It seems our friends over at Arecibo Radio will be closing down their active status by the end of the week, according to a recent tweet and confirmed to me by the station’s management.
Yes, Arecibo Radio will shut down on July 4th. Hosts who still wish to keep doing their respective shows will move to 8BitX. I can’t think of a better place for Arecibo hosts to go, many of us are friends and have worked and partied together at MAGFest and other music related events. With 8BitX absorbing Arecibo, our listeners will have one single and robust internet radio station they know they can go to and enjoy.
Kristina Kaufman – Noise Channel
Arecibo Radio has been a staple in streaming video game music, chiptunes and hosting listening parties for the past 6 years. Be sure to tune in for its last days in operations and give it a fitting send off and some much-deserved love, and also change over your bookmarks to 8bitX to continue listening to several staple Arecibo hosts as they make the trek to their new home.
Antoine Vachon also known as Reveirg is a Canadian composer and sound designer from Montreal, Quebec who has written the music for an indie PC game titled Chilie: The First Encounter, an app called Gentlemen…Ricochet! and Gentlemen Ricochet! Mini which is a de-make or 8-bit version of the original App with a chip tune soundtrack.
He has also composed the music to accompany an award winning act of a Magician, Marc Trudel, and recently released the soundtrack to a moutain bike film titled Cycles: A Mountain Bike Season in Flims-LAAX-Falera. I recently spent some time with his music which is an absolute pleasure to listen to.
The music from Gentlemen…Ricochet! features some jazzy and creative piano that has a wonderful swagger. The de-make 8-bit version Gentlemen Ricochet! Mini, has all the elements of a classic Gameboy title and is a very nostalgic listen. Chilie: The First Encounter makes use of the xylophone with piano and some high tones to bring out the character of the young girl featured in the game. The magician piece “Legerdemain” starts with soft piano and builds into a much more colorful melody. And the newest work, Cycles: A Mountain Bike Season in Flims-LAAX-Falera features great atmospheric synth and piano. He’s also got a pretty impressive Xenoblade Chronicles Main Theme Piano Cover on his Soundcloud page too.
All of Antoine Vachon’s music is currently available on bandcamp for “name your price” for now, I recommend checking it out as I expect we’ll see some great work by this composer in the future. Have you experienced any of Antoine’s music in these games?
The music guests for this year’s MAGStock have been revealed. Performers for the event will include Professor Shyguy, Materia, Eight Bit Disaster, and Inverse Phase. MAGStock 5 is being held at Small Country Campground in Louisa, Virginia on the weekend of June 19-21.
If you’re wondering what on earth MAGStock is, it’s a music and gaming event, run by MAGFest, that takes place in the summer. Think of it as a smaller version of MAGFest in the great outdoors. This year’s music guest list is as follows:
Eight Bit Disaster
If you didn’t get your fill of music and games at MAGFest earlier this year or if you’re just looking for a fun weekend of games and music, be sure to check out MAGStock 5. You can find out more information for registering and attending MAGStock 5 at the MAGStock website.
Retro-Active Pt. 1 Remixed contains remixes of Ninja Gaiden composer Keiji Yamagishi’s acclaimed debut “Retro-Active Pt. 1″. Artists such as Chipzel (of Super Hexagon), Kozilek (Nuclear Throne), ABSRDST, and others lend their unique touch to Yamagishi’s high-energy tracks. The opening remix of “Kaleidoscope” by Daliesk was the Grand Prize Winner of Brave Wave’s March 2015 remix contest.
If you pre-order now you will get a copy of the winning track, and the remainder of the album delivered to you on release day which is June 10, 2015. As you can see from the tweet below it has Mr. Yamagishi’s full approval. I have also given it a few listens today and highly recommend it!
To pre-order head over to Brave Wave’s website, the album will set you back $7.00 and from my experience (as a huge fan of their In Flux album), it’s a solid investment as Brave Wave continues to produce fantastic releases.
The Original Soundtrack to Crypt of the NecroDancer is my first experience with music composed by Danny Baranowsky who has composed the music for Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac and who has also worked on some excellent arrangements including Super Metroid: Relics of the Chozo.
The soundtrack contains 42 tracks and is a blend of chiptune rock and electronic melodies with a runtime of just under two hours. I listened to the soundtrack through at least three times and was blown away with the blood pumping beats and pleasant repetition and alternate versions of tracks. My first play through of the album was during a drive from Ottawa to New York State to camp over the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada. If you’re in the USA you can look forward to Memorial Day weekend next week. Read on to find out if you should pick up this soundtrack to kick off your weekend.
For This Week in Random, it’s all about chiptunes and browser extensions!
High Strangeness OSV by Cheap Dinosaurs
Chiptune savants Cheap Dinosaurs have released their newest album since last year’s “Triangle Trash” mini-album; a soundtrack for the indie game High Strangeness that’s described as a “a hybrid of 8 and 16-bit games… A 12-bit adventure”.
The inspiration of the game comes from many Action-Adventure and RPG games of yesteryear. The game’s core ability is to switch between 8 and 16-bit worlds and the player uses their generational differences to solve puzzles and explore the universe.
High Strangeness was released on this past Tuesday for the WiiU and Steam. The 17-track album released this past Monday at $6.00 (or $1 for individual tracks), making it the largest album to date from the band and should prove to be good listening for retro game music fans.
