LABYRINTH is Monomer's Cyber-Chipwave love letter to 80s brainhacking-android-adventure-dreamscapes. It was a TON of fun to work with Monomer, and thanks to the guys at at Ubiktune and Telefuture we were able to put together a physical version!
OooH YEAH! I had a flipping wicked time listening to music in 2013. Here's some highlights... Jaga Jazzist | Live With Britten Sinfonia My favourite band. Having seen Jaga perform with the sinfonia in 2012, its a huge treat to listen back to this collection of orchestral space prog. Jaga make long form melodies glide over super funky textural jazz grooves and weave complex yet clean compostions out of the snazziest concepts. For my money, 2013 peaks completely at the gutwrenching climax of Oslo Skyline.
Boards of Canada | Tomorrow's Harvest I found myself shoving my ear through a Brick Lane storefront letterbox to hear mere morsels of this release. Secrecy, codes, mystery, treasure hunts. Then it came out and is now possibly my favourite BOC LP. Reach for the Dead carries haunted melancholy vintage synths all the way into a scary euphoric darkness. Later tracks are more uplifting, but the BOC fear still grips me all the way through. Disasterpeace | Somewhere Written for Nicolas Menard's animated short, Somewhere is a perfect little snapshot of a sad synthy space story. I'm always impressed with how warm and fuzzy Disasterpeace's chiptune songs are. The human touch is always there.
Giant Claw | Attorney Struggle Scary but sweet! I learnt how to be a Giant Claw fan this year... Claw's compostions attack you with nefarious music weapons and naughty villain themes but there's also triumphant hero fanfares and very sweet wah-wah adventure melodies, but often of course... GIANT FUCKING OPERATIC MONSTER ADVENTURES. Starcadian | Sunset Blood Simple pleasures; 80s dreamwave, imagined sci fi movies, melancholy robot singers and catchy-as-hell pop hits. Sgt. Tagowski is so freaking funking freaky, I don't what to do when it comes on. Wicked slick producing on Starcadian's first LP!
ESPRIT 空想 | 「 g i r l s o n l y 」 Found myself getting into Vaporwave in 2013, and its a no brainer to me. Nostalgia and tongue in cheek throwback grooves. I'm loving the way g i r l s o n l y was put together... smooth bass tracks lead groovily into scratchy VHS ads. Naughty.
I just can't resist melancholic - electronic - robot - funk - disco - jams. I think Daft Punk made a classic with RAM. To me, Beyond sounds like jazzy Fleetwood Mac AI software that can calculate the perfect equations for soulful arpeggios and palm muting.
C-jeff | Big Steel Wheels Knew it'd be good. An 80s progressive chiptune metal action movie! C-jeff wastes no time getting you straight in the scene. Complex prog compositions, fiery live guitars and super dramatic themes over smooooth organ chord drops. More than one listen required! A Thousand Bridges is a crazy catchy driving piece with wicked story telling.
Still listening to tons of Prog Metal right now. And for sure Plini, Sithu Aye and David Maxim Micic are making my favourite tracks. Just melody everywhere, giant sounds with intricate jazz details, layered textures with synth and lots and lots of heart.
This year Pajjama went on a beach holiday! No one's going home without hearing Pajjama. Proggy fusion synth jazz with a great sense of humour. Just listening to the cheeky round bass that opens Sunny & sour gives me the impression that these guys have the best fun making music. Everything about it sounds researched and composed, but also loose, live and genuine. Pachinko Devil is just a total hit. Can't wait for Pajjama's first LP coming soon :D
Thats 11, oh well haha. Thanks very much to all music makers, you pull me through!
Thanks to my good friend Stemage of Metroid Metal fame, it was great fun to revisit one of my favourite movies, TRON! The album is a tribute to Wendy Carlos' original TRON soundtrack from 1982, and its wicked! Great big thanks go to Stemage for a great time on the grid, I would have kicked myself if I missed out...
Priority One is a Joypad release, available now one Loudr.
A sequel! Coda has scored a super chipper new soundtrack for the second Alter Ego game from Retrosouls. Above is my artwork for the album. Also featured are Kulor, (composer of the first OST) and 'cool slippery' musicians, Madbrain, Blitz Lunar and DJ Bouche. Many thanks to all you guys, plus C-Jeff and Noise Channel for the great listening party. Congrats coda!
A top ten listen list! I spent a lot of time getting lost in music last year, it was great to find some smaller artists and get to know a few new friends who make amazing albums in their spare time. Very mega year! Here are my choice funks.....
Pajjama - Starch
Prog synth, chiptune, crunchy rock, talk shows, talk box, played over super slick funky compositions and evolving textures. Starch has everything! I keep going back to it and finding more... new Pajjamas to come soon I hear.
C-jeff - Preschtale
Progressive metal chiptune! C-jeff has found an amazing balance of melodic prog metal passages and digital video game synth. Burning melodies and mighty chord drops, look out for the climax of part 6.
Bersarin Quartet - II
Neo-Classical/Ambient soundscapes. Ambient music has kept me going this last year, and this is the album that sums it all up. Carefully processed textures and sweeping strings.
Coda - Tracer
Adventure synth prog, ohhhh yes, Coda's little tunes grow up into really great mature missions.
Mars Volta - Noctourniquet
Prog Rock. Loved these fresh new Volta ideas! Some genuinely surprising tones, I especially rocked out to 'Empty Vessels'.
Disasterpeace - Fez
Ambient Chiptune Soundtrack. Maybe because I lived in the game for a few weeks, devouring every detail. Fez is a world I could settle down in and the sound was PERFECTLY placed by Disasterpeace.
Monomer - Trials
Chiptune. Super solid adventure EP from Monomer. Simple sounds with big scale themes and wicked harmonies.