There comes a time in everyone’s adventure in music where one asks, “Is there such thing as ‘too much of a good thing’?” It’s easy to summarize your viewpoint on life in this question. This question, however, gets immediately muddled by the existence of Magenta by Seajeff (fka C-Jeff); founder of the gateway to a ton of excellent progressive jams known as Ubiktune. There’s literally so much content and so much quality that the answer is either “no, there’s no such thing as ‘too much of a good thing,’” or I’m now a self-declared hedonistic opportunist. Maybe the answer’s both at this point, but let’s save that quandary for another time. This album is a badass journey through time and demands a listen, and after the jump I’ll give some examples (and a music video) for you to understand why.
Album art by Taylor Crisdale (alt. cover by Diana Jakobsson).
[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.
Back in November of 2015, I had the pleasure of talking with Joshua Faulkner and Daniel Romero of the Salt Lake City super synth duo known as Conquer Monster. Their album, ‘Metatransit‘, had just been released the previous month in October, and on top of being incredibly sound design savvy with a variety of instruments, synthesizers, and a C64 on their album the group also performs live and focuses a good portion of their time on reeling listeners in with visuals. Debuting on December 11, 2017, the group has taken one of their tracks ‘Posthuman’ from ‘Metatransit’ and created a retro video featuring the artists in a 90s point-and-click inspired video game.
For those of you from the west coast of the US and those of you familiar with the Philadelphia chiptune scene and/or MAGFest, the name Auxcide is likely a very familiar to you. Armed with several Gameboy Advance SPs, synthesizers and drum machines, his unique blend of electronic music genres within the media of chipmusic have struck deep emotions as much as it has made people dance. During this summer of excellent releases coming from talented composers, Cheapbeats has given us a treat by releasing Bare Knuckle: a 15-minute live-recorded medley full of music from the Streets of Rage/Bare Knuckle/ベア・ナックル series. Yuzo Koshiro has been known for his bouncy, syncopated dance rhythms that combined elements from house, jazz, hip-hop and a variety of EDM genres. Continue after the jump for some good jams.