Both Shnabubula and sci-fi sports game fiction both hold a special place in my heart. It's the best of both worlds with the latest spo-sci-fi music collection Cybersoccer 4141.
After a breezy Autumn, Ubiktune is back with another all star collection of nostalgia driven chiptunes in Autumntunes. For those like me who are fans of prior release Summertunes, then you will no doubt find much to enjoy in this longing look back for the colorful days of autumn during these chilly holidays.
There is much to be heard here as well. In this 16 track collection we hear from big time chiptune composers like Virt in his worldly track Mecha-Kukai Travels To Chang'An, which is a fast paced six minute romp/action sequence through what seems like a gently shimmering chinese city on the edge of the forest. We also have Shnabubula in Use a Rake, which is a two minute battle of wits between a man, armed with his rake, and the ever cunning pile of leaves he hopes to defeat, at least that's what I interpret in this crunchy, ever changing and surprisingly in your face track.
We also have relative unknowns, but with fantastic tracks. Zinger's Ashen Emotion is an epic little track that comes highly recommended. A spacerock feel gives you the idea of rocketing out of earth's orbit in mid October, or perhaps blasting through a hostile alien world that seems to be going through the same earth seasons we have back home. Five Minutes Of Autumn from Megus closes the album with a clacking metronome which is swiftly covered by ominous tones and winds. The song slowly builds until about a minute in when we hear the main theme come in. The song feels like an ending reprise and reflection on both the album, as well as the season and one long adventure. The gentle melody sways along adding guitars and effects along the way. The song slides it's way through several different moods as instruments drop in and out, finally bringing things to a close with an abrupt somber end.
We can't leave out chiptune staples like Temp Sound Solutions with his glitched out rained in Phrt, with it's plodding pace, claustrophobic feel and great use of samples, this one will definitely stick with you well after it is finished playing. Or Alex Mauer's Gentle With The Hand, a stirring piece that slides from intimidating blasts of sound to high relaxing notes. As if coming in and out of consciousness.
And that is only a small handful of what is encapsulated here! Nearly an hour of finely crafted chiptunes to mourn the end of fall, and step into the cold of winter. Did I also mention the album, as with all Ubiktune releases, is free? Well it is! So head over to the Autumntunes page and download it right away!
Also click on through to see the full list of songs and artists.
01 Megus - Five Minutes Of Autumn 02 Alex Mauer - Gentle With The Hand 03 Zinger - Ashen Emotion 04 Joule - Bursting Bubble Boy 05 Kulor - Doorbellsplosion 06 Malmen - Flirt Talk 07 Blitz Lunar - Heavenly Spores 08 Shnabubula - Use A Rake 09 Virt - Mecha-Kukai Travels to Chang'An 10 Manwe - Rotagilla 11 Syphus - Drop Table 12 Coda - Harvest Moon 13 nq/skrju - The Whiskey Has Been Drinking, Not Me 14 Zan-Zan-Zawa-Veia - Fixt Path 15 Temp Sound Solutions - Phrt 16 C-jeff - Last Minutes Of Autumn
Another week ended in VGIM and we find ourselves with over 10 new OCReMix tracks to celebrate ten years online. One of which is from good friend XMark who appeared on our second mixtape. Also with the release of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (which is awesome by the way) for the Wii this week, news comes that Akira Yamaoka has left Konami, making this possibly the final SH soundtrack by him. Finally, up above we have some interesting FF6 (or 3) artwork called Awakening by MOOMANiBE which looks at one part of the game from another perspective. You can check out more of his work on his DeviantArt. Along with last week's picture these may be getting a tad risque, but this is just the awesome stuff I come across. We shall see if next week continues this streak or not.
