Ultrasyd – who cares

Ultrasyd is a chiptune artist that I’m not familiar with. I have heard of him and have seen that he is playing everywhere (Liverpool, Manchester and London to name a few), however I’ve just never made the attempt at listening to his music.

So when I saw his latest album, ‘Who Cares’ was out and staring at me on the screen, I had nothing to say but, SHUT AND TAKE MY MONEY.

To sum this up in a short synopsis, Who Cares, is a very dancy and bouncy album. It begins straight away without giving a damn for build up, its first song sharing its name with the album. It is a fantastic short song at 2.29, and introduces Ultrasyd’s style extremely well, with his use of melodies through leads, arps and bass work just like the power of cookies, milk and cream (mother trucking OM).

Its second song, ‘Robot song’ gives you the build which who cares had left off, quickly picking up and hitting hard with some cool ‘rob synth trap, drum and bass’.

Gravitational collapse continues on from where Robots Song left off with the Robotic synth drum and bass. Although it contains less of a catchy lead than the others, its a nice bridge between Robot song and the next song, Hyper Space, from which, I could see elements of such bands, Justice and Daft Punk, as well as on the flip side, some hardcore dubstep rave, as does Happiness is Cancelled, which delivers the same energy.

The final song, aptly named, 🙂 is a very upbeat and happy and bipolar song, going straight into hardcore dubstep. This is an cool mashup and works very well. It also is the most upbeat song here.

Overall I’d definitely really rate Who Cares as a fantastic EP!

It grooves extremely well with it both beginning and ending in the most spectacular way possible. It reminds me of Sabrepulse’s earlier work in ‘First Crush’ way back in 2008, and is a very welcome addition to my chiptune collection.

BONUS:

Ultrasyd will be playing Superbyte 2015 in Manchester!

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Tokyo Chipped Manchester – J3WEL & HARLEYLIKESMUSIC

This week Tokyo Chipped came out of no where, but couldn’t come at a better time for me and chiptune, due to having a week off from work.

But before I go, let me talk about what’s coming Today I will be going back onto Gameface with the brilliant Graeme to feature the latest the chiptunes I’ve found over this past month. Below You’ll find the official set list:

  • Paladin Shield – Silver Gates
  • Timid Soul – Yankee Rose
  • Melt Channel – Lite Brite Frite Nite
  • Izioq – Blow into the Cartridge
  • Trey Frey – Airglow

I hope you’re looking forward to hearing all these great artists as much as I’m looking forward to playing them! I’ll be on tonight at 6pm on Fab Radio. Link below:

http://fabradiointernational.com/newmainplayer/index.html

Anyway, as I said, Tokyo Chipped came out of no where, and I had to quickly get the gang together to head to Fab Cafe. This time the newest musicans playing were, J3WEL (based in Southampton) & HARLEYLIKESMUSIC (based in Sheffield). 
Although I came during the showing of Studio Ghibli’s, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, I was luckily to get interview both of them, whom were fantastic to talk to and gave a great insight on how to get into the chiptune scene.
Me: How did you get into chiptune music?
J3WEL: I got into chiptune music when I started really listening to Sabrepulse and Knife City. After a while, I started getting into more artists such as, PROTODOME, and eventually I decided I wanted to make chipmusic, so I slowly began getting all the gear and gameboys. 
ME: What sort of consoles do you work with for your music?
J3WEL: I solely use modded Nintendo Gameboys along with a Micro Brute.
ME: Finally what is your favourite old school pixel game?
J3WEL: Oh, that’s definitely Dragon Warrior Monsters. It was a branch off from the old Dragon Quest series, and was more about capturing monsters and taming them, a bit like pokemon.
HARLEYLIKESMUSIC’S INTERVIEW

Me: How did you get into chiptune music?

Harley: Before I got into chiptune I used to play guitar, and whenever I tried to get a band together however, it generally fizzled out. In the end I gave up and instead decided to do electronic music and began to make it on a program tracker on my computer. During this time I found out about using Nintendo DS to make music and it worked out so well, especially for gigs. This snowballed out of control, and I found myself playings all over the world such as, Japan.

