Spectra – Chipzel

Time for some hardcore chiptune, and if you’ve managed to actually play though Super Hexagon, you may have already heard this artist. Chipzel is the alias of Niamh Houston, an artist who solely uses gameboys to in order to create some hard hitting rave beats.

Starting off in Northern Ireland, but now based in London, Chipzel has become hugely popular amongst fans, due to her frantic melodies that get everyone dancing like (in her own words) “raving loons”. To say she small is a huge understatement as Chipzel has been placed on par with many indie chiptuners such as, Sabrepulse and even the mighty Disasterpeace and now is all over the world playing to avid chiptune enthusiasts. Tokyo Chip in Manchester even had the delight of exhibiting her fantastic music at Fab Cafe for its first opening night (I sadly missed it!)

So anyway, let me introduce you to my select track, Spectra from Chipzel’s album (with the same name).

The tract instantly opens up with grinding hardcore melodies, ringing out like a several phone tones at once. Let me say this track isn’t for the faint hearted. Already we’re thrown into the deep end of Spectra, the ever so pounding drums knocking through the melodic scuzz, only to a crescendo towards the end and slowly play out.

There is a reason why this is my favourite on the album, and that’s down to it’s fantastic melodies, which frantically noodle about, but progress ever so brilliantly. This and it also nicely wets your appetite for the next song, Tokyo Skies, which is almost as good as the opener.

So that’s it, Chipzel and Spectra. I just hope she plays tokyo chip again!

Listen to all Chipzel’s stuff via her website!

Live near Manchester? Try Tokyo Chip!

FYI: I also got an awesome tee-shirt from her, the other week, probably one of the coolest bit of clothing I’ve ever bought! See it below:

Reach The For Stars – Ctrix

Last night I recently heard that Aussie based producer Ctrix was joining the line up of Manchester’s rising Chiptune festival, Super Byte 2015. I was hugely over joyed to be hearing that one of my favourite Amiga exclusive bands would flying hundreds of miles just to play rainy Manchester.

For those who have not heard of Ctrix, he released his first Album with Bleep Street, A for Amiga, and was mega popular with chiptune enthusiasts around. For me the reason why I liked his style was based of his exclusive nature to use the Amiga consoles; the commodore and 400 respectively. At that moment, I hadn’t approached the demoscene, so this was an ideal opener for anyone who wanted to move into certain waters which weren’t filled with game boys.

The track that I have featured, Reach for The Stars, is the first one on the LP, and is a nice hard hitting track to start an album.

Listen to the rest of the album via bandcamp

Have a look at Ctrix’s awesome website!

Have a look at Manchester’s rad festival, Super Byte 2015

FYI: If you live near Manchester or the Northwest and you like chiptune, I urge you to go Super Byte this year. By far one of the best indie festivals I’ve been to and previous years they’ve had the likes of, Mega Ran, SabrePulse and even Anamanaguchi!

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Liquorice Lullaby – PROTODOME

This whole EP happened to be my favourite album last year. Created completely on the NES with a tracker, Protodome’s Fami Food was a fantastic ode to all things Jazz in the style of Chiptune.

Now I’ve been a fan of Protodome since Blueshift, but I as soon as I heard this, I instantly fell in love. Every song is a nice jazzy ballad, entwined with expertly crafted 8-bit tunes.

Not only that but the names, imagery, everything comes together to make a brilliant crafted project.

I’ll leave you with Liquorice Lullaby, possibly one of my favourite songs of the EP.

Listen to the rest of the EP via bandcamp

 Listen to PROTODOME via Bandcamp