Friday, 24 February 2012

Weekly Beats 2012- Week 7 Round-up

Best Of The Week: (Top 5)
1. ThursdayBloom-Siberia III: Seeming to form a more epic journey each week, this week ThursdayBloom takes the strings out of the background and gives them the spotlight, form a startling set of melodies and harmonies that are as beautiful as they are genuinely full of distraught. An astonishing piece of work, and my favourite of his tracks to have entered the challenge so far.
For Fans Of: Epics, Feeling Cold, Serials. 

2. Nuro Z- Chapter Three-Tonight, She Dies: Returning after a very-much-noticed-by-me absence for a week, Nuro Z returns once again on astonishing form, this week round focusing on vocal manipulation and a wider range of sampling techniques to add weight and power to his piece. As part of the suite, this track drags you in deeper and deeper into depressed and murky smog. The mid-section spoken word section is once again delivered with astonishing skill, building tension and despair until the track stumbles out into a set of samples and slowed down chorus. 
For Fans Of: Nuro Z's other two Chapter tracks, Anything. 

3. Spaceman Fantastiques- Setting Sail WIP (Guitar Demo): For a guitar demo, this sounds outstanding. All too often, the inclusion of guitars with chiptune sounds either forced, a novelty, or both. Few have managed to successfully add the two together in a cohesive way that works. Something Hunter Quinn once said to me sums it up perfectly (and I hope he doesn’t mind me paraphrasing him here), but all too often is sounds almost as if the two mediums are playing separate songs, and as such leaves the listener with a slightly disordered and disjointed mess to take in. However, here SF manages to drag the two together like glue; you could easily swap the guitar melodies with the chip ones and with a little change in emphasis make them work just as well. That level of cohesion takes some skill, luck, or a large amount of fore thinking, and given the level of quality in SF’s other pieces of work, the two of those which it is are pretty clear. If this is a demo, I’m extremely excited to hear the final piece!
For Fans Of: Noisewaves, Mr Keenes' exploits, Roboctopus' guitar-oriented chip work.

4. Dataline-Nothing: Minimalist beats and glitches clip and clop behind a sea of synth scales to give the impression of drifting, with samples laying down a hand latter to keep the listener entranced. There are a lot of great minimalist pieces that seem to be churned out in this challenge, so it takes a lot for one to stand out from the crowd so blatantly whilst sticking to its guns throughout, making this a great piece with both an integral vibe and a perfect execution.
For Fans Of: Half of the WeeklyBeats entries, Health remixes, Glitchy things.

5. AlexOgre-Empty Words: Another week another twisting progressively structured trance/house track from new-kid-titan AlexOgre. Now with more funk. I’d list the reasons that this is good, but they are the same reasons he has been consistently stunning each week, and I dislike reiteration. So instead, just listen to it, yeah?
For Fans Of: The other half of the WeeklyBeats entries, Unce, Bleep.

Honourable Mentions.
DrumurBoy-Desfuse: Foreboding and extremely atmospheric, DrumurBoy manages to construct an entire imaginary world inside the space of a few chords and soft melodies.
Dylannau-Pizza Horse: Weird sampling mayhem which flirts with minimalism and trance without letting up its eerie and rather unsettling atmosphere for a second.
Ezkl-Elastic Black: A beautiful set of melodies that may at first seem a bit repetitive, but then flower into a strangely captivating concoction of harmonies and atmospheres that sways from bitter to sweet sounding just as luscious as the other, before finally returning to the original melody almost as affirmation that this track WILL be stuck in your head all day.
Freque-U, Robot: Crunchy LSDJ swagger shakes its boots with another great melody from the Freque’s mind.
Jiffypop23-M: Massive. (See what I did!? Though minimal would have been a better description. Minimal magic would have been the best but I’m not prepared to resort to such campness just yet)
Kedromelon- Desolate Time: A destructive set of samples arranged into a house fury with a beat hard enough to crush a skull.
Little-scale-Semi Professional Stalker (909 Samples): Hardstyle with a few claps. Just a few. Also a good amount of stunning melodies and glitchy madness.
Louis-Luciana I’m Still Hot (Pukpuk Remix): Glitchy dubstep remix of a song I don’t know, though it hits like a brick and has some great ideas in it, and about 20 megatons of energetic rage.
Ok Ikumi-AS21: Rising and falling gently and giving one hell of a trip as a result, Ok Ikumi shows another stunner and another side of his compositional dice
Seagull Chainsaw-Discuss/Disgust: Noise gives way to trip hop that creeps along with a solid beat and  enough grooves to floor

