Tales of a Chiptune Newb, Chapter Five: defiant systems

- Posted August 18th, 2014 by

No story is complete without encountering something a little darker, a little more sinister. An adventure just wouldn’t be an adventure without something to send tingles down your spine.  For that, my dear readers, we have the newest chapter in our story…
Chapter Five: defiant systems


defiant systems came to my attention with his newest album off the 8static label, ‘Neon Light Pollution’.  This album caught my ear right away.  It’s got the vibe I love: a little 80s throwback, booty-rockin’ beats, and a rhythm that gets your heart pounding.  As the artist states he is most inspired by live music, it should come as no surprise to those more familiar with his work that it wasn’t until I saw defiant systems perform at this year’s BRKfest that I truly experienced the intensity of his music.  It was like having sex on the hood of Kit from Nightrider: dirty, thrilling, and a little bit dangerous.

Neon Light Pollution

Produced in Renoise using FM Drive and FamiSynth, ‘Neon Light Pollution’ has the distinct texture of the Sega Genesis.  Opening with what the artists calls his “best written song to date”, ‘Bronson’, the tone is set for what I would later discover is an album that is a bit of a departure for defiant systems.  ‘Bronson’ has a slow, tense build and a gritty feel, setting the tone for the album as a whole. ‘Freebase’, ‘Nightstalker’, and ‘_’ follow suit, conjuring images of the horror films like Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween. ‘Killer by the Lake’ is defiant systems’s nod to that era, sharing:

“I love horror movies and wanted to pay tribute to them so Killer by the Lake is my love letter to a sort of golden age of horror movies in my mind.”

That inspiration was even more apparent throughout the rest of the album, as well as in his live show at BRKfest 2014.  The set was inter-spliced with sound bites from The Terminator, Snatcher, and Friday the 13th. Though unintentional at the start of its nearly yearlong composition, ‘Neon Light Pollution’ grew to become any horror-loving chiptune enthusiast’s dream.


Released in 2013, and packing a hefty – and appropriate – “lucky number” 13 tracks, ‘hyperreality’ retains much of the same dark edge that is present in ‘Neon Light Pollution’. That being said, the differing production techniques (such as LSDj) give the release a thrashy flavor.  This is most obviously tasted in songs like ‘kensington strangler’, where some of the other tunes, such as ‘nitrous asphyxia’, nod toward his future album.

defiant systems

This 2012 self-titled, three track EP has a much different feel than ‘Neon Light Pollution’ or ‘hyperreality’.  A bit brighter, leaning a bit more toward the traditional dance fair found commonly in chiptune, ‘defiant systems’ speaks more as an artist still discovering his future voice.  His distinct point of view is seen most predominantly in the final track, ‘defiant systems – hello battery’, a mix of dancable rhythms with the gritty edge that I have come to expect from defiant systems’s music.

From here, armed with a new, dark cadre of tunes to enjoy, this newb will continue to wander on to the next chapter. But always remember: the little things count. Show your love to the artists! Post, Share, Like, Give <3

defiant systems
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