Posts Tagged ‘orchestral’

Meaning in Chaos: Cityfires – ‘CCL Dive’

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Cityfires’ latest release is fire. That pun is too easy not to make, but I really mean it. With buoyant emotional synthpop, some of the most magnetic sound design I’ve heard all year, and fascinating lyrics – this album’s spirit is most deserving of the title “adventure” out of all that I’ve written about. It’s full of surprises and seriously fine-tuned, with tracks like ‘The Tangle’ trimmed down to interesting ideas, while others such as the titular song take the time they need for a core feeling to hit home.

Full to the brim with electric melody lines, immersive sound design, and creative mixing decisions, this fifteen-track masterpiece never sacrifices quality for quantity. Tight vocal tracks are infused with textured electronica, and organic instrumentation as well. Instrumentals are just as diverse: ‘Daybreak Apparatus’ echoes the peppy videogame joy of earlier ChipWIN comps, while ‘Dreamshifting’ feels like some more recent chiptune which draws from mathrock. Alternatively, ‘Mothfold’ defies description. The whole album is kinetic, and really integrated, a trip through clear landscapes and sights to behold.

It is also a story of hope in moving forward.

Art by Alex Spivey
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ChipWIN-tern Presents: Timespinner

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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.

Let’s get spinning!

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Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 7 [Tracks 41-51]

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THIS IS IT. We’ve come up to the last ten tracks of Volume 7, and I can’t begin to express the rollercoaster of emotion that was experiencing this album without being able to share the hype with everyone in our Discord channel during the release party.

Fortunately, I have a platform where I can have opinions regardless of how right or wrong I can be (thanks, Internet! <3), so without further ado, it’s time to jump into the first track on my list to cover!

Pixel Syndrome’s ultra fun entry to the V.7 art contest.

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The Download on… Chronowolf’s ‘Meet At the Gazebo’

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‘Meet At the Gazebo (Tales from MAGFest)’ is a love-letter of sorts to National Harbor, Maryland’s ‘Music And Gaming Festival,’ featuring tracks written for and performed at the convention over the past few years. Following up from his debut record ‘Genesis‘ in 2016, ‘MAG’ evolves and elaborate’s on Chronowolf’s experimental melding of chiptune sound design and orchestral instruments and composition. Genesis was an extremely strong first outing, so how does album number 2 stack up?

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Aydan Appreciates: The IOUT Open Mixtape 2015

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Hey there, ChipWINners! You may remember a review I wrote a few months ago on Imaginary’s ‘Unnatural Flavors’ album. To refresh you folks a little bit, Imaginary is the head of a chipmusic netlabel known as Interpretation of Universal Transmissions, and as such, is affiliated with numerous chipmusicians from around the globe. At the very end of January, the Interpretation of Universal Transmissions Open Mixtape 2015 was released, featuring a number of artists both familiar and foreign. Each track brings its own unique flair to the compilation, but I’m going to be showcasing four specific tracks out of the many. Let’s go ahead and see what transmissions are being sent out today!

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Stokin’ the Forge: ‘Genesis’ by Chronowolf

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Happy New Year Chipfam! This month, the Forge has been graced with the copy of ‘Genesis’, the debut album from Chronowolf (Mat van Rhoon). Mat’s been writing music since 1997, getting his start on an old Atari 1040ST that he purchased from his school when he was 12. His composition style has leaned to the orchestral since the beginning, but thanks to chancing upon the styling of noted Dragon-rider and friend of the blog Kubbi, Mat has joined the ranks of the Chiptune elite.

His chiptune exploration led to Singularity, his wonderful contribution to Chiptunes=WIN Vol. 4, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The positive response that he got to his early work, including ‘Singularity’, inspired Mat to put together Genesis. Overall, its an innovative melding of an orchestral style with what we know and love of chiptune. Personally, I immensely enjoyed the album, so join me past the fold and get your listen on!

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