There are lots of LOLZ happening in the land of Concatenation Records. Looks like chiptune composer and The Shizz regular Zio and TEH LOLZ has been hard at work getting his albums out to the world. We begin our journey with their first release...
Released back in the ancient times of 2008, Chemicaldyne is a short EP of chiptune video game remixes from some obscure titles such as Chex Quest, and The Itchy and Scratchy game. There is also more well known fair such as the amazing cover of Donkey Kong Country">Industrial Fear. This track recreates DKC in the style of an ominous NES beat em up. There is also the much liked but rarely rearranged Mega Man Zero. Oasis of Sand is Zio's rendition of the Scorching Desert theme from this GBA classic. Another ominous tone mixed with some pulsating beats combine to give a dry desert feel. Listening to this song, it's easy to imagine looking around and seeing nothing but a sea of sand as far as one can see in every direction.
Chemicaldyne is a short EP of chiptune video game remixes from some obscure titles such as Chex Quest, and The Itchy and Scratchy game. There is also more well known fair such as the amazing cover of Donkey Kong Country. Through out the EP's 15 minutes you are taken to an ominous world of video game re-enactments and re-imaginings that are both dark and surprisingly melodic. You can grab the remasters of this album over at the Chemicaldyne page on Concatenation Records
Now we come to an album that hasn't been remastered (having been ably mastered by Shawn Phase of Temp Sound Solutions). Face Stomper. Starting up the first track, Face Stomper, of this eleven song album will take some hard rocking chiptunes and shove them right down your ears. From here we are lead into the somber tones of The Event. This is a listless track that creates a tense mood of unease and loneliness. Imagine if you were walking down an empty stretch of highway with not another soul or vehicle along this seemingly endless path, and this song would be the soundtrack playing in the background to that mood.
We skip ahead a few tracks now to the thumping rhythms of Pressure Vessel. This would fit in as a great boss fight track on any classic NES game. Most likely from some type of airborne villain that comes swooping in at you as you dodge and try to get in that perfect position to aim and attack. A few tunes later we come to the penultimate track Staff Roll, which is one of the most foreboding Staff Rolls I have yet to hear. This track doesn't let up on the dark moods of the album, making you even consider if defeating the game was the best course of action. Then the Game Over music, Failure, because apparently you just went from Face Stomper, to Face Stompee. Unfortunate.
You can grab this album either via MP3 or now in CD form (I got mine yesterday) over at the Face Stomper page at Concatenation Records.
Next up we have what I think is my personal favorite ZoTL album, Subfusion: Ice Light Army. Things start off in 1645 with a solemn Gregorian chant like intro. This leads into the driving tune A Fate So Errant, an energy filled and surprisingly upbeat track from a musician who names an album Face Stomper.
A few tracks forward we get to one of my particular favorite tracks Omnidemon. This desperate and dark track takes a slow approach of impending doom that makes things feel less like the boss fight that the title implies, but rather a battle you are clearly destined to lose. Following this up is the awesomely titled Pain Engine Sun, another ominous track that creates an atmosphere of cavernous ice tunnels and ever incoming enemies that can only exist in the cold, dark world that the Ice Light Army has invaded. Now at this point, I simply have to stress that this album has some of the coolest song titles ever. Each one of them is simple but intriguing and basically totally awesome to read.
Anyway we are on to our two final songs of this short look at the album. We skip ahead to the final two tracks. Giveth Ogre Beam is built in the style of a headbanging end boss battle tune. The hard hitting drums, and heavy chips throw down some angry music to start fights to. You are practically demanding that ogre beam be giveth to you. Now we finish off this album with the final track, and probably my favorite song on this album and maybe ZoTL in general, Spine Gun Annie. We start off with some of that chanting we started the album with, but this mood quickly shifts with a pulsating chip beat that slowly spirals up and envelopes the chanting, giving way to an over the top track. Fast paced chirps, heavy beats, and an over the top mood of fear and adrenaline build this track into a realm of it's own. As if each track preceding this was building up to this final daring showdown. The song bangs shut with an ever piercing sound of toll bells and abrupt halt.
So basically this album is awesome in a ton of ways, and I highly recommend it. Now that this post is completed, I think it is interesting to look back at all the music of Zio and TEH LOLZ over the years in one sitting. It is interesting to see how the writing style has changed and how he has found his niche of incredible dark and solemn, but still driving and catchy tunes. I think that style has been very much mastered in the Subfusion: Ice Light Army album. Although who knows, he may just take another significant leap forward upon the release of his next album, and I personally can't wait to see if he does.
You can grab a free download of Subfusion: Ice Light Army at the Concatenation Records Page.