cTrix of the Week:
Heaps Buzz:
Glitchy to the point of sounding schizophrenic before giving way to a pumping sped up maniacal rage and then a swaggering disjointed sway. Put together with Atari sounds, and as such sounding as hard and raw as a coconut in concrete, the more softer melodic moments (and by moments I do mean for about 3 seconds at a time) sound all the more fragile and powerful, which creates a great dynamic within the piece. Though the main drawing factor of this track has to be the catchiness; the very first section has been stuck in my head most of today. This was the type of track I’ve been waiting for cTrix to throw into the challenge, and now that he has I’m over the moon.
Tl;dr: Hard-hitting danceable Atari madness. 

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Weekly Beats 2012- Week 6 Round-up

Best Of The Week: (Top 5)
1. The Industrialism-Implementation: Glitch-step. It, in all honesty, sounds like someone took Bar 9 into blender, took the fragments that remained, dissolved them in boiling water and then poured the water into a strainer made from barbed wire and razorblades. Disgusting genius that hits like a brick, and before creeps like a ghost story. More like this please!
For Fans Of: Bar 9, Monster X, Digi G Alessio

2. Little-Scale- Bandages: This track acts as another footnote in the huge line of unpredictable exploits from the Doctor of Chiptune (by more than just hyperbole, he’s legit a doctor), Little-scale once again sits astride a stead of experimental mayhem taken from the mind of someone who is either slightly disturbed, very bored, extremely intelligent, or a bit of all three. Trippy, glitch-filled madness leading through multiple ideas and phrases before setting up camp around where it begins dominate the recording, always sounding more like prose than a repetition, with a ukulele nearing the climax that, mixed with the synths, is pure gorgeousness.
For Fans Of: Flying Lotus, Ukulele's being misused, Weird shit 

3. Roboctopus-Xygloditic Wonk: Continuing his unstoppable reign of great tracks, Roboctopus this time decides to combine many more genres than should be possible with the chiptune sound, to create a dream-like wonderland of great melodies, harmonies and a cornucopia of unique and stunningly integral ideas. Each part holds and interlocks tightly to the other, forming a tight cohesion between the more traditional instrumentation and, well, the not so traditional. Another heart-stopping piece of work from Roboctopus, this guy is unstoppable.
For Fans Of: Anything that is music

4. Andarugo- Erich Zann: Improving on the already brilliant form showcased last week, Andarugo goes a step further by implementing some truly wondrous harmonies and melodies over a slowly snaking structure of downtempo bittersweet sounds ending in the definition of melancholy melody. Working outside his comfort zone, he has still managed to excel with a great deal of confidence and skill, and showing there is far more to his music than first meets the eye.
For Fans Of: HunterQuinn, Quantum Wave, aka The Cincinnati Chip Scene

5. Handcannon-Corroded: For a debut, this is outstanding. Bridging together lounge music atmosphere, 80’s electro funk and finally some nu-rave sounding glitch attacks, Handcannon has managed to craft a unique and extremely startling beast of a track. The drop, whilst not hard-hitting, is surprising enough to cause as much damage as if it were which speaks volumes of Handcannon’s compositional skill. If anything, this track has me very excited about future exploits from this artist, as with influences and genres this diverse, literally any region of music could be explored.
For Fans Of: Bebop (the nu-rave one not the dodgy rapper one), Midibyte, Lounge music.

Honourable Mentions:
AlexOgre-Sorrow: Some of the best melodies brought to LSDJ ever. Honestly a ground-shaking definer that makes AlexOgre’s ability to compose shine brightly.
Cooshinator-Cosecant: Pumping LSDJ heart-throbbing progressive brilliance, delivered by someone who is more than adept at weaving in unconventional structures and ideas to an already vibrant genre.
E.S.C-Fractured Thoughts: Glitchy and aggressive with an odd sort of swagger, and above all almost indescribable. Though it is a must listen for sure.
Frauimhotel-Untitled (Memories): Creepy, chilling and downright atmospheric, this brilliant mixture of samples and off-time acoustic glitching makes for a genuine listening experience.
Fuxter-Bad Grabsta: Hard beats with vocoder vocal work reminiscent of Seal Of Quality. Bit grainy on the mix side but does nothing to hinder the impact of this great track.
HunterQuinn-The Creature From Neptune Was Thirsty…For Carnage!: Taking his progressive styled house/dance/trance combo to another stunning height this week, HunterQuinn once again takes great care in utilising melodies and counter melodies to form confusing layers of beautiful harmonies and add a great sense of atmosphere.
Matt Patrick-Murder Of Crows: Beautiful instrumentation and stunningly poetic lyrics sung with stunning conviction and great amounts of style.
Orinoco-Gift Horse: Stunning sounds and good chords mix to form an other-worldly atmosphere that is second to none.
Then, A Dinosaur!-SAINT: Infectiously playful and guaranteed to put a smile on your face, with great enough music for it to dodge the novelty bullet.
ThursdayBloom-Siberia II: The second track in the Siberian series focuses more on noise, before using empty space and distant soundscapes to paint its bleak and impressive pictures in your mind.

