It is very rare that I get to announce that one of my favorite acts has come back from the dead, but mark my words – like a sleeper agent activated by a numbers station broadcasting for the first time in years, The National Broadcast Network has started transmitting again. And my friends, the signal is strong.
Ciro Mendoza is, in his everyday life, a 37 year old Information Technology professor, Software Developer and a Student of Multimedia and Sound and image careers. From the bowels of the west of Buenos Aires, Merlo, he can never stay still: he has also worked as a columnist for the video games section at a local culture mag known as ‘Los Inrockuptibles’ (a branch that previously existed in Argentina, that stemmed from the french magazine ‘Les Inrockuptibles‘) and participated in a project (that never came to fruition) trying to develop a game based in the popular argentinian comic book “El Eternauta” (The Eternaut).
With his chiptune project, going by the name of Cinematronic, all of this geeky exterior explodes into a punkish rage of noise, as I realized when witnessing his live shows. He is everything but meek. He sometimes makes me wonder what would have happened if The Stooges had incorporated chiptune music created to go alongside to the beats of Iggy’s frenetic and contorsionated stage moves from the 70’s.
Let’s face some hard truths, no matter how popular chiptune gets (as a niche medium), there have always been a lot of people thinking it’s starting to fade away. The reality, though, is that isn’t even close to true. There will always be jaded people; this is inevitable. However chiptune, much like synthesizers in the 80’s, has helped many people evolve their tastes in music beyond just what they expected. A lot of expectations were the concept of the nostalgia and limitations of the sound of a single console or a few combined. It has brought people into a whole new perspective of appreciating composition, sound design, and genres they never expected to find growing on them. People who haven’t explored their music tastes before chip music are exploring the wide variety of music that’s out there. We have people continuing to put chiptune elements and chip music influences in their music, whether it’s strictly hardware, strictly software, or somewhere in between. This is exactly where mal4m’s EP, “Don’t Wait,” comes into play.
Slime Girls’ ‘Vacation Wasteland EP’ was one of the first albums I listened to when I was just getting into chipmusic, and it’s stuck with me for a really long time. Every once in a while, I listen to this classic and reminisce on the events five years ago that ended with my current involvement in the ChipWIN community as a writer and occasional musician. It really has quite a special place in my heart. So, when I saw that Slime Girls had just released a compilation of unfinished works titled ‘sketchbook vol #1: 12-17’, I jumped at the chance to give it a listen. I fell in love with a number of tracks on this enormous 23-track treasure trove, and I’m happy to share with you the ones I enjoyed the most today.
Hey there, ChipWINners! Welcome back to Quick Shots, my monthly album review column that brings you the latest from the scene to help you determine if something is right for you. This month, I’ll be reviewing four new albums from friends in the scene that are at different points in their careers. While some are just getting back in the scene, or are continuing to thrive in it, one is taking their final bow, and leaving us with a parting gift before they move on with their lives. It’s going to be a bittersweet journey this time, folks. So take a seat, plug in those headphones, and get ready for a rollercoaster of feels, as we look at music from The Laohu, +Let’s Disinfect+, StarStorm, and BitTrashRiot.