Posts Tagged ‘PROTODOME’

Aydan Appreciates: ‘CHIPFUNK’ by PROTODOME

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Hey, ChipWINners! UK-based chipmusic prodigy PROTODOME is one of the biggest names in the chipscene. His previous works include the ‘Blue’ trilogy and the closing tracks on ‘ChipWIN: Vol. 1’ and ‘ChipWIN: Vol. 2’. Despite his outwardly small music catalog, the depth of his musical talent, catchiness of his tunes, knowledge of musical structure, and his incredibly unique compositions have made him a true superstar. So let’s dive right on into his latest release, ‘CHIPFUNK’!

The first track of this release, ‘Let’s CHIPFUNK!’, could be considered the ‘title screen’ to the album; this catchy, short tune gives the listener an idea as to what the rest of the release is going to be like without spoiling too much. A number of voices that take center-stage throughout the rest of the songs are introduced, and this is the entire purpose to the track. PROTODOME’s punchy bass, gnarly guitar, stellar synths, staccato (quickly cut-off/choppy) percussion, and a brief vocal sample are all used in this 31-second long jam. And this is only the beginning.

The second song, ‘I Want You in my Bedroom.’ opens with a groovy bassline, leading into an earworm melody that you’ll be hearing for weeks after your first listen. PROTODOME’s use of chip ‘runs’ – series of notes played in rapid succession – are utilized in a harmonic, supportive sense rather than being the focus of the track. Bass and synths support each other throughout; chords played by the synths lead into the bass grooves, and the slap bass leads back into the chords in a bit of a delectable loop. Sexy vocals and, around the 1:40 mark, an even sexier guitar solo, bring the track to a head, and every single technique that PROTODOME employs throughout the track is phenomenal, from his wicked pitch slides and the marvelous cadence into the song’s key change.

‘WINGROOVIN.MID’, the third track, is fast-paced and sounds like the perfect jam session. The offbeat hihats are one of my favorite features of the track (syncopated rhythms are a wonderful thing!). An initial, three-note melody flourishes into the rest of this masterpiece of a track rather quickly. Slurs and quick rhythms played by the bass give way to an incredible dueling-synth solo near the end of the track. An Animal Crossing-esque arpeggio ends the song abruptly at the 1:52 mark, and just as quickly as this radical jam starts, it’s over.

‘Interstellar Good Times’ is a perfect fit as a title for this song, bringing synth-work to the front after a brief intro from all the instruments involved in the track aside from vocals. Eighth-note octave shifts from a 2A03 voice lead – the voice of the NES’s sound chip – into the gorgeous synth melody, and the subsequent alternation between chip arpeggios and synth chords is incredible. A choppy bass and snare are utilized at the 2:12 mark, and the keyboards follow the same choppy pattern at 2:49; innumerable small details similar to the two that I previously mentioned make this my personal favorite song on ‘CHIPFUNK’.

The final track, ‘Ham Jam’, is a heaven of sorts for glitchy-sounding music lovers such as myself. Notes hit hard, short, and sweet. Between its punchy percussion, a mellow and catchy bassline, cut-off keyboard chords, and frequent chip arpeggios and octaves, ‘Ham Jam’ maintains an odd sort of fluidity throughout its continuous starts and stops. A number of false endings and sudden cut-offs lead into one last fake-out at the end of the album, ending just a beat after the beginning of the last measure. This track is the perfect ending for a release like ‘CHIPFUNK’.

This EP-length release clocks in at just over 11 minutes worth of music. While 11 minutes is technically all that a listener needs to experience the album, attention to detail and many listens are both things that PROTODOME’s ‘CHIPFUNK’ truly rewards. Minute touches such as the incredibly human sounds of a perfectly constructed trumpet voice growls and all – or the bass guitar present throughout all of the tracks, phenomenal solo composition, and wonderful cadences are just a few of the things that a listener can get out of this album. These five short tracks are all perfect examples of the sheer amount of love and finesse that PROTODOME puts into his work. This pay-what-you-want release is – arguably – one of the absolute best releases of 2014, and definitely one of my favorite releases of all time.