cTrix Of The Week
The real beauty of this track comes from the subtle genius hidden in the quiet arpeggios and melodic harmonies they discreetly inject into the track, and coupled with a strong leading melody that delves in and out of dissonance eclectically and without a moment of hesitation, it is another fetchingly good piece of work. There are some really nice sounds here too, the synth in question sounds brilliant and in the hands of Mr.cTrix, it stuns.  

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Weekly Beats 2012- Week 5 Round-up

Best Of The Week: (Top 5)
1. Nuro Z- Chapter Two- Who Will Save Our Soul: Another outstanding track from Nuro Z this week, if it’s possible this one is even better than last weeks. Well it is possible because he has managed it. Combining better vocal hooks, a more addictive rhythm in the rapping, even more emotive delivery of the story and lyrics and an outstanding chorus, Nuro Z has nailed this stuff tight. Once again the music prevails as a stripped and open landscape for which the story and lyrics can run rampant at the forefront, whilst still managing to find a point where both anchor each other firmly with meaning and purpose. An astonishing piece.
For Fans Of: Narratives, Emotion, Hippity Hoppity

2. HunterQuinn-Henticlees The Final Journey: The second the intro is out you’re met with a full forced beat-based punch to the teeth, with progressive structures and great melodies swirling like a dancefloor typhoon in its wake, until it spirals into an extremely tense and emotive climax. Addictive and true to the title on the journey side of things, Hunter Quinn once again showcases his aptitude for epic dance tracks. Another artist I am insanely proud to have worked with on my old label, and for this EXACT reason.
For Fans Of: Cincinnati Chip Scene, IAYD, A Full Nullsleep Set In A Fifth Of The Time

3. Pocaille-Glitterstim Spice: Pumping beats that move around constantly under the sway of syncopation with some face-stomping melodies and bass; this piece is sure to get you a-grooving. I’d like to babble on indefinitely about how good it is, but I’ll just leave you with the fact it is a PERFECT dance track. Equal parts beat, melody and light experimentation.
For Fans Of: House, Daft Punk, Justice

4. George Bowles- Botanimal-Every Second: A beautifully relaxed piece with a lot going on inside itself. Some beautiful strings in non-standard time signatures help create a fully hypnotic base for the track, slowly wrapping itself into a tightly-knit and very very listenable package.
For Fans Of: Ambient, Experimentation, Brian Eno

5. Trash80-Cascadia: I’m starting to think doing a Trash80 of the week section might be just as relevant as a cTrix one. Another killer track from the kind soul that bestowed WeeklyBeats unto us and a genuine floor-filler this time. Sounding cyberpunk to a tee (if you needed an example of this style of house this’d be the perfect diagram) Cascadia does its rounds eclectically before sparking off into a chilled and very progressive house sounding breakdown before returning with a vengeance. This shit is high.
For Fans Of: Daft Punk circa 2011, Either of Trash80's 8BP releases, Tension

