Derris-Kharlan - Live album release

Derris-Kharlan, another in a long line of impeccably awesome Australian chiptune artists, has released a recording of a live performance via CalmDownKidder Records. The album is Live, and is available for free download. This release is definitely a surprise hit album for me and many others.

Live is nine tracks of catchy chiptune work and crunchy guitar riffs. Kicking off strong with Theme For a Jump Goat with fast paced chiptunes that swirl quickly around rough guitar work creating an upbeat adventurous tune through dark colorful landscapes. This all comes to a close in an ending that swells, then finally fades and blurs into Luna. Slower and more ominous than the opening track, Luna creates a tone that slides between foreboding dissonance and heart thumping energy. The guitar really takes a center role in this track, rising and diving beneath the elaborate chiptune work. This is probably my favorite track on the album, not least of all for the "objection!" at about 3:08 that sends the song whirling off in a feverish race to the end of the track.

The album is littered in more great tracks, such as the relaxing By The Bay, or another personal favorite, the great head bobbing rhythms of Oasis. I also have to mention the final piece of this album, the rocked out reprieve, Nexus. This track starts out as if it will be a simple laid back album ending, but quickly builds into a sonic assault that will definitely have you wanting to rock out.

All in all, this is a great album from beginning to end, and may be in the running for chiptune album of the year in my book. Head over to the appropriate download page and give this album a listen.

little-scale - Nothing Has Been Left Unspoken & I.F.E. album releases

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.

Dot.AY releases debut self titled album


Glitched out Australian chiptune artist, and also guest contributor to this site Dot.AY has finally settled down and saw fit to release his first full length album. Going with the self titled Dot.AY, the album drops eleven tracks of glitched up retro'd out tunes. From the dance infected POQO to the punk rock sounds of Education the album covers a fair amount of sonic territory.

My personal favorite of them being the ever building track Physical Time. Starting with a wall of sound before finding a laser filled path through a maze of distortion, chips, and even some samples. The song picks up it's pace into a whirling dance number before breaking down into the glitchy void it came from.

Head over to dot-ay.com and pick up the new release today, for free download. Also don't forget to keep your eye on Game Boy Australia for the latest of chiptune news from the Southern Hemisphere.

Chiptune musicians Dot.AY, 10K Free Men, and Little-Scale featured on Australian TV show Good Game

This past week, Good Game, a television show on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company) featured the growing chiptune scene in Australia. The segment is a little over 5 minutes and includes interviews with good pal and occasional contributor to this site Dot.AY along with other amazing musician and Gameboy Australia cohort 10K Free Men and Their Families. Also included is another awesome musician known as Little-Scale. The interview discusses the ideas about chiptunes, and a bit from each artist about what it means to them, how they make it, and how they got into chiptunes.

The segment is pretty well done and is definitely a win for chiptunes, especially in Australlia! My congratulations go out to my friends who got interviewed, not to mention the awesome Australian chiptune scene at large that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle on the world scene. They are definitely some of the most accomplished and enthusiastic musicians I have heard and glad they had this opportunity to spread the word on chiptunes. Sadly the video isn't embeddable, but is available to download or view online at this link to the segment.

PS. Also congrats to Gameboy Australia for celebrating their first birthday! Definitely a site to check out whether you live in Australia or not!

Game Boy Australia officially announced!

I know this website, as it is based in the US, tend to have a US slant on things. That's why we have our good pal GameWave Joe (which I just now decided to nickname him) to help cover things from a more UK perspective. BUT, what if you reside in neither Europe nor the Americas? Well looks like the one and only Dot.AY has stepped up to resolve those problems for one continent! I introduce to you Game Boy Australia! Here is Dot.AY to explain the premise of his site.

Our idea is to unite Australasian chiptuners through events, releases and information because we were sick of complaining about how all the chiptune scenes seem to be in the northern hemisphere. So basically we want to create a scene and a fan base here in Australia so eventually demand for other international artists to tour to here will begin to occur.

So head over and check out Dot.AY and friends awesome blog. They already ahve some great info and news about chiptunes. Not to mention they just announced their Australian Tour, so for you folks in the southern hemisphere needing more chiptunes, here's your chance!