’, mainly down the focus on the beat and rhythm and rather the melodic, which is pretty much absent. I feel ‘Chem Moon’ calls back to a lot of Henry’s housey music, primarily under his title, ‘2a0x‘ and the EP ‘Ambush’. Certain tracks like, ‘$4020’ and pAPU, really mirror what Henry has done on ‘Chem Moon’. That said, I don’t think this song hit a chord with me like the rest, I feel it was slightly monotonous at times (and yes I know house is like that).

‘Paradise 500’ is the third track off, ‘TRUTHR’ and I would say this is one of my favourites off the EP; mainly because it sounds like nothing Henry has ever done before. However it also has me raise a very big question…how does one create such a track on just a C64 soundchip? Well, from what we’ve seen from the likes of ‘Harleylikesmusic‘, it probably look a lot of creativity and initiative! This track was definitely inspired from trips on the beaches and sunny towns abroad, as the thumping melody and key-changes scream ‘palm trees and searing sun whilst driving down a long road’. The song is also well paced, with certain parts turning the energy down. This allows for a delicate ensemble of clavs and snares to sound out, whilst the keys hum underneath. ‘Paradise 500’ is definitely one of those tracks to add to your summer playlist.

The last track, and probably one that everyone will recite as their favourite, is ‘Earth II’. Again, I would say this is another of my favourite picks; I just keep thinking how does one make this kind of music on the soundchip of a c64? As soon as you listen to ‘Earth II’, it immediately sounds like that of a laptop track. Each melody and sound is like a warm and satisfying wave that hits you in such a way. Like ‘Paradise 500’, Henry has gone for a different take in making songs, using a more rather progressive angle, building upon its layers as it goes forward. Listening to the whole track, ‘Earth II’ feels as if Henry has taken a lot of inspiration from the soundscape genre, as well as various scfi soundtrack scores, such as Blade Runner or Gravity.

Although only a 4 track EP, each song, feels as if it is its own certain style, with entire album feeling as if it was huge experimentation to see what Henry could do. First we have ‘Astro Ivory’ with, ‘Vaporwave‘; Second, is Chem Moon which takes on Hip Hop and Trap; Third is ‘Paradise 500’, that takes on, Dance and EDM; and finally we the forth track, ‘Earth II’ which takes on soundscapes and soundtracks. Although these genres are completely different to each other, they do have a couple of things in common; namely the soundchip used as well as Henry’s standout musical style (more so in his melodies and solos which, tend to be slow). Both speak volumes throughout the EP, and allow it to become one rather than a collection of tracks. For me TRUTHR has become another mesmerising standpoint in Henry Homesweet’s musical journey since the 00s.

If you wish to check out below Henry’s other artist names and his releases, I’ve left links below to them below.

2a0x –  Ambush, Data3000 | Yeon – In The Flow | Henry Homesweet – Tape Tone, Lukes Atari, Box Model, Flex out, Archaic Revival, Tombland, Palm Trance, Enter 5D | Essential Chip – TRUTHR, Essential Mixes 2016 etc

Henry Homesweet
Website | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook 


This has been a blog post from Chip Bit Sid, a UK based Chiptune Blogger. Along with monthly features here on The ChipWIN Blog, I post once a week on my own blog. To get in touch, please message via the social media links below! I also do my own music under the banner as ‘Kojin’.

BlogTwitter | Facebook | Kojin | Soundcloud

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Aydan Appreciates: ‘Cosmic Diaspora’ by Shnabubula

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One of the first albums I listened to during my transition from a hardcore VGM fan to a chiptune madman was Shnabubula’s classic ‘NES JAMS‘. The album combined many of the elements that I love in music – improvisation, soft piano tones, and a certain sense of nostalgia, even for games that I had never played. Shnabubula had already cemented himself in my mind as one of the most innovative artists I’d heard once I finished listening through the album for the first time. Fast forward to May of this year, five years from the release of this iconic album, and Shnabubula has unveiled his most extravagant work yet, ‘Cosmic Diaspora’, a progressive-fusion suite with heavy SNES-esque instrumentation. Let us witness this journey in all of its splendor together.

 

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Sladerfluous Reviews: ‘Brigador, Up-Armored EP’

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‘Brigador, Up-Armored EP’ delivers heavy-duty rockin’ neo-80’s cyberpunk dreamwave by the mech-load.

‘Brigador, Up-Armored EP’ is at times post-apocalyptic ambience, and others a swell of in-the-thick-of-it cyberpunk espionage. Narrative threads weave tales of a government in need of overthrowing and missions involving mech-based anarchy through spoken narrations, enriching and evolving ‘Brigador, Up-Armored EP’s themes above tonal speculation. Tumultuousness oozes from track to track with thematic ease, and deliver distilled dreamwave you’re going to love.

Choose the mechanized horror of your discontent, strap in, and stride guns blazing into the full review of ‘Brigador, Up-Armored EP’!

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Aydan Appreciates: ‘Random Smash Hits’ by Yoann Turpin

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Keyboardist, composer, and chipmusician Yoann Turpin has seen a number of his works featured in the ChipWIN community, be it his submission to the ChipWINter compilation, 2014’s ‘FriendChip’, or 2015’s ‘Chip Songbook Vol. 6’. His music is known throughout our niche for its funky vibes, his phenomenal work on the keys, and jazzy, improvisational solos that’re all ingredients for truly gorgeous music. His latest release, ‘Random Smash Hits’, is a collection of three short weeks’ worth of Turpin’s aural artwork. As if the sheer quantity of music he’s released in the last two years wasn’t enough to turn heads, the speed with which this album was composed and mastered is astounding.

So let’s see what chiptune chart-topping pieces lie in wait!

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Chip Bit Sid Takes on: Mega Ran & Guests “Live at the Castle Hotel”

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Last month I was given exclusive tickets to go and see ‘Mega Ran live’ in Manchester at the ‘Castle Hotel’, courtesy of my chiptune buddy, ‘Auracle’. Auracle would also be opening for the Arizona-based rapper. I’d seen’ Mega Ran’ a few times already; twice at Superbyte and then again when he opened for ‘MC Lars’. However, I couldn’t pass this up as the ‘Castle Hotel’  is one of the smallest venues in townwhich gives its concerts a real, personal vibe. Getting up close and personal with Ran and his impeccable openers was definitely a sell straight away for me.

For those who don’t know Mega Ran, he is one of the big rappers of Chiptune and Nerdcore, starting off by spewing videogame inspired lyrics over a wide range of retro VGM songs. The majority of his tracks were inspired by Capcom games like ‘Mega Man’ (shock) however ‘Final Fantasy’ is also heavily referenced too.

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