Posts Tagged ‘Gab Pearson’

Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 3 [Tracks 17 – 21]

Posted by

Welcome fellow chip friends and fiends to the continuing coverage of Chiptunes = WIN Volume 3! Joseph Eidson here to discuss tracks 17-21, all of which continue the tradition of awesomeness on this compilation. It is an interesting and exciting challenge to try and summarize five very different artists with their own unique approaches to chip music: the extreme variety is one of the things that I really enjoy about listening to this album as a whole. (more…)

‘Anti-Chiptune Chiptune’ Compilation via The Waveform Generator

Posted by

Sup y’all? Prez Hoodie here. And Viridian Forge. And Chris Krogsgard. And FirstLadyRyn. Yup, that’s right: all four of us are tag-teaming this 19 artist/track review of The Waveform Generator’s wonderfully quirky debut compilation ‘Anti-Chiptune Chiptune‘ (ACC for short). Teamwork, BOOYAH!

And on that note, time for me to get things rollin’ with a review of the first five jams.
Here goes!

1. ‘Synergy’ by Kubbi

Ever the master of the immersive chiptune soundscape, Kubbi kicks this compilation off with an epic ferocity. ‘Synergy’ brings something a bit stylistically different than his “usual” however — a bit more frenetic & minimalist, particularly at the start. It harkens back to earlier Kubbi-tunes, yet manifests his current more experienced compositional chops throughout. Very complete, emotive, beautiful; in a word, Kubbi.

2. ‘King’ by Vegas Diamond

‘King’ is yet another fine example of Vegas Diamond’s signature hard driven, experimental hip hop styled chiptune. Even for him, however, this dark track goes damn hard; potentially moreso than even anything on his sophomore EP ‘Hyper‘. Punishing rhythms + grimy basswork + gritty layers of melodic leads = maximum #SWAG. Or at least I think that’s what the kids would call it as they headbanged while twerking (jk no one do that, please…).

3. ‘Polar’ by Nappes

Completely changing the pace, Nappes’ ‘Polar’ comes in with a nice downtempo vibe. But not too “nice”; it’s an altogether haunting track, especially as the unsettling, somewhat dissonant melody interweaves its way in and out. It leaves me feeling quite unsettled, and I really, really dig it. The lush, pulsating textures and sense of depth & space in this song are very appealing. On a side note, this is the musical alias of of Pxl-Bot & Weekly Treats‘ Alex Kelly, of whom I didn’t even know made music until this point, hot damn! (moar music pls alex kthxbai).

4. ‘Superball’ by Alex Mauer

This very aptly titled jam with its delightfully whimsical sound design from notable chiptune & demoscene composer, Alex Mauer, is quite jarring on the heels of the previous more ethereal piece. And it’s on that note that I start to really feel the “anti-chiptune chiptune” quirk of this compilation kick in. As soon as you think you’re settling in with Kubbi, Vegas Diamond, & Nappes, you get hit smack in the face with a handful of musical bouncy balls. Gotta love it.

5. ‘alcaline pizza [remix]’ by Gab Pearson

Gab’s contribution to ‘ACC’ is an absolutely fantastic remix of his previously released ‘alcaline pizza’ (original can be found on the ‘Pxl-Win’ compilation). The significant tempo change and altered instrument selection gives it a completely different feel from the original; definitely more of a jazz & swing feel to it. There’s a fair deal more gravity to this remix as well. While I enjoyed the original, I thoroughly love this rearrangement. It’s easily one of my favorite tracks on this compilation.

Up to review the next five tracks is Viridian Forge! Go for it, bud!

6. ‘death trebuchet’ by sandneil

Tempo, volume, pitch, feel, varying any of these is fair game during this two-minute foray into the experimental. The big surprise? It is good. To the chagrin of stereotypes everywhere, dissonant instruments, plus slightly creepy backmasked voices, and random explosions of noise have been combined into an enjoyable musical experience. Someone ought to give sandneil a medal.

7. ‘farming hand’ by wailord

The dissonance doesn’t stop there though, as wailord hovers at the threshold of hearing, whispering a distressing melody in the ear. Multiple tempo changes only serve to heighten the alarm. With environmentals like this, just where is this farming hand? On the outskirts of Lavender Town?

8. ‘NEVER LOG OUT///////NEVER SURRENDER’ by AndaruGO

Recent adventures have proven that Andrew Gould will never quit in the pursuit of chiptasticness. This track is an auditory embodiment of that attitude. A hard, mind-focusing grunge noise dominates the track, but the melody can never be fully swallowed by it. Its energy is always there with a clear message: No matter the odds you face down, No matter the opposition in your path, Never give up, Never surrender.

9. ‘jan{  {  {{  { 3’ by Fauxhound

With his entry to the compilation, New Zealand native Jos van Beek’s is retiring his alias, Fauxhound. This track is fitting capstone to the identity’s run. Solid compositional skill takes otherwise repetitive noise samples and turns them into a toe-tapping track demanding some chill danceage.

