chiptune

Skrow053: Starpilot - Energies II

Starpilot - Energies II

Starpilot - Energies II

Download album & art (91.7 mb zip)

or via bandcamp

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Today we welcome another cosmic traveler to the variable spacetime of the Skrow! continuum, Toronto-based Starpilot. This captain of plasmic luminosity presents us here with a brightly melodious journey through mostly upbeat, often melancholic regions of aural space. It is fresh but nostalgic, it is raw but highly polished, it is deceptively accessible, it is, perhaps, retro-future-chippy-unchip-idm-wave. Don’t quote me.

Enjoy loudly with smiling ears.

Tracklist:

  1. Square Root of Three (4:51)
  2. Deafening Divide (3:45)
  3. Monyattah Monday (3:29)
  4. L’uverybody (Theme to Something) (3:43)
  5. The Apple Went Through You Are Now (3:22)
  6. Hexadecimal Heracles (1:45)
  7. That’s Me, Chief of the Astronauts (2:34)
  8. Blank Ocean (3:14)
  9. Adrift in Foreign Circuitry (3:10)
  10. Living One Vibrational Energy (4:24)
  11. Delete, I, Everything (3:42)
  12. Quadrangle (4:31)
  13. The Heavy Phase (1:40)
  14. Weightless (9:49)

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Thursday, February 21st, 2013 Audio Releases No Comments

Skrow043: Zan-Zan-Zawa-Veia - Meep Peep

Zan-Zan-Zawa-Veia - Meep Peep

Download album & art (41.2 mb zip)

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This day brings us the mighty Skrow! debut of a giant of the progressive chiptune scene, Zan-Zan-Zawa-Veia (hereinafter abbreviated as ZZZV or Zanzan out of my own sheer incorrigible laziness).  With 26 tracks at just under half an hour, this album functions as a sort of cross between an imaginary retro game soundtrack and a collection of 8bit library music.  For example, #082 brings you the Neo Kobe weather report, #075 is the commercial jingle for Mr. Saturn-Os breakfast cereal, #087 is the theme song to the short-lived sitcom I Was a Teenage Robo, #074 takes you to your Mute City Nightly News traffic report… I’ll just leave off there, yeah?  Point being: this is a rapidfire collection of at times catchy, at times elusive, highly image-invoking, always interesting, all around good shit, capped off by an almost-8-minute epic slice of proggy, mathy Zanzan supremeness.  You have nothing to lose but your pants.

Download for free and rock out to your heart’s content, and/or buy the CD using the paypal button above/below to support the artist and all that happy stuff.  Yay.

Tracklisting:

  1. Meep #071 (0:06)
  2. Posr Chik (4:25)
  3. Meep #079 (0:54)
  4. Meep #073 (0:13)
  5. Meep #069 (1:59)
  6. Meep #082 (0:31)
  7. Meep #077 (0:05)
  8. Meep #086 (0:49)
  9. Meep #065 (1:53)
  10. Meep #075 (0:38)
  11. Meep #080 (0:17)
  12. Meep #087 (0:35)
  13. Meep #068 (0:05)
  14. Meep #074 (0:48)
  15. Meep #084 (1:07)
  16. Meep #078 (0:32)
  17. Meep #072 (0:58)
  18. Meep #070 (0:22)
  19. Meep #066 (0:24)
  20. Meep #083 (1:08)
  21. Meep #067 (1:02)
  22. Meep #085 (0:41)
  23. Meep #064 (0:33)
  24. Meep #076 (0:41)
  25. Meep #081 (1:25)
  26. Meep Keep (7:53)

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Thursday, January 19th, 2012 Audio Releases 2 Comments

Shawn Phase of TSS interviewed on Megabeep

The progressive chiptune blog/site Megabeep has posted an excellent interview with our good friend and Skrow! alumnus Shawn Phase (Temp Sound Solutions, Guitar Bastard).  So, uh, go check it out and stuff.

>dummyproof link<

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Friday, January 13th, 2012 News No Comments

DisasterPEACE - Deorbit

Disasterpeace - Deorbit

Disasterpeace - Deorbit

I happened to notice a few weeks ago that the highly respected and inimitable Rich Vreeland, better known to most of us as DisasterPEACE, is now offering his entire catalogue up to the world with a “pay what you want” model, which basically means FREE, but you should really give this guy money because he’s good and good indie artists should be rewarded for what they do and I promise I’ll stop preaching now.

Anyway, I also noticed he’s released a new EP titled Deorbit, so I downloaded the shit out of it and made it an immediate part of my worktime rotation.  My initial impression was that much of it resembles this year’s earlier release, Rise of the Obsidian Interstellar, which felt to me like pieces of Vangelis and Mike Oldfield being dragged forward in time from the early 70s, accruing influence as they go like some kind of musical Katamari.  8 and 16 bit chip, prog rock of varying eras, a hefty dose of that minimalism-inspired electronica, all drawn together in ways that are universally modern.  It occurs to me that looking forward while looking back is perhaps the key to relevancy, and Disasterpeace excels in this here.  Perhaps the most stunning part of this EP is the fact that it seems it is comprised primarily of tracks that he couldn’t find a place for on other efforts.  This man’s deletions are better than most artists’ intentions.  Frankly sickening.

The album starts with a melancholic bit of mystique and atmosphere, a desolate melody awash in echo and faint noise, accompanied briefly by a sparse beat.  This introduction gives way to the stunning “Polis,” which exemplifies the Katamari description given above.  Bouncing minimal synths juxtapose a slick 11/8 groove with fat bottomed bass to make the rockin’ world go round and positively gorgeous leads, the whole thing culminating in guitar lines that neatly slice open my skull, remove my brain, give it a good spitshine, and put it back in place upside down.

The other biggest highlight for me is “Sober Colony,” which I was until now unaware was already released way back in 2007 on a themed Pause compilation called Town.  Folks… I’m not exaggerating to say that my discovery of this song was an existence-defining moment.  I can no longer imagine life without it.  It’s that fucking good.  The 5/4 groove is so irresistibly supreme as to lend credence to the idea of 5 as a magic number.  And then the song’s B section (e.g. starting at about the 1:04 mark) descends on me like an avalanche; inconceivably heavy, with all of the immense power and beauty of a natural formation, and capable of besetting my spine with uncontrollable chills.

Allow me to further put this into perspective and say that this is not coming from a longtime Disasterpeace fanboy.  Prior to this year, I’d only heard parts of a few albums, and while I found them enjoyable and I respected the artist for what he means to the scene, I wasn’t extremely into the music.  With these two latest releases, that stance has shifted considerably, and I’ll now be delving much more deeply into the entirety of the man’s catalogue.  I encourage anyone else with ears to do the same.

Disasterpeace on the web

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Thursday, December 1st, 2011 Reviews No Comments

Skrow039: Nario - More of Me

Nario - More of Me

Download album & art (53 mb zip)

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Holy chips, Batman!  Today greets the arrival of the second offering from Elizabethtown, KY native Nick Hagman aka Nario.  The followup to 2009’s Most of Me, the astutely titled More of Me is all chip all awesome all the time.  The seven sizzlin’ songs here boast varied influences from rock, electro pop, dance, industrial and more, all neatly bundled into a retro 8-bit package of blip love and hot groove.

Nab the digital release here or at bandcamp today, or go to Locus Tangibles to pre-order the CD with two bonus tracks!  Yay!

Tracklisting:

  1. gNARly (3:18)
  2. This Pain Is Too Much to Bear (And Screw You, Too) (3:30)
  3. Drive-In Dance Club (3:35)
  4. Chips of the Penguin (2:30)
  5. Chilled Pop Cherry Soda (8-Bit Mix) (2:24)
  6. Ghostbusters Have Sex With Schala at a Strip Club (3:42)
  7. Hands in the Air (feat. cyrilthewolf) (3:19)

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Friday, August 19th, 2011 Audio Releases 4 Comments

Rainbowdragoneyes - The Primordial Booze

Rainbowdragoneyes - The Primordial Booze

Rainbowdragoneyes - The Primordial Booze

On March 3, 2011, the Primordial Booze was released into this world; alike to a brutal spunk of unmitigated awesome and ferocity.  Any who find themselves within its unerring stream shall be forced to dance and headbang and party for eternity, until all the world’s a pit and all its men and women mere viking rave animal slaves who rage perpetually in pounding, snarling 8-bit bliss, forever and ever, amen.  I myself have imbibed the mighty sploodge: I just danced while taking a piss, in complete disregard of the fact that I was painting the world with electric yellow wash; it covers the walls, the floor, my shoes, my pants, my hair, my immortal soul… the piss itself began to congeal into miniature humanoid forms and dance and thrash around me in a circle.  One piss-man was bigger than the others, and he ensnared my spirit, wrapping it around his fist.  He flowed up and into my ears, through the cochlear forests and cranial canyons, to rest upon my brain; whence he stretched my spirit long and made of it a bullwhip which he used to lash my mind into useless, whimpering submission, making it subject to his every whim and fancy, reshaping me for his own dire purposes into another wave of the almighty Booze, that I might flow in and out and over and through and around and sideways and fill and infect and destroy and shape all that I encounter.

This is I, pawn of the Primordial Booze.

I do this of my own free will.

http://rainbowdragoneyes.com/

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Thursday, March 10th, 2011 Reviews No Comments

Captain Tortilla - Ninjanomics

Captain Tortilla - Ninjanomics

Captain Tortilla - Ninjanomics

Okay, I swear I’m not going to turn this place into a blog or any of that kind of shit, but this is too awesome and I’ve been enjoying it way too much lately to not give it some props.  I’m gonna have to make this quick anyway, there are shuriken flying everywhere and one of them is bound to hit my laptop display ere long.

On this first full-length effort from the esteemed Captain, he pays exceptional tribute to some obvious Tecmo and Konami influences while putting his own indelible stamp on the entire half hour duration.  Catchy and extremely addictive, with dangerously hummable melodies interwoven through spectacular bliprock grooves that create an authentic NES action atmosphere laced with hints of metal, progressive rock, early 90s hip hop, blues and funk.  Tracks like “Ninja Pie,” “Into Progress,” and “07″ are perfectly capable of slicing your face off if you’re not careful.  The capstone to the collection, however, is the brilliant Zappa cover, flawlessly arranged within the limitations of the VRC6 chip.

Ninjanomics leads me through twelve different worlds of drama, mayhem and awesomeness, each one full to the brim with salient men in masked jumpsuits swinging cleaving steel in my general direction with intent to separate my head from my body, which would seem like a generally negative thing if not for how awesome it is when ninjas decapitate people.  It is Dennis Mott’s magnum opus, and if I were me (which I am), I wouldn’t miss it.  And I haven’t, as you can tell from the way I’m telling you how much it rocks.  Which means that you shouldn’t miss it either.  Unless you’re afraid of losing your head.

http://captaintortilla.com/?page_id=84

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Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 Reviews No Comments

Skrow022: Nario - Most of Me

Nario - Most of Me

Nario - Most of Me

As promised, the debut of VGMix alumnus and Elizabethtown, Kentucky native Nick Hagman, known internet-wide as Nario.  Most of Me explores industrial electronica, chiptune, atmosphere, live piano, comic relief and more (not necessarily in that order), with an infectious catchiness, a strong sense of melody, and an engaging cinematic quality that combine to ensure a consistently fun listen and a very cohesive album through all the stylistic variation.  Pump the bass and turn those speakers up!  It could be the best 35 minutes you’ll spend all day.

Tracklisting:

  1. HAX (2:23)
  2. Chilled Pop Cherry Soda (2:25)
  3. Retro Destroyer (2:38)
  4. He Just Wanted a Friend (3:06)
  5. Conspiracy of the Panned Chiptune (2:43)
  6. Hallucinogenic Ethics (2:54)
  7. Frozen on Contact (4:19)
  8. I’m Coming Home (Improv) (5:06)
  9. Kel Tick Go Tee (0:59)
  10. Curiosity (1:40)
  11. Happy Castles for Sad People (2:08)
  12. Wandering in Circles, All Is Uncertain (3:44)
  13. Credits (0:58)

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Monday, November 30th, 2009 Audio Releases No Comments
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