- GameSetBaiyon: 'An Audience with Hirokazu Hip Tanaka' via GameSetWatch
- Silent Hill composer, Akira Yamaoka, leaves Konami via Aeropause and Nobuooo
- Assassin's Creed 2 Soundtrack Review via Higher Plain Music
- Final Fantasy Tactics Orchestra Concert Review via Bitmob
- VG Emulation for Newbies Chapter 6: Extracted Video Game Music via FantasyAnime
- Christopher Tin album Calling All Dawns holiday sale via Christopher Tin
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Michael Jackson: So it was true. via VGMdb
- Nerdy Show Episode 16: Atomic Robo v.2.0
- Ballad of the Wind Fish 12/08/09: Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks release special
REMIXES Latest OCReMix releases
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 'Mystic Chemicals' by XMark
- Final Fantasy VI 'A World of Decisions' by Khemael
- Super Mario 64 'Big-Band Battlefield' by The Runaway Five, The University of Toronto 10 O'Clock Big Band
- Final Fantasy VIII 'SeeD Mission' by The Dual Dragons
- Panzer Dragoon II Zwei 'Lagi's Takeoff' by MattInc
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 'Eye of the Storm' by Rozovian
- Secret of Evermore 'Canine Labyrinth' by Shnabubula
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3 'Sonic Gargles with Garden Marbles' by GuitarBizarre, Prince of Darkness
- Mega Man 'Cutman's Lullaby' by ilp0
- Cheetahmen II 'C.H.E.E.T.A.H.' by PrototypeRaptor
- Secret of Mana 'Sea/Sky' by Ziwtra
Other singles and releases
- Spirit Tracks Trailer Soundscape Redux by Zelda Reorchestrated
- Aboda Village Outside by Zelda Reorchestrated
VIDEO This week we have an awesome video of a performance by Random, AKA Mega Ran. This was from a show I was lucky enough to attend in Los Angeles this past November 27th. Mega Ran put on a great performance, and this is my particular favorite. This was recorded by Jeriaska of Nobuooo.com and you can see the rest of the concert through here. Although if last weeks live chiptunes footage is more up your alley, then check out BOSTON8BIT's youtube page for more footage from that concert!
Also, thanks to Doc Pop for linking some news to me last week! Remember to leave a comment with awesome articles, songs, videos, art, etc. for next weeks round up as well!
Netlabel Concatenation Records is back with a new all star compilation of artists from The Shizz Minibosses boards. That album is an indescribably epic 25 track collection of chiptune music brought to you by the dozens of incredible musicians who inhabit The Shizz, and goes by the quite clever name of A Chip off the Shizz Block. As with some prior releases, A Chip Off the Shizz Block is another compilation that is using all donations to contribute toward the MAGFest fund to help many a shizzie make their way to the hallowed halls of MAGFest this January.
The album is available in both digital as well as physical form. The 320kbps MP3 files will run you a minimum $5 donation, whilst the fancy pressed copy will only set you back a meager $8 ($9 Canada, $10 Worldwide). Oh man that's about 32 cents per song! Let's see iTunes beat that price! Not to mention that they are all quality arrangements. From Shnabubula's jazz infused Virtigo to Alex Mauer's fast paced I Guess Your Face Fell Off. Not to mention temp sound solutions' grimey A New Dawn, and even chiptune star Neil Baldwin with his adventurous tune Trapped. That is just a mere handful of the quality tracks on display here. I plan on discussing them in greater length soon as this is an impressive album which I would certainly like to expound on further.
Finally, I hope you are sufficiently prepared to have your own face fall off at the amazing full track list I am including below!
01. MetalBishop - Famiclone Beatdown
02. M-H - Welcome To...
03. Mystic Nova - Fury of the Cyborg
04. bucky - The Exorcist (Final Area BGM)
05. Disasterphase - Ascend
06. temp sound solutions - A New Dawn
07. virt - Turbonugget
08. Wizwars - Fly Away
09. Phlogiston - I Was in the War, Damnit!
10. Zio and TEH LOLZ - Soul Snob
11. Norrin Radd - A Barrage of Hostile Abstractions
12. Alex Mauer - I Guess Your Face Fell Off
13. cacomistle - Blue, Brown, Pink, Grey
14. Alex Atchley - RUFFTRADE
15. Bit_Rat - Sunbeam
16. Prizmatic Spray - Desert Dilemma
17. temp sound solutions - Psionic Blast
18. RushJet1 - Boss9
19. Norrin Radd - Paradoxes Are Unveiled
20. Bit_Rat - Gimmick
21. Mystic Nova - Aerosaga
22. optomon - Hysteria
23. Shnabubula - virtigo
24. Neil Baldwin - Trapped
25. virt - Sorcerors Battle
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)
As was announced a few months back, an amazing collection of chiptune artists gathered together to pay tribute to one of the most seminal works in 20th century music, Miles Davis' album Kind of Blue. The resulting effort is Kind of Bloop, and is available for download at the very low price of $5 at kindofbloop.com right now. This is a landmark moment in chiptunes and I am proud to be able to write about it as it happens. Also to commemorate this moment I am happy to present Zen Albatross, who comes to us with his second guest article for GM4A. This time he has landed an interview with two of the folks behind Kind of Bloop.
Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue was a landmark achievement in the history of recorded sound. It not only pioneered modern Jazz as we know it, but also refined the art of recording and completely changed the way musicians produced albums. Since its release in the summer of 1959, Kind of Blue has been consistently regarded as one of the most influential recordings of all time. In honor of the record’s 50th Anniversary, Andy Baio of Waxy.org assembled an all-star team of chiptune musicians to create Kind of Bloop, a complete re-imagining of the seminal Jazz classic, created using obsolete videogame hardware.
Go ahead and shout ‘blasphemy’ now, if you like. But take a moment to consider the amazing nature of this project and the manner in which it came about; a method which very well may be just as revolutionary as the artistry it pays tribute to.
I had the pleasure of chatting with both project organizer Andy Baio and chip musician Rich Vreeland about the ambitious plan to create the ultimate chiptune jazz tribute album. Hit the jump to discover the story behind Kind of Bloop and a new breed of fan-funded projects that are changing the way people make independent games and music forever.
The setting of the story is Kickstarter, a collaborative fundraising website brainstormed by internet entrepreneur Perry Chen. The site launched earlier this year, featuring a smattering of start-up projects. Just 4 short months later, it now hosts hundreds of prospective projects, allowing users to get funding in order to create albums, games, books, magazines, iPhone applications and pretty much any other form of media you can think of. When Andy Baio was paired up with Chen through a mutual acquaintance, he began to realize Kickstarter as the perfect platform to launch a project of his own. Shortly after, Andy was made CTO of the site.
First off, where did the idea for Kind of Bloop come from initially, and what made you decide to raise money for it on Kickstarter?
Andy Baio: It started a couple years ago, a silly idea wondering what jazz standards would sound like in a chiptune style. I went searching for more information online, but amazingly, couldn’t find anything. After Kickstarter launched, I wanted to come up with a project to try it out and the idea came back to me. So I went digging deep, looking for chiptune jazz, and found a total of three covers. So I tracked down two of the musicians that did those covers, ast0r and sergeeo, and asked if they’d be interested in covering Kind of Blue. They both agreed immediately.
What was the criteria for the artists who contributed?
Andy: I was looking for musicians that were both capable videogame musicians and jazz lovers, which was surprisingly hard. I approached Virt, whose music I’d admired for years. He came on board, and introduced me to Disasterpeace and Shnabubula, both extremely talented chiptune artists and Miles Davis fans. Once the lineup was rounded out, I started the project on Kickstarter.
How did the fundraising go once everything was in place?
Andy: I was hoping to raise $2,000 in three months, to pay the artists and legally license the songs from the original publisher. I hit that goal in four hours.
With $2,000 raised in a mere fraction of a day, the artists involved were rightly enthusiastic about the project. One of the artists, Rich Vreeland, known also by his creative handle, Disasterpeace is a Staten Island-born musician who composes 8-bit style music for videogames and films. Rich joined us to discuss his experiences tackling the monumental task of making a Miles Davis tribute using only electronic instruments.
Kind of Blue is considered a Jazz bible of sorts, and proponents of Jazz will usually contend that music like that can’t be replicated by machines. Do you feel that the albums music does justice to the source material? Or were you going for a looser interpretation where the new instrumentation doesn’t try to be something it isn’t?
Andy Baio: Many jazz purists will hate the album, arguing that it’s too rigid and mechanical. But that’s what drew me to the project in the first place: making art within constraints is a good thing, and what’s more constrained than making music for a 25-year-old videogame console?
Rich Vreeland: I think all five of us approached the source material in different ways, which will hopefully at the very least provide something for everyone. Kind of Blue is such a human piece of work that it’d be silly to try and transcribe the whole thing and think that it would work, so many of us decided to play to what makes Jazz so successful and incorporate original solos and reharmonizations. In trying to incorporate some of who we are into the pieces I think we also took some liberty with the form at times, and the style, but in the end I think those were necessary to keep things fresh.
Andy: If the guys had made faithful note-for-note translations of the original album, it would’ve been deadly boring and borderline offensive. But they’ve made music that is true to the fundamental tenets of jazz: highly improvisational, interpretive, emotional, and personal.
What are your thoughts regarding the funding efforts on Kickstarter and how did that affect the finished product? Did you expect to get so much support?
