Hey friends! It’s been a good ol’ while since I published a new interview here on our blog. While working on ‘A Fistful of Chiptunes‘, however, I had some lovely conversations with one of the artists that lead to my unpause-ing of this column. The fellow responsible for this is talented multi-media composer, a dual project chiptune wizard, and an all around fantastic Swede. Everyone, welcome to the blog, Oscar Rydelius!
Y’all. It has not been easy deciding what to write about. The late autumn/early winter releases have been fucking killer. Right now, I’m sitting on like, two half-finished reviews—which is nuts! But I’ve just decided to take the plunge on this ’cause I’ve gotta honor what Matt has accomplished here. Watch Out For Snakes (hereon referred to as WOFS), is a synthwave project from Matt Baum featuring prominent chiptune elements and is a cornerstone of the Atlanta synthwave scene. When I heard ‘Arms Race’ on Volume 7 of the annual compilation, I knew that something truly remarkable was taking shape in the chiptune scene and I couldn’t be happier to see this fucking stellar release at the forefront of Georgia’s chiptune landscape.
Buckaroo Bran here to jaw ‘atcha one last time about our Wild West themed compilation, ‘A Fistful of Chiptunes‘! Got not one, two, but three wily writers in cahoots today to serve up the full review of this badass buncha tunes! On the horse first, it’s Pixel Guy! Yeehaw!
As some of y’all may well know about me by now, I’m a huge fan of spaghetti western movies. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve watching these iconic films with my Dad or one of my Grandfathers. That said, while I sincerely love the flicks themselves, it’s their soundtracks that gripped and inspired me more than anything else, with Ennio Morricone ranking foremost in my mind among their composers.
That makes it all the more fitting that, today, on Mr. Morricone’s birthday, I’m announcing our latest themed compilation influenced by that very style!
Cityfires’ latest release is fire.That pun is too easy not to make, but I really mean it. With buoyant emotional synthpop, some of the most magnetic sound design I’ve heard all year, and fascinating lyrics – this album’s spirit is most deserving of the title “adventure” out of all that I’ve written about. It’s full of surprises and seriously fine-tuned, with tracks like ‘The Tangle’ trimmed down to interesting ideas, while others such as the titular song take the time they need for a core feeling to hit home.
Full to the brim with electric melody lines, immersive sound design, and creative mixing decisions, this fifteen-track masterpiece never sacrifices quality for quantity. Tight vocal tracks are infused with textured electronica, and organic instrumentation as well. Instrumentals are just as diverse: ‘Daybreak Apparatus’ echoes the peppy videogame joy of earlier ChipWIN comps, while ‘Dreamshifting’ feels like some more recent chiptune which draws from mathrock. Alternatively, ‘Mothfold’ defies description. The whole album is kinetic, and really integrated, a trip through clear landscapes and sights to behold.
DDRKirby(ISQ) has composed an absolutely obscene amount of quality tunes over the past decade and a half, and is a long-standing member of both the OCRemix and chipmusic communities. Predominantly composing music for a series of themed game competitions called the ‘Ludum Dare’ series, DDRKirby(ISQ) and friends have created dozens of these small, entertaining, browser-based games. With this competition being held once every six months, a colossal amount of material has been composed; DDRKirby(ISQ) has graciously compiled what they consider to be their best hits over the past few years. From video game remixes to original compositions, the album is simply packed full of memorable music!