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!
Matt Creamer AKA Norrin_Radd delivers on pouring a 15 year pursuit of recreating near-perfectly authentic NES sounds into the fantastic soundtrack for the Mega Man fan-service platformer ‘Venture Kid’ (the iOS/Android game is out now). Energetic control shifts with each chaotic transition in this retro game microcosm as the album pulls you through all of the tentpole moments of any typical original Nintendo Entertainment System title.
Hook into the album right now with ‘Title Screen’ below!
Sup y’all? =) Prez Hoodie here. It’s been a while since we’ve had a guest spot here on the blog, but today we’re fixing that! A good friend of mine, Glenn Dubois aka Glenntai, contacted me recently about sharing a review via The CWB. While I was already well aware of his multiplicity of talents & involvements (Clipstream, Boston8Bit, chiptunes, Nerdfit, dickbutts, etc.), I was not mindful of his aptitude for writing chiptune reviews! Although now that I am, expect me to happily take advantage of this skillset (you asked for it, Glenn; quite literally <3 ). And on that note, let’s pass it on to Mr. Tentacle Head himself! Take it away, Glenntai!
‘Aces’, by Various Artists, via RSVP Tapes
Hey guys, Glenntai here coming at you with a review of an upcoming album set for Valentine’s Day! It differentiates a bit from the usual repertoire, but I’m sure you’ll most certainly enjoy it. After all, let’s be realistic here: I think it’s safe to say we all love chiptune/chipmusic. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here! Hell, I wouldn’t have written about it in the past, but there’s times where we stumble across great music that isn’t chip-related, or is perhaps only very meagerly chip-centric in its entirety. That’s when I received a digital copy of ‘Aces’ in my inbox with the message, “Enjoy mate!”
‘Aces’ is an exclusive compilation through RSVP Tapes of electronic music featuring twenty artists from around the globe. Compiled by local Boston-area legend Radio Scotvoid, producer and DJ of many sweet jams (and recently a new member of the father club— ‘grats again, bud;) the compilation was designed under a few, brief and strict guidelines:
These artists, or “Aces” of their trade in their own right, would create a song at either 80 or 160 BPM at roughly a 3-minute length in order to release this album on a loudly-dubbed, high-quality c60 cassette. What was produced was an hour’s worth of solid downtempo, skweee, dnb, FM and chip with enough soul, rhythm and ambience to make an hour feel like it almost instantly passes by in a bass-filled cloud of bliss.
The album’s overall mood is semi-atmospheric as a whole with plenty of hip-hop, drum and bass-centric influences. Starting this album off with ‘Kevari’by Mesak was a great decision. Simplistic basslines and a percussion line creeping slowly in and out as if you’re awaiting the lead-in towards the next big wave of sound was a fitting way to start the album. Equally fitting for the next track, Kantoripoika’s ‘Helvetti’provides all of that and more with its deep and almost ominous-feeling bass kicks.
For notable and chip-related tracks, Spunky Brewster’s ‘Invasion of the Froglomites’ is a shining example of how many people in the chiptune scene are missing out by not giving FM a chance. If you’re asking yourself, “Right, but how good is the track,” you’ve clearly yet to discover this is also made by the man behind instant-classic acts such as Oxygen Star, Doomcloud, SadNES, Radlib, Steady C and Rolly Mingwald. You have been forgiven. For the sake of explanation, however, this track brings a more dramatic form and melodically-driven tension to the album and uses some classic O2star-era leads.
ABSDRST may be focusing more on his hip-hop beats instead of his chiptune creations nowadays, but that doesn’t mean an ounce of the quality has gone down. If anything his track, ‘Little Lies’, has only shone through to show how much talent is behind him when he isn’t focusing on hardware limitations. One can only hope he comes back to produce a chip-hop album that would leave the more talented and respected linguists drooling to collaborate.
Admittedly, I had not even heard of DKSTR before this compilation, but in ‘Done & Done’ his use of SID drums and leads behind some soft synth pads not only fits but puts definition to the soulful, rhythmic vibe half-way through the album.
All in all, this album is a fantastic, bass-filled voyage through electronic sound that can be as equally engaging and enjoyable when directly paid attention to or played in the background for pretty much any occasion.