Without question, SQ Chips was a success for Square Enix. Fans loved it, critics loved it, and it apparently sold well enough in Japan and worldwide to not only do a sequel album, but to also dig deep in the chiptunes scene and create separate chip-arrange albums for Final Fantasy VII through XI.
I’ve probably said this in other reviews, and I’ll say it in this one as well: if you’re going to milk a franchise, and/or you’re going to milk an arrangement style for your franchises, it’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as it’s done right! Look at Falcom, after all. The Ys series took on a life of its own in the world of music; Falcom rewarded eager listeners, and in turn, Falcom was rewarded for providing high-quality music. Win-win, right?
So, is SQ Chips 2 following in the convention of “win-win,” or do we have a series of phoned-in arrangements to try and hop on a burgeoning fad (the chiptunes scene)? I’ll “give it to you straight” after the jump. (more…)
It’s always a good time when Ubiktune sends a bit of news our way, and today is no different. Continuing their amazing year of releases, The last few weeks have seen two new albums released on the label, sure to peak the interest of chiptune lovers of all types and stripes.
Reflections of a Dancing Leaf by fluidvolt is an album based on Claude Debussy, celebrating his 150th birthday. The album is a tribute to the composer using the hardware of SNES, N64, NES and even uses 1bit sounds to demonstrate the greatness of grand compositions using the most restricted of electronic sounds.
Rhythm’n'Bits is a tribute album dedicated to the video game soundtracks that had a big impact on the artist, Yoann Turpin, as a child. The result is pure melodic bliss, inspired by the RPGs from the 90′s as well as Sega Mega Drive and Super NES games, blended with a good bit of funk to create a truly unique album atmosphere. With this album, Yoann has managed to make one of the best chiptune albums of the year, and it’s creative and original take with so many familiar sounds and themes makes it a must hear of the year.
Reflections of a Dancing Leaf and Rhythm’n'Bits are available at Ubiktune right now. Rhythm’n'Bits can also be purchased on iTunes for $9.99.
So far, it seems that the new arranged album XI Chips -Final Fantasy XI Chiptune- (catalog # SQEX-10320) is available only through Square Enix Music’s e-Store. Some online retailers, like CDJapan, are offering it as a special order, with a marked-up price to boot.
I don’t know if S-E is waiting for, like, the North American 10th anniversary of FFXI to release this album on iTunes, or if they don’t realize what a gem they have in their hand.
After the jump, I’ll talk about this internal rival with the “SQ Chips” albums, and why I think it might be the unlikely winner of my heart. (more…)
Eirik Suhrke might not be a name that rolls off the tongue, but for many years, this young man has been a central part to the chiptune community. In his early teens, Suhrke traversed the internet as Phlogiston, one of the brightest new minds in the chiptune scene. His style was indescribable, his passion undeniable, and his dedication unmatched, within just a few years, Suhrke had been one of the youngest to receive a release on 8bitpeoples, launched his own successful chiptune/video game soundtrack label service and performed live at Blipfest.
Today, he has taken the proper step into video game music, responsible for the music in Derek Yu’s smash hit Spelunky XBLA. So it is for that reason that we took the time to catch up with an old friend, and talk about his rise to fame, and his current projects.
Check out the interview after the jump (more…)
But the official follow-up to “The Best Music” was their November 2011 release “Beautiful Lifestyle.” How does it compare to their debut? How does it compare to the rest of the awesome chip music out there?
After the jump, do the finger waggle with us. We’re going in-depth on this sophomore release. (more…)
Rich “Disasterpeace” Vreeland is a powerhouse and a true workhorse of a composer. As revealed on his vgmdb artist page, he manages to release four or more albums a year, an eclectic mix of original works and game soundtracks.
In 2011, two of his original works were “Rise of the Obsidian Interstellar” and “Deorbit.” The former is available on bandcamp for a $1 minimum (suggested price $5, or $10 for the CD version), and the latter is in the same state, though no CD version is offered (perhaps because it is a shorter work). “Deorbit” is something of a follow-up album to “Rise of the Obsidian Interstellar” as it has unreleased tracks originally planned for that album, though it is also a “catch-all” album in that it has other previously-unreleased tunes included.
There’s this totally awesome three-man sound team from the UK that we at OSV have neglected to talk about as much as we ought. They’ve done a fair beat of music in the last three years, and I suspect they’ll only get better with time.
Of course, I’m talking about HyperDuck SoundWorks. I really appreciate the work they’ve done, especially the ridiculously good soundtrack for A.R.E.S: Extinction Agenda (which was actually featured in the first GMB). Someday I’ll review that album, because I adore it.
But today, we’re here to talk about a much smaller soundtrack they first released in April 2011 and is presently being featured in the Indie Game Music Bundle 3. That soundtrack is for The Blocks Cometh. But now, Chris et al, be forewarned! Judgment upon your music cometh! After the jump, that is. (more…)
When Ubiktune published PROTODOME’s album BLUESCREEN (a follow-up to BLUENOISE) on Christmas Day 2011, I nearly peed my pants. Not because I knew or understood the pedigree of the composer, but because it had ridiculously cool artwork and the first few tracks hooked me on first listen.
In fact, I think I intended to write about it around the time of its release. But then, holiday break, family events, and then MAGFest… and hey, after MAGFest, any organization or structure left in your life must fall apart. It’s a law. MAGFest law.
But now, BLUESCREEN is one of the albums released in the Indie Game Music Bundle 3, so that’s all the more reason to talk about it. Without further ado, here we go (post-jump). (more…)
This past week was blessed with the release of an brand new original digital album by Samuel “Shnabubula” Ascher-Weiss with the debut of Starbound. After wowing us with his last game-tribute release NES Jams back in March, it seems Mr. ‘bubula has been busy whipping up some awesome freshness for the rest of us to enjoy in awe. And I do very much mean AWE.
Featuring electronic funk and fun progressive chiptune beats, Starbound is every bit shooting for the stars as it alludes to. Although only boasting 5 tracks, this 42-minute album manages to give you real a sense of piloting a flying spaceship in full 8-bit glory whilst blasting away and brightly-colored obstacles. Intense melody and electronic mastery awaits you with this release that, should you know any of Ascher-Weiss’s previous works, shall not disappoint in the least.
Officially released on Ubiktune and available for download at the beyond-reasonable “Name Your Price” format on Shnabubula’s own Bandcamp page, Starbound is well worth immersing yourself in a spacial world of total musical grandeur.
Earlier this month, the boys who put together the soundtrack for the open-world, 8-bit adventure that is VBlank Entertainment’s Retro City Rampage were interviewed about their involvement in the project (and maybe a bit more personal information than most readers were prepared for). Regardless, the dynamic trio of Jake “Virt” Kaufman, Matthew “Norrin Radd” Creamer and Leonard “FreakyDNA” Paul expressed just what inspired them to create the funky beats of the parody game.
However, now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of what makes the music of the game as fun and colorful as the artists themselves. Check under the cut for the funky beats and delightful dissection of Retro City Rampage.