Honourable Mentions.
AlexOgre-Along The Milkyway: Plodding and progressively twisting chiptune/dance/trance with a beautiful set of melodies and a fully realised space-y atmosphere, a triumph for AlexOgre for sure.
Andarugo-Randolph Carter [Space Vibrations]: Slowly leading you politely by the hand before throwing you headfirst into a dancepit, Andarugo seems to have had a coming of age musically and cocooned into one of the best chiptune dance artists about today. Horns for Cincinnati, that’s all I’m sayin’.
Analog-El Mestizo Electonico: Gorgeously minimalistic beats and sounds thrown about with playful enthusiasm and willingness to work outside usual genre specifications, brilliantly danceable piece.
BufordTannon-Be Interested: One of the best pieces of vocal and acoustic work I’ve heard for this challenge so far, simple and stripped down to its core but shines brightly regardless.
Iran Sanad-For M, Or The Manual To Properly Grate One’s Skin: Disgusting ambient sounds intertwine to form a murky atmosphere and the feeling of impending doom. If depression or fears are your thing, look no further.
Robotcopus-A Modest Country Proposal: Gorgeous country tune with what I hope is a tongue-in-cheek set of lyrical hooks. Well composed and brilliantly played.
Solarbear-WV:Become The Mayor Of Cans: Me gusta dem melodies. Once again delivering a high-octane fist-pumping floor-lowering booty shaker, Solarbear is the chiptune artist that just keeps on giving (you blisters on your heels). 
Thursdaybloom- Siberia I: Peaceful piano and strings flow insistently before giving way to a wave of noise, sounding altogether barren and haunting
Tiasu-Defenstrate: Using dissonance perfectly to bridge the gaps between soft, beautiful music and disjointed emotion, Tiasu once again uses the piano to great effect.
Zebra-Old Bleached Bones And Branches: Managing to be beautiful, soft and down-right creepy all at the same time, Zebra may be the king of the eerie.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Weekly Beats 2012- Week 4 Round-up

Best Of The Week: (Top 5)
1. Nuro Z- Chapter One-The Fire: Chilling. An astonishingly written prose with an incredibly emotive delivery which quite literally draws you into the narrative and forces lucid mental visualisation. Something like this can either come off cheesy or genius, and after the catchy Atmosphere-esque chorus and accompanying small rap verse, this stamps itself as the latter with an intense confidence. The music itself is a soft downtempo backdrop moving into a pure hip hop flavour which never shouts for attention, but when some is given it shines. Another point I HAVE to make is the siren sampling, which jumps between strictly scene-setting to beat-adding in seconds in a genuinely ingenious manner. The fact this appears to be the first in a serial of a genuinely interesting narrative delivered with such clarity, passion and precise musicianship makes me extremely excited. Quite literally the best entry to the challenge this month.
For Fans Of: Atmosphere, Spoken word, Concept work 

2. Little-scale –My Neighbour Is A Serial Killer: Little-scale getting back to his downtempo-y chilled and harmonically focused synth work with offbeat beats to supply soundtrack to city nightlife best. Astonishingly beautiful, managing to sound both soft and incredibly stark simultaneously whilst throwing enough trademark experimentation to keep anyone gagging at the bit, and I haven’t even mentioned the entire piece is apparently cowbell samples. The term mindblowing doesn’t even come close to describing the joint beauty and genius of little-scale.
For Fans Of: IQTU, Error Repeat, Downtempo, 

3. Pulselooper: Azad’s Kiosk: Beautifully sweet chip with some brilliant harmonies and touching melodies, with a constant melodic bar to keep the piece anchored tightly to the floor, this track takes all the stylistic features of post-rock and transfers them perfectly, without fault, to the medium of chiptune. Astonishingly inventive, this piece is nothing short of perfect in its own right, and if Pulselooper’s mission statement was as it looks on the outside, he has succeeded magnificently.
For Fans Of: Noisewaves, Kanagawa, Post-Rock

4. Protman-115wb4: Inexplicably jumping between atmospheres and sounds like a restless snarling dog, Protman takes some shaky bass, determined drum beats and forceful hooks and lodges them behind your eyes with a less than slightly sinister demeanour. This artist's impressive aptitude to meld glitchy unpredictability of the extremes and memorable hooks is a sight to behold, and an extremely unique one at that.  
For Fans Of: Tep, Thaiz Itch, Wonky basslines 

5. Julioso-Say Yes: Melodic house with a funky twist a menacing atmosphere interspersed with memorable hooks and a retro shout-out. The 80s vibe is palpable and the groove fits the oddly bittersweet atmosphere perfectly, giving this track a standing difference between the countless other house tracks with a retro vibe entered into this challenge (not that they’re a bad thing!) The real dealbreaker is the totally surprising wobble breakdown near the end, which helps round the piece off fantastically before leading into a more emotive and intense repeat of the chorus. Brilliant first entry!
For Fans Of: Daft Punk, Nostalgia, Killer debuts

