'8-Bit Crusade 3 Galactic Rebellion' the intergalactic chiptune opera by JKLOL

If Daft Punk decided to create music to late 80's Japanese shmups, this is their Gradius soundtrack.

I'm a sucker for story based albums, especially with stories set in space. Luckily I get quite my fill of such albums from the chiptune genre, but no matter how many chiptune space opera's I hear, it will never be enough. JKLOL is the latest album is this proud niche of a niche OF A NICHE of a genre. (Chiptune space opera, a genre I am dubbing right now. Dubbed.)

The album kicks off raucously enough with Plug Me in Baby. Considering this is part 3 of some galactic adventure I am suddenly thrust into, I can't help but consider this the opening flashback sequence that gets me all caught up, or maybe the kind of music that would play during the Star Wars-esque intro scene to the "8-Bit Crusades." Honestly though, I can't imagine just watching a boring wall of text during this bouncy intro.

Sirens kicking off the second track, System Error, making me think of 'Aerodynamic' the second track of Discovery by Daft Punk with those warning bells. Not comparing the two, but an interesting coincidence. This track also feature's Glenntai, and you can feel his imposing style on this track, making this one of the more intense pieces on the album. That also set's it up perfectly for my favorite track on the album

Winter Chill absolutely kills the album for me (in the good way). I'm writing this at 2AM and it's still breaking 80 degrees outside. I'm dying. The meandering beat on this track creates a calm, cool feeling that I want to keep deep in my bones forever, especially since I can't afford air conditioning. The digital waves splashing on a rocky shore, the time-wasting notes. They all create one of the few relaxing moments on the album. This is the track I would hit repeat on before heading into cryogenic sleep for a long trek across intergalactic space.

Power is basically if shmups had soundtracks with lyrics, especially if the ship you pilot is sentient (or haunted). I heartily endorse such a world. The Oracle has a winding feeling that leads right into the meat of the album, the (tied for) longest track on the album, Quest (Feat. Rade Dobison), Unfortunately, I'm not as familiar with the likes of Lucy Black and Rade Dobison as I am with Glenntai, so it's difficult to separate them from JKLOL's style on these tracks. What I can say, is JKLOL's pace is crisp when he's collaborating, so I would love to see more of this (even though, how do chiptune collabs even work?).

Don't think I didn't catch that elongated Pac-Man death to kick off Survive. This is another track featuring Glenntai, and the frenetic beats will assure you it's true. I can feel JKLOL's high's pasting melodic beats, trying to reign in Glenntai's rapidfire attack, like a wild horse, and it makes for a track as intense as the title suggests. I assume this is the 'trying to escape the gravity of an alien planet in a ship you just repaired with old gum and native plants' theme.

JKLOL has to go it alone to finish off the album. It kicks off with an almost nod to the Moon theme of Ducktales. You can't unhear it. Initially, I said this album the lyrical shmup soundtrack of my dreams, well JKLOL absolutely makes sure that's the case on the album's epic closer, Back to Earth. I want this to be the credits to every space thing ever.  One thing no one thinks about in a galaxy spanning video game like Gradius or R-type... I hope you have enough gas to get home. and this is the track that will be bumping on the long trip home.

If you grab the album for $5, you'll get another album's worth of bonus tracks that you can't stream anywhere. I'm not going to review them today, but I will say that I can't say no to a chiptuned dance party of a Persona remix. Not to mention a couple Katamari Damacy covers and some Shovel Knight as well. Constant shout outs to Virt. The initial album is worth the entry fee, so the extra collection of covers and remixes are just the delicious smothering of whip cream on top. 

For an artist that doesn't even use every tag he can add into bandcamp, there is an amazing array of styles on this album. I absolutely adore albums that span a vareity of genre's but without the requisite knowledge in each genre, the album could come off sounding phony. JKLOL avoids this trap by teaming up with artists of other chiptune styles, and getting a crash course through the way they build music. Not to mention that JKLOL makes it onto a very small list of chiptune artists that actually include lyrics along with their wacky vocoder crap (also in a good way).

Introducing, 8-Bit Crusades 3!

Story:

After the Oracle landed from the sky to tell JKLOL and his friends about the vast galaxies out there, JKLOL formed The Galactic Rebellion!

On a far off planet in Sector 43, A call for help was initiated, and The G.R. answered the call. They crash land on a frozen planet, and search to find shelter. There they find out about an evil tyrant who calls himself ‘’The Boss’’. The Boss is spreading a chemical virus called B.O.R.D. (Bio-Organic Robotic Deviant), which is wiping out the planet’s population. Once they train, JKLOL and the GR attack the Boss’s headquarters. WHO WILL COME OUT ON TOP!?

Featured Collaborators:

Glenntai: glenntai.bandcamp.com

Rade Dobison: soundcloud.com/rade-dobison

Lucy Black: soundcloud.com/lucy-black-official

Go listen to their work as well please!

