A lot of the chipscene is based in eitherthe Americas, Europe, or Asia. So many talented artists come from these four continents that we often forget about good ol’ Australia. With the recent influx of interest in Square Sounds Melbourne 2018, and a steady flow of music coming from Australian chipmusicians over the last few years, now seems like the perfect time to review one of the most recent works to come out of the region. Calavera is known for his down-tempo bass-filled bangers of tracks, and his most recent work, ‘Kintsugi’, certainly delivers them. We’ll be looking at three tracks from this album in-depth, so buckle up for one hell of a ride.
Square Sounds is my favourite time of the year every year. A gathering of all my favourite people, and people who will become my favourite people. Great. Filled with the buzz of gameboys, NES consoles, Megadrives and various other chip-paraphernalia. Organized by the incredible Kristy, Eugene, and Alex, this festival is perhaps the most thrilling thing the southern hemisphere has to offer and most likely the only thing in Australia that will not try to kill you. I had the absolute pleasure of attending this year’s event and would love to do nothing more than report on how bone-crushingly good these jams were.
As I missed the pre-party on Thursday (compulsory attendance for university, really I should have just un-enrolled lmao) I’ll just dive into the main event, spread over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I’m really sad I missed the pre-party too because stellar chip musicians like Classic Mistake, cTrix, and Aquellex were on the stage bangin’ out some jams [with live arps on a keytar!!!]. I like to think that we have created a piece of chiptune mythology/folklore here.
Hey, what’s up ChipWINners? It’s your boy BronxKuma, welcoming you back to the blog. This time around, we’re going to be doing something very special, as today I’ll be joining forces with Viridian Forge & Chris Krogsgard to cover the latest release from the label: ‘Forest = ВИН‘!
‘Forest = ВИН’ is a truly noteworthy release because it represents continued success for our collective. Taking the opportunity to work with Kubbi and Agri, the founders of the Russian based Forest net label and long time supporters and partners of ChipWIN, we’ve put together a collection of aria that is truly wonderful. This is something we’re all very proud of, as this stellar accomplishment is the 18th album ChipWIN has released in five years! Consisting of thirteen phenomenal tracks from all over the globe, ‘Forest = ВИН’ is a labor of love that is so absolutely resplendent that we just can’t wait to share with you. So let’s not waste anymore time: sit back, relax, and plug in those headphones: it’s time to go wandering into the Forest.
Splendid album artwork by Anatoly Sazonov, vk.com/anatolysaz
Based out of Melbourne, Australia, tiasu is an incredibly prolific chipmusician. His name should ring a few bells in the minds of avid fans of the genre, but especially in followers of the Chiptunes = WIN blog. ‘Rising’ is the most recent in his series of uniquely charged chipmusic albums, and can be considered the direct sequel to his last album, ‘Insomnia‘. Additionally, this album is his third full-length release in 8 months, and the quality is just as good as – if not better than – ‘Insomnia’. Combining elements of chipmusic, progressive metal, synthpop, electro, and other types of modern electronic dance music, this album is truly one of a kind. Let’s explore it in a little more detail. (more…)
Representing a journey through art can be an incredibly daunting task due to the abstract nature of audience expectation. Movies are an obvious choice for the easiest way to show the viewer a journey, followed closely by books. Tolkein’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ is one of the most loved books containing this trope, with Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mordor along with the other paths of the Fellowship. Perhaps the most difficult medium for this subject is the visual arts, where painter Thomas Cole used multiple canvases to depict a journey in his ‘Voyage of Life’ series. Somewhere in the middle of these difficulty levels lies musical depictions of a journey. Because it is a time-based art form like film, the listener does not have control over the length of the journey if they wish to reach its intended end. Some are longer than others, and what one learns on these journeys is different depending on the listener. (more…)
Classy statements, for a classy album. However, this fantastic Bleepstreet release does for me what I have not been able to find in other recent collections: pure, unadulterated vehemence. In a number of ways, cTrix manages to conceive extreme twists and turns in an immensely enjoyable and thrilling expedition down memory lane back into the early 90s. How he manages to pack such nostalgic, complicated rhythms and such wonderful, prodigious leads in each song, off of an Amiga 500, is just beyond words. The radical melodies generated from this machine (and its user), are just incredible.
When I saw this first, I had flashbacks of After Burner.
To really understand what the background of ‘A For Amiga’ was, I asked Chris Mylrae (cTrix) for a few moments of his time to explain how he got to this concept and how he carried out his project:
“A for Amiga is a project which started life as an “album-on-a-floppy” Amiga musicdisk. The Amiga’s tracking system was what had launched me into the world of digital music production when I was a kid. The aim was to make tunes using samples from the original floppies which came bundled with “The Ultimate Sound Tracker” which was one of the first Amiga trackers (late 80’s). I also decided to use some of the samples I spent weekends of my childhood finding at computer swap meets. Pre-internet / pre-sampler that’s how I got my sounds!”
“…I’d love to give you a philosophical reason to why I made these tunes – but it was mainly a technical challenge purely for fun. Once I got going I spent a long time on some of the melodies and chordal structures… but it all came down tunes that were fun to make.”
No deeper meaning than that, folks. He did this because he wanted to test his limits and make something badass. Personally, I can’t stop listening to “DX Heaven”. It’s super smooth, has some really great dynamics, and this is probably just me, but it totally reminds me of Epic Pinball.
I can’t speak highly enough of this album; it’s just THAT good. Each track is a descent farther and farther into a simpler, far more pleasant past. You’ll be thinking about those good ol’ days where all you had to think about was games, sipping on lemonade, and occasionally treading outside of your dungeon/castle/fortress (yes, your house) to hang out with friends. You owe it to yourself to listen to some damn good music, Christmas was tough.
…and no I’m not just saying that because I waited until the day before Christmas to buy gifts. (don’t judge me)