Bitional Landscape – Electro Arcade Madness

This week’s review is on new comers, ‘Bitonal Landscape’ and their latest album, ‘Electro Arcade Madness’. BL is made up of two brothers, Ludwig & Markus Highland, both creating music around the genres of VGM, Chiptune & EDM. Not much else to say, other than my thoughts on the album, and suffice to say, Electro Arcade Madness exceeded my expectations exponentially. Whilst I’d heard a little from their submissions to Soundcloud group, I couldn’t form an overall opinion. But that’s the beauty of music; some of the best music you’ve ever heard will sneak up on you!

As soon as you begin to listen to the opening track of the album, ‘The Last Contact’ you immediately get a real feel the Bitonal Landscape’s style of music. It’s like a mixture between Shirobon & Ultrasyd and sprinkle of Justice, but still wrapped within their own distinct style, featuring soothing organ keys whilst using the tinny 8 bit style. The drum and bass also comes out clear, albeit a bit less on the fills than most dnb composers.

Blitz is the next song which comes straight after The Last Contact, and further increases the funk & hype of the album. It gradually opens with a funky swing through a combination the drums, bass & keys, giving a nice mixture of disco & edm. The staple kick & snare from the gameboy is also used, linking further to it’s 8bit nature. Blitz perhaps pricked my ears the most, as it’s glitchiness, punchy keys & funky nature really puts the swing on chiptune as a whole. I really reminds of what Ultrasyd has been doing with his latest work, the perfect example being simply put, 🙂

The final pick can only be the forth (and incidentally, last) track, Insert Coin, which is a lot lighter in its swing & beat, coming off more melodic & calm in how the the drums, keys & lead are conveyed throughout. It’s a nice track to end on, setting itself further a part from the rest of list. However Insert Coin also contains some of the best lead solos off the album, specifically at 2.40 which contains the slickest arpeggiated solo I’ve ever heard!

To reiterate, Bitonal Landscape have succeeded my expectations. Being a new group, this an inspiring thing to see in the chiptune scene, as generally most artists grow from their first album. I’m looking forward to see more stuff from the duo in the future, and what they may do next!

 ~ Bitonal Landscape ~ 

 Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

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A Tune To Listen To: Roex – Advance

After Chip Bit Day & the writing of a Chipwin article, I decided to postpone last week’s ‘Tune to Listen to’ and instead pick up with today. This week is on the track, ‘Advance’ by ‘Roex’ which serves as a mash up between Progressive House & Synthwave.

Advance is a lot different from most synthwave music by not allowing the tropes of the genre to undermine its strength. There are some real utter brilliant moments through out this track such as the early breakdown at ‘1.20’ using the rhythmic synth push forward, until the synth blasts through.

 ~ Roex ~ 

 Rebirth release | Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram

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(T-T)b – Good Talk

I hope everybody had fun at Chip Bit Day last week, because I certainly did! But anyway back onto the weekly chiptune reviews, and do I have a lot to catch up on. This week is on the progressively fun yet chilled album, ‘Good Talk’ by Boston based band, ‘(T-T)b’. This their 2nd album since last year with prior album, ‘Pizza Planet’.

Getting straight into the mix of things, Good Talk opens up with the spacey vibes of ‘Nova’ which serves as a soulful introduction to (T-T)b and their music. Although it doesn’t totally serve as a great explanation, with the drums, bass & guitar absent, it has a nice melody as well as a beautiful arpeggio, both working together fantastically.

although Nova is a light & charming introduction, things are kicked up a notch with the third track, ‘Total Vacation’, first featured on the ‘Play it Loud’ compilation. It starts with a banging introduction, the melody of the game providing quite the kick whilst the drums, guitar & bass further bolster the punch, with the constant hit of the snare really helping to ‘drum’ up the energy! Towards the end Total Vacation is brought into a breakdown, where it lets the track breathe and end of a great, relaxing note. A perfect punch to a progressive album.

There are many other fantastic songs off Good Talk; from ‘Slurred Words’, which contains contains echoey vocals, to Slimers which a totally sweet tune to lounge around to. However the track which peaked my interests was ‘Big Crate / Red Tag’, as it’s a song which features some of the best melodies off the album. It also contains a beautiful balance of a relaxing but moderate beat, with the guitar following, strummed in a muted fashion. ‘Big Crate / Red Tag’ feels like something magical is being made and we’re ultimately entering a new world.

Good Talk by (T-T)b is another great album for the year and is a fresh take on blending alternative rock with chiptune music. It’s both relaxing but splendidly melodic.

 ~ (T-T)b ~ 

 Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook

 ^^ Play It Loud ^^ 
 Website | Twitter | Facebook

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Chip Bit Day: A special thanks to people who supported!

No review today unfortunately. Instead I’d like to talk about Chip Bit Day. When I first started off the event, it was really something I’d intended as an anniversary for my blog, which had hit a year. It started off with a few of artists such as, me, .Mpegasus, Auracle, GwEm & Euan lynn. However, it quickly gained traction and become popular, becoming even more so when I began the crowd funder. It built up quite a bit, with more artists helping out, such as Joe Bleeps, J3WEL, HarleyLikesMusic, Kenobit and ChipBattles to finish off the list.

A video posted by Sam Wray (@2xaa) on

Needless to say, Chip Bit Day went off splendidly pulling in people as far as Italy! We even had a secret set done by x x Critical Strike x x.

A video posted by Sam Wray (@2xaa) on

Now I couldn’t do Chip Bit Day by myself and I had a lot of help from people everywhere. So below I’d like to give a special thanks to the people who helped make Chip Bit Day a reality.

• GameFace Crew: For helping by giving tips and helping out with the marketing. It wouldn’t had a far reach it wasn’t for the gang!

• The Backers: For supporting something and pushing Chip Bit Day even further. The event could ended before or after £500, but people chose give more and more and it helped make the day awesome! Much appreciated.

• My family: For giving money to Chip Bit Day, but even going further and helping with the money & merch stand. My mum even made a load of cakes which I gave away free to eat for everyone. It was those small things that made it extra special. Thanks!

• My girlfriend, Natalie: For supporting me, the event and my chiptune music since the start. She was never into Chiptune music, but the support she gave me was inspirational. She even did the photography throughout Chip Bit Day, taking some amazing images.

• My friend, Rob: Same as my girlfriend, he wasn’t into Chiptune music, but nonetheless he helped out with the event and supported the campaign. It was much appreciated even if working the door was extremely hard.

• Jimmy, the Cart maker: The lanyards, one of the things that made this whole event freaking awesome, were 3D printed by my friend, Jimmy. Each one was an arduous task but he made 50 of them, not once asking for money. This is something I greatly appreciate, because without them, it wouldn’t have been what it was.

• The artists: For supporting the Chiptune event, providing great feedback and great people to work with. I definitely want to continue working with everyone in the future.

• Biz Mcquiz: For providing some top notch visual on such short notice. Rituals was originally going to take over, however it wasn’t to be and instead Biz took over and made something brilliant.

• Chiptunes = Win & Chiptunes Reddit: For all the support & upvoting and keeping the Event alive. Brandon especially, for donating & expecting nothing in return. It’s things like this that keep the chiptune community alive.

Without all these people, Chip Bit Day would have never gotten to where it was.

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