PROTODOME
Website | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

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Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 (Tracks 47-51)

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Hey there, guys and gals! We’ve made it to the final five tracks of the Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 compilation, and what a journey it’s been. I had the honor of writing about the first tracks on the album, and now I also have the honor of providing a (hopefully) fitting closing set of track reviews. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Track #47: Drop – [GUN], Equip – [COOKIES] by Ethan Rex

Ethan Rex’s ChipWIN debut is one of those tracks that just makes you smile as you listen to it. The mood is set at the beginning of the track with a bright melody and skillfully accentuated percussion. Static-sounding effects feel like waves crashing on a shore, and helps the listener experience a kind of euphoria that would be experienced on a long-needed vacation. The song transitions into a more excited swing close to the end while still maintaining the overall vibe of the song. My favorite part of ‘Drop – [GUN], Equip – [COOKIES] would have to be the calmer midsection; it provides a pretty big contrast to the other parts of the song, and provides a really nice segue into the ending.

Track #48: Prom Fight by Weird Bananas

Swedish chipartist Weird Bananas has been producing music for some time, but ‘Prom Fight’ marks his entry into the ChipWIN community. A quieter percussion lets the hard-hitting leads develop throughout the song, although I thought at times the percussion was maybe a little bit too quiet for my tastes. The melody is incredibly catchy; I found myself humming along to it without even realizing I was doing so at first. I really enjoyed the differences in rhythm between the solos and the main melody of the track. Weird Bananas’ other works can be found on both his Bandcamp and has previously maintained a presence on 8BC; I’d highly recommend checking out some of his other tracks.

Track #49: Atomic Jill by Kommisar

If I had to pick one track on the compilation that could be considered my personal favorite, it would be this one. Yet another fellow member of the FlashFlashRevolution community, Kommisar also makes his ChipWIN debut in ‘Atomic Jill’. A heavy kick, intricate drum patterns, and absolutely phenomenal melodies are the bulk of the first half of the track. In the second half, Kommisar crafts a blistering solo that transitions seamlessly into a key change, and ends on a sudden, exciting note.

Track #50: Horus by Vegas Diamond

Vegas Diamond’s ‘Horus’ has an extremely distinct feel from the other tracks on the compilation. A majority of the songs on ChipWIN: Volume 2 are energetic and fast-paced. ‘Horus’, on the other hand, takes it down a notch and adds a layer of complexity in its peculiar, progressive-influenced melodies. Hip-hop inspired percussion also helps to give the track a truly unique sound. The track was, admittedly, a difficult listen for me the first time through. However, after having listened to it a second time, I realized just how much I appreciated its strange and mysterious tone.

Track #51: FM Galactic Girl by PROTODOME

The Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 compilation closes in a similar manner to Volume 1 – with a short, calming track by chiptune artist PROTODOME. This track, in my opinion, is a perfect ending to a marvelous album. The bouncy bassline to the track complements the main melody, and PROTODOME’s construction of arpeggios is something that I particularly enjoy throughout this track. Strangely enough, ‘FM Galactic Girl’ and ‘Four Color Hero’ – the closing track from Volume 1 – both run for 1 minute and 36 seconds. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

This concludes The ChipWIN Blog team’s review of the Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 2 compilation. On behalf of the CWB, I’d like to extend our thanks to both everyone who made this compilation possible and to all of the members of the Chiptunes = WIN community for being so fantastic. I would personally like to thank each of the ChipWIN blog writers for the hard work they put into reviewing this compilation and keeping a steady stream of content for our wonderful readers like you, who deserve the biggest thanks of all! Stay tuned, as there’s plenty more goodness to come!

Much love!

