Graz’s music catalog has been expanding slowly but surely over the last few years, with the release of multiple singles, EPs, and collaborations with other artists, in addition to a few features on our very own ChipWIN compilationsover the years. Through Orlando-based netlabel Tiny Waves, Graz has released his latest EP, ‘Next Level’, a five-track EP featuring two of his most recently released singles in ‘Need Ur Love’ and ‘Run It’. Let’s check it out!
Having been a long-standing member of the FlashFlashRevolution community, Kommisar was a name I had commonly encountered betwixt his music and simfile charting. Kommisar has contributed to ChipWIN in the past on more than a fewvolumes, with each track containing his legendary, patented jazzy ‘insaneous chiptune solos’. Recently he’s re-released a number of tunes in the form of an EP titled ‘Mercury’; each piece on the EP is impressive in its own right. The most impressive facet to his compositions is the fact that all of the pieces on ‘Mercury’ were written on 1xLSDJ; this is quite hard to believe considering the depth of each track on the EP! Now that we have the ability to listen to this in its entirety as intended, let’s revisit some of these amazing tunes!
Hey there, guys and gals! We’ve made it to the final five tracks of the Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 compilation, and what a journey it’s been. I had the honor of writing about the first tracks on the album, and now I also have the honor of providing a (hopefully) fitting closing set of track reviews. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Track #47: Drop – [GUN], Equip – [COOKIES] by Ethan Rex
Ethan Rex’s ChipWIN debut is one of those tracks that just makes you smile as you listen to it. The mood is set at the beginning of the track with a bright melody and skillfully accentuated percussion. Static-sounding effects feel like waves crashing on a shore, and helps the listener experience a kind of euphoria that would be experienced on a long-needed vacation. The song transitions into a more excited swing close to the end while still maintaining the overall vibe of the song. My favorite part of ‘Drop – [GUN], Equip – [COOKIES] would have to be the calmer midsection; it provides a pretty big contrast to the other parts of the song, and provides a really nice segue into the ending.
Track #48: Prom Fight by Weird Bananas
Swedish chipartist Weird Bananas has been producing music for some time, but ‘Prom Fight’ marks his entry into the ChipWIN community. A quieter percussion lets the hard-hitting leads develop throughout the song, although I thought at times the percussion was maybe a little bit too quiet for my tastes. The melody is incredibly catchy; I found myself humming along to it without even realizing I was doing so at first. I really enjoyed the differences in rhythm between the solos and the main melody of the track. Weird Bananas’ other works can be found on both his Bandcamp and has previously maintained a presence on 8BC; I’d highly recommend checking out some of his other tracks.
Track #49: Atomic Jill by Kommisar
If I had to pick one track on the compilation that could be considered my personal favorite, it would be this one. Yet another fellow member of the FlashFlashRevolution community, Kommisar also makes his ChipWIN debut in ‘Atomic Jill’. A heavy kick, intricate drum patterns, and absolutely phenomenal melodies are the bulk of the first half of the track. In the second half, Kommisar crafts a blistering solo that transitions seamlessly into a key change, and ends on a sudden, exciting note.
Track #50: Horus by Vegas Diamond
Vegas Diamond’s ‘Horus’ has an extremely distinct feel from the other tracks on the compilation. A majority of the songs on ChipWIN: Volume 2 are energetic and fast-paced. ‘Horus’, on the other hand, takes it down a notch and adds a layer of complexity in its peculiar, progressive-influenced melodies. Hip-hop inspired percussion also helps to give the track a truly unique sound. The track was, admittedly, a difficult listen for me the first time through. However, after having listened to it a second time, I realized just how much I appreciated its strange and mysterious tone.
Track #51: FM Galactic Girl by PROTODOME
The Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 compilation closes in a similar manner to Volume 1 – with a short, calming track by chiptune artist PROTODOME. This track, in my opinion, is a perfect ending to a marvelous album. The bouncy bassline to the track complements the main melody, and PROTODOME’s construction of arpeggios is something that I particularly enjoy throughout this track. Strangely enough, ‘FM Galactic Girl’ and ‘Four Color Hero’ – the closing track from Volume 1 – both run for 1 minute and 36 seconds. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!