Andy: I was stunned by the response and happy that I could pay the artists. Getting funded that quickly meant the artists had much more time to work on their projects, which was a very good thing. The additional time really shows on the album.
Rich: I think we were all surprised at how much support we’ve gotten and obviously, we’re very grateful. Knowing that so many people were looking forward to what we were doing was definitely some additional encouragement to make this project as good as it could be.
What about the future? Do you think we’ll be seeing more chipmusic projects like this on the site?
Andy: I’d love to see more genre experimentation in the chiptune scene in general, whether on Kickstarter or not. Currently, Kickstarter is invite-only for new projects, but we’re opening to the public very soon.
Rich: I imagine that there will be more projects down the line similar to this, both in terms of concept and as far as using sites like Kickstarter which seems to have been a success. At the moment, I’m lucky enough to be a part of another Kickstarter project for an indie game that has just ended and we were able to reach our funding goal, so I can’t say enough good things about the site and its service.
Kind of Bloop is available for download now on the project’s official website. Backers of the project received an advance copy of the album earlier this week, among other goodies depending on how much they contributed. Thanks again to Rich and Andy for answering all our questions! For more fan-funded goodness, check out Steve Jenkins’ 12-bit adventure game, High Strangeness.
Fans of video game music, art and culture should check out a sweet little podcast called STFUAJPGM. This fairly new project describes itself as "a miniature micro-music mixtape magazine", with each episode featuring video game style music, videos and other art focused on a particular theme.
There are currently three episodes available for download and so far the show has featured contributions from Animal Style, alex mauer, Shnabubula, NESMETAL and Lawrence Power. The show is always on the lookout for contributions of any form too, so get in touch if you're interested.
I can't really say much about this. Kind of Bloop: An 8-Bit Tribute to Miles Davis project has been announced. 5 amazing chiptune musicians creating an amazing tribute to one of the most important people to ever write music. An interview I heard with Rich Vreeland on Meteor Radio also made mention that the individual artists will be writing solos for one another's tracks in true jazz fashion! Basically this is going to be an amazing milestone in chiptunes and anyone who doesn't order a copy is surely going to be kicking themselves for some time. Here is more info straight from the source.
What would the pioneers of jazz sound like on a Nintendo Entertainment System? Coltrane on a C-64? Mingus on Amiga? For years, I've wondered what "chiptune jazz" would sound like, but there are only a tiny handful of jazz covers ever made.
To satisfy my curiosity — and commemorate the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" — I've asked five brilliant chiptune musicians to collaborate and reinvent the entire album in the 8-bit sound.
To create this album, I hope to raise $2,000 to pay royalties, pay the artists, and print CDs. Legally releasing cover songs requires paying mechanical licenses to the song publishers through the Harry Fox Agency, totaling about $420 for every 250 downloads and a $75 processing fee. I'll be using the remainder to print a very limited run of CDs for Kickstarter backers, and split the rest evenly among the five musicians for their painstaking work. (This is a labor of love for me, so I won't be keeping a dime.)
I hope to have the entire album download ready for Kind of Blue's 50th birthday on August 17. (Printing and shipping CDs will take longer.)
All project backers will get exclusive first access to the album download before anyone else in the world, and exclusive updates during the album's creation. Backers donating $30 or more will receive an extremely limited-edition CD, printed only for this Kickstarter project. Once the August 1 deadline is reached, the CD will never be sold again!
Track Listing (Tentative):
1. So What - Ast0r
2. Freddie Freeloader - Virt
3. Blue in Green - Sergeeo
4. All Blues - Shnabubula
5. Flamenco Sketches - Disasterpeace
Thank you so much for being a part of this.
("Kind of Bloop" pixel art by SnackAdmiral.)
I know I am quite behind but better late than never right? Without too much of my squawking about this and that, here are the results for December 2008's Dwelling of Duels: Sidescroller Month. Congratulations to all the winners and be sure to download all the songs through this link.
Shnabubula: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Mega Man X - Playing Super Mario World While Taking Mushrooms
Brian Davis: Bucky O'Hare (NES) - "Let's Croak Toads!!!"
