Listen to wild west chiptune track The Outlaw by Disasterpeace

disasterpeace-chiptune-outlaw-west

Gun slinging, horse riding chiptunes from chiptune musician, game composer, and Pause netlabel founder Disasterpeace.

Great chip drumming in this track by far. Definitely a fantastic piece of chiptunes from the duo single West from Disasterpeace and Derris Kharlan.

Jay Tholen - Vainglory EP release

Jay Tholen, the man I have fawned over as a musical genius for the last couple years, has an EP out. Blending his styles from experimental albums along with his chiptune side to create a strange journey through a crackling, strangely soothing world. Haunting vocals, and effective use of, well, effects, create a soundscape that is easily recognizable as a brand of music it seems only Jay Tholen can make. I could write quite a few things about my view of music, as shaped by this one man's fusion of narrative and music. Look at me going on again, this was supposed to be just a few quick sentences.

Well, one day I will write the 6,000 word essay that Jay Tholen deserves. Until then, I'm just going to listen to this EP one more time. Then probably listen to all the other Jay Tholen albums too...

Alex Mauer - Koalie is Dead album release

Originally due to be killed in 2010, Koalie has survived on the edges of the internet. Now, Koalie is Dead, and it's all because of Alex Mauer. Dig the ominous NES catchiness like only Mr. Mauer can provide. Great music to get lost to, whether in a dark cave, or the open sea.

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.

Evilwezil - Chronophobe album release

EvilWezil = Chronophobe
EvilWezil = Chronophobe

A few months back we received another amazing Pause release from EvilWezil. This time, in full length glory is Chronophobe. I'll let EvilWezil explain, in a manner of speaking...

Attention residents of 3052. I, the future’s EvilWezil, have travelled back in time to free my past self from your unbreakable ultraprison. Together, we bring the destruction of your valuable time line. Those of you who continue to exist, you will not remember the world as it now is known. We shall erase your ancestors, Summer Sage, and your Chrononauts is not match for our armada which has all the splendid villains of history. We do not desire the money already. We pursue only vengeance, and times are on our side. EvilWezils cannot be stopped!!!

And with that kicks off 15 tracks of glitched out, over the top chiptune mayhem. From the futuristic and ominous tones of the opening track Operation Timeout we are sent on a cybernetic journey through time. The genres and styles swirl in a glitchy mix of moody tones and fast paced walls of sound throughout the album. Metal in the Microwave starts out with an ambient discord, before slowly building into a villainous battle song. Then there is personal favorite track Some Times Roll Hard which throws together high rhythms with a glitchy lead track that creates an ever churning unease that leads you through the song.

Another stand out track is Nothing Ever Changes, a dreamlike track which washes over you with a wave of chip sounds and sporadic effects to create a feeling of almost nightmarish discomfort. The album closes with Singularity Falls, A rough reprise that creates an almost space western type feeling as the glitchy rhythms lumber forward over a nostalgic lead which takes hold of the song, and slowly finishes off the album.

Clocking in at nearly an hours worth of music, Chronophobe is definitely a strong experience that will leave you depleted through it's stirring tones and glitches. Once again you can grab the album through the Chronophobe download page. You can also see EvilWezil performing live next week at our concert West Coast Wigout 2.

Norrin_Radd - Anomaly album release

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.

Zan-zan-zawa-veia - Fell Plot album release

In my professional ineptitude I have failed to keep up to date on some of my favorite albums lately, and am seeking to cure that slowly but surely. We start our game of catch up with an older Pause release from the laid back Zan-zan-zawa-veia. Their new release came out a few months back and is Fell Plot.

An occult shadow government dissolves messily, its members left trying frantically to remove themselves from every list that matters before the sun comes up. Eight oppressive and complex pieces of expanded NES music hint obliquely at the story behind the collapse of a generation’s fell plots.

So goes the story of Zan-zan-zawa-veia's latest release, an album that creates a sepia toned mood of old phonographs, slow waltzes, and deteriorating brick and wood metropolises. The album kicks off with Koff Koff, a track that sounds as if things are spiralling out of control in a cacophony of sounds and swirling effects. This is followed up by the dreary Rose Wood, the slow, foreboding track starts off calmly, but lurches toward a frustrating tone, as if someone is slowly working on an increasingly difficult, and secretive objective.

We skip ahead to two of my particular favorite tunes from the album. The first of which is the moody tune Rest Easy, which is a bit more ominous than the name implies. The lo-fi crackling along with the slightly too slow rhythm creates a mood of almost ease, but not quite. As if, even though all things are done, and every enemy dealt with, something is still amiss in the recesses of your mind. The track breaks down and leads directly into Fish Food. This track starts out with an almost incoherent series of beeps which slowly struggle to make a tune, as if it's a brain itself waking up from a daze and trying to piece together the sounds around it. Once we regain our composure the song quickly turns into a heart pounding theme somewhere between the sounds of a Game Over theme and the build to a final boss fight. The sounds continue to build until we reach that boss and a catchy but ever changing theme that keeps us on edge the entire time.

