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’.
It is funny how plans can be altered within a second. Originally, I was going to review something else.However, just as I was about to put fingers to keyboard, I got an email: ‘Paladin Shield’ had just released a new album; ‘Many Blessings’! ‘Hot damn’, I said as I spent more money on yet another album. Below are three tracks that I loved off ‘Many Blessings’ and why I think it’s top notch.
For this month I’ve been really busy with a variety of different chiptune projects, and so I’m doing a reblog of an Article I wrote back in early 2018. ‘Classic Mistake’ is a an artist I’ve only recently come across, beginning with a cover of 0F Digital’s, ‘Mesh’ and featured in ‘The Great Australian Barbecue Bash’ compilation. What I liked about ‘Classic Mistake’ is that he almost exclusively uses ‘Nanoloop 2.0’, creating some fantastic hooks which are reminiscent to early techno. ‘Geothermal’ is Classic Mistake’s first album released under ‘Cheapbeats’. Below I have selected three tracks that stood out for me of ‘Geothermal’.
Whilst everyone is engaged with the Chiptunes = WIN compilation over August, one of 2018’s greatest chip albums has just been released; ‘A Vision of Light’ by Canadian 16bit based band, ‘Villainest’. It’s been a while since their last album, ‘A Good Day to Try Hard’ was brought to my attention, much to critical acclaim. I reviewed it on ChipWIN, giving it high praise, also rating track ‘The Machine’ as one of my ‘Top 10 songs of 2017’. ‘A Good Day To Try Hard’ was a great introduction to an already incredible band, however it is nothing when to compared to their latest release ‘A Vision of Light’. How you may ask? Let’s find out through a few tracks that picked my fancy.