Honourable Mentions:
Billy-Born In The Sea: Brilliant acoustic work with some equally nice vocal work over the top, subtle and lo-fi sounds envelop the piece to create something very charming.
Dkstr-Sharm: Spastic sample work laid out in a patchwork fashion with enough beat and drive to hold the piece together cohesively. Glitchy and very original, a great listen.
Lien-2Note Blue: Maybe I’ve been listening to far too much Sigur Ros recently, but something about this track really connected with me. Patient and gorgeously soft, this DESERVES your time.
NekoTheory-Takamachi Trigger: Big build-up in a retro way to a floor-stomping bass party with some lush harmonies added for good measure.
NWSPR-Mitt Robot: The best way to describe this song has already been done so by R.Domain: “Almost like and electro Sonic Youth”. Could not be more spot on. Great melodies, some infectiously catchy vocals and killer bass.
Ok Ikumi-Collect: Soft trip-hop from what seems to be the emerging king of the genre on this site. And that’s not throwaway hyperbole, just listen to this track and that statement has all the factual evidence you need.
Roboctopus-Lighter Than Air, Briefly: Tight composition with a memorable set of melodies and a nice dose of non-standard chiptune atmosphere. Songs like this make it hard for me to believe this guy was on my old label. Stunning stuff!
Skycstls-Simple Moves: Simplicity defined but in a very loveable and cute way, distilling chiptune down to its basic ingredients. Whether this was the mission statement or not, this track is still a fantastic piece of work.
Solarbear-Daisuki: Sounding like the kings of chiptune from back when they were still exciting (oh snap). Overly chirpy chip beats and melodies catch it.
Zebra-Dead Roots: I was so happy to see Zebra had joined the fray, and I have not been disappointed. Creepy chip synths intertwine with guitars to form an eerie soundscape.

cTrix of the week.
Festival Jam:
Once again spitting in the face of anyone who tries hard to write good songs, cTrix’s track this time comes from the down time at a festival. Some real house and tek influences rage through this track, whilst the music jumps around between trance build ups with guitar overlays back into a dance-driven groove-fest. The beats are relentless, if this was played live you’d be shattered by the end, and the none-stop onslaught does wonders for the guitar breakdown near the songs’ climax, creating a stark dynamic asymmetry before once again building up into its previous flurry. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Weekly Beats 2012- Week 3 Round-up

Best Of The Week: (Top 5)
1. Optimus Chad-Br00tal Thrash & Teal: Due to the exceptional work of Datathrash and the extreme dedication and passion of the artists featured on it, chipthrash seems to be expanding quite rapidly these days. One of the newest and brightest burning of stars from said subgenre here delivers what is not only his most brutal and intense piece of work (and one of the most face-crushing chipthrash songs ever), but also a genuine genre-definer. If you want to know what chipthrash is, here Optimus Chad has managed to dilute and distil the formula into a concentrated essence of rage.
For Fans Of: Kool Skull, Datathrash, Chipthrash

2. RobotSexMusic-My Angel: One of the two artists this week to make a return visit to my top 5, here RSM brosteps up, and I’m not even mad. Cheesy and corny as fuck, but the production is crisp to a tee, some beautiful melodies and harmonies, glitchy wobbles, incredible use of sampling near the climax; it’s brilliant.
For Fans Of: Skrillex, Glitch, Brostep

3. Kedromelon-Retreat: Building on the outstanding performance last week, Kedromelon pulls another show-stopper out of the bag, this time going for a cinematic post-rock influenced track which stumbles along before a piano break  and string crescendo unfurl into a gloriously ‘epic’ sounding closer.  Whilst last week could have been a fluke of genius, this week shows that actually, Kedromelon means business. I’ve paid £10 to stand in a dingy brick-floor room to hear FAR worse post-rock than this, enough said really.
For Fans Of: Cinematic music, Feeling epic, Post-Rock

4. MattNida-Automaton: Chilled and dub influenced, this track seeps an ambient atmosphere and has plenty of atmosphere to boot. Downtempo is a great genre, but more often than not the composer sets up their shop, so to speak, within the first minute, making the rest of the song, minus small ebbs and flows, an unnecessary presence. However, MattNida manages to constantly surprise whilst at no point letting up the determined chilled atmosphere, also never sounding forced through its duration.  Sublime.
For Fans Of: Metrodub, Feeling like you live in a city even if you don't, Piggies 

5. Spooked-Blowjob Smile: Delightfully titled with the tunes to match, Spooked’s sometimes eerie/sometimes euphorically happy does wonders to this track, dipping and diving between the two without a second of hesitation whilst tossing around influences ranging from trance to chip to drone.
For Fans Of: The Cincinnati Chip Scene sound, Fakebit4lyf, Schizophrenia  

Honourable Mentions:
Freque-I’m Not French: Jaw-dropping chip-salsa which delves into the crossing of genres better and more readily than anyone else has before (if anyone actually has?).
Godinpants-Dick In A Shoe: I’m not even sure what this is. I just like it a ridiculous amount. Great use of drums also.
Jiffypop23-Goat Cheese: Punching you full on in the face in a more straight forward way this week, with a deadly build-up before crunching drop and then some inventive wobble use.
Lazerbeat-Soundtrack Doodle: funky and reminiscent of yonder times, this addictively groovy track hits you with many different flavours before coming full-circle. Not flamboyant, but perfectly realised.
Mutants & Mongoloians-Make Dem Realize: Reggae-infused dubstep, sounds like summer in every way it is possible for a song to sound like summer, minus any lyrics about it being summer or summertime approaching.
Pocaille-Flying Triangle: Delivering another retro-fuelled funky house track, if you like what Pocaille has done up to this point, you won’t be disappointed here.
Ryan-Dr.Not The Nine O’clock News: This track starts of as an ambient and almost post-rock sounding affair before the strings slowly lift it out of its stupor, where the piano then helps throw its wings out. A beautiful piece of music.
Sphax-Deep East (Polish Monkey): Trip hop with some incredible uses of sampling to draw you into its swirling vortex of off-time relaxation
Tiasu-Agathakalogical: Peaceful but with more electornic flavour than last week’s, this chilled downtempo piece does what it sets out to do without a seconds hesitation.
Trash80-Within Time: Classic Trash80. Bittersweet and unforgettable dance music. Killer stuff from beginning to end.

cTrix Of The Week
Sequential 202:
Starting with a brilliant arpeggio and some slowly building melodies which wash over the top, all with a retro vibe that sticks in your throat, before fizzling out into a cymbal tapping spat, slowly and dynamically sucking you in before another lead kicks you back out into another slow building and hypnotic phrase. If you leave this piece without having entered a trance-like state, you weren’t listening hard enough to do this brilliant track the justice it deserves. The fact this was “just mashed” makes me very envious. 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Weekly Beats 2012- Week 2 Round-up

Best Of The Week: (Top 5)
1. Kedromelon-I Pray Thee…: When it’s done correctly, post-rock can be one of the most emotive and mind-blowing genres of music ever formulated. Too often, however, the genre seems to throw up the same song structures, the same atmospheres, the exact same sounds and so on; it’s difficult to find post-rock bands which aren’t in the upper crust who sound remotely distinct. However, Kedromelon manages to traverse through the minefield that is similar territory to create a truly unique post-rock piece, one that stands on strong next to the best of 65days.., Explosions… and Godspeed!....  This track is truly magical with everything from the guitar tones to the inclusion of a brief electronic excursion near the ‘climax’ and the unpredictable keeling into something other than the same riff in a higher octave. Genuinely mind-blowing work here!
For Fans Of: 65daysofstatic, Explosions In The Sky, Milhaven

2. Jiffypop23-Sour Milk: I’m going to lay it on the table now. I’m a metalhead. Through and through. My most favourite thing about metal is when bands manage to fuse beauty with brutality. It’s why I fell in love with bands like Arsis, Opeth, Alarum, Mastodon, Baroness etc the first time I listened to them. So what? Well here Jiffypop23 manages something very similar, managing to piece the truly beautiful harmonies created next  to some truly intense and brutal dubstep wobbles with a great deal of professional skill without it seeming forced and sounding very distinct. The result is astonishingly powerful.
For Fans Of: Bar 9, Cyberpunk, Unexpected shocks and resulting heart failure

3. Ok Ikumi-Commute: Atmosphere can destroy an otherwise perfect piece of melodic work, or turn something sonically undesirable into something truly irresistible. Ok Ikumi appears to have taken a fantastic range of melodies and coupled it with an insatiably melancholy atmosphere to create a truly wonderful piece of work, making this work unstoppable. One of the best tracks of the challenge I’ve heard up to this point.
For Fans Of: Ambience, Atmosphere (not the rapper),  Lots of synths

4. Derris-Kharlan-Ode To Cider Eyes: Brilliant harmonies and some fantastic almost oriental melodies combine to create a gorgeous piece that slowly blossoms until it sounds like cherry blossom floating through space.
For Fans Of: Starscream, Trash80’s melodies, Gradual progression

