While overshadowed by the neon-and-nightlife of New Wave pop music, Chiptunes cover much of the same ground without leaving the living room. Arcade game sounds were common sample fodder for early Electro records, with artists such as Yellow Magic Orchestra and Warp's Sweet Exorcist utilizing these cutting-edge bleeps and bloops in their genre-defining (and defying) compositions. Video game-related and inspired music exploded in popularity in the post-Youtube era, becoming a shared musical dialect for nerds the world over. Shovel Knight is an NES-style side-scroller with a suitably retro score developed (and crowdfunded) by adherents to a bygone era. Written with the same hardware limitations had the game been made decades ago, these short compositions are referential and quirky without being redundant or grating. Original Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae (aka Chanchocorin) contributes to several tracks, demonstrating her expertise with 8 bit arpeggios and that wild NES noise filter on several standout tracks. This record sold out of its first pressing in 2017, but was reissued in early 2019. It is pressed on 'armor blue' opaque vinyl and includes a 12x12 booklet with in-depth interviews with the composers.
- 'armor blue' opaque colored vinyl
- double vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve
- includes 12x12 booklet with liner notes by Bob Mackey and interviews with Manami Matsumae, Jake Kaufman, and Hiroshi Ariga.
- music label: Brave Wave 2017
reviewed by GUTS MAN 05/2019