I must be getting old, because these days I’m actively seeking calming music to play me off to dreamland in the evenings. I already shared my go-to sleepytime album a few months back, but while checking out related and recommended albums after last month’s review I stumbled onto a release from a tiny German label called Dead Bison. I was intrigued – they’ve got almost no web presence and just three releases through the last three years, I’m not even sure how they popped up aside from Bandcamp’s recommendation algorithms being very, very good. ‘Driving East’ by Natsukashii is one of these three releases, and by halfway through the first track I had experienced a relaxing calm so pure I knew this had to be what I’ve been looking for.
I turn 28 this month, in fact a week from today. At this age, I find myself wishing I had the ability to go back in time and change a number of things that led my life to be the way it is today. And honestly, not only that, but there are certain parts of my life I wish I could live over again, like the parts of my childhood I spent playing my Super Nintendo and my friend’s Playstation 1 after school, jamming out to the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST.
This will never happen, of course. I don’t have some kind of time machine to go back, and I’ll never be able to experience Michiru Yamane and Koji Igarashi’s masterpiece again for the first time. What I do have, however, is the next best thing: Timespinner, the first game by Lunar Ray games with an amazing soundtrack by Jeff Ball of Tiny Barbarian DX and Steven Universe fame (among many others), which follows the story of Lunais – a woman who must travel between the ancient past and ruined present of her world to put an end to the tyranny her people face from an intergalactic empire. Funded on Kickstarter back in 2014, this was one of those games I backed and hoped and prayed it would actually come to completion, having been burned by a number of other very promising retro-inspired campaigns in the past – and lo and behold, at the end of September of this year I got my hands on my pledge and devoured the game immediately. Instead of my normal “music only” review column this month, I’d like to actually talk about the game as well – and as with my occasional event coverage, I’ll give you the handy #MUSIC and #GAME tags to Ctrl+F back and forth to if you only want to read one of those reviews.
Hey y’all! =) Brandon here, back with a new edition of my interview column, Hoodie Highlights! In light of our recent collaborative compilation with DESKPOP, I hit up its project manager, Brazos Ebner, to learn more about the netlabel, and, of course, more about the curator himself. Enjoy our conversation below the break!
‘Adventures in Bitscape’ by Batou fills the vacuum of space with a passionate, thought-provoking soundscape that you absolutely need to stabilize into your own orbit.
Chill, delightful, and contemplative, ‘Adventures in Bitscape’ is a focused concept album featuring 6 cohesive tracks delivering a musical jaunt through the far reaches of space and beyond. Batou focuses on a sparse, precise collection of sounds to augment an ever-present effective use of silence and the space between notes in an evolving experience that absolutely delivers on its promise to send you off on a contemplative journey through the empty reaches of space and beyond with grace and chip-style.
Heyo, ChipWINners! Welcome back to Quick Shots! This month, I’ll be reviewing work from three artists across the creative spectrum who have each brought something rather unique to the table. The first is a debut EP from a chiptuner with EDM leanings. The second is an artist I’ve featured in my interview column who has recently put out two new singles. The third is an offering that skews more towards Nerdcore than chiptune, but was too unique to pass up on sharing with all of you. So lets not waste any more time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the works of Gigibyte, Thorazine Unicorn, and 8-Bit Mullet.
Greetings, ChipWINners! It’s good to be back on the blog with a phenomenal new album to review. While others may ponder what future 2017 has in store, we chiptune fans have a particular proclivity to maintain a strong sense of reverence and respect for the past. There is no other recent release that exemplifies this ideal better than ‘Out Of Memory’ by Zalza.
‘Out Of Memory’ is a tribute to humanity’s achievements through the exponential growth of technology, focusing on the exciting period of time from the late 70’s to the early 90’s when the personal computer rapidly grew from a compelling oddity into an essential, multi-billion dollar industry. Throughout the album, Zalza makes use of vintage computer documentaries reporting on “something referred to as technology”, guided programming tutorials, and giddy new PC owners who “just installed the Internet on their computer”. It’s a thematic construct that is at times humorous, but always intensely inspirational. This theme is all the more authentic coming from an artist who tinkered and toiled his way through those halcyon days himself. Let’s take a closer look at just a few of the excellent tracks from ‘Out Of Memory’.