Every month that I write these blog entries, I can’t believe how quickly the year flies by. Up in New York City, we’re partly settled into fall; the leaves are barely starting to change colors, and the weather can’t seem to make up its mind. I’ve always regarded autumn to be a time of renewal, and the soundtracks I listen to during this time of the year tend to remain the most nostalgic to me throughout the year. That being said, we have been blessed with a new WMD album, entitled ‘Reminisce’ and I do believe this one will stay with me in future seasons, taking me right back to the memories of this October.
Shortly after this post becomes published, August will come to a close, and I will be taking September off to wrap up some work of my own. Before I go on my short break, I wanted to shape everyones’ attention towards a synthwave release by an artist that I found via the ChipWINdex (a great resource brought to you by ChipWIN folks full of relevant releases that you’ll most likely adore). I present to you: Laser Life, and their album, ‘Swim’.
Before I even hit ‘play’ on track one, I could tell an overload of care went into this indie release. Laser Life has a memorable logo that is both unique and simple, and the album art (created by Everything Studio) is intensely thought provoking: It gives off a sense of silent surroundings but loud thoughts, and transporting oneself to someplace else.
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
This month, I came across a release by Ben Prunty called ‘Music Workbench’ – a series of improvisations performed by Prunty weekly – is featured live on Twitch every Saturday at 2PM Pacific Time. Taking advantage of a live streaming platform not only gives the opportunity for real-time performances, but it also creates a platform for viewers to inquire about technology and creativity in real time.
Artwork by Amora Bettany, of Studio Miniboss (studiominiboss.com).
With a summer of amazing releases behind us, fall is nearly here ChipWINners! August has brought us a veritable cornucopia of new musical releases from a wide array of talents. Of them, my attention was caught by a newcomer to the scene, Chris ‘Age of Lazers’ Stewart. The lasers, and swanky 80s arcade vector art were more than enough to catch my attention. However, that seductive mixture of chip and guitar is what held it. Further, when I read that the album’s mastering was performed by Stemage himself, I knew that the ChipRealm deserved to get to know this slice of musical pie a bit better.
This month, I wanted to turn everyone’s attention towards a Scottish born artist currently living in Massachusetts whose love for chip tune, lo-fi, and synthesizers has unified a clan of east coasters while he pursued creating record labels, organizing live performances, and promoting releases. However, Scott Buchanan isn’t just a great organizer; he’s also a performer himself, and wearer of many hats. Sound designing, composing, tinkering with circuit bending, note tracking, and being well versed in the ins and outs of the analog world are among his many talents.
I met Scott (though some of you may know him as Radio Scotvoid, Radio Skotvoid, or My Brother Daniel) in the fall of 2014; I had released my first record earlier in the year, and he asked if I’d take part in his lo-fi release under his new record label, Rhythmus Records. Scott knows everybody on the east coast, and even keeps close ties with a crew of lo-fi visualists and composers from the Pacific Northwest, so the collaboration was not only really fun, but a great way to interact with like-minded people. Being a key member of the chip scene in Massachusetts for quite a while now, Scott took his experiences in being a part of live shows and used good communication skills to get people together who share the same love for music while giving them a chance to share their projects.
Photo taken by Kourtney Buchanan, for Chroma (an upcoming magazine release, where Scott was interviewed).