Confrontation is, occasionally, inevitable. Most of the time, however, we can learn from our differences and enrich our own perspective. In some cases, even highlighting these contrasting elements can be a good thing. After a spectacular showcase compilationlast year, しのりゅー brings to us yet another incredible release that showcases this pixelated dichotomy. For this chapter, 56 artists explored the contrasting themes of cute and cool in their own unique styles. So let’s take a look over ‘カワイイチップチューン VS カッコイイチップチューン 対決コンピレーション’ (Kawaii Chippchūn VS Kakkoii Chippchūn: Taiketsu Conpirēshon), released through novtos.
A little over a month ago, Chiptunes4Autism released their highly anticipated ‘Volume 3: Forces of Neurodivergence’ compilation. Spanning around an hour and a half, the album is part of an ongoing fundraising nonprofit run by Gustuf Young (Asperkraken), focused on promoting autism positivity, and empowering people on the spectrum. Uniting a diverse group of chiptune artists from all around the world, with all kinds of backgrounds, Chiptunes4Autism organizes live showcases and a yearly compilation album. The earnings are donated to a few different causes that support opportunities, advocacy, and resources – all while giving musicians, neurodiverse or otherwise, a helpful and accepting community in the process.
My introduction is going to be a bit of a gushy personal disclaimer. Sometime in mid-February of 2015, I was chilling out at home browsing Bandcamp, skimming ‘videogame’ tags and fan accounts, my primary way of finding new music back then. I stumbled across Kubbi’s album ‘Ember’, a breathtaking experience that I fall in love with every time I hear it. It’s stuck with me all this time, and while I’m sure it’s influenced me as an artist, Ember has done much more to help shape me as a listener. Looking back, some things have stayed the same (I still spend an occasional evening all to myself on bandcamp), but there’s just so much that has changed since 2015. I discovered Chiptunes = WIN, learned new things. I made new friends, left high school, grew up… and now I find myself here. I know I wouldn’t want to be judged for who I was three years ago, and I certainly wouldn’t want my music to be judged by what I made back then either.
So, as honored as I am to be talking about one of my favorite artists, on one of my favorite blogs – I’m going to try and set that aside, and refrain from any comparisons in regards to Kubbi’s past work too. I’m honestly more excited for right now, and the memories that haven’t happened yet. I used to have one definitive favorite album. With ‘Taiga’, I now have two.
When it came out, Tenfour’s “Wish Book” marked something wonderfully new for Cheapbeats. A popular label for chiptune and lo-fi music, this is the first time in my memory they’ve released something so distinctly modern and inspired more by videogame music than the chip scene. Soundtracks, and VGM in general, were my entryway to taking an interest in composition, which led me to the Chiptunes=WIN community, so I’m going to take this opportunity to try something new myself and write out my thoughts about it. Because this isn’t just a phenomenal album, it’s also *right* up my alley. Let’s dissect why it works so well.
Hello all and welcome to the last leg of the Vol. 6 track reviews. One great thing with Chiptunes = WIN’s yearly mainline Volumes: the overall quality is so high and consistent, you’ll never feel like the compilation loses momentum at any point, even for the very last tracks. On the contrary. On this truly STELLAR Volume 6, some of my absolute favourites are actually part of the last ten! And I was lucky enough to review them. Let’s dive in! “La main à la pâte”!
Bonus ‘Volume 6’ album art by Chunderfins, twitter.com/chunderfins