Dubmood & Zabutom – Bad Television

Although I’ve still got heaps of music to go through on my list and review, I keep finding myself looking towards more of the latest chipmusic. Hence why this week I’m reviewing Dubmood & Zabutom’s collaborative EP, ‘Bad Television’. The EP initally started off in late 2014 as a game by Bitslap,(click the link and play the game) and created in only 6 hours for the Ludum Dare 31 Competition, a video game developing competition. The drums throughout were created by D.H. Peligro.

Both Dubmood & Zabutom are well established in the chiptune community, so hearing that the both of them had teamed up to make an EP was pretty sweet. However, after hearing the preview tracks of ‘Bad Television’, I was so enticed that I ended up buying the super cool red vinyl, just because.

The opening self titled track, ‘Bad Television’ is a very impressive introduction to a really solid EP, packing the punch to your ears. Its distinct & iconic style is already set up in the first 30 seconds and quickly says what ‘Bad Television’ is about; fast, melodic, punk & full to the brim with all things surf & chip. The leads throughout ‘Bad Television are shared between Dubmood & Zabutom, with both of them showing their talent & prowess in playing their choice of instrument. I particularly loved the thumping bass near the beginning of the track, which serves as the hook & glue holding the track together. To sum it up, ‘Bad Television’s’ self titled track, is the most stand out song off the EP. It really hones in the themes & genre’s that are cited as inspiration, on Data Airlines; Hardcore Punk, Surf Music & Arcade style of chiptune.

My second pick track is a hard one to choose from. ‘Rising Wave’ is an extremely bluesy track, whilst further keeping to the surfing vibes. However. ‘Astro Surfing’ is more a balance of both chip & guitar, whilst also being longer & solidly sticking to it’s themes! In the end I decided to choose ‘Astro Surfing’, mainly down it’s fantastic usage of leads in both in the chip & guitar department. Although, ‘Rising Wave’ is a truly beautiful bluesy tune, I feel ‘Astro Surfing’ goes an extra mile in its ever melodic leads, whilst also containing a ‘spacey yet surfery’ flavour throughout. The strong creativity of Astro Surfing is also extremely easy to hear, with each lead & riff given enough flare to set fire to your speakers.

‘Bad Television is truly a fantastic EP, that is it’s easy to see why Dubmood & Zabutom won the award for best music soundtrack at Ludum Dare 31. To collaborate on something with so little time, yet come out with music this inventive & inspiring is rather awesome.

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 ~Data Airlines~ 
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Chronowolf – Meet At The Gazebo

Hello all, it’s good to be back after a long hiatus. The reason for this was that I had to divide my time up between Chip Bit Day, work & video games (haha) and I couldn’t give any time to the blog. So I took a break. But I’m back and have a whole load of reviews to get through. Let’s start with one that’s been on my list for a while.

I reviewed Chronowolf’s previous album, ‘Genesis’, last year and while it was a well produced, I felt it focussed too much on the orchestral aspect. However his latest release, ‘Meet At The Gazebo’ feels more rooted down to his chiptune style. This 7 track album was both written and performed during Magfest, with the title taking inspiration from the iconic gazebo, situated at ‘Gaylord National Resort’ in ‘National Harbour, MD’.

‘Meet At The Gazebo’ is a great album, however whilst each track packs a punch, I can only pick two, so here they are!

Starting with my first pick, ‘Meet At The Gazebo’s’ self titled track is by far one of the songs that strikes a chord with me. It feels like a the perfect balance of Chronowolf’s chiptune style and his orchestral style. Whilst the majority of the tracks feature a blend of tight & fast solos, as well as heap load of arpeggios, I feel with the track ‘Meet At The Gazebo’ proves that less is definitely more, certainly in this case. The longer sustain on each note allows other elements to speak more, with a good example being the break fill made through the sound chip. The epitome for me however, has to be it’s heart pounding hook, which first begins after the ‘1.00’ mark. It seriously brings ‘Meet At The Gazebo’ into a song of it’s own, upping the ante and standing apart from the rest of the songs in this album.

Next up is a track, which a few people heard before, ‘Singularity’. I talked about this track previously in my ‘Chiptunes=win compilation review’ a long while back (just under 2 years if I’m not mistaken)! Immediately from the start of this wonderful track, you’re greeted with a heart pounding hook which quickly serves as the crux of the whole track, being used quite often to link parts from one to another. However it’s not just the hook that’s enticing, it’s also the amount of face melting arpeggios & racing snares which keep pushing this track to the unique delight that it is.

‘Meet At The Gazebo’ by Chronowolf is wonderful surprise that made my long hour car journey from Manchester to London and see Hyperwave that much more enjoyable. His style is both bright and refreshingly unique, whilst making each part of the album extremely enticing to listen to.

