Posts Tagged ‘MAGStock’

Cosy By The Fireside With Andrew Kilpatrick: A ChipWINter Track-By-Track Breakdown

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SO PURDY. <3Ho-Ho-Holy Shit. If the holiday season wasn’t exciting enough, the wonderful/not-workshy/probably mentally unstable people over at Chiptunes = WIN have graced the world with the first in a series of promised themed compilations, starting with the theme of winter. Sounding like a condensed audio personification of Christmas, if this doesn’t get you in the mood for mince pies, roast dinners and eggnog (is that actually a thing or have years of US Sitcoms been lying to me?), then nothing will. You utter Grinch. So without further ado, here is where we break it down:

BR1GHT PR1MATE – Linux and Lucy
Returning for their second bout on a Chiptunes = WIN comp, James and Lydia start proceedings with a sweet and sour swirl. Delicate melodies and jazz/funk fm influences swamp the track, and coupled with sampled voices which narrate, the track jumps between sugar and spice repeatedly; the sugar hook will stay with you for eons.

Having appeared on Fox News, released the acclaimed ‘Night Animals’ earlier this year and been credited for countless game OST’s, the Br1ght Pr1mate freight train appears to be doing the very opposite of slowing. Frequent live performances and an e-performance on the upcoming uber-web-show ‘WWCW 12’, keep a look out for this duet’s fantastic live show too.

Vince Kaichan – Midnight Snowflake
Soft and subtle seem to be the thematic qualities of this compilation, and if so then ‘Midnight Snowflake’ is the template. No jarring dynamic shifts or unannounced jolts, just blissful frolicking through winter tundra and the feeling the melodies could be icicle tendrils. Harmonically robust and beautiful, this track can be added straight to Vince’s long catalogue of fantastic tracks.

With releases as VCMG on Pxl-Bot and others on Noisechannel, Vince has shed his newcomer badge long ago and has since become a well-established name in the chiptune scene. If this is your first experience of Mr. Kaichan’s work, you’re in for an early Christmas treat.

Professor Shyguy – We Three Kings
Convention frequenter and pedlar of pop rock chiptune, Professor Shyguy brings his rather nice (trying not to sound emphatically romanticised here) to a cover of ‘We Three Kings’. How Christmassy does this sound? All of the Christmas.

Not one to do things simply, the climax breaks from the mould to provide a darker and far more Pink Floyd take on the classic carol, with screeching distorted guitars and acoustic fiddling aplenty.

With a full length and a new single both released this year, you’re more than spoiled for material to keep you happy(er than you would otherwise be) over the Christmas period.

Mark ‘TDK’ Knight – Sunrise
The prolific game music composer and BAFTA winner (!) TDK is returning to grace the chip world with his masterful compositions. With a single coming out soon on the deity house that is BleepStreet Records, Mark reintroduces himself here with a chilled and icy jam that melds eastern melodies and jazz elements into a consistently surprising and enjoyable track, with frequent nods to his previous soundtrack work.

With more skills, projects and awards than I can ever hope to cover in this short passage of text, it’d be wise of you to check out the huge repertoire of this brilliant composer and sound wizard. 20 pounds if you don’t see a game you recognise.

Storm Blooper – The Stellar Dendrite
Having been around originally as Sub-Woofer Special since 2008, the reincarnation as Storm Blooper has thus far brought with it two full lengths, a single earlier this year and plenty of live performances, morphing to a more standard chiptune affair to his present day dub inspired grooveathon. And here we arrive and Blooper’s magnum opus, The Stellar Dendrite.

You’ll have noticed the emission of anything even slightly wobble-influenced (now that I’ve pointed it out) and not one to displease, Storm Blooper handles the job solo and with gusto. Whilst not a wobble track per se, the grooves and dub flirts will have you chomping at his hyper sweet bit through the pieces duration and beyond.

Glenntai – Snowfall and Snowballs
With the fondly remembered EP ‘Silly Hats Only’ from 2010 and a new EP in the works and his hands full with the planning and leader of the newly formed and already respected ‘Clipstream’, a monthly online chip festival (it is as brilliant as it sounds), seeing Glenntai’s name appear on this compilation will likely have excited many.

And here is why: complex and experimental melodic tinkering laced into an upbeat and wintery socket, carefully crafted to the smallest degree. Feeling fuller and longer than its mere four minute play time, this masterfully conceived track is a refreshing take on the hyper-happy chiptune of ye olde.

