Posts Tagged ‘video games’

Aydan Appreciates: ‘Snö’ by Ujico*/Snail’s House

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We all love our chipmusic here on the blog. Many of us are familiar with the various kinds of hardware, software, and their unique sounds, be they the NES, the Genesis, the Game Boy, or some other kind of emulator with the express purpose of creating the tones we all know and love. But did you know that the future bass subgenre of electronic dance music is actually in a similar vein to chipmusic by extension? Future bass music is often loosely tied to VGM and chipmusic, and is defined predominantly by its use of synthesizers that are commonplace in all three of these scenes. Today, we’ll be looking at the latest Snail’s House release, ‘Snö’; something that’s particularly notable about this release is the difference in tone between this EP and the majority of Snail’s House’s previous works. Most of this artist’s pieces are high-energy, utilizing a multitude of voices and aggressive percussion to create wild, jazzy tunes, ‘Snö’, on the other hand, is more subdued and calm in nature, sounding something like a soundtrack from a futuristic RPG, but with emotional overtones. Without further ado, let’s see what ‘Snö’ has in store for us.

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Paul’s Pantry: Chip Tanaka – ‘Django’

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[Editor’s note: I nearly un-retired from review writing to cover this magnificent new release composed by one of my original childhood inspirations; Tanaka-san’s Metroid OST is largely responsible for initially engaging my interests in both VGM and chip, if not music in general! I’m glad I didn’t, however, as Paul has done a marvelous job conveying his own enthusiasm and appreciation for ‘Django’ as a chipmusic composer himself. Regardless, please enjoy this lovely take from a member of the new chiptune generation on one of the forefathers of chipmusic’s latest works! ~Brandon L. H.]

If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know how laudative and enthusiastic I can get. But today is a bit different. Here I am, listening to this album again, reading up on Tanaka-san’s bio to research the article, recalling the mind-bending experience that was seeing him live at Square Sounds Tokyo last September. Here I am, writing about the article, instead of the album or the artist, trying to sound meta and smart, keeping my composure, because I don’t want you to know that words are failing me.

I don’t want this article to be a string of enthusiastic platitudes and generic descriptions of the music. I love this album and I want my review to do it justice, beyond the fact that I’m still starstruck and not in any fit state to be objective.

And even if this album refuses to fit nicely in a traditional 2k-word album review, which it probably will, I’m still gonna give it my best shot. Here we are. Let me tell you about Chip Tanaka, and his album, ‘Django’.

This beautiful cover art shows the many qualities of Chip Tanaka’s music: Eclectic, goofy, organic, multi-facetted and good for your health.

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What’s On Tap – Hide Your Tigers

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Hello friends and welcome to the chilliest What’s On Tap? in recent memory. Here in the barren wastes between the midwest and east coast of the United States, we have gone from an unseasonably warm weekend to ‘holy crap I forgot how much cold hurts’ literally overnight. But never fear, this month’s tunes are guaranteed to set fire to your speakers while the beer style is sure to warm the heart of even the coldest Grinch.

This month I have the pleasure of reviewing ‘Run From Reality’, the latest release from Hide Your Tigers on the Pterodactyl Squad netlabel. Las Vegas chip musician Cheyne Shirley is the mastermind behind this project, as well as being one half of the duo Decaying Tigers. This album is loaded from start to finish with dance/trance/EDM bangers, and Cheyne’s weapons of mass construction are a pile of Game Boys running LSDJ. Each track has layers upon layers of bass, with just enough room in the spectrum for percussion, backing pads, and the occasional melody. The album is an easy, lighthearted, and happy listen. ‘Run From Reality’ might be is best summarized by the following 15-second ad in the style of a stereotypical commercial voiceover:

Hate the cold? Seasonal Affective Disorder got ya down? Cure the holiday blues by treating yourself to some bangin’ dance tunes from Hide Your Tigers!


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What’s On Tap – EvilWezil

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Welcome to the October edition of ‘What’s on Tap?’ and boy do we have a unique musical selection for you this month! If I had a dollar for every album that I own that features Game Boy, vocals, and electric autoharp, well… I wouldn’t have a penny to my name. But wait – get those dollars ready because EvilWezil’s new jam ‘Forever Ago’ is a frenetic EP filled with LSDJ bleeps, sultry vocals, and the dulcet tones of distorted, wah-wah drenched autoharp goodness.


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Guérin’s Dissections: ‘Jumper’ by Foxx + [BONUS] ‘solo’ by Je Mappelle

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Sometimes, you just need a good album to play in the background of your daily tasks. Sometimes you need a lowekey song to just relax in bed with. Sometimes you need to listen to ‘Jumper’ by Foxx. His style has always been some brand of chill with a few hectic songs thrown in for good measure, but this album turns the dimmers low and lights the fireplace for you to stretch out and unwind to. Let’s just sit and chat for a bit about this adorable album.

ヽ̶͈̼͒͋͌ͅ(̷̨̰̟̮́´̸͍̺̿̇̚ὠ̸̗̟̲̃͑̎`̸̛̛̞̝͆̊○̴͙̈́͌̈ͅ)̶̢͎͉͇̽ノ̵̣̪̗̃́̈́.̵̫̗̰̿̌+̷̸゚̢̮͔̮͎͔͖̍̂̈́͝*̵̨̰̣̜́̿̑͑。̵͚̹̓͂̉̓:̸̸゚̩͚͔̋͋̾́+̵͓͍̟̎͜∩̵̩̌̄̉(̴̯̐̀͝ ̴̳͆̐・̶͍̯̇͗͛ω̶̢̼̳͑・̴̫͈̅̉̈)̵̢̀͛̀∩̷̢͆o̸͔͗͋̇́(̴͚͚̖̈́͂̃́(̶͖͖̳͂̀͊*̶͓͉̯͚͌̔̄͝^̴͖̭͊▽̴̹͉͖͙͑̄^̶͔͚̋̓͒͝*̴̪̲̇͂͌)̵̠͔͓̋̈́̈́͗)̸̭̜̥̎̃͝ỡ̷͈͕̫ͅ《̴̟̬͆《̷̨̻̮͖͠ơ̶͜(̸̨̢̜̙̀≧̶̩͎̹̹̑̊̏◇̴̖̗̍́̕≦̴̤͚̽̈́̕)̷͚̈́o̷̼̜͍̓̾》̴̢̧͎̮́̃̇̇》̴̯̾̐∩̴̼̱̾͛̿ͅ(̸̙̍ ̶̝̫̓・̷̱̘̓̈́͘ω̷̨͔̟̤̿͒̚・̵̹͓̝͘)̶̧̐̑̅̕∩̶̯̳͚̩̃͘o̴̱̫̖͌̆͆͗(̶͖͋̃́(̶̨̟̭̌̐̈́̽*̶͍̟̗͝^̴̲̿̈́͝▽̴̨͖̉̇͝^̶̲̙̦̹͌*̷̭̙̦̳͑̊̑)̴̞͓͆̌͛͘)̵̡͉͕̐ö̵̲́̓̽《̸̠̭͕͚͐《̶̭̻̻̅͋o̵̡̻̖̒̄͋͠(̷̥͚̏≧̵̱͕͌͗◇̴͈͒̿≦̵̭̇̈́͘)̴̜̦̞̈͑͒͜o̸̮̟̾̐》̸̙̲̟̀̽͠》̸̙́̅̂ͅ(̷̗͂۶̵̬̰̺͌̽͗*̵̛̖͓͕̖̒ ̷̮̪̽͝‘̸͕͎̓̀̚̚͜ꆚ̴͔̼̅̒͠’̷̥͗̌)̴̟̠̋۶̴̡͚̙̎̕”̵͕̝̌ͅ

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What’s On Tap – Jellica

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Welcome to the fall edition of What’s On Tap! Cooler weather pairs nicely with cool tunes and the first fall seasonal beers this month – let’s rock!

Cambridge-based musician Jellica is a veteran of the chip scene, having released 14+ EP/LP online, running the Kittenrock netlabel, and performing live both in the United Kingdom and abroad. Jellica’s style is somewhat fluid between releases, moving deftly between various genres of electro-pop oriented sounds.

Released on August 31st, Jellica’s newest offering ‘Retrotech Romance’ is a masterclass in SID sounds, with dual Commodore 64 chips pumping out waves of intense textures and funky rhythms. An interesting aspect of this album is that it takes time – each track is at least 4:00 long and all evolve organically rather than using a standard verse/chorus approach. In the style of the American minimalist composers Philip Glass/Terry Riley/John C. Adams, musical events unfold over a series of minutes rather than seconds. Sometimes these are small nudges to the musical orbit rather than colossal impacts; the addition of a higher set of accompanying blips or a 7-tone melody that unfolds over twenty seconds. In our current environment of 140-character snippets, ‘Retrotech Romance’ closes out the summer with a marathon session of electronic jams.

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