5. Tiasu-Eremophobia: Soft and emotive, this piano piece is a breath-taker. Coupled with the googled knowledge that eremophobia means fear of loneliness, this track takes on a whole new and far more striking meaning. Brilliantly written and perfectly executed, I am definitely looking forward to hearing more tracks like this from Tiasu in the future.
For Fans Of: Reflection, The Final Fantasy X Soundtrack, Pianos

Honourable Mention:
Dominga-2 Fiddy?!?!: Retro as fuck, gorgeously Vice City melody with a Daft Punk twist.
Dwight Davis-Hazard Warning: Hard, and I mean hard, house with some fakebit sprinklings and light wobble action. Great melodies round this off into a brilliant track with a lot going for it.
Little-scale-I Smile And Hand You My Umbrella: Desperate sounding and jaw-droopingly fragile, this piece composed for 12 celli is stunning.
Midimachine-The King And The Pauper: Sounding professional and huge, with some astonishingly good vocal work. Whilst not the genre of music I usually enjoy, I can’t help but respect his ability to formulate this song in such a short period of time. And the melodies and “Hey” samples are stellar.
Pocaille-Copypasta: Funky groove-laden dance beats and melodies make this fakebit a masterpiece, sounding like a cyberpunk’s wetdream and an off-cut of the Tron:Legacy soundtrack. This is genuinely huge.
Protman-096wb2: Glitch attack with some slick slides and creepy atmospheric backdrop, another stellar track from this artist!
Pulselooper-Domingo Seco: Great harmonies and progression, leaves you in almost trance-like state. Well-constructed and economically emotional in its use of notes, this piece is captivating to say the least.
Saskrotch-Kawaii 5-0: Chipbreak/gabber/bassy-wobble odyssey. Fucking epic in every right.
Sectorsept-Get With Me: Funky logic dance fun, some brilliant use of vocals in this and a great structure too.  
Trash80-UnceSawuce: IDM o’ clock over here. Brilliant track that ebbs and flows wondrously and is guaranteed to pull a bop or two out from you
VBO:Chip’s Challenge-Sudohbucks!: Sickly sweet melodies and some unexpected but brilliantly utilised instrumentation choices found throughout. I highly doubt it’s possible to come away from this one without a smile on your face, for between the brilliant songwriting capability of VBO on this track and the twisting variant-based structure, this is one of the most optimistically happy songs I’ve heard. Whilst the structure may be slightly predictable, the melodies are perfectly constructed so the way they’re ordered becomes a quick irrelevancy.

cTrix Of The Week
Sunday In The Park:
Wonderfully jazzy and chilled track which slowly unfurls into passionate spats before ebbing back into a downtempo-lounge act. Coupled with some brilliant use of the drums and a soft thoughtful atmosphere, this track is smooth as. Dropping jaws unexpectedly, cTrix once again creates an outstanding piece of music.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Weekly Beats 2012- Week 1 Round-up

So, I thought as well as entering, I should also try my hardest to document the best entries for WeeklyBeats 2012 each week. I’m pretty serious about this, so much so I quit my job (well partially the reason) and if the problem arose, would write this article over writing a new track. I was considering doing a five worst each week as well but quickly realised that would be counter-productive instead, so instead I’ll do a top five put in order of my personal preference, ten honourable mentions (I’ll be straight with you now, there wasn’t meant to be a set number, it just so happened I accidently had chosen ten this week, which works nicely!) (EDIT: just noticed there are in fact 11. Every week following from here on there will be 10 however) and also a “cTrix Of The Week” section, the reasons for which I’ll explain below. So, good luck everyone, keep up the great work (it was genuinely difficult to choose five tracks this week) and here’s to the rest of the year!!!

Best Of The Week: (Top 5)
1. Robotsexmusic-Hungry Wolves: Starts off foreboding and drenched in samples before kicking into a bittersweet melodically rampant and glicthy jaw-dropper. The main thing I liked about this track was the surprise once it began to open up, and the relentless pace never gave in. Plus, it still managed to sound fresh despite sounding also very angry and overbearing, so kudos to RobotSexMusic for pulling that off. The claustrophobic samples and mixing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found they added a layer of intensity that would otherwise be dormant.
For Fans Of: Superspink… I meant to put three here but it’s genuinely difficult to find comparisons for a song this unique!!

