The past couple of months have been pretty good for the Chiptune/VGM scene. Lots of good releases, MAGCassic happened, 8Static announced more of their lineup. Since I’ve been quiet as of late since my work schedule has been screwed up and other life events, I figured I would gather up some recent news in one swift post to get you (me) caught up.
First, Italian producer RobKTA released his new EP ‘Ridge Racer Forever’ on Gamechops at the end of August. This album features six tracks remixing songs from different Ridge Racer games of past with Rob’s funky house touch. While these games already had great soundtracks, Rob’s re-envisioning of some of these classics makes for great driving music. Head on over to the Gamechops page and pick this one up. For a few bucks extra, you can pick up the OUTRax EP, which features remixes from another popular arcade racer, OutRun.
At the same time this was coming out, Philly chiptuner Ap0c released a full length titled ‘Listencore Vol. 1’. In what I can best describe as a chiptune movie soundtrack, Ap0c composed 7 tracks and some B-Sides (and a C-side) that are dynamic and engrossing. This album requires multiple listens as you are sure to hear new layers to each song after each playthrough. Ap0c is taking chiptune to a higher level here, not just using bloops and bleeps to make bouncy dance tunes, he is making complex melodies and surely pushing the limitations of the software he is using. You can pick it up here.
If you remember a few years back, a large group compilation entitles ‘A Spectrum of Mana’ was released. Spanning 3 discs, this album celebrated the soundtrack of a cult-classic game, Secret of Man. Well, that team is back and this time they are doing it even bigger. ‘Chronicles of Time’ is going to be a 5 disc – yes five – album comprised of music and art celebrating Chrono Triggers 20th anniversary. Estimated release date is Dec. 2015 so to hold you over they put together ‘Chronicles of Time: A Premonition’ featuring 13 tracks from bands like Mega Beardo, Eight Bit Disaster, Marshall Art and more. As you can see just from that sentence, this album will feature a wide variety of musical styles. You can head over to the bandcamp page for the preview album and pick it up. You will not be disappointed.
September has also been pretty good far. Sept 11-13 held the second iteration of MAGFest 8.5, dubbed MAGClassic, in Alexandria VA. This event was a throwback to MAG days of old. Smaller capacity (approx 2000 people) and smaller, more intimate settings replaced the large stage and huge dealer room. But don’t mistake smaller for lesser. Concert hall was still bumping with great music by acts like Chipocrite, Professor Shyguy, Super Guitar Bros, and James Landino. Panels featuring Super Art Fight, the DC Stunt Coalition, and Brentalfloss packed people into seats. And of course, what is MAGFest without the console room/arcade? Full Rock Band setup, Smash Bros on the projector, DDR machines, and every console you’ve had the pleasure of playing ready for you, any time of day. This served as a great chance for me to introduce to some new blood to the MAGFest crowd without the risk of overwhelming them with the huge scale the MAGPrime has. And it worked, by the way. They are more stoked than ever for February.
Finally, the crew for 8Static Fest recently announced the lineup for their show in October. This show is shaping up to be a real banger with performances from Mega Ran, Trey Frey, Cheap Dinosaurs and many more. Head on over to their site for all the pertinent details. This looks like one you do not want to miss.
I hope not to be so long without an update next time. But remember you can follow us on Twitter @8BitX, you can follow me on twitter @NerDad_Plays, as well as follow us on Twitch for music, news, and updates. Be sure to keep an eye on here as well. I feel I will have some more exciting updates coming your way real soon.
Until Next Time…