Posts Tagged ‘video games’

Aydan Appreciates: ‘Dizzy Knight Original Soundtrack’ by Norrin Radd

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Hey, all you chipfans out there! It’s been a hot minute because a lot of HUGE things have been happening in my life [Editor’s note: congrats to Aydan on getting married! ♥], but I’m back with an OST review hot off the press! Dizzy Knight is a mobile game released in October 2018, and is highly reminiscent of SNES adventure games, both in graphical aesthetic and in its music. When Norrin Radd released the soundtrack a little longer than two weeks ago on Bandcamp, I knew I’d heard his name somewhere, and upon further sleuthing discovered that he’d written a track for one of the greatest chipmusic compilations ever released, ‘Noisechan and Nugget: Adventures in Chiptunes’. As evidenced by his SoundCloud and Bandcamp portfolio, he specializes in writing highly polished OST music; however, in his own liner notes, he reveals that the tracks on the ‘Dizzy Knight OST’ are more raw in nature. Let’s see what’s in store for us on this OST!

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ChipWIN-tern Presents: Timespinner

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I turn 28 this month, in fact a week from today. At this age, I find myself wishing I had the ability to go back in time and change a number of things that led my life to be the way it is today. And honestly, not only that, but there are certain parts of my life I wish I could live over again, like the parts of my childhood I spent playing my Super Nintendo and my friend’s Playstation 1 after school, jamming out to the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST.

This will never happen, of course. I don’t have some kind of time machine to go back, and I’ll never be able to experience Michiru Yamane and Koji Igarashi’s masterpiece again for the first time. What I do have, however, is the next best thing: Timespinner, the first game by Lunar Ray games with an amazing soundtrack by Jeff Ball of Tiny Barbarian DX and Steven Universe fame (among many others), which follows the story of Lunais – a woman who must travel between the ancient past and ruined present of her world to put an end to the tyranny her people face from an intergalactic empire. Funded on Kickstarter back in 2014, this was one of those games I backed and hoped and prayed it would actually come to completion, having been burned by a number of other very promising retro-inspired campaigns in the past – and lo and behold, at the end of September of this year I got my hands on my pledge and devoured the game immediately. Instead of my normal “music only” review column this month, I’d like to actually talk about the game as well – and as with my occasional event coverage, I’ll give you the handy #MUSIC and #GAME tags to Ctrl+F back and forth to if you only want to read one of those reviews.

Let’s get spinning!

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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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