Shirobon – Dimensions

It’s been under a year since Shirobon released his last album, Infinities to much praise, so the amount of hype following his latest release, Dimensions would be huge.

If you don’t know, Shirobon is one of the biggest chiptune artists at the moment, with a huge fan base behind him. He has a huge repertoire of great music under his belt, and this year he was on the bill to play ‘Magfest’, one of the world’s biggest chiptune festivals.

‘Dimensions’ is Shirobon’s 8th release and is a lot different than his previous music, focusing more on the genres of eurobeat & progressive electronic music such as, vaporwave. For the whole album, Shirobon used LSDJ for the backbone of every track, adding layers of beats & audio styles over the top.

Dimensions kicks off to a great start, with the opening track, ‘Fox’ setting up the album & a new take on Shirobon’s style. In comparison to his previous material the style of fox feels more wet & echoey, with the use of wah in its rhythm & leads, as well as reverb serving as atmosphere of the track. Fox also feels more progressive in the way moves, with more focus on cyberpunk & the atmosphere underneath.

Although Fox focuses more its leads, it’s the track ‘Crystals’ that focuses on the rhythm. This track seems to go more towards the way of vaporwave & progressive house, as the structure of ‘Crystals’ changes ever so subtly with elements of chillwave added into the mix. I also feel Crystals is one of the tracks which makes the most use of LSDJ, especially at just over a minute into the song you can really hear triangular waves done by the software.

The majority of songs in Dimensions has themes that are both beautiful & relaxing to listen to, however its final track, ‘On the run’ is filled with high octane energy, mainly from chaotic hooks & thumping beats. It serves as a fantastic ending to finish off Dimensions, with the energy from the song feeling as if you’re at your own personal rave.

As usual Shirobon exceeds peoples expectations making a killer album & delving into other genres, such as Vaporwave & Chillwave with the former genre a welcome addition to chiptune. I’m interested to see if Shirobon continues on with vaporwave, as since chatting with him on gamefaceshow last week, he’s already onto creating another album!

Crystals & On the run

 ~ Shirobon ~ 

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If you haven’t heard we’ve also got a chiptune event coming up!

The Manchester-based event is called ‘CHIP BIT DAY’ and is being held on April 23rd, at the Kings Arms, Salford, with a variety of different acts, visuals & cake! Sounds good? Brilliant! However to make this event even more awesome, I’ve set up a ‘indiegogo’ page in order to bring in more money for potential artists!

Confirmed artists are:
Mpegasus / 2XAA / Auracle / GwEm / Euan Lynn / JELLYATRIX / Rituals

Potential acts from crowd fund:

If think ‘Chip Bit Day’ is your thing, then you can obtain a ticket right now by pledging, just click the link down below & I hope to see you on the 23rd!

Tune you should listen to: Astroskeleton – Forest Sanctuary

I’ve yet to properly sit down & give Astroskeleton a good listen, but after hearing this wonderfully put together song, I feel like slapping myself.

Forest Sanctuary is a one off song, from the ‘Let’s do our best’ compilation, and released by cool as fuck label, Play it Loud. The relaxing vibes going through, made by the electronic keys & atmospheric sound, only to be cut short by the bright & janglely sound of the guitars. Such an odd sound but funnily goes well together with the themes of wilderness & forest. Listen to the rest of the compilation here.

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A tune to listen to: Sondar – Singlewave

I was recently given this song to listen after writing about Rick Sakura’s song, Kawaii Sneakers. Singlewave is the latest song from Sondar, an electropop duo from Nashville.

I’m given quite a few songs through hypem, this tune however this tune really rang through my ears. The constant chilled atmostphere throughout the track is sublime, yet the 2nd half of Singlewave is completely different from the 1st, with more focus on the beats, synth keys and a male vocalist. The choppiness also gives the track such fantastic rhythm to what is already a funky tune.

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Graz – Ravepunk

I thought I’d wait till I got the CD from Cheapbeats before I review this gem. Ravepunk is the latest album from Graz, who both owns and runs Ravertooth Tiger, an EDM net label. Residing in Seattle, Washington, Graz has been part of the chiptune scene almost 10 years and has racked up a huge repertoire of music.

Ravepunk takes everything that is good from the sound of LSDJ and puts it up into the hardcore factor, with the bounciness of each beat flying around every track.

The album opens up with ‘Dayglow Brighter Than Your Future’, immediately blaring out with a high pitched lead. Accompanied with a number of crazy sounds from saw waves to arpeggios, the track straight away shows off Graz’s knowledge of sound design on LSDJ. The bounciness of the beat really comes through perfectly, namely from the sporadic drums, whilst the chorus is also epic, being able to instantly kick off a rave.

Although ‘Dayglow Bright Than Your Future’ sums up Graz’s style for Ravepunk brilliantly, the rest of the album adds a further punch to already ‘ravey vibes’. One such track is ‘Dragoon Underground’, as it’s probably the craziest song off the album, namely down to its huge drops & chipstep breakdown, courtesy of the WAV channel.

One last tune I’d like to include on this review (although this is pretty hard as the majority of the album is sound) is ‘Astrolab’, which has some fantastic use of the WAV & Pulse channel in such a way that it sounds like I’m listening to a Crash Bandicoot level! Some serious rave overdrive from what is already one crazy cool album, and if you love getting pumped up, then definitely get Ravepunk.

Finally I’d like to thank Cheapbeats for releasing fantastic new material, as I’d had never found out about Graz if it weren’t for the Record Label, chiptune wouldn’t have much of a label platform to be heard! Check out their music, because they have released a lot of good stuff there!

 ~ GRAZ ~ 

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