ABSRDST – Let Me Freeze
Since July ABSRDST has released the mammoth-sized ‘Home Sweet Home’, the brilliantly received and diverse ‘Sugar Blossom and the Space Cadets’ and most recently his albumette ‘Rigby Wearing Shades’. Definitely a busy fellow.

Lending his expert meanderings to chipWINter, ‘Let Me Freeze’ takes six minutes of your time to lead you through multiple genres and styles, coaxing out memorable and tightly constructed melodies at every intersection, giving the track an unparalleled flow. Building to an incredible climax with one final violently adrenaline-coaxing twist, ABSRDST sure knows how to do ‘epic’ as well if not better than most.

Daniel Capo – Frosted Over
Featured on multiple compilations including a past Chiptunes = WIN and the fantastic Perelandra Records compilation ‘Tide’, Daniel, has been carving himself a name for professional sounding and presented chilled chiptune. ‘Frosted Over’ is no different.

Mixing EQ manipulation with subtle breakbeats and sporadic melodies, ‘Frosted Over’ has an almost glitch-like quality to its wintery demeanour. The rising a falling of the backing synth’s pitch and volume help add the dreamlike qualities of the understated piano and unimposing harmonies, creating a track that truly embodies the term ethereal.

Jay Tholen – Justice Delivers Its Death
There is a lot to say about Mr. Tholen. The prolific progressive rock and chiptune connoisseur has graced labels as respected as Pause and Ubiktune, with plenty, and I mean plenty, of self-released pieces in between. With his game Dropsy in development under the Tendershoot studio name, Tholen is truly a man of many talents.

And creating catchy chipfolk is one of said talents. Backed by female vocalist(s), the slow crescendo of chiptune and acoustic builds to a tightly woven and emotional end. The lyrics, whilst at times slightly unsettling in an obviously deliberate way, work cohesively with the music to create Tholen’s truly unique and remarkable atmosphere and style.

Vegas Diamond – The Ghost Of Christmas Dance
Featured on the Spanish equivalent of 8bitpeoples, LowToy, Vegas Diamond’s bittersweet jams having begun to tease the ears of chiptune fans everywhere, and here is no different.
Scales flow over each other jumping from major to minor to create that bittersweet tinge of sweet and sour. Starscream (Infinity Shred/Whatever) influenced chords rain from this, sending astral snow into your speakers (I’ve always said the line between space and ice themed is only a contextual one). Featuring one of the most memorable melody and chord progression dualities on this compilation, Vegas Diamond has continued their thus far unblemished record for great music.

The Bitman – Next Stop, Detroit
Visitor on the release pages of Noisechannel and with two other Eps under his belt, Bitman’s dance LSDJ boogies this time go for winter’s thorax. Pulsating drums and scales carry the first half of the track gracefully, before the mid-break switches up the formula into a wide-eyed melodic call and response as scales dance around each other in a hypnotic cycle. Memorable 3/4 hooks and dragging drums help the track stand out from the LSDJ pack, and dissonant bleeps help create and uneasily sub-zero atmosphere. Apparently Detroit is cold this time of year.

shanebro – A Chipwinter Stroll
Winter drum pumps fill the space left between the rising and falling scales of the tracks beginning. Flowering into a melodic to and fro with the beats, Shanebro spends the rest of the track experimenting with constantly shifting melodies and brief motif reprisals. The mid-drum break has a real 80s ad-vibe about it, primed to tug at the nostalgia toggles on anyone’s hearts.

With the release ‘The Sky Is Ours’ over on Noisechannel and a full length in the works, look out for this up-and-comer taking over this place.

an0va – Christmas Time Is Here
Frequenting stages in the US and teasing the general populace with only one released EP thus far, the fantastic ‘The Teaching Machine’, an0va is already a well-known name and unique talent in the chiptune field.

‘Christmas Time Is Here’ starts, sounding eerily similar to a lost song from The Snowman soundtrack, an0va uses a blend of chiptune, guitar and expert atmospheric control to create an audio personification of the festive season. Even before the jazz guitar begins, the track’s slow lounge croon carries the listener, only heightened by the presence of lucid and fluid guitar playing.

Kubbi – Polar Bear Rides
Chiptunes = WIN’s very own Master Of The Tracklisteh provides another track for another compilation in the wake of his fourth full length release, ‘ Circuithead’. With a progressive twist to the melodically founded chiptune, these 80’s-esque synths bring to mind Drive during the winter months, snow drifting and cold stares. Melancholic and with the spirit of the festive months etched into its psyche with great force, this winter paradise stands out starkly in Kubbi’s extensively eclectic as another choice cut.

