Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Pixel Syndrome Digs into ‘ひきこもり・Hikikomori’ by Pterodactyl Squad

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In Japan, where the term of ‘Hikikomori’ originated, it refers to either adults or teens who withdraw from society, and whose only purpose is to be alone by their own volition and live as post-modern hermits who are nevertheless still connected to their virtual lives. In this post COVID world, a chill chiptune compilation centered around isolation is just one of the ways in which our scene, which has been called “the most pandemic proof”, shows its resilience and its way to thrive within this new normal.

This brand new compilation, released on the month of April by Pterodactyl Squad, aptly named “ひきこもり・Hikikomori” has a total of 32 tracks. They are diverse sounding and super fun to listen to within the confines of your home, maybe even dance frantically to, all while basking in this brand new collective hikikomori pact we’ve established in the western civilization.

And I’m super happy to be here to review some of these amazing tracks, so let’s get started!

Album artwork by Bryony Hopkins.

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Rhyphte Reviews: ‘General Musings’ by cactus.

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Well, this is probably the last you’ll be hearing from me for a minute, folks. Got some IRL adventures to sort out before I can pursue my hobbies in the same way again. So let me kick off the review portion of this announcement with the revelation that cactus. is from Melbourne! Crazy to me since I was born there and had no idea (that cactus. resides there—pretty sure I know where I was born)! There’s so much talent in the southern hemisphere and the list of Aussie musicians that I am aware of grows longer day by day!

(very fitting) album art by Joshua Webb

‘General Musings’ is a collection of what cactus. calls ‘title-first’ compositions, which are songs written around expressions or phrases deemed sufficiently interesting by the creator. I think that the concept is quite refreshing, bringing many different and specific ideas together into the spotlight without the need for a binding theme. It’s a great prompt for generating new and interesting musical ideas!


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Aydan Appreciates: ‘Next Level’ by Graz

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Graz’s music catalog has been expanding slowly but surely over the last few years, with the release of multiple singles, EPs, and collaborations with other artists, in addition to a few features on our very own ChipWIN compilations over the years. Through Orlando-based netlabel Tiny Waves, Graz has released his latest EP, ‘Next Level’, a five-track EP featuring two of his most recently released singles in ‘Need Ur Love’ and ‘Run It’. Let’s check it out!

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Aydan Appreciates: ‘[USA]’ by Anamanaguchi

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Anyone who’s ever listened to chipmusic has assuredly heard of the legendary Anamanaguchi. A four-piece group from New York City, their 2009 ‘Dawn Metropolis EP‘ was likely the first taste of chipmusic many of us received upon exploring the genre – myself included. 2013’s ‘Endless Fantasy’ saw a departure from this style and marked their first full-length foray into the world of electronic dance music, and spawned a semi-viral video in which the band launched a slice of cheese pizza into space. In October of 2019, they released ‘[USA]’, their second full-length album, and on the off-chance you missed it on release, I’m excited to share it with you all today!

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Aydan Appreciates: ‘Ratvader’s Dream’ by Ratvader

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‘Ratvader’s Dream’, released through the incredible Swedish Columbia netlabel, is the first full-length production from Gothenburg, Sweden-based musician Ratvader, one-half of the group Hello World. If that name sounds familiar, it might be because they wrote the opening track for ChipWIN’s most recent compilation, the Wild West-themed ‘A Fistful of Chiptunes‘. Their atmospheric contribution set the mood for the rest of the album and was a demonstrable display of their musical expertise. What’s more, the album was produced – and had its cover art drawn! – by El Huervo, an artist whose work you may recognize from Hotline Miami between some of its music or its iconic cover art. Now that you know a little bit about the artists, let’s get to know the music a little more intimately, shall we?

Absolutely stunning album artwork by El Huervo.

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