10. ‘NES CPU Jam Special Vol, Side A (Take 1)’ by DJ NORTON ANTIVIRUS

Standing head, shoulder, knees and toes above their namesake, DJ NORTON ANTIVIRUS’ showing on the compilation is nothing short of jaw dropping. This piece of semi-experimental excellence is, in a nutshell, the product of arcade wizardry. Using an unspecified recording device, NES emulator, HEX editor, and that sheer insanity required to play around in the HEX editor in real time, this track is a shining example of good art from good hacking.

And now I pass the ball onto Chris Krogsgard! Take it away, good sir!

11. ‘LIPPSTIKK’ by KOOL SKULL

The multi-talented artist KOOLSKULL contributes an excellent glitch house track to the compilation. An ominous lead works in tandem with some severely glitched-out bass to create a track as dark as it is danceable. Remarkable mixing/mastering is at work here as well which brings different elements to the forefront at wisely chosen times. I like to imagine that ‘LIPPSTIKK’ is what the nurses from Silent Hill groove to in the club after-hours, and you can’t take that away from me.

12. ‘miamiflush’ by spaceaser

Always-experimental spaceaser serves up ‘miamiflush’, containing a delightful little earworm of a melody that asks the question: “Why not glide?” While it’s a brief track that gets its job done quickly, it sticks with you and remains as one of my favorites of this compilation’s many wondrous oddities.

13. ‘Rattata’s Moment’ by Love Through Cannibalism

Chipbreak master Love Through Cannibalism offers up ‘Rattata’s Moment’, a challenging track that emphasizes the percussiveness of the lead repeating note over its own wickedly intricate breakbeats. This seemingly unintuitive approach to song composition is what makes it a perfect addition to the ‘Anti-Chiptune Chiptune’ compilation. Give it a few listens, and your “WTF did I just hear?” will quickly change to “I see what he did there.”

14. ‘OKdumpster.com’ by HunterQuinn

There are no two ways about it, ‘OKDumpster’ is an absolute showstopper. In it, HunterQuinn dispenses with all the frilly 8-bit woo-woo elements of chipmusic and cuts straight to the good stuff. Grungy, gutteral bass and powerful builds combine with the rolling sting of the noise channel and a multitude of additional glitches and samples to create a rousing ACC. The white hot energy of this track is most effectively paired with imagery of galaxies being created and destroyed.

15. ‘You Gotta Go’ by Guardia

Coming off the heels of such an intense track, we are deftly caught by the graceful tones and pillowy percussion of Guardia’s ‘You Gotta Go’. Guardia is no stranger to TWG. Having released his impeccable experimental album ‘Imprints‘ with them, his reputation precedes him here. Guardia further displays his skills and crafts a cool, dreamy, melodic landscape. Equally soothing and eclectic, the track provides a delightful and warm respite to the listener before the compilation’s further twists and turns.

Last, but certainly not least, in comes FirstLadyRyn to review the final four tracks!

16. ‘golden’ by MrWimmer

There is something wonderfully off-putting about this track.  The feel is somewhat like that of a topsy-turvy circus.  The place is well beyond its hayday, the banners are tattered, and the good performers have moved on to bigger and better things.  Left behind is the lonely circus clown, desperate to entertain the few circus-goers, but the unsettling, layered textures of his song only succeed in convincing the young children that, ‘No, Mommy, I don’t want to go hug the clown’.

17. ”v’;;)_–==T’ by ilkae & meek

Continuing the ambiance of the previous track, ilkae & meek create an intricately layered piece with this entry.  Clocking in at over 10 minutes, this song borders on the repetitive. However, by varying the samples and tempo, the track’s experimentation makes it worth the time spent listening all the way to completion.

18. ‘numb’ by aaceeprss

‘numb’ is aptly named.  The drone of the static is eerily similar to the background noise recorded in the emptiness of the universe. As your mind grapples with the vastness of that void it would be easy to let it disconnect, to unplug for fear of being overwhelmed. If you’re not careful you could become numb. Don’t let yourself wander too far, though, because then you’ll miss out on the subtle melody hidden in the deep beyond.

19. ‘Activation Theme [Bit Shifter Cover]’ by +LET’S DISINFECT!+

Without +LET’S DISINFECT!+’s punk rock aesthetic, this classic from Bit Shifter would have been just too damn happy for this comp.  But its not too happy!  Up tempo? Yes. But, it’s up tempo the way that your local Irish Pub is after a rowdy soccer game.  It’s just flipping perfect.  Somewhere between the gritty cymbal crashes and the plucky acoustic guitar, this track just screams, ‘F*ck this, lets go get a pint’.  A perfect closing to the album, Mr. Monistat gleefully rounds us all up to dive into our favorite beer hole and celebrate the brilliant project that he and the rest of these artists brought together.

The Waveform Generator:
Blog | BandcampFacebook

CW-logo-redux-larger