369 posts tagged chiptunes
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.
Crying is awesome ⊟
Oh man, there’s a video of the full live set from Crying’s show at Baltimore two weeks ago. I’ve watched/listened to it three times already, even though the vocals are almost completely drowned out. If you’re into the band, you should check it out for a few reasons:
- They put out our favorite chip release of 2013.
- You’ll feel less depressed about missing MAGFest this weekend.
- You get to actually see Ryan, Elaiza, and Nick rockin’ out.
- There are some new songs that sound great, even if, once again, you can’t hear the vocals.
- That look of surprise when a bunch of people from the audience started singing along with “ES” (TinyCast’s theme song!)
- Holy smokes at that new song after “ES”! That’s gonna be the jam.
Can’t wait for the next Crying release. Can’t wait for someone to record a live set off a soundboard or something, and share that with us. Can’t wait for the band to make it out of the Northeast and perform somewhere near me (or for me to make it to NY and catch a show).
HEAR More chiptunes
Robby Duguay • 12 GB of Christmas
Here’s the best new holiday chiptune album, Robby Duguay’s 12 GB of Christmas (shout-outs to Doctor Octoroc’s 8-Bit Jesus, which has been holding it down for years). There’s only four preview tracks online, but oh my gawd, when that first track, “MegaChild”, breaks down around 1:24? This was my face. And “Deck the Zones”, the Sonic tribute? Kris Kringle be wylin out to that joint. It’s like the Christmastime equivalent of M.O.P.’s "Ante Up".
We have a bunch of free codes to download the entire album for free. Want one? Just reblog or leave a comment telling us what your favorite chiptune song/album was in 2013. Or if you don’t listen to chiptunes, just tell us what your jam was in the Year of Lugi. I’ll pick some random winners tomorrow morning and send you the codes (if you’re leaving a comment, make sure to use your real email address)!
And if you don’t want to wait until tomorrow morning, you can cop the album for like seven bones. Joys be thine, kids.
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.
Here’s Anamanaguchi’s wild DJ set from last night ⊟
In case you missed it last night, chiptune kings Anamanaguchi tore it up with this DJ set livestreamed from a business center at a damn Marriott Hotel probably somewhere in Ohio. What. Skip to 2:30 to start getting turnt up.
We’re seeing these dudes tonight at the Taft Theatre. Anyone else gonna be at that joint?
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.
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.
Fami-Mode 2014: Sexy-Synthesizer, YMCK, Omodaka, more ⊟
Siiiiiigh. I’m jealous of the people who get to attend the Fami-Mode concert/event in Tokyo every year, and I’ve never been more envious than I am of the 2014 event.
Performing chiptune musicians include Omodaka, Kplecraft, Sexy-Synthesizer, YMCK (!!!!) and Clachip, who I will now be looking into. Companies like Takara Tomy ARTS and Editmode will also be displaying wares.
As always, the poster art is very cool.
Danimal Cannon talks chiptunes at TEDxBuffalo ⊟
Many of our readers are already somewhat familiar with chipmusic/chiptunes, but if you’ve been meaning to learn about them or teach someone just why they’re really cool, this 16 minute TEDxBuffalo talk by Danimal Cannon (Dan Behrens) is a good introduction. Dan also discusses how learning to make the discrete sounds used in chipmusic has made him a better (non-chip) musician, something I hadn’t really given much thought to until now.
There is also a fantastic documentary on chipmusic called Reformat the Planet by 2 Player Productions, the same crew that made Minecraft: The Story of Mojang and is currently working on the Mighty No. 9 production documentary.
Crying • Get Olde
Weeks after writing my Get Olde review, I keep coming back to this song for so many reasons: The first, tentative beeps. When singer Elaiza Santos confesses, “All I care to do is sip on beer and chocolate milk,” stretching that last word into two syllables somehow.
How Santos sighs, “I’m just ES,” and it sounds almost like an admission of an affliction (something like SAD), instead of an affirmation of identity (her initials). And that it’s not just a great chiptune track; it’s a great song without any need for qualifiers.
It’s a fantastic closer to a wonderful EP — download and listen to Get Olde here. Crying will be playing shows in Purchase, New Brunswick, and Philly in a few weeks. Go to those shows and tell them to keep making music.
Breezesquad • City
One of the beautiful things about a global music platform like Bandcamp is that you don’t have to submit things to a specific region’s store or be a slave to the locales a store is present in. I was pretty surprised and incredibly glad to come across Breezesquad from Fukuoka, Japan while going through some forums.
The label “bitpop” is actually quite appropriate as City contains all of the catchiness of a top-charting album with all the flourishes I enjoy from the Commodore 64’s sound palette. And yet, the whole time I can’t shake the feeling that this is more than just pop muzik, it’s a grander adventure by the artist down perhaps their own life until this point. I wanted to say “the past” but there is nothing solely “the past” about this musical experience, the bass-heavy breakdown in “Point of Purchase" is clearly from this decade as are many of the electronic beats.
"Boomtown Blues" has so much of what I love about this album in a single track, if you check out only one track, please make it this one.
BUY the whole album
Rhythm Core Alpha 2 Demo
What happens when a chiptune artist makes music with an eShop app?
A while back, we received a review copy of SoftEgg’s DSiWare music app Rhythm Core Alpha 2. While I don’t make music, I do have several friends in the area who do, so I handed my 3DS to my good buddy Kris Keyser and asked him to give me his view of this excellent but somewhat advanced music-making software.
I should say that I didn’t show Kris the manual or point him at the excellent tutorial videos on their YouTube channel; I wanted his impressions jumping into it cold.
This track is what Kris managed to make in a week. He sent it along with these Rhythm Core Alpha 2 impressions: