This week I’m sharing an article I did a few months back for ‘Chiptunes=win’ (you can find the original article here) on ‘GOTO80’s latest album, ‘80864’. This is also a great time to check out his music, as GOTO80 will be playing ‘Space Cassette‘ in Manchester June 2nd, Friday. Check it out below:
These past couple of weeks I’ve been listening to GOTO80’s latest album, ‘80864’, released via ‘DATA AIRLINES’. This was the first release from GOTO80 that I have listened to. Honestly, I never really got into his distorted, glitchy style of music, however with ‘80864’, GOTO80 brought the iconic ‘Roland 808 drum machine’ into the mix, so I thought I definitely should pick this up and give it a listen.
For those who don’t know what the 808 drum machine is, it was one of the first and most popular programmable drum sequencers, released in the early 1980s. The reason why it is popular was down to mainly how incredibly realistic Roland managed to get the 808 to sound like actual drums. Nothing was sampled, everything was done through analog. The 808 was also the first of its kind to allow you to create your patterns actively.
Due to it’s popularity, the 808’s unique style has been frequently used in music such as, ‘Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing’ and it’s sounds have become a major staple in today’s electronic music.
Getting back to ‘80864’, the first track to really prick my ears up was the 3rd track, ‘Videohaters’. This was mainly due to its sharp and distorted sound, which hooks you almost instantly. Both GOTO80’s signature Commodore 64 and the 808 compliment each other fantastically. The sharp tones of the c64 scream out aggressively, whilst the the 808’s clicks, clavs and claps build up the driving force behind the raunchy sound. GOTO80 also uses the repetition of the track to his advantage, through a variety of variations of the main hook. ‘Videohaters’ is one of the most driving songs off ‘80864’, but due to its repetition & and fantastic blending of music, it comes off as one of the catchiest.
Even though ‘Videohaters’ is unforgettable, the next track following on is even better. ‘Karix’ is the complete opposite to ‘Videohaters’, being rather chilled out and relaxing. It begins with just the simple, mellow sound of the c64 synth and the 808 kick, slowly being built up through layers of drumming. The 808 sounds in ‘Karix’ also come out more strongly over the spacey synth of the c64, allowing you to hear the signature of the kit more clearly. There’s not much variation in terms of the overall structure, but that’s because GOTO80 relies on the impact that the ‘Karix’ creates, giving the track a huge euphoric feeling.
Although there are a lot of unique sounding tracks on 80864, there are still some tracks which are very easy to get into. My last pick, ‘Duplexor’ can be put into this category. This is due to GOTO80’s use of the vocalised synth through ‘Duplexor’, as it’s incredibly rhythmic and the choice of lyrics are rather funny & idiosyncratic. The snappy bass also compliments the vocalised synth, following it very tightly, as the voice goes into its main hook/chorus. As for the 808, it blends into the background of the track. You don’t really hear the distinct sound, due to number of different layers of synth built up by the c64. That’s not to say ‘Duplexor’ is a bad song, far from it. It’s the most unique and funky tune of ‘80864’, and really keeps you glued to listening, from it’s cooly crafted vocalised synth to it’s c64 claps.
80864 is a great introduction into GOTO80’s glitchy music, as well as hearing that iconic sound from the 808 drum machine, with both styles coming together rather excellently. House music is generally not really my thing, but GOTO80 has managed to make album that is both experimental and accessible.