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
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.
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.