This concludes The ChipWIN Blog team’s review of the Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 compilation. On behalf of the CWB, I’d like to extend our thanks to both everyone who made this compilation possible and to all of the members of the Chiptunes = WIN community for being so fantastic. I would personally like to thank each of the ChipWIN blog writers for the hard work they put into reviewing this compilation and keeping a steady stream of content for our wonderful readers like you, who deserve the biggest thanks of all! Stay tuned, as there’s plenty more goodness to come!
HEY EVERYONE. It’s been quite a while since I did my first guest write-up on this blog, which was a review of Kola Kid’s “Afterparty” EP. Since then, a number of fabulous chiptune albums and compilations have come into being. However, I’m certainly not afraid to say, as a long-standing fan of chiptune, that Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 is quite possibly the GREATEST CHIPTUNE COMPILATION EVER RELEASED. I’m going to be discussing the first six tracks from the album, so bear with me as I find the words to describe the sheer amount of excellence contained within each of them!
Track #1: Starpilot – Just The Right Amount of Whelm (Qubert Dancing The PaisleyUnderground)
Ah, Starpilot. Your unique take on chiptune music has always amazed me. Ever since listening to “Experimentalist” , I’ve known that there isn’t anyone else who can quite do what Starpilot can. This track is upbeat; “Just The Right Amount of Whelm (Qubert Dancing The Paisley Underground)” is one of the many tracks on the compilation that just makes you want to get up out of your seat and dance. It’s a track that makes you feel like you’re at a rave in space. As the opening track of the compilation, it’s the introduction to another fantastic chiptune journey.
Track #2: Theory of N – Buttdawg Funk
I didn’t know about Theory of N before listening to the strangely-yet-aptly titled “Buttdawg Funk”. The track has a very bouncy sound to it, and as a listener it’s almost impossible NOT to tap your foot to the beat. The solos in the song stand out quite a bit; they’re all incredibly well structured. Having checked out Theory of N’s Bandcamp after listening to “Buttdawg Funk”, I can say that each one of his tracks are definitely worth a look. I also discovered that Theory of N is an OCRemixer who’s been around for quite a long time!
Track #3: Petriform – Heliofluid
“Heliofluid” is catchy, and makes great use of non-chip sounds as a support to the leads. Exciting and fast-paced, the music switches flawlessly from exciting to mellow and really entertained me as a listener. The minimal use of kick in the opening focuses the listener on the chip leads. Given Petriform’s hard-hitting, modern twist on chiptune, I wouldn’t be surprised if he hits it BIG in the future. Petriform has also delved into writing music for a number of different genres, including noise, drum ‘n’ bass, and IDM; his talents aren’t only seen in the chip community.
Track #4: Mark ‘TDK’ Knight – Hoovering With A Hangover
Mark ‘TDK’ Knight isn’t a stranger to the ChipWIN community; he previously appeared on chipWINter with his brilliant track “Sunrise”. “Hoovering With A Hangover” sounds like it could be a custom file you’d see in a rhythm game such as In The Groove. Mark’s masterful command of chiptune melodies really shines through in this song; the main melody is incredibly composed , and the build-up in the intro is extremely well done. Additionally, his musical composition skills haven’t gone unnoticed; he has been employed by a number of large companies, including Konami, Warner Brothers, and Crytek, just to name a few. To top all of that off, he has received a number of awards from BAFTA; his first was awarded to him in 2000, and he has continued to shine since.
Track #5: The One Electronic – ♥∞
A fellow member of the FlashFlashRevolution community and a notable artist within the Piko Piko Detroit community, The One Electronic (aka iPatcH) makes his ChipWIN debut on the Volume 2 compilation. His song, “♥∞”, feels slower and calmer than the previous tracks, which sets it apart from many other songs on the compilation. It’s mellow and happy, and the melody is quite catchy. The common changes in lead sounds are a welcome addition and really give the track its own unique feel.
Monomer’s presence in the chiptune community is not long-standing, but the quality of the music he’s produced is wonderful. His most recent album release, “Quite Operational”, was released through the massive chiptune netlabel Ubiktune, and garnered a massive amount of attention. His track, “Dastardly Deeds (feat. Yoann Turpin)”, feels funky and improvised, with a similar sound to fellow Ubiktune artist Shnabubula. The solos in the song are phenomenal, fusing perfectly ideas from chiptune and funk, whilst adding his own twist.
Keep your eyes peeled next week for the next installment of The ChipWIN Blog Volume 2 coverage! Stay classy, everyone.