Posts Tagged ‘vocal chip’

Meaning in Chaos: Cityfires – ‘CCL Dive’

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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.

It is also a story of hope in moving forward.

Art by Alex Spivey
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Wounds and Resolutions: Curious Quail – ‘Twelve Months’

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Curious Quail’s ‘Twelve Months’ opens with a simple, quiet guitar chord, E major. A single pulse plays, E, the tonic, a perfect resolution in isolation.

The gameboy falters, falling down until it reaches a B. Perfect fifth. The next best thing.

For the first minute, each phrase ends in one of these two notes.

This song is titled ‘Resolutions’.


“a collection of twelve songs about life, love, loss, beauty, and so much more told through a canvas of hasty melodic decisions and instrumentation that you don’t often get together”
(photo and quote by Curious Quail)
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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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What’s On Tap – PAULA POWERED

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This month’s edition of ‘What’s on Tap?’ is fortunate in its timing, with a new release matching up perfectly with the beer style I wanted to discuss this month. Combining PAULA POWERED’s new chip punk EP ‘Level Up’ with good weather and a cold hefeweizen is a recipe for success.

Many of the artists that I review on the ChipWIN blog – most notably Danimal Cannon and Norrin_Radd – gravitate towards heavy, complex music. While I enjoy music in this vein, the simplicity of the textures and importance of the message inherent in punk music is something that also really speaks to me. In their new EP, PAULA POWERED blends punk ethos with well-produced chip music mixing vocals, guitar, and the Amiga 1200. Although punk is often intentionally lo-fi, fans can expect to hear slightly more melodic singing and fantastic production from this release; think less Germs/Minor Threat and more Clash/Stooges. Onward!

Level Up

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What’s On Tap – Petriform

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Welcome back to ‘What’s on Tap?’ where we explore all sorts of pleasurable sensory experiences and pine over the last days of summer. This month I have the pleasure to review an artist whose work I really enjoy (Petriform) and a beer style that is in perfect season right now (Oktoberfest). Combining these two will be certain to please, and I hope you will seek out both the album and some of the beers listed at the end of the review.

Released in August, Petriform’s latest album ‘Don’t Worry, You’re Great!’ is an uplifting and cheerful collection of 13 tracks packed to the brim with catchy melodies. One of the things that makes this release unique in the realm of chip music is the artful combination of chip sounds from Famitracker with guitar and vocoder-laced vocal tracks. Not every song features the voice – and Petriform includes the instrumentals in the full album download – but those that do contain lyrics that tell interesting stories, and the voice blends among the chip synth in a beautiful tapestry of sound.

'Don't Worry, You're Great!'
cover art by Petriform
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