The very successful co-op between Cerror and Xylo, otherwise known as Roel Heerspink and Tom Offringa, continues with their latest album "Papillons". Besides boasting 16 tunes with the kind of happy, well-crafted pop that the duo is known for, the record also features two collaborations with Radix and Malmen. And if that wasn't enough, it's also available as a physical CD. I especially enjoyed the lovely first track, which, titled in French, translates to "Garden Fence". You can check out the album at the link below.
May 14, 2013
I thought I'd introduce a new feature to the blog: EP spotlights. I'll be talking about some of my favorite chiptune EPs (extended plays), why they're great, and the talented artists who wrote them.
Let's begin with "Natural High" by Baifan. I've been enjoying this one for a while, and it still delivers afters years of listening. Baifan is a talented GameBoy musician hailing from Beijing, China, and his tunes are just excellent. The amount of effort that went into composing and mixing these songs comes shining through in his six-track debut. "Hello Everybody" is incredibly happy and poppy, with a fantastic melody in the middle. The cooing, beautifully simple female vocals are a nice touch as well. Fellow artist Aonami makes a lovely guest appearance with the shimmering, well-structured "70s Literary Youth". You might expect a song with a title like "The Fear Inside My Heart" to be pretty melancholy, but Baifan proves the listener wrong with this cheery dance track.
Throughout the 25-minute EP, Baifan shows himself to be a master of melody, song structure, and quality control. He might just be one of the best GameBoy musicians I've ever heard.
You can grab the digital version of "Natural High" from BandCamp or Amazon, and there's also physical CDs available from CD Baby. Check out the links below.
May 1, 2013
The endlessly productive and uniquely talented 4mat (Matthew Simmonds) has just announced a brand new album called "The End of It All". With this follow-up to 2012's excellent "Sans Titre", Matt has promised that the new tunes will be "a bit different". The teaser track, showcased in a new trailer, does indeed sound pretty different, even when compared to the varied output that began with his first album "Decades". It'll be interesting to see where Simmonds goes from here.
April 16, 2013
February 9, 2013
GameBoy rockers Danimal Cannon and Zef have teamed up to produce an epic, driving album called "Parallel Processing". Filled with 8 lengthy and thoughtful tunes, many of which use two DMGs, it's definitely worth your time. Following Danimal Cannon's impressive debut "Roots" from 2011 and Zef's "Blackout" from 2012, I'd say this new record pushes them both forward in a good way. "Rhapsody" is a nicely progressive, melodic highlight. The collaboration between these guys ends up working very well, with plenty of hard-hitting composition to keep you moving. You can snatch it up over at BandCamp.
November 24, 2012
4mat (Matt Simmonds) has had quite a productive year. His new album "Sans Titre" marks his fourth release this year, and it's another solid effort that continues to push the chiptune medium. It's quite something to compare 2010's "Decades" with these twelve new songs, which succeed in progressing Matt's style with polished, cool, and even experimental elements. Far surpassing the previous LP "Origins", the new release is fresh and thoughtful, with lovely production and great songwriting.
Highlights include the riveting "Popsnare" and very pretty "You're All I Have", the latter including some nice acoustic guitar sampling. Also, "Tropics" is a hard-driving banger with a cool drum beat and a sweet melody. Overall, "Sans Titre" is a solid return to form for 4mat, and there's not a bad track in the whole bunch. I highly recommend it, and it's one of my favorite albums of the year.
[You can check out the album here: http://4mat.bandcamp.com/album/sans-titre]
October 13, 2012
Thomas Soderlund, also known as Covox, is a force to be reckoned with. He's been releasing intelligent GameBoy music for years, churning out a high-quality release every once and a while. Thankfully, his latest is no exception. "Strike EP" is a strong EDM-influenced collection of new tunes, showcasing an evolution in style and a mastery of technique.
"Adult Checksum Corrupt" is a very cool and effective opener, with plenty of interesting chip sounds and a heavy drop towards the end. Throughout the EP, Covox also layers some simple electronic beats over his GameBoy compositions, which works well with his hard-driving, atmospheric style. "A Billion Suns" is another highlight, working the build-up and boasting a couple of sweet melodies.
Although the digital release of "Strike" only has three tracks, they're all nicely full, and the solid fourth tune "Borgarsvin" is freely available from Soderlund's SoundCloud page as well.
Do yourself a favor and pick this one up... I've really been enjoying what this guy has to offer. Covox is firmly in control of his craft and once again proves his relevance here.
SCORE: 8.0 out of 10 - "Solid"
[You can check out the EP here: http://www.bleepstreet.com/?post=bleepst21-covox-strike-ep]