Wintertunes chiptune compilation release

They have brought you Springtunes, then I heard about their awesomeness with the fantastic Summertunes, then patiently awaited the highly anticipated release of Autumntunes. Well now the folks over at the chiptune label ubiktune have encased an entire year of seasonal greatness with, you guessed it, Wintertunes. This is a brand new compilation from many fantastic artists from the chiptune community.

This album features some spectacular snow themed, ice sheeted tracks from the likes of Temp Sound Solutions, Zan-zan-zawa-veia, as well as recent chiptune darling Derris-Kharlan, and plenty more from folks new and old to the seasonal tunes series.

Things kick off with the funky Magic Snow is White and Slow by nq\skrju (I have no clue how to pronounce that). We are hit with a funky groove that layers some clap like glitchy leads and sample voice overs that create an upbeat mood of driving down a dark winter road with your friends as the snow begins to fall. Navigator on the other hand takes on a more somber space like tone. This track comes our way courtesy Rico Zerone and creates a vibe more akin to a snowy tundra as opposed to a soft snow covered yard. The song creates images of a vast swath of endless white snow.

Skipping ahead a few tracks we hear from Captain Tortilla with his track Wind Chill. This song creates an adventurous NES game style melody that reminds one of a side scrolling winter level from many a game back in those days. This is followed up by my favorite track on this collection, the flustered tones of Jeca Jeca by the ever interesting Zan-zan-zawa-veia. This track melds together Zzzv's glitchy nature with a laid back tune that would be played during Christmas in an alternate world. The slow, melodic track wraps around and slowly rises in both pace and insanity as we reach the end.

We reach the end of the album with a breathtaking track from Temp Sound Solutions. I have always enjoyed the juxtaposition between his gritty video game covers and the very relaxing, almost daze inducing chiptune work he has created. Angels' Bane definitely fits in with that category of chiptunes. The track gives off a nostalgic mood with it's soft beeps and buzzes, as if you were hearing a recognizable song from outside of a store window. The track gives off a ton of lazily window shopping along main street while bundled up in a brand new winter coat and simply enjoying the scenery of it all. The laid back atmosphere also brings the album to a very smooth, well defined ending.

The album, much like it's predecessors, is a relaxing, nostalgic look back on the recently passed season, and all the seasons before that as well. Remember that you can grab the album for free through the Wintertunes page on ubiktune. Be sure to grab all their previous compilations while you are there as well.

Track listing after the break. 1. nq\skrju — Magic Snow is White and Slow (1:41) 2. Rico Zerone — Navigator (2:30) 3. Tony Thai — Cough Syrup Overdose (2:37) 4. Derris-Kharlan — Reconciliation (2:18) 5. Captain Torilla — Wind Chill (2:39) 6. Zan-zan-zawa-veia — Jeca Jeca (4:45) 7. Blitz Lunar — The Labyrinth of Skadi (5:05) 8. zinger — Hibernation Hacker (5:00) 9. coda & surasshu — lucia (6:17) 10. ast0r — Mere Words (Bobby McFerrin) (3:12) 11. Temp Sound Solutions — Angels' Bane (2:57)

Beep City Presents: Love Songs From The Future Vol. 1 album review

You may know Beep City from an earlier trek through the local 'burb. But if you haven't visited lately, you'll notice that things have changed quite a bit!

Beep City has released their first compilation to rousing success. The lovingly titled free download known as Beep City Presents: Love Songs From The Future Vol. 1. The album includes many heavy hitters as well as incredible surprises from up and comers from the scene. Let's hit the road to Beep City and find out what this "Love Beam" is all about then!

We drive up and down the streets to hear 12 incredible, brand new tracks from the town denizens. Starting off with it's smallest of creatures, the lowly but noble mouse, or Bit Rat as it were, and his show starter Warm Green Something. Things start off with a fuzzy step to it, as if heading into early traffic on the way downtown amidst the fog and noise. Things start to clear up though and a star like pulse infiltrates the song creating a more childlike atmosphere of beeping cars and breezy open roads. The song holds it's upbeat blips until the very catchy fading ending. This leads us right into a demon! No wait. Daemon. Daemon9623 no less, and his track Battle For Bifrost. Yes it seems we have stepped right into a climactic battle for the unclaimed souls of the city. A foreboding drum/lead riff quickly break into an over the top RPG like battle theme. With swirling highs and heavy lows all moving at an ever increasing pace. We hit a break of glitching riffs and double drum pedal badassery that builds into an ever escalating tension. This comes crashing down in the last 30 seconds of the track, as the music suddenly takes another turn. As if Daemon9623 has taken on another form, and makes his escape to battle another day.

The town slows down for a bit thanks to local highly respected citizen Alex Mauer playing the laid back Nicole Shippo. The song has a nostalgic windswept quality to it, reminding one of those hot summer days gone by in Beep City. Crunchy drums along with a relaxing lead and many small flourishes create a wonderful song to just purely enjoy. And now that you are nice and relaxed, let Nario tell you The Tale of A Pirate. The thumping bass/chip intro quickly throws you into the tale, with it's manly melodies and ship swaying rhythms. This song is certainly one of many highlights of the trip, especially as we get about a minute in and things get a bit fishy, and very funky for this band of pirates. This is one of the longer legs of our journey, but the song remains varied and entertaining through to the fantastic ending of this tale.

Enough dawdling though, time to get back to work! Who's work? Moldilox of course! What work? why he's a beekeeper at the Honey Hive! This song is quite fast paced, and upbeat, just like one of many buzzing bees zipping around. Perhaps my favorite track here as well. Things start smple enough with a catchy riff, that much like a hive, continues to gather layer upon layer to it's well made foundation. At about the 40 second mark, in comes a great wailing bit of chiptunery that that continues to build and wrap around itself as ever more layers are added throughout the song. Everything comes to a halt in the end though, save for that lovely little riff we started off with, but even that heads out too, and work is done for the day.

Looks like we aren't done with our labors yet though. We reach the longest part of our day with the lengthiest track on the album. This is Temp Sound Solutions, and it is time for Infernal Shell. Things start out glitched out and scratched up. an ominous cacophony of sounds that may catch you off guard at first listen, but as you descend further into this cave of sounds, you rely less on your eyes, and every one of the many complex sounds starts to find it's place among the others as we head further along the song's path. At about a minute and a half we reach a relaxing cave of crystals and open air, and are surrounded by a mellowing silence. This does not last for long though, because it's as if the cave wanted to give you a breath before the darkest depths are plunged. Two minutes in and things have taken on a deeper more sinister tone. The song ebbs in and out of it's foreboding moods until we make it to the other side of the caves.

Here we run into the intrepid explorer Norrin Radd to escape and Never To Return. Somehow evoking both a cosmic race through the stars and an old western shoot out and train heist, the track really blends an incredible amount of thoughts, ideas, and elements into one short, fast paced chase song.

Now that we escaped though, where are we? This is a part of Beep City I have never seen before. We need some help. We need Captain Tortilla. He'll help us escape with the power of Kludge. This track evokes the feelings of a classic NES side scrolling platformer taking place in an urban cityscape well past dark. Captain Tortilla takes us across roofs, through back alleys, and over chain link fences in this track. The low ends of the song, along with the meandering highs evoke a dark mood, as if seeing the seedier side of Beep City most folks try their best not to acknowledge. As the song continues things kick into a faster, more fearful tone. Like we have run into an end of stage boss in this alley's dead end, and judging by the track, we lost.

Now it's as if we are in a dream, brought to us courtesy of Prizmatic Spray. It appears to be the Flight of The Peacock Lords, and we are an observer to this rare spectacle. Starting with a droning buzz of sounds that quickly wrap around each other, shortening and taking form as more elements come together and create shapes and twists and tones. Things continue to build until the drums really kick in at about the one minute mark, and turn a dance like, dreamy atmosphere into a rocking out soundscape of bleeps and bloops battling it out. The song comes to close with an amazing breaking down of sounds, as if slowly stirring in and out of sleep.

We finally awaken, and take a look around. Appears we are once again in familiar territory. The dim atmosphere and glowing screens tell us we are at the ever popular Beep City arcade. We see a group surrounding one cabinet in particular. It appears that it's Zio and TEH LOLZ, and he is going for the world record in the classic game Air Raid The Ocean! He plunks a quarter in and we hear the familiar monotonous bass kick in, a woosh of jet fighters, the kick of drums, and we're off. The song hits home for fans of classic Shoot-em-ups with it's great use of sound effects, and driving, but continuously threatening sounds. Enter the final boss at about the two minute mark, and the song kicks into high gear for the maddening ending. HIGH SCORE! Enter Initials: Z I O

Stepping out into the now dark Beep City night, we take a longing look to the sky. THere is something you catch in the corner of your eye. A UFO? Nah, of course not. Beep CIty regulars notice your confused glance and assure you it is simply Wizwars launching another Sputnik. The launch starts with a scratchy lo fi beat that quickly kicks into a catchy soaring rhythm carrying a fast moving beat. Adventurous riffs define this ever changing track, like the sporadic movements of an alien craft, you never know quite where this song is heading. The song hits a very funky lead at about 2:15 which is impossible not to enjoy, before picking back up. As if the rocket just ran out of fuel and took a short slowing breather before making it's freefall towards earth.

It's almost midnight in Beep City. It's time to say goodbye to all the friends we have made today, and as the crowd gathers, who is here to see us off but one of Beep City's very founders, Djinnocide along with Jungle Jim's Jelly Bean Jamboree. Starting off a little somber as we wave goodbye, the song gets a kick in it's step as we set off towards the horizon. the soft upbeat tones and clapping drums create a fantastic, almost credit sequence like mood that create a perfect closer to this album, and to this fantastic day in Beep City. See you next time!

All kidding aside, This album is simply fantastic. All the tracks are of the highest quality, and make for a fantastic listen when heard all the way through. Beep City has been a great site for not only top notch tunes, but also a method of chiptune creation that is very original and always interesting. Head over to Beep City and grab Beep City Presents: Love Songs From The Future Vol. 1 right now! Here's to looking forward to Vol. 2!