Posts Tagged ‘joy’

Paul’s Pantry: Chip Tanaka – ‘Django’

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[Editor’s note: I nearly un-retired from review writing to cover this magnificent new release composed by one of my original childhood inspirations; Tanaka-san’s Metroid OST is largely responsible for initially engaging my interests in both VGM and chip, if not music in general! I’m glad I didn’t, however, as Paul has done a marvelous job conveying his own enthusiasm and appreciation for ‘Django’ as a chipmusic composer himself. Regardless, please enjoy this lovely take from a member of the new chiptune generation on one of the forefathers of chipmusic’s latest works! ~Brandon L. H.]

If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know how laudative and enthusiastic I can get. But today is a bit different. Here I am, listening to this album again, reading up on Tanaka-san’s bio to research the article, recalling the mind-bending experience that was seeing him live at Square Sounds Tokyo last September. Here I am, writing about the article, instead of the album or the artist, trying to sound meta and smart, keeping my composure, because I don’t want you to know that words are failing me.

I don’t want this article to be a string of enthusiastic platitudes and generic descriptions of the music. I love this album and I want my review to do it justice, beyond the fact that I’m still starstruck and not in any fit state to be objective.

And even if this album refuses to fit nicely in a traditional 2k-word album review, which it probably will, I’m still gonna give it my best shot. Here we are. Let me tell you about Chip Tanaka, and his album, ‘Django’.

This beautiful cover art shows the many qualities of Chip Tanaka’s music: Eclectic, goofy, organic, multi-facetted and good for your health.

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‘Celt-tunes = WIN’ Full Review

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Sup y’all? =) President Hoodie here again to intro another lovely multi-writer full review of our latest compilation, ‘Celt-tunes = WIN‘! Got four different writers on the glorious task this time, bouncing around from track to track to share their thoughts on this delightful collection of tunes. What are you waiting for? Get to readin’! #Cheers

Celt-tunes = WIN (more…)

Chip Mom’s Kitchen #17: Cheesecakes with Hats

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So… I’m a sucker for cute things. I mean, just look at my cat. ADORABLE. So it stands to reason when this adorable recipe via cookingclassy came across my Facebook page, it HAD to be done. Check out the d’aww levels inherit in these…

Cheesecakes with Hats

Difficulty level:
Newb          |         Apprentice         |         Journeyman         |         Master

This banging, melting recipe is going to ruffle some feathers, but its not too nerve inducing!

Quest Items:

18 Oreos, crushed or about 1 3/4 cups (260 g)
2 1/2 Tbsp (38 mL) butter, melted, separated
2 pkg (16 oz or 460 g) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (50 g) and 2 Tbsp (25 g) white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp (3mL) vanilla flavoring
1 1/3 cups (300 g) White Chocolate Chips
1/3 cup (80 mL) of heavy cream
25 fairy small strawberries (one for each square)
Canned whipped cream

A thank you nod to “The Metric 20141205_201210Kitchen” for helping me find all of these conversions!

 

 

 


Musical Accompaniment
(chipWINter Wonderland teaser – Releases Dec 18th!):

Illustrated Guide:

Preheat dat oven to 325* F / 100* C!

Start by lining your pan with tinfoil (aluminium for all you fancy pants Europeans out there).  Use two sheets, each the width of the pan, and overlap them at 90* angles so that your pan is fully lined and the foil drapes over the side.  This is a make-shift spring form pan of sorts; it will help you lift the cheesecake out when it’s time for the cuttin’.

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Then use about a third of your butter to grease the pan.  I used a kitchen brush, but a paper towel can be used in lieu of your fingers or any household pets.

 

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You’re going to make the crust by venting all of your frustrations on those poor, unsuspecting Oreo cookies.  I put mine in a bag and wrapped them in a towel to prevent explosions and beat them senseless using a family heirloom (not kidding, that rolling pin is over 40 years old!)

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After you have crafted your Oreos into a chunky mess, transfer them to a bowl and add your remaining melted butter.  Stir them around with a fork for a bit until they have an even, glossy sheen.  Then you place them in your baking dish on top of foil, butter, and all.  Using the bottom of a cup, smoosh the cookie bits into a flat crust.

 

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To create the filling, place your cream cheese and sugar into a medium bowl and beat on low with your electric mixer until smooth. (The most astute of you will notice at this point that Chip Mom totally left out an entire package of cream cheese when making these…. WHOOPS!)

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Add your vanilla and eggs and blend thoroughly together.  Set this bowl aside.

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In a small, microwave safe bowl, place your cream and white chocolate chips. Microwave at 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until you have created a smooth mixture.  Add this to your cream cheese mix and blend again.
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Tap the bottom of the bowl on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles (about 30 times) and the pour over your crust.

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Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, turn off your heat without opening the door and let the cheese cake rest in the oven for 15 minutes, after which it hangs out on the counter for another half hour.  Then this lazy little jerk gets to sit in the fridge for 6 hours (or 3 in the freezer).

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After the cake has chilled, use a sharp knife to cut it into 25 even squares.
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The bravest among us would take this moment to make their own whipped cream with heavy cream and powdered sugar, but after this bad boy got to lay about for hours on end it was Chip Mom’s turn to be lazy!  I dolloped a circle of canned whip cream on top of each square. I then placed a strawberry in the center, finally topping the little morsels with a dot of the white stuff.

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BOOM! Instant Santa Hat.  Instant Adorable.  Instant hit at the party.