Prince Of Darkness, GuitarBizarre, Chris Feener: Actraiser - A Coele Usque Ad Centrum
Fourth Place - norg: Metal Slug - Allen O'Neil and Nario Take an Afternoon Stroll Through a Field of Poppies for a Picnic Lunch of Wine, Cheese, and Whale Face
Fifth Place (tie) - Danimal Cannon, Stemage, and Kbart: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: The Manhattan Project - BTMNTBAMLOL
Fifth Place (tie) - jaxx: Storm of Progear - Black Sky Jewel Harvest
Seventh Place - BrainCells: Revenge of Shinobi - Pump!
Eighth Place - Darmock: Sonic the Hedgehog - Stay Away From My Special Zone AKA Masatotarkus
Ninth Place - ansgaros: Journey to Silius, Batman, Bionic Commando, Werewolf: The last warrior, Ninja Gaiden - To Reminisce is to Relive
Tenth Place (tie) - cetera: Amagon - Lower Your Expectations by 1dB
Tenth Place (tie) - Ryan8bit: Double Dragon - My Girl Needs a Gut Punchin'
Twelfth Place (tie) - Hoha: Shatterhand - Shatter My Brain With My Hands
Twelfth Place (tie) - Snappleman: Super R-Type - Where No Mann Has Gone Before (part 1)
Twelfth Place (tie) - virt: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Enter the Turtle
Fifteenth Place - zangderak and sparky: U.N. Squadron - Gates of Hell (dedicated to a very special person in the Air Force)
Sixteenth Place - DrumUltimA: Sonic - Sonic Smooth
Seventeenth Place - zyk0: The Lost Vikings - Funk Like an Egyptian
Eighteenth Place - M-H: Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (Gameboy) - Belmonts and Bondage
Ninteenth Place (tie) - cacomistle, chronolever, TheBeautyofGrind: Super Mario Land - Muda Morning
Ninteenth Place (tie) - Geoffrey Taucer, Jose the Bronx Rican: Donkey Kong Country 2 - Trapped in the Mines
Twenty-First Place - XMark: Sonic 2 - Mystic Chemicals
Twenty-Second Place (tie) - Harjawaldar: Dragon's Lair (NES) - Der Orden vom heiligen Geist
Twenty-Second Place (tie) - Skummel Maske: Shatterhand - Shatter This!
Twenty-Third Place - thesamareaye: Castlevania - The Vampire's Lament
Twenty-Fourth Place (tie) - Hope Fails: Power Blade - This Burden Grows, but Still I Can Fly
Twenty-Fourth Place (tie) - ryanisfootdrums: Alisia Dragoon (Genesis) - The Dragooner's Harp
Twenty-Sixth Place (tie) - Corax: Lifeforce - Glorious Gradius
Twenty-Sixth Place (tie) - Dr. Manhattan: Golden Axe 2 - Burning Villages Down
Twenty-Eighth Place (tie) - tibone: Mega Man - Elecman Likes Guitars
Twenty-Eighth Place (tie) - Wizwars: Castlevania - Time's Up!
Thirtieth Place - bjkmenu: Earthworm Jim - Groovy Jim Hurts My Ear
Thirty-First Place - TheoConfidor: Mega Man ZX: Advent - Dance of Destiny
Thirty-Second Place - Rasgar: Mega Man Zero 3 - Dance of the Winter
Thirty-Third Place (tie) - Mattias Holmgren: Blaster Master - Mastered Blaster
Thirty-Third Place (tie): naz: Mega Man 3 - Protocool
Thirty-Fifth Place (tie) - dasaten: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin - Sticky Portrait of Michiru Yamane
Thirty-Fifth Place (tie) - Nario: Mega Man 2 - Crash Man Takes Piano Lessons
Currently wrapping up right now is Joke Month, and a two month free month that ends February 24th, check it out at dod.vgmix.com
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!
Take a journey across the face of an old NES controller. Each button has a story to tell if you’re willing to listen. Some of them have been forsaken by their fellow buttons while others are living the good life. Come listen and find out what goes on inside your controller when you’re not around.
Damn, what could I possibly add to that description? Coming our way from the folks at II (pause). This album is intense and has some of the most amazing riffs, hooks, and beats I have heard in chiptunes, brought to us by the incredible Shnabubula. I have been anticipating this album for a while since I've been hearing so much praise for it from the man, Shawn Phase, who produced this fine record. This album is 7 tracks long and free to download so go download it right now!
Artwork by Francis Coulombe
[UPDATE] The more I listen to this album, the more I love it. In fact, I have not stopped listening to this album since I started listening to it. Every person who reads this should download it immediately!