Late last year well known Australian chiptune musician little-scale dropped an album on the quickly rising Handheld Heroes netlabel. The sixth release from said netlabel, Nothing Has Been Left Unspoken is a twelve track collection of amazing ambient chiptunes.
Starting with the album opener, You Have My Dignity, the music washes over you with a mood of listlessness and nostalgia. The song fades out with a simple catchy drumbeat and leads right into the crunchy follow up in Elsewhere. The title track, Nothing Has Been Left Unspoken, is a short and simple, reflective track that reminds one of seeing a beach from an old black and white film. The ending completely reverses this, with a distant beep that builds into the upbeat battle tones of Worldview. The battle is rough but continues to be encased by the same grainy black and white world of the previous song.
A few tracks further in we come to my personal favorite song from the release. Wake Up, Space Cadet! continues the nostalgic quality of the album, and infuses it with chiptune church organs playing a heartening reprise for what one would assume is an awakening astronaut newly returned from a far off world. Another stand out track for me is Recollections at the Edge of Denial. From the same church like atmosphere of Space Cadet, we hear the faint organ like beeps, but this time alongside the granular push of the drums. All in all this is a stellar release that will be getting repeated listens from me for some time. This release also keeps up the high quality of music from both little-scale as well as Handheld Heroes.
Another thing about little-scale I failed to mention is that with last year's Blip Festival, little-scale became the first Australian chiptune musician to perform at said event. Whilst enroute to New York for the mecca of micromusic, a short album was composed to fill the time. I.F.E. is the result. The four track EP is available via little-scale's blog and contains a nice sampling of warped beats and warbling beeps. The tracks, simply titled after their track number, show a nice range of ideas, but 03 is a particular stand out to me with it's clapping drums, monotonous bassline, and uneasily flowing leads. The track puts a slightly discomforting feel in your mind that is hard to shake, but creates an intensive piece of music that forces you to take notice.
So the brief synopsis is, two incredible works of art by our cohorts from Australia. Grab both the albums, lie back, and soak them in.