Bonus Track List (Achieved by buying the full album):

1. The Last Unicorn (Remix)
2. Maze Of Life (Cover)
3. Five Nights at Freddie’s Song (Cover)
4. Sad Machine (Cover)
5. Hotline Mi-Medley
6. Amazing Horse (Cover)
7. Drop Pop Candy (Cover)
8. Katamari On The Rocks (Remix)
9. Easy (Remix)
10. Gold Dust (Remix)
11. Touch The Sky (Shovel Knight Remix)
12. Lonely Rolling Star (Remix)

Thank You for Listening!
— JKLOL

Super Mario 64 - Ending Theme Cover by Game & Sound - YouTube

I'm just an unbelievably huge fan of this theme, itdefinitely makes my top 3 staff rolls of all time. Kondo kills it on this ending, it's like he took his skills to a new dimenstion much like Mario himself.

G&S kicks some ass too, both musically as well as in the new additions he's been adding to his videos lately.

This is my arrangement for the Ending/Credits Theme from Super Mario 64.

Mario 64 has been the very first 3D game I’ve ever played. I still remember the novelty of the concept of being able to move in 3 dimensions, and all the fun I had with this game. This theme unironically makes me get emotional every time I listen to it, and I thought it was about time to make a cover of it.

Hope you’ll enjoy it.

The original composers of this track is Koji Kondo.
— Game & Sound

A Snowstorm in the Middle of Summer - arcadecoma's new "...In The Snow EP"

White Hot Summer

How could this album come out now!? I'm not sure, but I'm glad it did. The ice packed sentiments of every tune offer some auricular respite from the endless desert heat. (Did I mention I live in the desert? Sure they dress it up like the suburbs but don't let that fool you.)

I heard of arcadecoma just around the time I was discovering chiptunes in general, so him and a few other PteSquad faithful will always hold a special, glitchy place in my heart. Game Boy Tree adventures is a standard of chiptunes in my book, and was one of the first albums I ever blogged about (and amazingly that .gif image is still working after about 4-5 site redesigns). arcadecoma's now classic track Mega Man Is My Hero still gets plenty of rotation in my playlists.

Enough about the past though, because arcadecoma has finally risen from his ahem, arcade coma, and dropped a brand new, winter themed EP. Though billed as a horror concept album, this has got to be the most upbeat dance party of a horror story I have ever heard.  Even ominously titled tracks such as "Don't Go (Out The Window)" are majestically upbeat. 

Like other arcadecoma albums, it is all too short. Feeling more like a passing moment rather than a full album. And like other arcadecoma albums, that means I will be giving this one many repeat listenings.

arcadecoma. return at long last with a winter-themed horror concept EP. When extreme weather hits Scotland, Will Furphy is delighted to be forced indoors - he now has all the time he needs to play the coolest games of his youth and escape the world. But when vicious white creatures emerge from the snow, Will finds he isn’t having quite as much fun as he expected. This is the story of the snow day that snowballed into the snow year from hell...
— Pterodactyl Squad

'Kuro Yuki' [Princess Amagi-ya] by DarkeSword from Persona 4 Arena

Who will eat, and who will be eaten?

I love P4A! Still need to buy the latest one though. If only I had friends to play against.

DOWNLOAD IT FREE at OC ReMix! http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03165
ReMixer: DarkeSword
FREE at http://ocremix.org • SHIRTS & HOODIES! http://ocremix.org/store/ • DONATE! http://bit.ly/ocrPayPal
Facebook! http://facebook.com/ocremix • Twitter! http://twitter.com/ocremix

• Game: Persona 4 Arena (Atlus, 2012, XB360)
• ReMixer(s): DarkeSword
• Composer(s): Atsushi Kitajoh, Shoji Meguro
• Song(s): ‘Princess Amagi-ya’
• Posted: 2015-06-22, evaluated by djpretzel
• Album: Featured on “CEO 2015: Champion” (http://ceo.ocremix.org)
— OverClocked ReMix

99 Problems but saving Zelda ain't one - Jay-Z X Link's Awakening mashup mixtape 'Jay-Zelda'

Island beats

Feeling this album way down deep in my bones. I'm very excited to know this album has seen the light of day. When I ran across one of the tracks during another search through SoundCloud for some new tunes for the recent Link's Awakening anniversary, I was lucky enough to find a dusty, but still bumping mix of Jigga and Zelda by Aquma.

Even with my quality googlin' skills, I couldn't find much more on the album save for a handful of tracks floating nebulously about the internet. The best I could assess was that the album was either never released or simply faded into the ether thanks to expired domains and broken html links. 

I was dismayed at the thought of another lost album that I wouldn't get my hands on. A person's artistic endeavor, lost. I know I'm being a tad melodramatic, but the tracks I did hear were pretty damn catchy. Then suddenly. I get a Twitter shout out after my initial post about Aquma's tunes, and later that evening I find out that dude had just posted the album to his SoundCloud. 

