Tag: chiptune

Stitching Glitch

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The influence of glitch production has worked its way throughout the underground music community over the last decade or so, being used for a subtle tonal and rhythmical garnish and full-on abstract music concrete. This month we have selected a few tracks that demonstrate just how well it can be merged with other musical styles.

First on the playlist we have shared IT Breaks ME by Alecek. Bulgarian producer Alexander Ivanov kicks off with a dark and moody hip-hop shuffle, which anchors abrasive rhythms and tones that pepper the track with Gatling fire. A fluid bass persists the groove beneath, making this track a great example of contemporary glitch hop. Alecek has many more abstract and extreme examples of glitch production available on his stream – so we recommend that you don your Kevlar ear protectors and dive right in.

Glitch Hop (work in progress) is a track by the (presumably) Japanese producer Film, a.k.a Wataranai. Uplifting synth-wave riffs conjure Megadrive memories of Sonic the Hedgehog at a Power Puff disco, and the generally sugary complexion of the track is reinforced with skinny drums and playful pianos. There ain’t a lot of glitch or hop in this track, but it places itself beautifully right in the middle of chip-tune and synth-wave. Definitely one for a feel-good road-trip atmosphere.

Finally, we have Funky Feeling by Skank Spinatra. This is creation by UK-based producer Edward Clarke starts off with the as a simple combo of pure funk licks from guitar, drums and bass but then takes us on a journey through hip-hop and jazz before building into a crazy glitch breakdown. The blend of all these styles demonstrates a finesse worked expertly into a warm club vibe, making the track a welcome addition to your summer party playlist.

 


From Screaming Dubstep To Chip Tune Trap In May 2016

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This month, we have another diverse set of tunes from the electronic underground to share with you – so be sure to check out the playlist below!

Lately, it seems that the music business is getting confused about how we should listen to music. The closure of Beatport streaming suggests that we should be downloading our favourite tracks, but rumours of Apple closing its iTunes download may suggest otherwise. Meanwhile, there are reports that Bandcamp sales of physical media have increased significantly. In a world where the flow of data through the internet is often wasted like water, we think the download model is probably more helpful for many music fans because we can listen to our music off the grid. Carrying multiple subscriptions and draining our download limits is not always a practical solution.

Thankfully, there are millions of independent producers and plenty of platforms on which they can host their wares. From established players like Soundcloud and Bandcamp to the noobs of Orfium, there are plenty of music makers working outside the confines of corporate pop.

Voxel Records resident Maze Car has recently been lost in Spain (whilst some old friends are Lost In France). This has reduced studio time somewhat, and the search for a vocal component for the next single continues. We hope that this search will end before Mazey’s life turns into a crazy retro platform game and an acute case of life imitating art can be avoided!

First on the playlist this month is West Coast by Domascus. This is a screaming dubstep roller-coaster of raw riffs joined together by awesome stuttering fills, and the wailing portamento of the eastern-tinged lead is surrounded by bit-crushed drops. The music has all the power you expect from the genre, but Domascus manages to sprinkle a laid-back off-beat vibe throughout the track. We bet there is plenty more good stuff to come from this producer as he hones his craft.

Du by Bosque opens with a delicate, soothing and shimmering chord progression before a wistful lead and squashy traps take over. Gorgeously granular motifs play off each other throughout this deeply digital arrangement, like a journey from 8-bit to 64-bit that gives chiptune trap the silky finish it has always deserved. The combination of sound design, melody and style is rarely captured as sensitively as it is here.

Finally, we found Shattered Backbone by SHI. This is a production stripped back to the bone, with a subtle synthetic horn clipped and crushed beneath soft and sultry vocals and a thin veil of birdsong. There is a melancholy trip-hop presence here that is reminiscent of early Portishead, but the production stands out on its own with unique mood and style. With only a couple of tracks available we hope to hear much more in the future: SHI cool.

 


New innovations in electronica and techno

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Welcome to our latest update from the world of underground music! During the month of February we have found some more awesome tunes as producers make use of their influences to transcend typical genres. The very nature of these crossovers means that we can’t put a label on the music – and that’s just the way we like it!

Maze Car has spent the last few weeks crossing various boundaries of his own, using some delicious new synths to explore the grooves that lurk between dub, chiptune and house. Head over to the Maze Car blog to hear about how he is stitching his latest demo together.

First on the playlist, though, is From Within, by Canadian synthwave sci-fi gurus c+d. This song is driven from the outset by stabs of thin bass and hissing snares, and the mood is lifted by every iteration of the powerful chorus. The mix fills with dirty synth-vox and wiry strings, and Donna’s vocals gain a dramatic urgency as she tries to keep her head above water. The c+d sound is reminiscent of Broadcast and Add N to (X) (wink), but there are also clear nods to NIN and Depeche Mode. There are more great sounding songs on their stream – so go have a listen!

Next up is Tune WIth Horse by aLLriGhT (featuring Horse). This pair of London DJs drops us straight into rude, spitting synths and heavy, plodding drums. The basic monotonic riff does battle with pitch bending buzzes and shredded arcade effects, resulting in a sound potent enough to demolish the sound system without the need for excessive bpm. Mike and Luke throw slow, weighty techno that was born and razed on the dance floor – keep checking their blog for more releases throughout this year. This is loud. With added Horse.

Finally, Irrealiser beta is the very latest from Japan-based producer Christmas (a.k.a. Dear McQueen), and the track is available for free download. The music has all the power of that uplifting, big hall techno vibe, but it is constructed from a brighter sonic palette and more stimulating grooves. The aggressive synths squawk and squeal over the boom of the beats, resulting in a style that takes old-skool Faithless to a new level of breaks, grit and groovy bass.

 


New Year discoveries in underground music

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Welcome to the New Year with Voxel Records. This trip around the sun has started with the loss of some influential musicians – so we would like to show big respect in particular for Bowie, Lemmy and Brad: Thanks for all the good times and the inspiration!

The RedSix studio has once again expanded its sonic arsenal. From the depth and control of the Roland JU-06 boutique synthesizer to the playful japery of the Teenage Engineering PO16, resident producer Maze Car is busy noodling with buttons and small lights. Apparently it is entirely acceptable artistic behaviour to fiddle with one’s Pocket Operator day and night …

Now for some more great music we discovered in the underground this month. First on the playlist is Final Lap by Cleeve Morris. This is a nostalgic journey inspired by the classic 80s video game Out Run. The tinny, cheese-grater FM synth sounds are complemented by deep, wide drums that plod firmly beneath the melodies – in fact, the snare is so deep that it is barely discernible from the bass drum. The tones are right on the money, though, from the arpeggiated lead to the late impro breakdown. Cleeve’s melodic retro synthwave fills the audio spectrum with a depth that the arcade games never could!

h.o.p.e. by BTFL MND is a down-tempo affair. The bright percussion is subtly glitched, and the pulsating pads and bass are given space to move and morph around each other. The lazy groove of the bpm is decorated with further arrhythmic morsels, resulting in some laid-back synth trap that fills the page with its beautifully balanced mix. There isn’t much on the BTFL MND stream yet, but keep your ears pressed to their Bandcamp page for future releases.

Finally, we really enjoyed the latest tracks by Way, Shape or Form, with 1.2.2016 being the first of the year from this American collective. The close, boxy drum machine is intelligently programmed, and it spits a rhythm tight to the groove of the track. These computerised timbres both contrast and complement the more organic elements of the music, which builds from a foundation of bass, through syncopated organ arpeggios and thick jazz-tone electric guitar to distorted pad finger-work. This is an accomplished performance and a fresh mix of instruments – keep it coming!