Album Review

MicroD – Prime (self released, 2011)


MicroDPrime Part IV (self released)

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I’ve sort of stopped paying attention to straight up 8 bit music lately. No fault of its own, I just have gotten a little disinterested. It needs an extra hook or something for me to give it a chance. Not a gimmick, just a theme or a variation on the sound. MicroD’s got that shit taken care of. His chiptunes are 100% Game Boy goodness but to spice things up he gave himself some constraints, working with prime numbers. Math + chiptunes = fuck yes I’m listening. He’s got “Prime” parts I-IV and he composed each one in a different prime time signature, starting with 3/4 and working up to 11/4 time. The artwork is based around primes (location of orange) and some of the tracks have prime beats per minute. Dude knows his primes. Plus there’s a song called “Fist.bmp.” Brilliant! Add all that fun up with the catchy as fuck super solid 8 bit housewarmers and you’ve struck gold. The real kicker is you can grab Prime in all it’s digital sexiness for free (if you want) or you can cop the limited analog for a mere $5. The power is yours!

Album Review

Twink – Itsy Bits & Bubbles (Twink Tones, 2012)


TwinkTumble Bunny (Twink Tones)

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It might be hard to break the barrier on this one. A band named Twink with a record called Itsy Bits & Bubbles and album art like that? Everything about this screams that it’s for kids. And here’s the kicker, it’s primarily made with toy instruments. Now, before you get all Judge Judgmental on me, let me remind you that Self’s Gizmodgery was made with toys (“Trunk Fulla Amps” anyone?) and then there’s the fact that Twink really knows what the fuck he’s doing. This is high quality toy pop with quirks, charm, and hooks galore. It’s like if Amiina and The Books had a kid who grew up to worship Dan Deacon and was best friends with a sedated Foxdye. Toy instruments are just the beginning, Twink will open up any toy that has a fuck-withable circuit and make it do his bidding, 8 bit rainbows looping in danceable harmony, and wobbly dubstep leaking into the strangest places. Plus, there’s an “Axel F” cover and he’s from Lowell! If this shit doesn’t put a little joy in your heart, maybe it’s time to give up because you’re just too far gone.

Album Review

My Brother Daniel – Ponky (Just Not Normal, 2011)


My Brother DanielFat Bird

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This dude? LOVE this dude. My Brother Daniel is Radio Scotvoid (also half of Small Radio), a Scot who moved to the forever under appreciated Salem, MA and it seems like his sole purpose for doing so was to make this town as awesome as possible. He’s been putting together amazing chiptune shows and spinnin regularly at the Gulu, did a stint at the local university radio station WMWM, and somehow has time to make ridiculously killer electronic records. FOR FREE.

My Brother Daniel originally had it’s roots in “surreal jazz/funk, ambient/acid house and DIY/Bent recording stylings” and was only ever a live project. That is, until Ponky. This album sounds to me more like a blown out chiptune noise fuck than anything else. It’s unbelievably amazing. It reminds me of NHK’s Special earlier this year (which I literally want to make babies with), with similar scratchy anti-beats and a hard on for melting genres. My Brother Daniel is especially apt at turning your traditional 8-bits into something infinitely more interesting while tossing in harsh noise, party pumping techno beats, and wonky skweee funk.

Ponky is kinda hard to peg just for this reason. You can only put this on your “Get Ready To Ignite” playlist if your pals are of similar ilk and are into the whole stuttery noise dance thing. Your electronic noise heads might be turned off by the fact that this actually has some hard hitting grooves and presses your hipster lo-fi electro buttons. So if you’re finding a lack of people to enjoy Ponky with, you can either blast this fucker all by your lonesome or come by my place and we’ll use it as our soundtrack to killin Contra aliens.

This comes out next month on Just Not Normal, a Dutch netlabel, so it’ll be available for free then. I’m not gonna be a dick and steal their thunder by lettin y’all download it now, just make sure your keep a sharp eye on their or Scotvoid’s site so you can revel in the gritty brilliance of Ponky asap.