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Ethan Rex:
Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Weird Bananas:
Bandcamp | Soundcloud

Kommisar:
Soundcloud | Twitter | FlashFlashRevolution

Vegas Diamond:
Facebook | Soundcloud

PROTODOME:
Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

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ChipWIN Tracks: #46 – #51

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Hey there, guys and gals! We’ve hit the home stretch of ChipWIN Volume One, so let’s get ‘er done amirite? Take her away… MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

…Ahem. Anyway, I’m sure I don’t have to introduce you to our next artist…

Track #46: Active Knowledge – Lucidosity

…Boston chiptune hero Active Knowledge! What we’ve got here is a slice of his self-titled album for all to enjoy, chock-full of dripping square waves and a series of triangle basslines that are so well-executed they make my inner tracker weep tears of envy and joy. This lucid trip is grounded by the repetition of elements that somehow never get tiring, and I really do mean that as a pure compliment. Halfway in, the drums cut down steadily only to resurface stronger than ever alongside some very interestingly layered harmonies. Making a six minute track takes dedication. But making it work takes SKILL.

Track #47: Nario – Hallucinogenic Ethics

Did anyone intend for this chunk of the compilation to be so…uh, ethical? But I digress. We can’t stop here…this is bat country. Nario’s EXCLUSIVE track is a great head-bobber, at parts something I’d consider to have a strong VGM feel but with a rocking kick. I absolutely love the melody beginning at the 0:58 mark, and the way things pick up from there as the lead finally climbs up to a perfect wail. If Nario doesn’t compose on a dance pad, he sure as hell knows how to make you move vicariously. Very cool.

Track #48: Brick Breaker – Dusk Runner

The opening notes inspire flashbacks of Sunsoft’s golden era of video game soundtracks and, yes, that is a really good thing. Brick Breaker brings a flat-out ROCKING track to the table and flips that baby completely upside down. I absolutely love the drum sounds in this track and, while it’s a short one, it’s so very sweet.

Track #49: Sean Monistat – This Computer Can Read Lips

AWW YEAH. Great rhythm? Check. Tight snare? Check. This computer can read lips and then some. Establishing a setting that would feel right at home in any city prefixed by “Neo”, Sean Monistat proves himself here as a talented architect of dystopian vibes. Closing out with some killer glitching, this is one contribution that begs repeat listens…especially for the nicely understated FM-esque synths.

Track #50: SKGB – Infinite Cheap Death Tricks

This is the Konami Code of Neo Killadelphia if ever there was one. Trying to summarize anything SKGB does is a task and a half, and here’s why: He can do so damn much, do it so well, and completely change up an entire song’s game in an instant. This death trick can crunk and thrash with the best of them and everything after the blastbeats around the 3:01 mark dives so far into the realm of completely insane LSDJ wizardry that I could spend literally two weeks fumbling for the words to even describe what I just heard. Easily one of my favorite tracks on the compilation. BASSCHIPTHRASH FTW.

Track #51: PROTODOME – Four Color Hero

It’s a bittersweet reminder that all good things must come to an end, masterfully executed by the always-spectacular PROTODOME. In brilliant technicolor, PROTODOME crafted what is easily the ideal bookend for this massive project, styled ingeniously in the form of what could easily be the end credits of a legendary video game. And true to the spirit of chiptune, sometimes four colors and a wealth of vision is all you need to create a masterpiece. A perfect sendoff, really…one that invites you back to visit its world time and again.

Active Knowledge
Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Boston8Bit

Nario
Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook

Brick Breaker
Soundcloud | Facebook

Sean Monistat
Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

SKGB
Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook

PROTODOME
Protodome.co.ukBandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

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Chiptunes = WIN \m|♥|m/ compilation RELEASED!!!!!!

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Just in case you missed the announcement Monday night during the VERY CRAZYAWESOME, VERY AWESOMECRAZY listening/release party on 8 Bit Power Hour on Areciboradio (peak listeners for the night = 281!!!!!), THIS BAD BOY IS OUT!!!! SNAG IT AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE AND SHARE IT EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!

And if you lurve it sooooooo much (VERY LIKELY) that you feel like wearing a Chiptunes = WIN shirt, 4 buttons, and SIXTY ONE STICKERS (!!!!!), you can snag that related merchy goodness for only $15 (!!!!!) RITE CHAR (char):

~SOLD OUT~

Again, MUCH LOVE AND THANKS  to everyone involved in the project, and to all the listeners/supporters/CRAZY AWESOME people that love chiptunes….

