Hey, all you chipfans out there! It’s been a hot minute because a lot of HUGE things have been happening in my life [Editor’s note: congrats to Aydan on getting married! ♥], but I’m back with an OST review hot off the press! Dizzy Knight is a mobile game released in October 2018, and is highly reminiscent of SNES adventure games, both in graphical aesthetic and in its music. When Norrin Radd released the soundtrack a little longer than two weeks ago on Bandcamp, I knew I’d heard his name somewhere, and upon further sleuthing discovered that he’d written a track for one of the greatest chipmusic compilations ever released, ‘Noisechan and Nugget: Adventures in Chiptunes’. As evidenced by his SoundCloud and Bandcamp portfolio, he specializes in writing highly polished OST music; however, in his own liner notes, he reveals that the tracks on the ‘Dizzy Knight OST’ are more raw in nature. Let’s see what’s in store for us on this OST!
This month’s edition of ‘What’s on Tap?’ combines three of my favorite things into one deliciously awesome cornucopia: video games, breakfast, and beer. VGM veteran Pete Ellison returns to the soundtrack world with #Breakforcist, a breakfast-themed brick breaking collaboration with Kevin John at Lucid Sheep Games. Demonic waffles fall from the sky and your task is to destroy them by any means necessary, augmenting your ball with bacon lasers and pancakes. #Breakforcist is currently available on iOS devices, with an Android port coming in the near future. In addition to the soundtrack, Pete did the artwork for the game and you can unlock iMessage stickers by progressing through the levels. Play this game for ten minutes and the only person more enthusiastic about breakfast than you is Leslie Knope:
Musically, #Breakforcist sits squarely in an uncanny valley between retro gaming and contemporary music production. Soundfonts resembling the SNES and Dreamcast-era classics mix freely with Absynth-like patches and filters, wrapped up in a tight and clean package. Although designed for handheld devices, the #Breakforcist soundtrack plays well through laptops, headphones, and normal speaker setups – a testament to Pete’s solid production skills. The soundtrack has a common theme of uptempo, danceable grooves to keep the player’s energy high, but there are a surprisingly wide variety of sounds from beginning to end. The more ambient tracks function well as both background music and standalone pieces, with several standout melodies and funky basslines to keep the listener engaged. Perhaps the most unique portion of the soundtrack are Pete’s tracks that utilize the sexy vocaloid known here as Cyber Diva. If you are having trouble envisioning this sound, imagine Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Superman’ with a thumping backbeat and lyrics about waffles instead of nuclear war.
Now, let’s bust out the maple syrup and dig into some of these sweet tunes, shall we?
Hello and welcome to the October edition of ‘What’s on Tap?’ Your host is very excited about this month’s pairing as they are two of my favorite things – new music by Norrin_Radd and the double IPA. Both of these selections push the envelope of their style and are unique, intense experiences. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Matt Creamer is the mad genius behind the moniker Norrin_Radd, and his music has been influential to me in the years since I first heard his album ‘Anomaly’. His musical style tends to lean towards progressive rock and thrash metal, with plenty of complicated riffs and sudden mood shifts. Matt takes plenty of musical risks that usually pay off; where other artists might not explore such diversity in a short track, his music always seems to have a coherent trajectory.
The soundtrack for ‘Treasure Buster’ benefits from this approach, as most of the tracks are well under two minutes and still manage to cover a wide array of musical territory. ‘Treasure Buster’ is a game for iOS (and Android soon) developed by Reggie Schrieber with Pixel Licker Studios, described as ‘Zelda 1 meets pinball’ in the style of 90’s Capcom arcade games. While this review covers the music, I highly encourage you to follow this link to read more about the game and check out the videos!
Have you ever wanted to be a VJ? Christian “Decktonic” Montoya has been developing GIF Jockey for over a year to help interested parties answer that question. Decktonic feels pretty strongly about the current state of VJ software, describing them as requiring a “computer science degree to even make sense of”. This observation drove the development of the software, with Decktonic wanting there to be an option that is accessible to everyone from total beginners to seasoned pros.
When it releases, GIF Jockey will be available for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. Past the fold, I’ll be taking the Desktop demo of GIF Jockey for a spin.