One word of warning, however.  The cream falls rather quickly, so I’d recommend assembling these little goodies at your get-together site.  Either that or you can sit down and eat the whole pan, but I wouldn’t recommend it!

Until next time ChipWINners, remember: Mama luvs ya!

chipWINter Wonderland

 

ChipWIN Track #2: Breakthrough by Ben Landis

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Alrighty then. 1 post down (AWESOMECAT’s :3 ), 50 to go. O____O hahahaha In case you’re wondering what the frickity frak I’m talking about, I’m doing mini-writeups here on the ChipWIN blog for ALL 51 CHIPARTISTS from the recently released Chiptunes = WIN \m|♥|m/ compilation (I’ma be busy for quite awhile it seems….). ;D And you’re just in time for today’s write-up about track #2’s composer:

BEN LANDIS

Another extraordinarily bouncy chiptrack. Seriously, I friggin’ grin every time it comes on. It’s just HAPPY, man! And what is Chiptunes = WIN if not fun, happy, good times?? =D According to Ben it’s actually the track that started the entire “Adventures in Pixels” project, along with a greater idea which inspired that track to start with:

“Breakthrough has an alternate title, which is ‘You’re Not Alone’. I got that from a Kurt Vonnegut quote: ‘Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.’ It’s one of my favorite pieces of advice/wisdom,” Ben says, “and when I wrote the first bits of Breakthrough, I decided to craft the idea into a solid song and into the Adventures in Pixels storyline.”

In reference to the musical composition of the song, Ben goes on to say, “One thing I think I did well was in crafting the music so that small and medium patterns repeat in various ways while avoiding exact repetition of larger parts. The musical story progresses in one direction the entire time, with more togetherness, encouragement, and confidence being conveyed throughout.”

It’s a really awesome concept to utilize for an album’s direction and creation, this story/comic/video game plot based method. Somewhat like writing a soundtrack, but a little more freeform I think. At any rate, it certainly worked wonderfully in this case! =D

By the way, you can find this delightful positive track among his debut album right here on his personal Bandcamp:

It’s an extremely solid release of mostly chippy goodness (there are some other instruments and synths mixed in for good measure here and there), although my two favorite songs (SO TIED) are easily Breakthrough (#17) and Through the Forest (#12) with Matt’s Theme (#4) running a close 2nd place.That said you can’t go wrong with a single track on the album; and at $5 for 20 tracks and a comic (YES, there’s an actual comic included in the download!!!) you’ve got yourself a helluva deal as well!

Next up, track #3 by 4mat! w00t~~

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P.S. HAVE SOME MOAR BEN LANDIS LINKY LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/benlandismusic
https://twitter.com/benlandis
http://soundcloud.com/benlandis
http://www.youtube.com/benlandis

 

ChipWIN Track #1: パーティーで最もきれいな女の子 by AWESOMECAT

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SO.  The first Chiptunes = WIN \m|♥|m/ compilation has been released; and very successfully might I add. ;D (though keep sharing the balls offa it! Plenty more chipfans out there that’ve yet to be exposed to this massive collection of chippy goodness!!! ).

SO NOW WHAT???

First? REST. o.O O.o haha Putting together awesome ordeals like that take quite a bit out of a guy, yanno? Completely worth it though. WILL DO AGAIN. Just a matter of time.

MEANWHILE…. How about 51 days of mini write-ups on all 51 artists from the ChipWIN compilation? Yup, that’s happening (gotta do something to keep this blog alive in the meantime, right? haha). Every day or so/as I find the time/ASA I clone myself, I’ll write one up and toss it out to you guys! Alright? ALRIGHT!!! =D

And now, to get this ChipWIN writing project started with the chipartist who contributed track #1 to the Chiptunes = WIN compilation:

AWESOMECAT

I won’t lie: from the first time this track hit my earholes, I pretty much knew it was going to be the starter for the project. NOT supposed to be an easy decision to come by with 51 STELLAR TRACKS like we had for this bad boy, not in the least!! Yet there was something about the crazy energy, the extraordinary happy of the song that simply resonated Chiptunes = WIN, and therefore I had to use it. =)

According to the always awesometastic AWESOMECAT, “That song is the closest I’ve come to putting my feelings for my girlfriend into music~”. I guess that explains it a bit: the song is just packed full of happy and love and WIN. 

On a different note, AWESOMECAT says, “I don’t compose chip music for any sort of nostalgic reasons, but that I use a technically limiting medium to push myself creatively.” This is definitely a topic worth a bit deeper visitation in the future; it’s something that I’ve been interested in for awhile at least (nostalgia vs/and/or the limits of the medium and how they enhance/encourage creativity within it). Especially seeing as how my initial interest in chipmusic was somewhat nostalgia driven, even if that has changed somewhat as I’ve since discovered the essence of chip.

And now for a random segue to plug AWESOMECAT’s latest cover chipalbum, Copycat:

All five tracks are delightful, but I’m damn partial to that first Daft Punk cover (Da nuh na nuh, da nuh na nuh~~~~~~). Don’t miss any of them, though, because they’re all awesome (and rather unique choices!!).

And that wraps up this first little write-up! Pretty much sets the tone for the rest as well: a link to the artist’s ChipWIN track, a link to other music by the artist, and some little blurbs in-between. =) Until next time, where we’ll have track #2 with Ben Landis, PEACE, LOVE & CHIPS!

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P.S. HAVE MOAR AWESOMECAT LINKY LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/AWESOMECATmusic
http://awesomecat.bandcamp.com/
http://soundcloud.com/awesomecat