May 14, 2013

EP Spotlight - Natural High by Baifan

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

Preview - "The End of It All" (4mat)

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.