A WINNER IS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

\m|♥|m/ \m|♥|m/ \m|♥|m/ \m|♥|m/ \m|♥|m/ \m|♥|m/ \m|♥|m/ \m|♥|m/ \m|♥|m/ \m|♥|m/ \m|♥|m/ 

FINAL CHIPTUNES = WIN COMPILATION POST – FULL ARTIST & TRACK LISTING!!!!!!!!! \m|♥|m/

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ALRIGHTY THEN.

By now you’ve probably heard of this thing; you’ve checked out the initial ChipWIN 480+ member strong Facebook group and spinoff Facebook Page; you’ve seen the RIDICULOUS(LY AWESOME) promo video; you’ve seen Nate Horsfall aka Foxdragon’s AMAZING art for the project; you’ve got the 8 Bit Power Hour Areciboradio listening party invite (HAPPENS TOMORROW, MONDAY, JUNE 4TH, AT 7PM CENTRAL TIME ZOMG!!!); you’ve heard teaser tracks on Geekbeat LeRadio and Nerd Rock Radio for the past few weeks; you’ve read posts on Dj Cutman’s blog videogamedj.com and here on the 8bitX provided blog; you’ve seen Boston 8 Bit Maddie the Merch Fairy’s merch teasers (MORE TO COME SOON!!!); you’ve seen countless friends, Chipartists, and VGM peoples facebooking, tweeting, tumblering, WUTTEHFUKEVARING about it nonstop for the past couple months. All you’re waiting on now is to download the compilation. And you can. TOMORROW NIGHT.

But for now…

HOW ABOUT A FULL ARTIST/TRACK LIST TO PERUSE AT YOUR LEISURE??? (in ABC order; final sequencing unveils tomorrow with the Bandcamp release). Yeah, that’s what I thought. 8) Read this and FEEL THE HYPE ALL THE WAY DOWN IN YOUR BONES/SOUL/JUNK/BONESOULJUNK!!!!!!

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1. 4mat – Tetra
2. Abducted by Sharks – Late to the Party
3. Active Knowledge – Lucidosity
4. Algoorithm (Chris Algoo) – While We Can, Party
5. AWESOMECAT – パーティーで最もきれいな女の子
6. Ben Landis – Breakthrough
7. Br1ght Pr1mate – Sexy & I Know It
8. Brick Breaker – Dusk Runner
9. Cartoon Bomb – Earthworm Facts
10. Cheapshot – Jambo
11. Chip’s Challenge – Special Beam Cannon
12. Chipzel – Can’t Stop Us
13. Crashfaster – The Out
14. Da Pantz – Real In The Field
15. Daniel Capo – Wake
16. Danimal Cannon – The Lunar Whale
17. Datacats – Small Wonders
18. deadbeatblast – Total Disaster
19. Decktonic – Africa
20. Diamond Machine – Hey! (No E)
21. Fraktal Face – Did You
22. iamclouD – Harmonix
23. Inverse Phase – Three-stage
24. Iron Curtain – Assault At The Front Door
25. Jay Tholen – On Stolen Time
26. K.O.M.H. – Kogeki no Kiken
27. Kedromelon – Titan 2
28. Kubbi – Tidal Force
29. KymAz – Nebulae
30. LukHash – PixeLove
31. Monodeer – No Particular Reason
32. Nario – Hallucinogenic Ethics
33. nickelPUNK – StarDRIVE
34. Obtuse – Ecstasy
35. Phonetic Hero – Bat Outta Hell
36. PROTODOME – Four Color Hero
37. RobotSexMusic – It’s Never Enough
38. Sam Mulligan – Secret
39. Sean Monistat – This Computer Can Read Lips
40. SKGB – Infinite Cheap Death Tricks
41. SMILETRON – Elevation
42. Snesei – Button Mash
43. Space Town Savior – Columbia
44. Starpilot – Sparkling
45. Stenobot – Shark Flower
46. Super Danger Casper – Berbaris Satu Arah
47. Temp Sound Solutions – Sleepwalking In Tennessee
48. Thorazine Unicorn – Dreaming Machine
49. Whitely – You & Him
50. Xenon Odyssey – Quotidian
51. Zef – Pure Voltage