Game Music Appreciation – Google Chrome
This site allows you to listen to music for classic video games. You can listen to a vast amount of video game music (in the form of chiptunes) directly in your Google Chrome web browser and it will sound precisely the same as it did on the original console.
Pretty much everything it says on the box – a streaming program that allows you to stream an extremely extensive variety of game music soundtracks straight over Google Chrome, all for free. You can search for specific game albums, search by composer, search by console or just throw caution to the wind and play from random albums at-will; all without the need for separate programs to be open. A neat option for all of us!
If you’re a fan on the international chip music and demoscene, you’ll be pleased to know that earlier this month saw the release of “The Blossoming Years” album by Russian demo artist Sergey “MmcM” Kosov. Composed entirely on the ZX-Spectrum computer using a Yamaha YM2149F sound chip in ProTracker 3, the album features music from the height of Kosov’s career composing between 1999 and 2001. This is his first release since his 2012 eletronica album “Detuned”, and further expands his repertoire of demo and chip music, which has gained him a long-standing following.
“The Blossoming Years” by MmcM – Ubiktune
It’s time, once again, for the MAGFest recap. Every year we try to present a small sample of what we experienced at the Music and Gaming Festival. This year’s MAGFest was a little different from previous years. The event not only took place later in the month of January, it also conflicted with the new PAX South event down in Texas. This unintended scheduling dilemma left potential attendees and guests torn between the two events. While it would have been fun to check out the latest addition to the PAX convention circuit, MAGFest has always been the traditional destination for members of the Original Sound Version team. This brings us to today’s recap of the events of MAGFest 13. While it’s impossible for us to experience and cover every panel and concert that the festival has to offer, we always like to provide a glimpse of the madness and excitement that is MAGFest. With that said, here is my brief recap of MAGFest 13. (more…)
Never being ones to settle for simply one flavor of chiptune albums, our friends at Chiptunes = WIN decided to combine chip music with Celtic themes to create an album just in time for St. Paddy’s Day.
20 brand new “Celt-tunes” (#SryNotSry) from our usual wide variety of overly talented artists! (full roster coming soon!). Expect a mix of traditional celtic covers, some beautiful atmospheric pieces, and, of course, chiptune drinking songs aplenty (I HONESTLY CAN’T BELIEVE THAT HASN’T BEEN DONE ALREADY).
Brandon “President Hoodie” Hood
The album release party starts tonight at 8pm CDT on 8bitX.com with the album dropping shortly thereafter for all your chiptastic drinking shenanigans.
Need some more chiptune music in your life? The Castle In The Darkness OST may have just what you’re looking for. Coinciding with the release of the game on Steam, the Castle In The Darkness OST is out and ready for download on Bandcamp. Like the game itself, the music plays homage to the 8-bit NES era of games. Some of the tracks even manage to sneak in some clever music references/easter eggs to the Castlevania and Final Fantasy series.
The music is written by Matt Kap, who also developed the game. That’s right, he created the game AND wrote the music. You may be familiar with his work as the pixel artist for games like The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. If you’re a fan of classic 8-bit music, this is a new album that you’ll definitely want to check out. Castle In The Darkness is currently available on Steam, and the soundtrack can be found on Matt Kap’s Bandcamp site.
Famed Famicom/NES composer Keiji Yamagishi has a new music project that will be released this year. The Retro-Active Experience is a set of albums which will be coming out in three parts over the course of this year and feature brand new compositions by the composer. Inspired by his earlier work on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, these albums will have an emphasis on chiptune and electronic genres, with a healthy blending of modern instruments.
The first part of this multi-album project is titled Retro-Active Pt. 1. A handful of the tracks on this first album feature collaborations with other composers and musicians like Stemage, of Metroid Metal, and Manami Matsumae, composer of the original Mega Man soundtrack. There will also be a few remix tracks from Takahiro Izutani, Riki Arai, and Smoke Thief included on Part 1.
Retro-Active Pt. 1 is currently available for pre-order on the Brave Wave music site. Pre-ordering the album will get you early access to 4 tracks for download (Tracks 1, 2, 7, and 9). The full album will receive its official release on February 5th. So if some new tunes by one of the great Famicom/NES composers sounds like something up your alley, check out the first entry of this new music project.
Time to switch gears for Know Your MAG and start giving the chiptune performers a bit of love. At MAGFest, rock music great and chiptunes are great, and when you mash them together you go a step beyond. Much like the stylings of fellow performer Danimal Cannon, the duo of Marshall Art take this concept and sprint like hell with it.
Hailing from opposite ends of the globe, the duo of Canadian Jeffrey “jmr” Roberts (host of Open Circuit on Arecibo radio) commanding the soundchips & VRC6 and Russian native Mikhail “streifig” Ivanov (current manager of the Dwelling of Duels) jaming on guitar actually started performing at MAGFest last year during MAG 12. Attendees might remember the pair set up in the hallway corner of the Gaylord Convention Center on the Chipspace stage and throwing out some amazing music for the crowd that gathered around.
Marshall Art have appeared on several compilations in the past few years, including Danse Macabre 2, and will be debuting their self-titled album at MAGFest 13 before they hit the big stage for a full-fledged concert rock-out this year on the big stage, Saturday at 3PM! Check them and all the rest of the MAG bands performing times on the MAGFest Schedule!
Disclaimer: The members of Marshall Art and the author have a casual friendship outside of the MAGFest professional arena.