After a long hiatus I’m back with ChipWIN writing about some chiptune music, and what better way than beginning with the fantastic album, ‘Illegal Street Racing’ by MisfitChris? This was initially released towards the end of January as solely a digital album. However, it wasn’t until June 24th, when ‘Data Airlines’ produced the cassette release of ‘Illegal Street Racing’, did it come under my radar.
I must be getting old, because these days I’m actively seeking calming music to play me off to dreamland in the evenings. I already shared my go-to sleepytime album a few months back, but while checking out related and recommended albums after last month’s review I stumbled onto a release from a tiny German label called Dead Bison. I was intrigued – they’ve got almost no web presence and just three releases through the last three years, I’m not even sure how they popped up aside from Bandcamp’s recommendation algorithms being very, very good. ‘Driving East’ by Natsukashii is one of these three releases, and by halfway through the first track I had experienced a relaxing calm so pure I knew this had to be what I’ve been looking for.
I have had my hands full with Chip Bit Day, so instead of reviewing something new I decided to look back to an album that was released last year on ‘Datafruits’. ‘Vanilla Dome’ by ‘Glooms’ was a truly fantastic album. Created using a copy of Nanoloop 2 synced up to a Korg Electribe Drum Machine, Vanilla featured a vast amount skill with sound engineering and programming.
Ozymandias by ‘Starving GOGO’ (and distributed by Cheapbeats) has been under the radar for a while, being released back in October 2018. However, it is definitely one that people should pick up and get into. Last year I had the absolute privilege of meeting ‘Starving GOGO’ and having him play at Chip Bit Day 2018. Needless to say Starving GOGO’s entire set blew everyone away with his blend of chiptune, electrocore, and attention to detail in LSDJ. As well as playing live, GOGO also faced off against ‘Tekmann’ in a ‘ChipBattle’, playing some fantastic quick tunes that are actually featured on this album.
After a month off to focus on other matters, it feels good to be back reviewing music at ChipWIN. ‘Lost’ by Shortee was an album that slipped under my radar last year, but as soon as I started listening to it, ‘Guten Morgen’ immediately became one of my top 10 tracks of 2018. That said, the album has plenty more songs worth delving into, so I wanted to do a showcase on The ChipWIN Blog and dive into Shortee’s debut album.
It’s last review of the year for me and I thought I’d continue the trend by reviewing absolutely no chiptune. Last year was no contest for me and I reviewed one of my favourite ‘Futurefunk’ albums of the year, ‘Watashi No Yume Diary’ by ‘Bigwave Mikazuki’. It was a wonderful release that I continue to listen to this day. This year however has been harder to choose. Originally I was going to review ‘Moe Moe’ by ‘Moeshop’, an awesome release with a variety of singers. Featuring a worldwide collection of artists from Manchester’s own ‘MYLK’ to Kyoto’s ‘Toriena’, ‘Moe Moe’ was full to brim with character.
However, as the year started to draw to a close, I came across another album; ‘Static Electricity’ by ‘Utsuro Spark’ (released by New Japanese Net Label, ‘Local Visions’). Whilst ‘Moe Moe’ was bubbly and colourful, ‘Static Electricity’ managed to instantly hook me, both through its mystical music and passionate vocals. Ultimately it was the heart of ‘Static Electricity’ that won me over, even when I compared both albums vigorously against one another.