I have had my hands full with Chip Bit Day, so instead of reviewing something new I decided to look back to an album that was released last year on ‘Datafruits’. ‘Vanilla Dome’ by ‘Glooms’ was a truly fantastic album. Created using a copy of Nanoloop 2 synced up to a Korg Electribe Drum Machine, Vanilla featured a vast amount skill with sound engineering and programming.
Hello everyone. If you haven’t heard I’m yet again organising Chip Bit Day and it’s in its 4th year. I never thought I’d do another one after 2016, but here we are. As with all my Chip Bit Day articles, I will be showcasing each artist who is playing whilst picking a track that I think properly defines them. If you are interested in donating to Chip Bit Day you can do so by following the link here.
A lot of chip music is very direct with its presentation and direction of how to enjoy it. It also happens to play safe within the boundaries brought to us by keys and scales. Because of this, many people don’t exactly know what to expect when they hear the term “avant-garde”. ZBW’s latest, ‘MIN. – Vignettes on Self Loathing’, would be a good starting point if you search for something avant-garde within chiptune. If you want an adventure of someone else’s emotions, follow me after the jump. Or don’t. We all go to the same place.
It’s last review of the year for me and I thought I’d continue the trend by reviewing absolutely no chiptune. Last year was no contest for me and I reviewed one of my favourite ‘Futurefunk’ albums of the year, ‘Watashi No Yume Diary’ by ‘Bigwave Mikazuki’. It was a wonderful release that I continue to listen to this day. This year however has been harder to choose. Originally I was going to review ‘Moe Moe’ by ‘Moeshop’, an awesome release with a variety of singers. Featuring a worldwide collection of artists from Manchester’s own ‘MYLK’ to Kyoto’s ‘Toriena’, ‘Moe Moe’ was full to brim with character.
However, as the year started to draw to a close, I came across another album; ‘Static Electricity’ by ‘Utsuro Spark’ (released by New Japanese Net Label, ‘Local Visions’). Whilst ‘Moe Moe’ was bubbly and colourful, ‘Static Electricity’ managed to instantly hook me, both through its mystical music and passionate vocals. Ultimately it was the heart of ‘Static Electricity’ that won me over, even when I compared both albums vigorously against one another.
This year has been an excellent year for chipmusic using nanoloop. We’ve had a huge amount of releases ranging from the astounding ‘Geothermal’ by Classic Mistake, to the chilled as hell ‘Vanilla Dome’ by Glooms. This time we have Boaconstructor’s ‘Winds Of Null’. For context into ‘Boaconstructor’, he is a Seattle based musician who also runs ‘The Base bit’, one of the go-to net labels of chiptune. ‘The Base Bit’ have released a variety of accomplished albums such as ‘Refresh’ from Trey Frey, to ‘Steel City Zone’ by ‘HarleyLikesMusic’. It has been three years since ‘Boaconstructor’ has produced an album, with ‘Loop Dreams’ being released in 2015.
Whilst ‘Loop Dreams’ and ‘Winds Of Null’ were produced using Nanoloop, they are vastly different albums. ‘Loop Dreams’ focuses on using modulation to create weird and wonderful noises on a high BPM. ‘Winds Of Null’ on the other hand, focuses more on the bass, as well as detuning the melody and slowing down the music. For me I prefer Boaconstructor’s latest album, as I found it more accessible to listen to. The recording and mastering are also, in my opinion, much higher quality. Everything seems to pop better, with the levels balanced much better than ‘Loop Dreams’.