The sound of the chiptune is by nature a fiendishly compressed one. If you choose to create a set of songs in this genre, at first I imagine you would have at least some difficulty coming to grips with the inherent limitations of your chosen horn. Limitations it seems, however, do little if anything to impede, dissuade, or prevent the chiptune artist in dictating his or her melody through the brittle wired tentacles of this instrument, despite the hampering of static with which the mouthpiece is charged. Recently Sumthing Else Music Works added a sizable stable of chiptune artists to their catalog and to celebrate, I thought I might play you a few of my favorites.

Chiptunes 1

Listen: KRUNCH OST by Disasterpeace & Dirk Rugged

Let’s not talk about KRUNCH as a software; let’s talk about KRUNCH as a reel-to-reel record: An LP that is loose of the tin-pan and jarring treble that has come to define the sound of this music. KRUNCH is an eyeful of colorful free association that is given both thickness and heart through therapy.  Not content to sit too long in their chairs, this duo is prone to physical outbursts. They explore their disconnect, their deep-seated and painful memories. This analysis, however goes beyond thorough examination, as even the most negligible and superficial events will be combed through: the hues prevalent in their dreams, overheard mindless gossip, and horoscopes on the second Thursday of each month. KRUCH culminates its psychological fixations with tearful transference placed upon their practitioner and surprising explanation of the collapse of function that brought them here. This room was to be their safe place, and KRUNCH illustrates their imaginative, confrontational and heartbreaking move to padded cell.

Chiptunes 2

Listen: Sysop – Modemoiselle by ComputeHer

Beat and hook are two of the most pronounced and important ingredients when dealing inside the gauntlet of 0/1/1/0 musical time signature. Granted, you could look elsewhere for a groove and chorus, but the chances are the two constituents you’d find would ring deflated, ornery and tired. You’ve heard these rhythms before; you have NOT heard ComputeHer’s Modemoiselle: it exploits the nature of the chiptune, drawing canvas to full extent by proudly accentuating the concentration of bleeps that make up the record’s shaded strokes. Modemoiselle understands that to engage new converts, you must make them fully aware of the offerings and knick-knacks hidden inside your coat pockets. Show them the merchandise that is on-hand, not ideas from a catalog. You came to hear a hard drive sputter and Modemoiselle wiselyrejects the penchant to lean too heavily on collaboration with live instruments, opting instead to glamorize and revel in spools of enslaved viral code.

Chiptunes 3

Listen: Safety Comes First – Silo 64 by 8 Bit Weapon

8 Bit Weapon should be considered a caustic frontline necessity and Silo 64 is its war.  In war why would anyone settle for jolting their enemy to their feet, when they have the means to send them sprinting, cowering back into their foxholes with multiple calculated blasts? 8 Bit Weapon wants to violently shake its audience out from underneath those few remaining pockets of safety. 8 Bit Weapon is not collecting POWs here; it’s counting bodies. An expert in the field of war game psychosis, 8 Bit Weapon uses its tactical campaign, waged against the inhabitants of Silo 64, to perfectly highlight its unapologetic, simple-yet-brilliant missile strategy: Hit them hard, then hit them harder!

All of these records can be purchased right here on Sumthing.com.

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Having fallen in love only 4 times in his life Geno counts Double Dragon as his second and truest love.  He has worked in record retail since 2000 and believes David Hayter to be the one true Solid Snake.  Currently, he is putting together a band which only perform songs from Street Fighter 3rd Strike.