Master Boot Record – C​:​\​>CHKDSK /F

I’m back! This week I’ve been listening to ‘Master Boot Record’s’ latest album, ‘C​:​\​>CHKDSK /F’. For those who don’t know who he is, ‘Master Boot Record’ appeared on the scene back in September 2016, releasing ton of albums within a short space of time. Since then, he’s managed to get himself onto ‘DATA AIRLINES’, with his whole discography available as cassettes!

This mainly due to his style being incredibly unique, using an old Intel computer complete with a i486 dx, to produce heavy metal synth sounding music. You wouldn’t expect this to sound so much like metal, but for the love of Odin it is!

The opening track off ‘C​:​\​>CHKDSK /F’, starts with ‘IO.SYS’, and is known as ‘an essential part of MS-DOS.’ As soon as you begin to listen to this song, you immediately get a taste for ‘Master Boot Record’s’ signature sound. It sounds rather crisp & classical whilst being purely raw & raunchy. It almost feels like I’m listening to the heavy metal version of ‘Phantom of The Opera’. Unlike the majority of ‘Master Boot Record’s’ tracks, ‘IO.SYS’ contains more of structure, focusing more reprisals rather just the melody. It works brilliantly, mainly due to every part being slow & echo-like. This allows for everything to ring out and create tons of atmosphere.

Although it first felt a lot of ‘C​:​\​>CHKDSK /F’s’ tracks sounded the same, once I started listening to the rhythm & melody, I realised there was much to ‘Master Boot Record’s’ music.

His music is definitely for the metal lovers, more so in the third track off ‘C​:​\​>CHKDSK /F’, ‘XCOPY.EXE’, known as ‘a command used on PC DOS for copying multiple files & trees’. This song is a lot more melodic, starting with a fantastic, drony solo at beginning until going into bridge of arpeggios, building up and then reaching the head bagging crescendo. I really loved this part after, namely down to it’s rhythmic style of keys and excessive use of the drum kick. Every time I listened to this part of ‘XCOPY.EXE’ it had me banging my head in time constantly. Definitely a kick ass tune!

There are many more tracks I could talk about here, but I’d just be reiterating the points I’ve made (although ‘CONFIG.SYS’ reminded me of a metal version of the ‘Adams Family’), Instead I’ll say listen to whole album and you’ll get a good dosage of synth metal. Just remember your devil horns.
\m/ ( -_- ) \m/

 ~ Master Boot Record ~ 
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 ~ Data Airlines ~ 
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2xAA – Flow

This week I’ve been ill with man flu so my review is out a little later than expected. However I’ve been sitting on a real banger. 2xAA (AKA Sam Gay4TheWray) has been a huge impact on the chiptune community supplying it with interesting music, intuitive coding, amazing VJ software, Micro collective & finally the almighty Chiptune Bot!

That’s a lot of stuff he’s contributed to the community! So you can be certain that when 2xAA released his highly anticipated album, ‘Flow’ on ‘Data Airlines’, it was a big thing. 2xAA made ‘Flow’ using Nanoloop 2.0 on a Gameboy Advance and has been something he’s working on for a while now. Because much of ‘Flow’ has been recorded and is supposed to be a mix, I’ll be featuring three songs together rather than just two.

The album gets off to a great start, beginning with the party pumping track, ‘Work’. It begins with an incredibly downtempo beat, opting for my staccato melodies & rhythm rather filling the whole scope with sounds. Each sound & instrument sounds tight as hell, both providing a sort cool & elegant style, whist also remaining mysterious. ‘Work’ then morphs into the largely different track, ‘Delta’.

Even though both songs use much of the same instruments & styles, ‘Delta’ & ‘Work’ are totally different. You’re immediately introduced to a pounding tonal sound, until breaking into heavy bassy & soulful keys. To me ‘Delta’ moves better than ‘Work’, mainly due to the keys that seem to take it places, from the epic introduction, to the bassy hook, and finally the rather melancholy lead. It is rather majestic & beautiful.

From ‘Delta’ we go onto ‘Memory’ which begins on a much lowly note, it’s energy used up in both ‘work’ & ‘delta’. This is a good thing though, as it allows ‘Memory to be a completely different track on it’s own, and building up to an eclectic & hook in middle at ‘1:39’, which is both a shock & also highly addictive. It does this by using the pulsating bass & frantic drums to captivate you, whilst the minimalistic keys add a more sinister tone. ‘Memory’ is a very interesting change from what at the beginning with ‘Work’ & ‘Delta’

Overall Flow is ultimately a masterpiece in its own right, giving something that outsiders could definitely get into. I constantly found myself going back to this album again and again, listening to it’s entirety. It’s also a huge milestone for the use of the Gameboy Advance & Nanoloop. Before this I had only seen people use Nanoloop through very minimal House, and not much else. However, 2xAA has shown Nanoloop can be pushed further! Let’s see if anybody follow suit!

(I’d like to add: I’m glad I got the cassette edition of ‘Flow’ before it sold out. It is the only way to enjoy it, without any pausing.)

 ~ 2xAA~ 
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 ~ Data Airlines~ 
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I’ve also released an album! It’s called, ‘E Numbers’! Get it on bandcamp for £2.99 now!
Listen to it below!

Joshquery – Galaxy

This album has been on my mind for a while, so I thought it best to do a review on it. ‘Galaxy’ is the debut album from ‘Joshquery’, an LSDJ chiptune artist hailing all the way from Mexico City. I’ve been following Josh for a while now, ever since I did a compilation review on chipwin and included is stella track, ‘Space Shuttle’. It is also featured on ‘Galaxy’.

This track still holds up as one of his best songs of the album in my honest opinion. The whole song is solid from start to finish, with it’s structure being particularly good, due to it’s repetition. I think the instruments are well created as well, with the bass & tone being brought out rather well through mish mash of music. It’s because of this why the addictive sound of the bass & kicks invade your ears. 
Right from the second of ‘Shuttle’ you can tell Josh’s of choice style just listening to his music. He likes to include heavy selection of on techniques relating to hardcore techno & dubstep. You can hear this throughout a number of his tracks, but what stands out the most is, ‘Prismatic Processing’. It’s a collaborative featuring on of my favourite chiptune artists, Chema64.

Immediately from the start of the track, you can tell Chema is featured on this song; his style is so evident that it couldn’t hit your ears anymore clearer! From listening to the track, it seems that Chema handled the leads and Josh worked on the rhythm, drums and bass. The noodling leads that arpeggios weaving within each other are clear trope off Chema’s style, where as thumping beat, complete with good sounding samples, is Josh’s. That’s actually one of Joshquery’s strengths in his music. He can always find a way to make a good beat, and is something I think he should stick to focusing on.  

The majority of galaxy is a good album, but I think Josh released far too many tracks, and a lot of them I’d heard before on his soundcloud ages ago. In the future I think he should release a few tracks, but keep the ones he’s really proud for an EP. That way he’ll always knock us dead with new stuff!

That said though, there are A LOT good techniques in his music, that he should be proud of. I’m looking forward to the next album, I’m sure it’ll be good!

 ~ Joshquery ~ 

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 ~ Chema64~ 

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I’ve just released a track called, ‘Through The Hyperloop from my new ep, ‘E-numbers’ releasing February 3rd. Listen to it here:

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 ~ 

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 ~ Rockman ~ 

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