Norrin Radd drops an infectious collection of Sega Genesis FM chip based arrangements,
Chiptune podcast, the Gamewave Podcast have just released Episode 70: Metal Special. This show features music from the heaviest chiptune artists around including Rainbowdragoneyes, NESMETAL, HORSE the band and Next Life, and there's an exclusive interview with Norrin_Radd, who talks about the making of his chiptune death metal masterpiece, Anomaly. We also hear from Heosphoros (host of the Heossentials radio show) as he brings us his Top 3 Chip Metal Tracks. On top of that there's banter about the new Pokémon games, the Earthbound series and Danimal Cannon's TED talk, adding up to a 2-hour long episode!
You can subscribe through iTunes here, or download directly through kngi.org. And don't forget to like the Gamewave Podcast Facebook page for more updates. Shows are now released once every two weeks.
You can also hear the full, unabridged interview with Norrin_Radd here:
In all honesty, I had run across this album, probably well over a year, or two ago. Unfortunately for me, and for you, I failed to write about this album as soon as I had come across it. Well now it is time to make amends for thast failure and introduce you to the Shining Force tribute album Shining Guitar.
In their usual fashion, Pause has gathered a cavalcade of incredible artists to create some amazing works of chiptune music. This time the compilation is called Magnetic Sumo and for a description simply states...
Where the laws of attraction and the eternal battle for the title of Yokozuna intertwine.
What that may mean musically is anyone's guess, but what I do know is that there are tons of artists, both new and old to Pause that come together for this compilation. Kicking things off is the band I spoke very fondly of in the past, Yakuza Heart Attack (in fact I am still listening to their most recent album fairly often). Their tumbling upbeat signature style is in full force with Bionic Boiz. From there we hear from chiptune mainstay Alex Mauer with Terraforming Mars, a melodic, simple tune that builds into a mesmerizing drum laden piece with some pumping leads. Combined these tracks set the back and forth precedent of this album from over the top funkiness to laid back dance rhythms and more.
Speaking of funky, some catchy clapping bring us to Rico Zerone and his piece Spheredivers, a deep sea, high fueled adventure, as if taking a submarine down into the otherworldly depths of the ocean floor while working on 3 hours of sleep. Moving ahead a few tracks we hear from Joshua Morse, and his atmospheric jazz track Meteor shower pro which starts off slow, but builds an incredible momentum as the song progresses into a whirlwind of musicianship on all fronts. That number moves us along to the sometimes tough to describe, but amazing to listen to vibes of Zan-zan-zawa-veia with hushhush. Another soft flowing track to lie back and reminisce to before jumping into the catchy drum and guitar styled world of Temp Sound Solutions and their cover of Alex Mauer's Floating Point, which takes an already funky tune and cranks it into high gear with some great guitar and drum work.
The album comes to an end with Give us the green light, an amazing and catchy track from Spiny Norman which brings the album to an amazing ending with it's uplifting vocals and chip pop stylings. As to be expected from Pause, we have here a compilation showcasing the many talents, styles, and instrumentation of the netlabel roster and friends. I often tell people that chiptunes is as varied a movement as the people who create it, and nowhere else is that idea shown than through compilations like this one. Once again, if you didn't click that link in the opening to grab this album, the compilation is free, and available right through here.
If you've got a hankering for chiptunes, and metal, and don't want to bother with listening to them separately, then I have an album for you. Norrin_Radd has just released a mad synthesis of dirty in your face metal with the pristine digital bleeps of chiptune music. This is Anomaly, the long awaited follow up to his Pause debut way back in 2007, so anticipation is high for this album. I'm glad to say that he doesn't disappoint.
Anomaly is the newest album from Canadian chiptune artist, Norrin_Radd. Four years in the making, Anomaly is a concept album following a mortal traveler exposed to the horrors of infinite time and space. Musically, Anomaly weaves together the genres of technical death metal, prog rock, and thrash into extremely complex and anomalous arrangements. Arrangements created to mirror the confusion of the horrified traveler. Technically, Anomaly is a hand crafted tribute to the style and sound of the Nintendo Entertainment System, following all of the same limitations imposed by the original hardware. Albeit taken to a further level with the addition of growling DPCM vocal tracks and post production.
Kicking off with the title track Anomaly, Norrin throws down 15 tracks of chipmetal limited only by the sound chip of the NES and his own metal growls. The title track sets you in the right mood for the album, with the fast paced, pulsating chip leads, over the top chip drums, and of course, those in your face vocals. This album will fit right in with anyone's chiptune collection, as well as metal collection.
Not every tune has that raw dose of rock though, some tracks take an instrumental approach to great effect. Such as the spiraling madness in Process of Macrocosmic Emaciation. The song seems to whirl around the brink of insanity until we reach past the intro and things start to come together into an ominous but adventurous tone. Then there is the exciting, almost battle like mood of Never to Return, which you may remember from one Beep City compilation. Although in the context of a space-weary traveler takes on a whole new light. With it's high riding adventure riffs coupled with the spacey high notes we get a picture of a once scared traveler who has not only come to terms with space, but has actively begun to tame his small section of it.
This album is a definite must have, not only for metal fans, but for anyone to see the incredible genre spanning nature of chiptunes coupled with the incredible melodic and technical work of Norrin_Radd. Download the album free via the Anomaly download page.
Josiah Tobin, more commonly known as Bit-Rat by the chiptune community (and recently featured on this site for his contribution to this compilation), has just released his first full length album, Test Subject. Featuring a combination of old-school NES-style hooks and rocking guitar, the release also has guest appearances from Shawn Phase, Norrin Radd, and MC Fen. You can download individual tracks, or the whole thing for free over at the Bit_Rat website.
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!
Joining forces to bring you something worthwhile. Something from the heart.
So what happens when you take some of the best chip musicians around, throw them all together, and add a little bit of old fashioned love to the mix? You get Heartcode! The newest compilation from II (pause). The album is pretty much a list of some of my favorite musicians around! We've got Alex Mauer, Animal Style, disasterPEACE, Norrin Radd, Phlogiston, Shnabubula, Temp Sound Solutions, and finally XOC. With a list like this do you really have to wonder how great it is? You should just feel it in your very heart. Not to mention, like most II releases, this one is 100% free for download, so head over there and get it!
After 4 months away the Gamewave Podcast returns! Episode 31 is now available featuring awesome music from Hige Driver, Disasterpeace, Nullsleep, Norrin_Radd and Sabrepulse. Make sure you're subscribed to the feed to receive new episodes as they're released.
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The online netlabel II (pronounced "pause") has kicked off their official launch! Check out the press release, then go download the new tunes!
"II is dedicated to bringing you the best in 8-bit and other forms of video game influenced original music.
On this the day of our launch, we’re announcing two brand new releases:
A story untold in the times of the Warring Nations. This is the narrative of Neutralite, a young hero chosen by elders of Neutral Town to protect their village from the unfolding conflict between the Plaid and Argyle nations prominent in Atebite and the Warring Nations.
A relentless collection of most of Norrin’s prolific 8-bit work to date, including the infamous 18-minute super medley “Unfinished Symphony , the City Smasher collection, and a handful of brand new chips. Norrin Radd’s first full length release throws the verse/chorus system out the window in favor of a non-stop whirlwind of ever changing melodies and harmonies. These meticulously crafted songs move at a swift pace and demand multiple listens to fully understand and hear all of the intertwining melodies."
Also announced, coming soon to II are another album from Disasterpeace titled Level, as well as an album pairing the amazing musicians Temp Sound Solutions and Alex Mauer on the album Blast Portable!
II is a new VGM-based venture headed up by disasterPEACE and Phlogiston, two of the greatest musical minds in chiptunes currently. Pronounced "pause", the new label has made only one release so far, but it doesn't matter when said release is so mindblowingly awesome. Featuring the talents of disasterPEACE, Phlogiston, Norrin Radd, Temp Sound Solutions and alex mauer, you know this ain't no ordinary project and EQUIP is definitely one release that should be present in your music collection. Head on over to the super-jazzy website and MySpace page for more fun.