Of course we can't conclude this short write up without mentioning the ten minute final opus of the album, the self titled Fell Plot. Fading in with a simple melody before being surrounded by crunches, it then breaks forth into a gentle lullaby, only broken by the always ominous tones that lie beneath it. The song takes many turns and break downs along it's journey. Things really build to a head in the last moments of the track though, just before slowly falling apart into another sea of seemingly meaningless buzzes and chirps.

This album is not a head bobbing rock out, nor simple relaxed listening to get your homework done to. For those willing to stick with it though, Zan-zan-zawa-veia tell a deep story with many twists and turns. Remember you can grab the album free through the official Fell Plot album page.

EvilWezil appearing on KSPC Radio March 26th 4pm PST

I am preparing quickly for PAX East as of this time, but there is still lots of news to dole out in large quantities to eager listeners. I want to quickly plug this tidbit for you all! Looks like Los Angeles based chiptune artist EvilWezil (who you may know from his releases on iimusic.net) will be on KSPC radio in Claremont, CA. Full info below!

Chiptune artist EvilWezil will be a guest and live performance on ‘The Video Game Music Show’ this Friday March 26th from 4 – 6pm on KSPC 88.7FM Claremont, CA. You can listen to the live webcast at kspc.org

So be sure to tune in and support a great show! Not to mention listen to some live chiptunes courtesy of EvilWezil. If just hearing him live isn't enough for you though, be sure to set aside some free tim on April 8th, and head out to Rosemead, CA where EvilWezil, alongside Wizwars, Zealous1, and SXEZSKOZ will all be performing free at Super PIZZA and CHIPS 3!

Christmas Regifting: 8 Bit Jesus, An Overclocked Christmas, 8bits of Christmas and more.

So to put it bluntly, there is no new music here, hence the "regifting." Let us revel in the holiday spirit though, and call these albums something of a tradition. Also, if anyone is feeling in an especially gift giving mood...well you see that contact link over there.

We kick things off with one of my personal favorites from a good pal. Let us all get reacquainted with Doctor Octoroc and his album 8-Bit Jesus.

Doctor Octoroc - 8-Bit Jesus

Available through the album page on doctoroctoroc.com, 8 Bit Jesus is Doctor Octoroc's first foray into chiptunes, and the results are quite amazing. With over a dozen christmas inspired chiptunes. Personal favorites of mine are Have Yourself a Final Little Fantasy and Little Drummer Nemo, the latter of which you can get in the free nine song album sampler

Next up we can't forget the classic compilation from well known label 8bitpeoples.

The collection of 8 tracks which comprise The 8bits of Christmas include tracks from seminal artists like Nullsleep, Bitshifter, GOTO80, and several more. Well worth a download any time of the year in fact!

Finally we have a classic from the OverClocked Remix community.

Their tribute to the season is An OverClocked Christmas. This is ten tracks of ReMixed christmas tunes as only the OCR community can do it. Another great album worth checking out, and as with all OCR projects, completely free to download.

I would also like to point folks to the recently released 8 Bit Weapon/ComputeHer Christmas album It's a Chiptune Holiday. Or if you just want to relax with some great winter themed songs, head over to Slightly Dark's album list and scroll down to "S" to find all seven SlightlyDark Christmas Mix volumes, or check out the amazing Sea of Ice compilation released at the end of last winter on Pause.

Week in Video Game Inspired Music 12/14 – 12/20

Up above here we have awesome Gameboy artwork by 8bitcollective member MassiveUntilMorning, with his simply titled but well done DMGpaintjob. Speaking of artwork, our resident artist Nyno added an epic Earthbound inspired Krakken to the background, if you had not noticed yet. Well besides that, this week saw a few big things, one is the return of Joe Allen to the Gamewave Podcast, another was our very own first ever GM4A Records release of Challenge! by Comptroller. Be sure to check out both of those, not to mention all the other big news this past week below.

NEWS

PODCASTS

REMIXES Latest OCReMix releases

Other singles and releases

VIDEO The video this week is of course from the recently passed Blip Festival 2009. Well perusing for some recaps of the event I came across little-scale's blog and found some footage of the amazing J. Arthur Keenes Band performing pieces from their latest Pause release Pamplemousse.

Remember to leave a comment with awesome articles, songs, videos, art, etc. for next weeks round up as well!

The J. Arthur Keenes Band - Pamplemousse album release


From the icy depths of Canada comes “Pamplemousse”, a loving tribute to the noble grapefruit. The J. Arthur Keenes Band skillfully mixes the rhythms of their native Ontario with modern sounds in this fun-filled, action-packed romp for the whole family.

OK I am not sure if Ontario has their own native rhythms. That is the official statement from Pause and I assume they are sticking with it. Pamplemousse by The J. Arthur Keenes Band does create an amazing sonic arrangement, compiling several genres together which are at times reminiscent of folk, blues, ska, shoegaze and more. All this is wrapped in a fine layer (or skin, much like the mighty grapefruit) of chiptune sounds and pleasing vocals. I currently have this album on repeat ever since downloading it. Much like every other Pause release, this one is an interesting new take on chiptunes, not to mention grapefruit.