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.
Impulses’ Bandcamp description is simply “Emotional Underground Chiptune.” Started by Trevor Stafford at least a few years ago, their music is consistently calming, pretty, melodic, natural, and always makes me feel things. I haven’t stopped listening sinceI discovered them last month through the ChipWIN discord. Impulses’ sound is filled with the sincerity of 8-bit synths, and the occasional boppy modernity of edm, and I’ve enjoyed going through their full discography quite a bit. That being said, the latest release ‘L | \/ E EP’ easily stands out, with a polished cohesion, tightness, and clarity.
Knasibas has been my friend for awhile now, and I’ve been a fan of his music for even longer. In case you haven’t heard of him, he’s a chiptune/bitpop genius who has been featured on Tracked and Chiptunes = WIN compilations, along with releasing music independently since 2015. Inspired by the sugar rush of jpop, the writing in heavier rock/metal, the appeal of videogame music, and EDM sensibilities, Knasibas has a unique overall sound with distinct and memorable melodies.
So now that you know what to expect, I’m really excited to talk about his latest album ‘CRY’. This release has a lot of depth to it, but the great sense of style speaks for itself. It’s inviting, open and up-front, and I find that… comforting. So rather than try to talk about everything and how it works, I’ll be honing in on that sense of comfort, and figuring out why it stuck with me. Hope you like it!
Crunk Witch, an eclectic and eccentric geeky duo from Maine, is known for their heavy bass, explosive vocals, phenomenal production, and chipmusic-influenced style. They’re also known for touring extensively throughout the United States. Several times a year they come through the college town that I call home, Ithaca, tojam out at one of our favorite local pizza joints, The Nines. This is justa pit stop on their journey to rock the nation, and it’s always a treat to experience the sheer energy that flows through the packed bar during their shows. At these live events, they’ve teased some new material from their latest self-titled album, released a little more than four years after their most recent album, ‘Heartbeats in Hyperspace’. ‘Crunk Witch’ is packed with what long-time fans know and love the duo for, and is sure to open new fans’ eyes to their sheer talent. So come on, everybody; there’s a place we gotta go!
Yo, wassup, ChipWINners, and welcome back to Quick Shots: the monthly album review column where I take aim at the latest the scene has to offer and determine if it’s worth jamming out to or if you should just walk on past it. This month, I’ve got music from an exciting Swedish composer who imbues all his music with radiance and positivity, as well as introspective, complex arias from an artist who’s new to the scene. Both producers bring records to the table that are worth dissecting, so let’s not waste any more time. Sit back, relax, and join me as I pick apart new releases from veteran chip artist nanobii and neophyte Taylor Eruysal.