2. Low_Gain-The Others: Beautiful melodies and a snaking, pumping beat. A masterful use of the chiptune sound to create a song that expands past the limitations of the genre into not just being “a good song for chiptune”, but a great tune altogether. If we are to expect this level of quality each week from Low_Gain (which seeing as how strong his track record is, I can see being a definite possibility), we are in for a good year.
For Fans Of: failotron before he got really sad about everything, Kkrusty’s none chipbreak stuff, Bittersweet-ness.

3. Roboctopus-Bongo Romance: A gorgeous blend of chiptune and other instrumentation, sounding remarkably professional and, at its core, just a genuinely outstanding song. The closing melodies before the final syncopated chord flourishes are stunning and the overall mood of the piece is sweetly bitter to a heavily defined tee. Outstanding.
For Fans Of: The J. Arthur Keenes Band, ‘Plastic Beach’ by Gorillaz, Forced splicing.

4.  Anonymeye-Week 01: Trance-enducing cascades of notes with some eventual droning notes sustain an ethereal atmosphere as the syncopation and scales slowly shift from left to right with an astonishing level of subtle grace.
For Fans Of: little-scale, involuntary movement, maths.

5. Lucas Darklord- Deepening European Crisis: Perfectly asymmetrical to the overall excited and optimistic atmosphere found on most of the other entries to the competition, Lucas Darklord creates an extremely powerful sense of dread and desperation whilst showing how a song title, when applied expertly, can have devastating effects on the atmosphere of a piece. The reek of decay is almost claustrophobic, and whilst drone tracks may not be everyone’s cup of tea, this is a definite MUST listen for this week’s entries. Dark, foreboding and incredibly powerful throughout until it stumbles and slowly dies at its climax.
For Fans Of: failotron after he got really sad about everything, Sunn O))), Earth.

Honourable Mentions:
Biko-Jakarta: Off-beat staccato dance with a hook the size of the Empire State. More sections and structural integrity would have been nice, but for a short floor-shaker with an addictive sound, look no further!
CK- Automatic: Simple, straight-down-the-line house with emphasis on harmonising soft vocals and 80s synths. Better than Metronomy and fuck you if you think otherwise.
Frostbyte-Growing Trees: Beautifully sweet mixture of brass and acoustic guitar form a wonderfully quaint and extremely surprising meld.
Mooninite-You Said I Was The Country: Soft melodies and sounds with even softer vocals. It’s like listening to a baby’s blanket (in a very good and catchy way).
NWSPR-2012: Genius use of sampling with a funk-infused and catchy as hell melodic overlay, with some of the nicest most ‘Stepdad’ –like harmonies I ever did heard
Optimus Chad-FPFR: Showing everyone who ever doubted him that he has become a titanic force inside the quickly-expanding chipthrash scene. The almost rave-like mid-section is just pure genius.
PaK-Zer0-Alpha Beam: So dirty and aggressive I couldn’t leave it out. Genius melodies and some pure face-punching anger make this one fantastic listen.
Paper Buldings-Sincerely: Beautiful trip-hoppy magic.
Solarbear-One Last New Year: Bittersweet and sounding like the dirty pop of 2112, this one is unmissible.
Trash80-Starfield Sonnet: I’ve missed Trash80. That recognisable synth with that unforgettable atmosphere and that in-humanly good aptitude for writing melodies is all intact, leaving this astonishing track sounding like a b-side to the mind-blowing ‘Icarus’. Not a dance track, but a subdued melodic teaser, with one of the best cadence uses I have ever heard.
Vmuriel-Reabinn: Industrially charged and gabber-inspired jumps between the ambient and the beat-driven, with a relentlessly bleak atmosphere draped over the top. The opening is face-melting.

cTrix Of The Week
The High Life:
So a little explanation as to why cTrix has his own section. I really like his music. A lot. So I thought it’d make more sense to do a little write-up about his tracks each week rather than him clogging up the first or second spot on my top five every week for this year. So without further ado…

Beautiful melodies engulf from the beginning sending the listener on a beachside trip with some of the most upbeat and optimistic sounding harmonies ever heard come out of an LSDJ (and coming from a medium that half thrives of making people smile, that’s saying something). Snaking round melodies in an unrelenting structure before the cheerfulness slowly drains to something slightly less gleeful and something entirely more bass-lead and funk-injected. Whether he meant to or not, it definitely feels like cTrix has been flexing his compositional muscles, darting from the happy plod of the beginning to the funk before finding a meeting ground for the two styles, effectively combining three ideas that were strong enough to stand on their own feet as separate entries. When I first saw cTrix on the list of participants, I was very excited. To anyone who had not heard his work prior, this was why.