Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Artist of the Day: Chipzel

Spectra is easily the best by-the-book chiptune release of the year. It doesn't quite match up to, say, Anamanaguchi's Endless Fantasy (given that album's in my top 10 of the year and Anamanaguchi is one of my all-time favorite groups, not much does), but its attention to detail and the origins of chiptune is nothing short of astounding. The entire thing was recorded by Chipzel in Little Sound DJ, a program for the original GameBoy back in the '90s, and its depth and complexity is amazing — apart from the GameBoy program's lackluster capability for snares, the entire thing sounds like it could have been made in any professional program. The "bleep-bloop-bop music" that Chipzel has become famous for over the past few years is in full effect here, and standout tracks like "Forged in Stars," a soaring, distorted house tune, and "The Art of War," a beautifully minimalist chiptune take on soothing liquid drum & bass exemplify just how good the album is. If you somehow haven't been convinced to listen to Spectra yet, I'll do all I can to recommend it — it's one of the best musical experiences of the past few months.

Spectra is streaming on Bandcamp here.


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