Tiny Cartridge 3DS

BRKfest - three-day chip music festival next week ⊟

Likely the biggest chip music showcase in the Midwest, BRKfest, will return to Cincinnati, OH on July 25-27! The extravaganza will host dozens of bleep bloop artists, including Cheap Dinosaurs, Glomag, Corset Lore, and Chipocrite — see more of the announced acts here. The festival will also offer merch and open mic opportunities.

Though I live in Cincinnati, I somehow managed to never hear about this annual event until last month. Sooooo it’s time time to fix that. I plan to head over to the Chameleon for at least one or two nights — you should too! Click these links for more details about the event and to purchase a pass/shirt. And here’s a BRKfest trailer to get you pumped!

SUPPORT TINY CARTRIDGE Join Club Tiny!

Calavera - Gentlemen’s Swing ⊟

(apologies for the musical hiatus, life has been pretty busy!)

Calavera is a Melbourne based musician who has made something particularly unique (in my opinion) with a Game Boy. The EP with the same name as this track is dripping with that swing feel, steady grooves and some unique upbeat melodies the whole way through.

DON'T MISS "Nice to meet you, Fuji-sama", a tune Calavera wrote while visiting Japan and witnessing Mount Fuji 

And Everything In It

Pterodactyl Squad • Somewhere Something Incredible

I’m sure I’ve made my predilection for chip-rock using vocal samples well-known, adding yet another group to the list we have Alone In The Universe (the band, not the feeling). Happy to hear about them from the good folks at the Pterodactyl Squad netlabel, Alone In The Universe are two brothers that make delightful pop-punk with subtle but energetic 8-bit melodies.

You can download (and pay what you want) their album Somewhere Something Incredible at the Pterodactyl Squad Bandcamp.

SUPPORT TINY CARTRIDGE Join Club Tiny!
  • Source Bandcamp

Rock

George & Jonathan • George & Jonathan III

Every single time you think you’ve encountered The Best Music and you feel like you’ve been livin’ that Beautiful Lifestyle, George and Jonathan manage to pull out all the stops once again and blind-side you with III (works best in WebGL-capable browsers, Firefox, Chrome, Safari on desktop, iOS Safari seems to have issues).

George and Jonathan have outdone themselves once again like no one else possibly could, the lofi-funkitude of GnJ’s jams damn well better change your life. “Rock” is head-thrashing, rainbow-colored celebration opening up a mosh pit in the middle of some primo funk jams.

You can listen to George and Jonathan’s III on Bandcamp (where you can buy and download too!), SoundCloud and Spotify

We love you forever George and Jonathan!

DON'T MISS the visual track for "Puppy Love". DON'T MISS IT
  • Source Bandcamp

STU - INTRODUCING THE CHIP BASS (MIXTAPE - SIDE B)

Chipmusic veteran and Atari operator STU put together a great mix of of dirty, dirty chipbass tracks. It’s a 31-minute mix but well worth your time and includes Tiny Chip favorites Monodeer, Kodek, Misfit Chris, Disrupt and many more! The mix linked here is side B; there is also a side A with many more favorites.

MORE My favorite STU EP, Atari Solo
  • Source SoundCloud / STU

Pixel Passion

Arcade High • Pixel Passion

Synthpop dreamwave loveboats Arcade High wowed my metaphorical pants off at this past Pulsewave (almost full video here). The duo from Pittsburgh may be somewhat newcomers to the chipmusic scene but have no shortage of enthusiasm for making great music.

Pixel Passion is the first track off of their album of the same name.  Dreamwave, floatcore, synthpop are all great descriptors but whatever you call it, it never fails to put a smile on my face.

DON'T MISS Their cover of Sonic's Green Hill Zone theme
  • Source Bandcamp

Monument 010

1000 Needles • Osiris

While I sadly could not make it to this year’s Frequency once again, my timelines were abuzz with praise for 1000 Needles’ performance this year. My first pass through their most recent EP Osiris landed me the above as a clear favorite almost immediately.

Excellent chip-rock grooves and crisp melodies make “Monument 010” my power jam of the EP. Just going to sit over here fist-pumping and head-banging while listening to this track on repeat. The rest of the EP delivers on the emotional robot adventure of reuniting a kingdom literally torn asunder. That’s not hyperbole, that’s the jams.

MORE A sample of all the artists who performed at Frequency 3.0
  • Source Bandcamp

DEATH ONLINE

No stranger to our ears or our feet, IAYD from Corpus Christi, Texas is an expert at taking a party from “turnt” to “TOO TURNT”. “DEATH ONLINE” is an excellent sample of the music that IAYD has been playing live for the last couple of years.

Previously of hyper-sonic 8bitpeoples fame, IAYD has some excellent music lined up for release later this year. You can buy your own copy of “DEATH ONLINE” on his Bandcamp, and you’ll automatically get an email from the site when he releases something new there.

MORE Shy Guys electro remix of DEATH ONLINE
  • Source SoundCloud / IAYD

cake gaze

Note! • color mechanica

Sneaking in to top off 2013’s great year in music we have Note!’s color mechanica. Originally available in the ever-popular SegaCD format, color mechanica is full of booty-shakin’ beats by the same guy who brought you this staff-favorite medley of chip covers.

"cake gaze" combines Note!’s already amazing Game Boy beats with a delicious drum machine known as the MFB-522 which he tells me is an analog drum machine inspired by the classic 808. Best when listened to in combination with “carrier pidjin”, the track right before it on the EP.

MORE Shawty fiya burnin' on the dance floor
  • Source Bandcamp

Ghosts

Fulhäst • Stuff?

I was really charmed by this track by Fulhäst. As many of you may already know, I have a weakness for bedroom recordings and chip pop-punk.

Making a telephone mic like the one Nik uses in these recording isn’t too difficult, if you’re an aspiring musician and want to add a simple but incredibly charming vocal effect to your music. I’ve actually been really grateful that 2013 seems to have taken off as a year that chipmusic and vocals finally meet in a widespread way.

MORE Fulhäst's Broken, upcoming games, our holiday gift guide
  • Source Bandcamp

Goodbye Light (God's Fake Laser)

Bubblegum Octopus • Bad Happy

Somewhere at the beautiful and bizarre intersection of Rainbowdragoneyes (some lyrics definitely NSFW) metal-inspired, eurobeat-influenced chiptunes and Fang Island's progressive indie pop is where my brain decided to place this excellent track by Bubblegum Octopus. In fact, having only recently gotten around to hearing a good chunk of Bubblegum Octopus's music, I feel like I've neglected some great music for a little too long.

"888 Days Meow Fast" strikes me in a similar way, kind of breakcore but also “spazzpop”? A term I’m sure Bubblegum Octopus made up but is incredibly fitting.

MORE Bad Happy, upcoming games, our holiday gift guide
  • Source Bandcamp

New Beginnings

Data Airlines • New Beginnings (DATA028)

Here’s some severe electro-funkitude from Zabutom. The steady, glitchy buildup pays off when the bassline kicks in and suddenly you’re along for the ride.

"New Beginnings" is off the EP of the same name on the Data Airlines netlabel, and, as is tradition with most Data Airlines releases, includes spectacular remixes of the tracks on the EP.

Data Airlines and friends actually put out my all-time favorite chip compilation: an album of remixes and covers of Swedish electronic music duo The Knife.

LISTEN Live Zabutom set at Syntax Error, our holiday gift guide
  • Source Bandcamp