Me: How did manage to tour in Japan?

Harley: I just generally booked my flight tickets and flew to one gig in Kyoto, but I ended up doing a few others due to word of mouth getting across Japan. From then on I ended up going onto Australia due further word of mouth.

Me: Okay finally, what is your favourite old school game ever?

Harley: This is an extremely hard one to think of…I would say Dig Dug just down to its awesome sound track.

NEEDLESS TO SAY…

Both J3WEL and HARLEYLIKESMUSIC were fucking epic, playing above everyone’s expectations. If you wish hear more of J3WEL and HARLEYLIKESMUSIC at Tokyo Chipped, listen to me on Gameface at 6pm on fab radio, as there will be an recorded interview as well as a live set recording! Link below:

http://fabradiointernational.com/newmainplayer/index.html

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Trey Frey – Refresh

GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!

My game boy has finally arrived and it’s so fucking awesome! I’m looking forward to practice on this bad boy with my LSDJ cartridge, but before I go any further I’ve got to get my shit together further with the software. Watch this space, you’ll see some cool things in the future.

Anyway, this is going to be a short post as I’ve some big things coming up soon this sunday. You’ll find out in the next post.

ONTO TREY FREY!

Trey Frey has been going on a while. He was in Superbyte last year, and unfortunately I was unable to see him. So when I was recommended him via a friend as an artist similar to Sabrepulse. I decided to buy his second album, Refresh and was immediately greeted to great dancy vibes using nothing but LSDJ.

You’ll find yourself dancing to the first song, Airglow, starting off dry and filtered, but then kicking hard with the bass.

This is repeated through the the album, keeping up the grooves going on, with such great songs as, Daisy, Further (which kicks the pace up twice as hard). Others such as Blvk (featuring Boaconstructor) using elements of dance and dubstep (cos in chiptune those go extremely well).

After listening to Refresh, I was more than certain that his next album, Tres Frais, which comes as a über cool 8inch floppy disk cover. I’m so looking forward to that!!!

Izioq – Retro Life

There’s not much to say about Izioq except he is a person of the 80s. Izioq is proud of the decade he was born into, dedicating much of his chiptune music to the kids of the 80s & 90s. He’s also proud to say that he solely uses consoles to produce his music, not using any modern software (such as, VST’s, Synth or even any Equalisers).

I found his music through a nice message he sent via facebook, in which I was given a link to his breakout album, Retro Life. I soon as I began listening, you can instantly tell that Izioq took the time, in terms of production and mastering, with the quality crystal clear. If you’ve had experience doing this, you’ll know it’s a damn hard process to do.
There are many songs in this album (a whopping 18) and I can’t talk about them all, so I’m going to list my favourite ones.
The album immediately kicks in with the fantastic, Blow into the cartridge, a great bouncy track with melodic leads that’ll get you humming. Even though I heard of songs like this before, every sounds and fits perfect.

The next song which I loved, was Mogwai Life due the shout, “LET’S GO!”, which incidentally sampled from Lemmings (one of my favourite old school games) and it’s bouncy bass.

Enter your name: AAA is another classic with some cool ass filtered leads and the stand out lead bass. There was so much to love about this song, this is probably one of my favourites.

I also loved the song after, Pizza + VHS + Friends as it’s a nice breakdown in the album and reminded me so much of the years I left at uni.

My Princess is in another Castle is another slow song, but works so well as one, invoking all of Mario’s woes (that damn Peach).

To round it off the album, the final song, Melt the Wizard is a great send off to tie off everything, from the throwback to the 80s and 90s, with it’s lovely arpeggios running up and down the song throughout.

Retro Life was a great listen, bringing me back to some parts of the 80s & 90s. The Lemmings sample, blowing into the cartridge, The wet bandit, and many more. The only problem I had was perhaps it was too long and probably the best songs should’ve been picked and used (perhaps keep the others for a special edition for physical release). But forgetting that a solid piece music and one to buy if you reminisce about the former decades.
Rest of the album is below: