L Tron – Voyage

The chiptune music has been racking up for me whilst spending time on holiday, so let’s get back into it, post-haste! This week I’m reviewing the latest 2-track EP from L-tron, featuring the artist known as, ‘Rockman’. Compared to most chiptune artists, L-tron is very ‘house’ orientated, using LSDJ to focus on repetitive & slow changing hooks, instead the conventional means that everyone else follows. L-tron’s style reminds me of Robtka’s house style, as both lend themselves to melodies whilst keeping the same rhythm & hook. Listen to Robtka’s, track ‘Springroll’ & you’ll probably agree with me.

The first track takes it’s name from the EP and is called, ‘Voyage part I’. This is also the track which features L-tron’s, friend, ‘Rockman’. Rockman does a lot of L-tron’s mastering in his tracks, so it’s completely understandable, he’d collaborate with him. As soon as you begin to listen to ‘Voyage Part I’, you’re immediate introduced to some extremely innovative drums. There’s a heavy use of toms used here, whilst also using claps & snares together to really bring the snap together in the track. Some simple yet effective use of the pulse channel is also displayed here as well, merging almost perfectly with the drums & rhythmic square bass sounds that roll right under the melody.

You can easily that the introduction of ‘Voyage Part-1’ is extremely effective, hooking you in with both the drums & melody. However, once the track gets to the ‘1:30’ mark, it kicks itself into overdrive with enhanced use of distortion through both the pulse & WAV channels. All the sounds seem to mash together to create one hardcore symphony. I could go on talking highly of this track, but I think it’s safe to say that you’ll understand my gist of why this is an incredible LSDJ track. So much so that some of my music has taken inspiration from the style that L-tron & Rockman have created here.

Moving on ‘Voyage Part II’ is track featuring just L-tron and is much different in it’s rhythm & energy. However that is not to say that, the track isn’t as good as it’s previous counterpart, far from it. I particularly enjoyed the main melody which ‘Part II’ was structured around, the rolling arpeggios noodling about at ‘0:52’ especially. I also love the subtle use of the sharp pulse channels to create a sort side chaining feel, starting the the ‘1:52’ mark.

I really must say, L-trons EP has opened my eyes to new ways of doing chiptune on LSDJ. It’s caused to look back into some of L-tron’s discography, listen to the tricks he’s used and implement them into my own music. I’d like to see more chiptune house music centered around LSDJ in the future, either from L-tron or someone else.

 ~ L-tron ~ 

 Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Facebook

 ~ Rockman ~ 

If you want to follow for more chiptune music see below:

Top 10 Chiptune Songs of 2016

So it’s that time once again, the top 10 chiptune tracks of this year. 2016 was full to the brim of talented chipmusic, showing off both creativity and inovation in the genre. I have spent all of this year reviewing and listening to chiptune, so that made I had a good list of epic music. Unfortunately that made choosing my top 10 extremely hard. So anyway let’s have a look at what I chose…

10. Tri Angles – Rebel Soul

Tri Angles has stepped up his game in 2016, releasing much more material than the previous year. He also focused on refining his style, heavily utilising the WAV Channel on LSDJ along with his huge Behringer Mixer. ‘Rebel Soul’ is a true testament his work, being a rather funky track, using the tropes Tri Angles had learnt back in 2015. ‘Rebel Soul’ also has some epic atmosphere to it, using long periods of silence as momentum as well as some rather amazing arps throughout. ‘Rebel Soul’ was definitely a Step up from previously and a welcome addition to 2016.

Bandcamp Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

9. (T-T)b – Total Vacation

First appearing on the Play it Loud’s Yearly music compilation, (T-T)b’s track, ‘Total Vacation’ was a melodic powerhouse, using the Famitracker software as the energy for their amazing leads. Guitar, Bass & Drums were also used as backing to further boost this amazing track. ‘Total Vacation’ was such a stand out song and ultimately was the first foot steps for (T-T)b in their amazing year.

 Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook

8. HarleyLikesMusic – Pigeon Shit

If you’ve read my article on Chiptunes=Win, you’ll know that HarleyLikesMusic’s song, ‘Pigeon Shit’ didn’t immediately hit me like the majority of these tracks. However it quickly grew on me and became one of my favourites of this year. Although, Harley’s Signature track, ‘Super Duper Double Duper’ had a huge impact at the beginning, I felt ‘Pigeon Shit’ kept the energy going, especially with it’s change into ‘half time speed’ for moshing mode!

 Bandcamp | twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Website | Youtube

7. Villainest – The Machine

Villainest was the first artist to come onto my radar during 2016, with their EP ‘A good day to try hard’. ‘The Machine’ was the most standout track off the album, mainly due to the hardcore style & vocals packed into the song, which was structured over the 32bit Sega Genesis. ‘The Machine was such as powerful song, so much so that it was in rotation for long time in my music.

Twitter | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

6. An0va – GON GET GOT

Just like Pigeon Shit, ‘GON GET GOT’ by ‘An0va’ was another track which took a while to grow on me. However it proved to be an utterly incredible tune, mainly down to its unique focus into the genre, ‘Chicago Footwork’. Embracing this genre along with his Commodore Amiga, An0va created a song which was both very technical & rhythmic. I also loved the use of Homer Simpson in the samples! Doh!

Bandcamp Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter | Website

5. Pixeltune – gemini

I never got into Pixeltune’s Cheapbeat Album last year, but I was adamant that I’d give his latest release, ‘For A while’, a good listen. What I heard blew me away. This was mainly down to the track, ‘Gemini’ which utilised some epically layered LSDJ work whilst balancing out with some sublime dubstep & EDM. Pixeltune’s ‘Gemini’ is such an extremely unique track, both being harmonious & sharp as a sawtooth.

Twitter | Bandcamp | Soundcloud

4. Jamatar – Lepus rising

Jamatar has had a fantastic year, releasing two albums in one year both of which are critically acclaimed. There isn’t a doubt to me then, that one of his tracks would be in my top 10. ‘Lepus Rising’ is the 2nd song from ‘Journeys’ and is a fantastic ride, complete with atmospheric keys, heart pounding leads & so much chill throughout. I feel as if I could fall asleep to this song through the way it’s produced, and wake up on another planet. It’s out of this world.

 Bandcamp | twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud

3. Skybox – æther (feat. Tobokegao)

The only collaborative track on the top 10, ‘æther’ by Skybox & Tobokegao is tremendous song, which features both artists combining their styles with such creativity and clarity. Skybox & Tobokegao’s styles fit so well with another, it’s as if one was a hand and the other a glove. From start to finish, æther is a brilliant track and one that I regularly played when driving.

Bandcamp | Twitter | Soundcloud

2. City guys – jetski

A new duo from the UK, ‘City guys’ really took me by surprise, mainly down to their fantastic 32bit Sega style, mashing up with the urban lifestyle. ‘Jetski’ was the first track off City Guys’ self titled release and ultimately set the bar for the rest of album. It was almost perfect, from it’s snappy bass lines to the hectic melodies that are heard throughout. ‘Jetski’ is such a good track, that even now after the album’s February release, it’s still in my rotation when I’m listening to my music.

Bandcamp | Off Me Nut Records | Off Me Nut Facebook

1. Please Lose Battle – Sunday chill in Cosmos

So here we are, no.1 of my top 10. I decided to give this to Please Lose Battle’s, ‘Sunday Chill In Cosmos’. The longest track on this list, ‘Sunday Chill’ is a really sweetly proggy NES song, constantly changing and moving throughout, it’s leads and melodies both smooth & subtle. The drums and bass are the icing on the cake, providing the extra boost of energy to send the song further through the Cosmos. So much thought has gone into ‘Sunday Chill in Cosmos’; it is one amazing track to finish off this list.

 Bandcamp | twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Website

Well that’s it for 2016! I hope you liked my top 10 list. Here’s hoping 2017 is even better!

If you want to follow for more chiptune music see below:

(T-T)b – Slimy Quagmire

Having released their full length album, ‘Good Talk’ earlier this year, (T-T)b are back with another EP. If you haven’t heard (T-T)b, then check out my other review of ‘Good Talk’. (T-T)b’s newest album, ‘Slimy Quagmire’ is a lot more different than ‘Good Talk’, sounding more like music from the band, ‘Pavement’, with the welcome addition of funny vocals.

You can really hear this in the 2nd Song, ‘Knuckle Head’, a great sweet track. It features some real pulsing bass & guitar, further back up by the bass of their old NES, whilst also supplying bendy leads. The lyrics go on about describing the dad of the singer, Joey, on how he was nick named, ‘Knuckle Head’ and the adventures both of them got up to. ‘Knuckle Head’ is also a track which doesn’t entirely focus on the chiptune & gameboy too much, allowing the guitar more room to for a cool solo.

All these tracks are extremely short but deliver a clear & cool message, whilst acting goofy and funny at the same time. ‘Drained’ is a good example of this.

One other good track which sets itself from the rest is, ‘Better’ and features guest vocalist, ‘Shannon Keelan’ who takes the lead. It’s a nice change of pace and allows the track to be unique with a female singer. The guitar & bass are also more reserved and relaxing, allowing Shannon to be heard more clearly. The lyrics are simple, basically speaking about how the singer is better than you, and even though their ‘cliche’, they’re ‘okay’.

‘Slimy Quagmire’ is a fantastic progression in (T-T)b’s next step if music, with the voclas & lyrics being a big welcome to the style. Even though ‘Good Talk’ allowed (T-T)b to work on their music style of ‘college rock’ & ‘chiptune’, ‘Slimy Quagmire’ allows more of the masses to connect with the band, more so with the incredibly relatable & goofy vocals.

All proceeds of ‘Slimy Quagmire’ go to American Civil Liberties Union for the month of December, so be a good person and buy the album! 

 ~ (T-T)b ~ 

 Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook

If you want to follow for more chiptune music see below:

Tune To Listen To: Tenkitsune – Windmill Island (Side B mix)

Not a soundcloud song this time, but something bandcamp, I found this awesome track whilst digging through finding new chipmusic. Tenkitsune is an artist associated with both chiptune & hyperpop, showing huge promise in style & energy.

This can be especially seen in this week’s T2L2, ‘Windmill Island’ (Side B mix), which brings together a wide variety of different styles, from chiptune to dubstep, hyperpop & EDM. I love the mash up of this mix, especially with it being a side B version. Tenkitsune seems to really manage getting the pop in the squarewaves of chip, whilst the dubstep is handled expertly and not being overly assertive, unlike most dubstep.

 ~ Tenkitsune ~ 

twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp

If you want to follow for more chiptune music see below: