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!