 ~ Chronowolf~ 
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Pulsing – Skyrunner

This week I was given Pulsing’s latest EP ‘Skyrunner’ to review via uk based net label, ‘Pterodactyl Squad’. Pulsing is an artist who is based in Cedar Falls, Iowa and has been new to the chiptune music since September 2016, with his first single ‘Beach House.’ His music style tends to be centred around, punk rock & EDM, featuring tight melodies & heavy bass grooves. Ultimately however Pulsing’s music is really about having fun, much like Mizkai’s & x Crtitical Strike x’s style.

Getting to the mix of things, The opening track, ‘Moonside’ sets the happy tone for the EP. It immediately kicks things off, featuring a whole array of crazy, noodling melodies upon each other. It’s gives it a great touch of personality and suitable to Pulsing’s overall style. The groove at the start however, feels a tad too early for me, and I can’t hear the kick’s come through due to the focus on melodies. This all changes however at ‘0.45’ when an fantastic lead comes in, kicking ‘Moonside’ further into the stratosphere. The track also really reminds me a lot of ‘Skybox’s music’, due to the use bright arpeggio’s, as well as it’s creative use of the pulse channel. ‘Moonside’ is a very energetic & crazy track, but I feel it’s slightly let down by the intro. I think it could use a bigger drop, but that’s just me.

The track that really picked my ears up however was ‘Attack Slug’. It really peaked interests thanks to it’s extremely intuitive use of LSDJ’s pulse, WAV & noise channels. The intro alone is proof of this; it feels like a mixture of easycore & dubstep, and the pulse channel serves as it’s strength in fills & texture. The breakdown however at ‘01.35’ is even more incredible, down to the heavy focus on the WAV channel, whilst the pulse & noise channels plays 2nd fiddle, providing fills & further sporadic mania, to what is already an stand out track.

Although Pulsing’s ‘Skyrunner’ is very creative in its use of melodies & the pulse channel, I feel it can be quite overbearing at times, when I’m trying to enjoy the bass & drums. That said, Skyrunner is Pulsing’s 2nd EP, in under a year so expect his style to be more awesome & refined in the months to come.

 ~ Pulsing~ 
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Tenkitsune – Wonderland Dream EP

After last week, we’re back to doing normal reviews, but this time I’m not doing chiptune! This week I’m looking at Tenkitsune’s latest album, ‘Wonderland Dream EP’, released via ‘Tinywaves’. I’ve talked about Tenkitsune’s music in the past, and his style is a nice collection of all things electro, chiptune, future bass, dubstep & anything that is cute. In fact, the Cute factor can be seen in all of the tracks throughout Wonderland Dream, but really shines the most in, ‘Hiya’.

Your immediately greeted to an abundance of cute & funny samples, from the use of squeezing toys, to cartoon bounces, you’ll quickly gather that this song isn’t sad; so far from it! The use of future bassy keys along with harmonised & vocalised sounds provide character to the track, as well as adding much of its cheeky colour. The hard swing set by the drums also help give ‘Hiya’ some nice pacing, something which is incredibly hard to do if it isn’t layered right with the drums.

Although ‘Hiya’ is the track with the most cuteness, the final track of the EP is almost on par with it, ‘Little Fox Adventure Featuring, “Jenny“‘. On the vocals side, ‘Litle Fox Adventure’ is fantastic, in which the vocals feel like they’ve been taken directly out of a Disney or Studio Ghibli film. Jenny’s vocals really lend their self to the track, her voice almost sounding like the voice ‘Little Mermaids Ariel’. On the flip side, Tenkitsune’s use of samples, of whistles & shouts further bolster the track to its kid like stature, adding a little bit of pop & funk into the underlying styles of the song. Tenkitsune even reverse’s Jenny’s voice in the breakdown bits where the lead takes charge; I wouldn’t think reversing vocals work but adding the right amount of mixing & layering does the job perfectly!

Wonderland Dream is a great example of Tenkitsune’s style, as well as confidence is creating something both unique & happy. It was one album I particularly enjoyed listening and the perfect remedy to helping get over the winter times, however short it might be!

 ~ Tenkitsune ~ 

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Last year on 23rd April the first outing of Chip Bit Day had a superb line up; HarleyLikesMusic, J3WEL, 2xAA, xX Critical Strike Xx, .Mpegasus, GwEm, Kenobit, Auracle, Jellyatrix, Euan Lynn & Joe Bleeps. Needless to say I got some incredible feedback from people, so I decided to host it again.

This year Chip Bit Day 2017 will be at Whiskey Jar Manchester on 6th May and will feature: Pain Perdu, PROTODOME, 2xAA, Mizkai, Space Candy, Nihilarc, Dunning Kruger, Alex Lane & Jellyatrix. Visual specialist, Idiotbox will also be returning!

Get your tickets from the Indiegogo page now, with exclusive extra perks including GB Lanyard 2.0 & two custom gameboys! Prices below:
• Early Bird Ticket: £5
• Regular Ticket: £8
• Early Bird & GB Lanyard Cart: £12
• Regular & GB Lanyard Cart: £15

Plus Much more!

Check out our indiegogo crowdfunder below!