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:

Melt Channel – ✌️ O ✌️

I bought a cool ass game boy this week and it is awesome! I decided I wanted to include some classic DMG in my songs, and have it as a lead. So as soon as I saw it, I snapped it up!

I can’t wait to get this bad boy playing, I’m looking forward to getting it this week. I’ll even be doing a review on it as well (giving some credit to the guy who also made it).

ANYWAY!

I’ve been fan of Melt Channel since their second album, Magic is real. Hailing from Florida and inspired hugely by Anamanaguchi, Melt Channel mainly focuses on chiptune being their lead, instead of the technical wizardry Anamanaguchi does with their guitars.

I’m fucking loving the art above for the new EP as well!

So as soon as I found out that Melt Channel were releasing a smaller EP, comprising of two songs, I quickly through my money at the screen in hopes that the internet would take it. Thankfully it did and eagerly awaited to listen to Melt Channel’s aptly named, ✌️ O ✌️ (I wouldn’t know how to say that in words).

To say that this EP is awesome, is an understatement. Both songs, Machine Machine and Lite Brite Fite Nite, are fantastic, and progressive master pieces, not relying on a certain structure. I would’ve liked to have heard more gritty guitar, but it harmonizes extremely well with the chiptune programming.

Another thing which stood in the last album was the drums, the drumming being the best I’ve seen on a chiptune album. Though in ✌️ O ✌️ the drums were programmed through gameboy, they were still pretty legendary, though in future albums I would stick with physical drums, as it sets the songs apart from the rest of the chiptune genre.

After just those songs, I’m glad to see Melt Channel are still writing some good material, though albeit quite short, as I wish they’d included more! Oh well here’s hoping the next LP comes pretty soon!

Buy Melt Channel’s EP via Bandcamp
Follow Melt Channel on Facebook
Check out Melt Channel’s Website
Follow Melt Channel on Twitter

Timid Soul – Bubble Funk EP

So for a while now I’ve been listening to a bit of J-pop. Not the most conventional stuff, but other music that has been inspired by it. One of the best artists I’ve come across that does this is, Timid Soul, someone who experiments largely with J-pop, but brings chiptune, as well as funk, trap, samples and glo-fi to the mix.

I’ve been listening to his latest EP, Bubble Funk (released via Keats Collective) for a while, and although its not what I usually blog on here, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. First thing off the bat, you can tell this is very experimental with one song, Melodie being solely chiptune (as well as a reprise at the end). It’s quite weird, as it doesn’t go with the style of the rest of the songs and it feels that Timid Soul wanted to try a new direction. However that being said, it also added to the uniqueness of what I’d call, a Tip Top EP! Every song has it’s own cool vibes, with some songs (Melodiereprise & In My Heart Forever) having some very cool vaporwave going on.

Out of the whole EP, it was extremely hard to choose my favourite song. There’s just so many to choose from, with Bubble Funk & Yankee Rose being huge contenders. However I would have to say the best stand out track was Sunset Kiss Infinity.

Listen to this song before as you’ll understand where I’m coming from when I say this. In my honest opinion, Timid Soul has managed to fuse part of Michael Jackson’s soul whilst calling out on the vibes of J-pop & Rnb to create this magnificent song.

Now that’s definitely saying something for this Song.

Buy Bubble Funk EP via Bandcamp
Follow Timid Soul via Sound Cloud
Like Keats Collective via Facebook

Paladin Shield – Self Titled

The latest EP I’ve come across recently, was just by chance. I found it by Bandcamp and I literally pressed on the first thing I found (This is why I love Bandcamp). This EP was the self titled album from chiprock band, Paladin Shield.

To begin, Paladin Shield are a three piece band consisting of, Jesse Avila on vocals, bass, and 8bit programming; Tiaday Bail on Guitar and Vocals; and finally Danny Servo on Drums.

As soon as I started listening to them, I instantly fell in love in with their music with the first song, Silver Gates. They reminded me of an 8bit version of Surfer Blood or similar chiptune band, Cyclops Rock. Their other songs, Misty Mystic & Goblin City are a treat and quite experimental and don’t follow a certain pattern. The melodies that were also played were fascinating to listen to working extremely well with the watery, echoey guitar and vocals.

It seems to me Paladin Shield will definitely make some waves in their style and I look forward to their future music that they make. I see they’ve also got some gigs lined up with some pretty good bands, Astroskeleton and Slime Girls.

Buy the album via Bandcamp

Stream the album via Spotify

Follow Paladin Shield via Facebook