Pause release compilation - Magnetic Sumo

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.

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)

Rico Zerone - Quick Freeze EP release


Stealthy yet funky chiptune netlabel Disconinjaz return alongside Rico Zerone to bring you the lo-fi claps and synths of Quick Freeze available now for free download.

The album contains three catchy arcade style tunes that you can bump in your car as easily as your rocketship. Opening title track, Quick Freeze, takes you on a laud back adventure through space. Level 13 hits you with a simple track that sounds like someone is bounding along the lunar surface in their new sports car. Final track Observing You sounds much like an upbeat but daunting showdown between you and your biggest rival. That's not all though, also on the album is a B-Side version of Quick Freeze called Quick Freeze (Balearic Extended Mix by Owen Meyers and Dimitry Ghost). As the title suggests, this track is a lengthy cut of the title track, ably remixed by Owen Meyers and Dimitry Ghost.

This is quite the catchy track, especially for fans of early 90's Japanese arcade music (like me!), as it seems to hit those same cords with it's simple yet enthusiastic stylings. Head over to the Disconinjaz page to download the EP!

ubiktune releases Summertunes chiptune compilation


chiptune netlabel ubiktune celebrates both their tenth release as well as the end of summer with their new compilation Summertunes. The album is a collection of amazing chiptune artists paying tribute to lost summers with some incredible renditions of upbeat and nostalgia infused songs. We have the somber opening of Marine, which leads into a jazzy upbeat look back on summer. Also possibly my favorite track on the album, Coda's Beach in the Sky which is equal parts relaxing beach town and bright sidescrolling adventure. Of course we have plenty of other amazing tracks all with their own tones, qualities, and summery feel to them.

For those who enjoyed spending summer vacations outside playing in the sun and water just as much as spending entire summer days inside trying to reach the end of Chrono Trigger or Sonic the Hedgehog, this album is definitely for you.

Full tracklisting is as follows.
01. C-jeff & Random - Marine (5:17)
02. Vincenzo - Summer Thing (2:43)
03. Xaimus - Malmen in Space (2:52)
04. Temp Sound Solutions - Ocean City Arcades (3:15)
05. Coda - Beach in The Sky (2:32)
06. Shnabubula - Pastorale Scenes (2:10)
07. Yerzmyey - AY is Not A Doorbell (2:48)
08. Blitz Lunar - Super Soaker (2:07)
09. Malmen - Unbelievable Lips (2:30)
10. MmcM - Summer is Always With Me (4:17)
11. Rico Zerone - Empty Beach (1:57)

Select Start Records first release: Rico Zerone - E-Lusion EP release


A new label has come on board the chiptune train, Select Start Records. Here is what the site is about in their own words.

Based in Ann Arbor-Michigan, Select Start Records is a new label embracing a broad range of video game inspired music, chip music and visual mediums. All of Select Start Records' releases are available for free download. SSR is planning to release 7-inch records, CDs, vinyl toys, and other forms of audio and visual communication in the future.

Select Start Records has also released the first album from their label for free download. The E-Lusion EP by Rico Zerone is available on SSR's download page for the album. It is a carchy lo-fi album done entirely on milkytracker. The album ranges from upbeat squeaks to glitchy crunches to laid back ambience. A personal favorite track of mine is D24M4 which kicks off with a some punchy notes and a jazzy mood. The whole track, with it's laid back feel and upbeat tempo, reminds me of a hard-boiled detective movie made into an SNES game. Definitely my favorite track on a catchy EP. Check this one out and watch out for more releases from Select Start Records.