The album is a fast paced 11 tracks featuring some of the most memorable themes from the oft forgotten handheld classic The Legend of Zelda Link's Awakening. Sword Search, The Mysterious Woods, Nightmare, hell, even Totaka's Song makes an appearance.

On the flip side, Jay-Z has gotten the mashup treatment plenty of times at this point. There are already two Jigga fusions in my list of favorite mashup albums. Though Jay-Z didn't become Hova for nothing. Even amongst all the other Jay-Z mashups, Aquma manages to find the rhymes less traveled.

That includes the opening theme, Roc Feather, which features the flows of Jay-Z track Roc Boys. Nightmare is another standout track, with the miniboss battle music featuring Rihanna thanks to using Jay-Z's 'Run This Town.'

Hearing a fun or oddball mashup is a grand time, but when I hear an album like this, where it's clear the producer 'gets' the music he is combining, I could almost hear the extra thought that was put in to bring the most of each ingredient, or maybe I just think about the similarities between rap and video games too much. Either way, I'm glad Aquma was awesome enough to oblige. Hopefully he finds time for another mashup mix or two in between programming games.

Jay-Z + Zelda. This is a collection of beats and mashups I made with hip hop drums, Jay-Z raps, and samples from the Game Boy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

I worked on these off and on between 2009-2012. It was a very personal project that ended up becoming too big for it’s own good. Trying to make a masterpiece became too daunting. I had so many song ideas, things to experiment with, completeness I felt like it needed, production skills I lacked, computers that crashed, and not to mention a life I needed to get going. So I avoided working on it and eventually just abandoned the project completely.

I saw many mashups mixing video game music and Jay-Z raps come and go. Jay-Zelda began to feel kinda trite for me (even though I still rock a T-shirt with the art on it).

Then one summer Saturday, I saw a post from the passionate genoboost at GameMusic4all.com giving “Roc Feather” a shout-out and telling a story about their experience with the game. The writer shared how they got stuck early in the game and explored the world on their own terms. Funny thing is, the same thing happened to me! That memory is what endeared this game, its music, and this project to me so much in the first place.

So I decided to round up the tracks that I made in their rough, poorly mixed glory. The passion is there, though it feels a little uneven at times. Lots of ideas left on the floor. I forgot how much fun I had making these songs. These days, I’d rather spend my time making my own games than revisiting an older project from 8 years ago. But I shouldn’t hoard what I’ve already made if some people who have similar fond memories would really enjoy them.

I thought this thing wouldn’t see the light of day, but fuck it. Here’s the Jay-Zelda lost tape. Enjoy!

Jay-Z Triforce image by Tina Horton (cargocollective.com/tinaharuna)
— Aquma

'Finding Somebody to Love in This Meager World' by Level 99 from Final Fantasy Tactics

Tactical remix action

DOWNLOAD IT FREE at OC ReMix! http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03166
ReMixer: Level 99
FREE at http://ocremix.org • SHIRTS & HOODIES! http://ocremix.org/store/ • DONATE! http://patreon.com/ocremix - http://bit.ly/ocrPayPal
Facebook! http://facebook.com/ocremix • Twitter! http://twitter.com/ocremix

• Game: Final Fantasy Tactics (Square, 1998, PS1)
• ReMixer(s): Level 99
• Composer(s): Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata
• Song(s): ‘Delita’s Theme’, ‘Main Character’s Theme’, ‘World Map’
• Posted: 2015-06-24, evaluated by the judges
— OverClocked ReMix

Travis Morgan performs Psycho Warrior from Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge

Game Boy based Guitar

Grab the full album! Write up coming soon!

www.travismorgan.net
www.areciboradio.com

VGM Series 04: Broken Oath
An hour long genre-bending aural journey covering the entire soundtrack to Castlevania: Belmont’s Revenge.

This is my most ambitious musical project to date. I daresay it’s “pretty good”.

Dig it.
— Travis Morgan

Xoc remasters and rereleases classic album '8 Bit 80s Flick'

What's old is new! XOC returns!

I have been a strong advocate of all things Xoc related ever since hearing the incomparable XOC plays SMW. Though other Xoc albums have replaced that one on my all time best Xoc albums list,. Unfortunately, xocmusic.com is no longer active, and the cornucopia of amazing, free to download albums of his vanished, save for what I had on an old hard drive. 

Xoc is renewed, and as such, has begun to transfer his many wonderful albums and soundtracks to the new Bandcamp netlabel TrashCanEagle Records.

Longtime readers and fans may assume, "I already love xoc, and I haven't lost a hard drive full of music in several years, so there is nothing new for me here." Wrong!

Xoc has not only begun rereleasing his music, he has also remastered the nearly decade old Cinema 80's into the new 8 Bit 80's Flick album.

Originally released in 2006 (as “Cinema 80s”), this reissue edition has been completely rebuilt and remixed from the original recordings. The entire album has been remastered for higher fidelity and better EQ balancing, and includes some additional material - not to mention new artwork!

Please replace the old version!
— XOC