If you enjoyed this track, definitely check out his other release from this year, ‘Sleet’, and last year’s full length ‘Transmittance’.


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ChipWIN Track #12: Tidal Force by Kubbi

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And now for some more goodness from the ChipWIN blog’s latest writer, Danny Pryor!! This time, instead of doing an awesome interview he ‘s penning his own thoughts about the composer of ChipWIN track #12:


…has had a lot going on for him this year. If you have missed anything, let me catch you up to speed: he has released THREE ALBUMS in 2012, Transmittance, Sleet, and Circuithead respectively, and yet has still found the time to play a major role in the Chiptunes = Win community. The original ChipWIN compilation, subsequent Expansion Pack, and the upcoming chipWINter release are ALL sequenced by Kubbi. Because of his work, each track has a beautiful way of complimenting each other nicely. Regardless of  tempo, mood, or melody, each song makes it’s way into the next almost effortlessly. This would be a challenge for anyone when you have so many different artists with so many different styles, and yet Kubbi humbly graces the project. He not only provides amazing music, but gives the album a wonderful flow and vibe that is as important to any album as the songs themselves. If you want the best example of just how good he is at sequencing, then look no further than the track before and after his: ROBOTSEXKUBBIMACHINE.

Now regarding his OWN musical contribution to ChipWIN:

I won’t lie, this was a challenging song to describe. I have so many feelings when I start this track up.  For instance, one of the first images I conjured was how it makes me feel like I was in a submarine, diving underwater on an epic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea adventure. With the slow build of the drums and the pulsing repetition of each note hitting harder and harder, it is almost impossible to not feel complete oneness with your surroundings. The song then crescendos in what feels like a climactic journey to explore the unfathomable depths of pure joy. In short, it is a complete experience within itself, driving a style of music that will only evolve into a composer of great magnitude in the music industry. The emotional drive in his music allows Kubbi to push through to all forms of music and expression, only to leave a loss of words and a sense of fulfillment.

Fast forward 6 months later and you have THIS masterfulness:

Loss of words INDEED.


Kubbi links:


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Thanks to a last second favor of BADASSERY by the always awesome Andrew Kilpatrick, WHO WANTS A QUICK TEASER MIX OF ALL 13 chipWINter TRACKS TO TICKLE YOUR EARHOLES WITH??!?!? ;DDD

To hear the *ENTIRE* delightful release, be sure to join us for the chipWINter release party on Monday night, December 10th, at 9pm EST on the 8 Bit Power Hour on 8bitx!! The frosty compilation will be available shortly thereafter to download on the ChipWIN Bandcamp!!

chipWINter is near!! GET EXCITED~!!!! ^_^


Kubbi: A Gentleman and Scholar

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And now, for some extraordinarily awesome awesomeness from the badass known as Diamond Machine aka Danny Pryor (YUP, HE’S WRITING FOR CHIPWIN TOO!! <3 <3 ).

Do you need a concrete reason to listen to Kubbi, or do you just want to learn more about the man behind the music? Well I was fortunate enough to have him answer a few questions for me (I mean he is a very, very, busy guy) and he was nice enough to get back to me almost immediately with some really great responses.


Question 1: What video games do you like to play? Any favorite games/systems?

Kubbi: Heh, well to be honest I don’t have time for a lot of gaming these days. I haven’t really played too much for the past few years. It’s strange regarding how many hours a day I spend in front of the computer. Of course I do play games whenever I feel like it and I tend to wind up replaying some Zelda games now and then. Honestly, I’m not that interested in newer games when I see how many qualities the game industry has lost the last 10 years. 
Favorite game? ERRRRRRR KUBBI DOES NOT COMPUTE! So many awesome games. Best game is probably Skyrim… ironic, I know. My personal favorite game; Super Smash Bros Melee for the Gamecube…. which by the way is the best game system ever…. just cause that’s the only one my parents ever got me.

Question 2: What is your favorite instrument, tracker, plug-in or sound?

Kubbi: My favorite instrument is probably Bass guitar and I’ve played that for about 6 years. I also love Piano, Marimba, drums, acoustic guitars and obviously gameboys. When it comes to software there are tons of great music production programs out there like trackers, DAWs and so on. I’ve always felt comfortable writing music in a tracker interface. When I discovered Renoise I was so happy to finally be able to work in a tracker with DAW features. My favorite music software ever. I sure wish I could compose in real game systems, but for now I’m really satisfied with plug-ins like Plogue chipsounds, Magical8bitplugin and sampled chipsounds.

Question 3: What is the first song you remember making?

Kubbi: Heh, oh my. I had sort of a sudden start when it came to music writing. I wrote a lot of scores for my first band when I was about 12 and I guess that’s how I fell in love with composing. The first year I had lost count of how many compositions I had made and my “guitar pro 5” folder contained about 160 finished and unfinished songs. Occasionally I open up that folder again just to laugh at how much I sucked back then, but also to look at my past to see where my road might be heading. I still have the first finished song I wrote, and cause I never really got to use it is still titled “dicks”.

Question 4: Any favorite artists?

Kubbi:  I can’t choose one favorite artist. That’s basically impossible. I’m a proghead, metalhead, jazzhead and electrohead. The band that has inspired and affected me most is probably Porcupine Tree. Other bands that I really enjoy are Tool, Gojira, Smiletron, Lemon Jelly, Opeth… Man, there are just too many artists I’d like to mention.

Question 5: What is the inspiration behind your name and the kind of music that you do?

Kubbi: My name is unfortunately not relevant to my music what so ever. ‘Kubbi’ was just an internet alias I used when I first started writing chiptunes. I just wanted to sign up for an account on 8 bit collective and suddenly Kubbi was an artist name. I guess I regret it a bit, but I try not to care. You could say there are two categories of Kubbi music. The first one is tunes that I make because I want to make music. No deep message, just me doing whatever I want. The other category is the music that I actually want to express something with. My albums are especially based on my experiences in life and thoughts that I feel like sharing. 

Question 6:  What upcoming events do you have planned scheduled? 

Kubbi: I’m obviously really excited about December 1st, but I gotta say December 2nd will be even more important to me. That is the day I will do absolutely NOTHING. After working on this album every day for 7 months I’ll need a short break. Other than that we have the ChipWINter compilation which I have provided a new track for, and early next year I will release a compilation of all the randomly released Kubbitunes… perhaps even some new ones, we’ll see.

Question 7: Do you have any side projects in the works?

Kubbi: I’m glad you asked. The last two or three months I’ve been working on a progressive rock project called TOASTER REPUBLIC with some very good friends of mine. There will be an EP ready early next year and there will be more info on that in the near future, but for now the best thing you can do is liking our facebook page.

I’m also planning on writing a new album that is not related to any of my other projects or focused on any particular genre. That is just something that I’d LIKE to do for now though. We’ll see how it ends up. 

Question 8: Any words of wisdom or a favorite quotes for aspiring artists?

Kubbi: There are in fact some words I’d like to share to all you artists. I feel like too many people focus on writing music that a majority of people will like instead of writing what they’ll really like themselves. Obviously this is all up to what your goal with music is, but here’s the catchphrase:“Don’t make music for your audience. Make music for yourself.”

Kubbi’s Extra Special Thanks
Kubbi: Man, there are so many people that has helped me out on the Circuithead project and the entire Kubbi project itself.
I’d like to thank:
  • Live-Andrea Gjessen Rasch for providing me with beautiful vocals and pure awesomeness.
  • My family and friends for inspiring, motivating and helping me. 
  • Thousands of years of technology
  •  My cat. 




ChipWIN Track #11: It’s Never Enough by robotsexmusic

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Back to back Andrew Kilpatrick write-ups! AWW YEAH!! 8) This time it’s about the artist responsible for ChipWIN track #11:


After the dark, eerie expanses of Zef’s dark-step gives way, RSM picks up right where he left off. Delivering a hard-hitting and melodically-rife cut of electro wobble-inspired chiptune, New Bedford’s newest chip protégée carries on his mission to entice anticipation for his upcoming debut on Cheese N Beer.  Featuring highlights that include a wobble break with harmonizing melodies that wash over the top flawlessly and slightly dissonant chord hits every now and then, RSM manages to stand out from the pack of similarly minded artists each attempting to encapsulate the style that is dealt with here with brute compositional finesse.

Here would be the part where I explain RobotSexMusic’s past endeavours, but alas, this new sun is only beginning to spit its rays upon our collective musical earth, and as such I can do nothing but strongly recommend you hit up his soundcloud for a torrent of other equally astonishing and hook-laden tracks.

Rolling melodies with incredible attention paid to the hypersensitive boundaries needed to create tunes so cheerfully melancholic, inspiring uses of the wobble function, and brilliantly utilized kits, RobotSexMusic really has the whole package already, highlighting how incredibly frequent finding new and astonishingly talented artists is in this wonderful scene.


robotsexmusic links:
RSM Fb Page
RSM Soundcloud