A Square Meal: 光のチップチューンVS闇のチップチューン 対決コンピレーション2 (Eng)

Versión en español

It’s widely known the human propensity to classify everything. From the very first words we spoke in order to understand the things that surround us, everything seemed to be sentenced to fall into categories. In those early attempts to organize the world, the most primitive instincts led us to divide everything into two groups: the good and the bad. This way we could keep it simple but in order. That precise method to assign an adjective to all human and non-human phenomena conditioned our understanding, making room for mysticism. Soon, incredible tales of heroes and villains started to emerge. The good was associated with the pure, the immaculate, the heroic behavior, being the light the example par excellence. On the contrary, the darkness was always related to the evil, the malevolous, the prohibited.

Using the duality that the previous word salad set out, しのりゅー, who is an avid enthusiast of chiptune, came back for a second round of tunes exploring all the shades that are between the extremes. The result is an amazing compilation that, once again, features a facet of chiptune that, even when it’s commonly referenced in games, still has a lot to offer.

Light Side

Musical architecture is often put aside and simplified as a mere way to give cohesion to a track. However, 流離 shows us how a good development is a must to achieve another level in the awesomeness’ spectrum. The evolution that is established from the beginning is a charming point to look at. The main focus is not just about the rising speed and energy while settling a theme is the fact that doing so has a real purpose: the movement. As the music advances, it guides us through different stages in which the only constant is change. The bright background sparkles a hint of novelty and motion that inspires a non-stop feeling of amazement. ‘Hopeful Journey’ is, as the name indicates, a colorful adventure that puts before our ears how it feels to find something new and exciting. 

Creating music goes far beyond the unalloyed act of putting sounds together. It requires dedication, heart, and guts to face whatever comes from inside of you, line it up, and let it out in the sound form. Is pure catharsis. An splendid example of this is ‘Shooting Stardust’. The clearness and transparency in which MURASAKI expresses their feelings are genius. The contrast between sections lets us glance at the content of the lyrics, even if we don’t understand them. The pleasant arrangement makes the chorus shine with an optimistic aura that enlightens the atmosphere. Thus creates a warm feeling that seems to hug the listener’s soul. Something I’d like to point is the drums. Even when it could seem a little “normal” at a first listen, they have an interesting flavor that pushes the track forward. Regarding the lyrics, my Japanese is not perfect, but the story with a cheering message is something that I enjoyed a lot.

For the ones of you that already know Kabayama’s work, the overflowing energy and overall attention to detail should be as pleasant and surprising as it is for me – for the ones that don’t know his work, I think that ‘あの流れ星と共に’ (Ano nagareboshito tomoni) is a good way to start listening to his music as it features the same quality Kabayama pours into every track he makes. The mellow cadence of the main theme at the beginning makes its way at a slow pace while delicately starts to blend with the vigorous background. The combination of the two energies pulls this piece into a whole new dimension. At times it seems like a nostalgic remembrance of a good memory, it feels longing and sentimental. However, it rapidly recovers its spirit and flows with a majestic smoothness. The brilliant solos add a sprinkle of freedom that stimulates the ambiance. Certainly, this is a memorable track, it speaks with no words.

On this side, we can appreciate the many nuances of light. This millenary concept is more than just the traditional interpretation. Right here, you can also find music by BEEPBOYウラボロシしのりゅーwool pool, and more.

Dark Side

Playful and with good humor, that’s how ‘SH4PESHIFT3R’ makes its appearance. The bouncy melody draws a vibrant soundscape at the time it discharges all the energy in a jazzy display of dynamism. The classic sound of a high-pitched square wave is in charge of driving the listener through a vortex of sensations. The raw sounds turn into a smooth-running machine connecting power-ups with each note. Is difficult to not pay attention to this track. The little arpeggios and the strong rhythmical swing put the audience in a spacy trance that can’t be broken. There’s no doubt that isonosuke made a stimulating piece.

Working with limited resources strengthens the narrative power and urges creativity to beat the constraints. ‘Event HorizoN’ is a masterpiece in four channels. The prominent dark feeling is breathtaking. The sharp melodies set a slightly disturbing mood that is perfectly accompanied by the harmony, while minor-tone-harps with a strong bass line make for a delightful rendition of the direst. This piece captures the boldness and poise of a warrior resolute to win a battle, no matter the means. 飴さん makes a great job administrating the available assets– the use of various waveforms adds color and depth at the time it generates fluctuation in the global perception of the music. This is a complete and round piece of music.

I usually don’t resume music in one word, but ‘the zodiac walker’ by NASA brings a term to my head: stunning. This is not just for the zesty character of the song nor the remarkable and faultless technique but for the striking combination of both. The frenetic beat generates an explosion of adrenaline and excitement feeding an inextricable impulse for more. As the listener delves into the piece, is undeniable the balance that is found in this song – since its quality doesn’t fall into the simple virtuosity, the emotional charge and palpable furor that it’s intrinsically attached to it make a delectable amalgam. The ups and downs of this track (like the distortion and dubstep-ish breaks) make a place for it on my top from this compilation.

This side is filled with pieces that break the stereotype and offer a new and stimulating perspective on this theme. Going from the classic RPG-like songs to the most obscure chiptune. On this side, we can find music by scytheM/S2PcolorHIMAGO, and many more.

Once again, community efforts like this make my heart rejoice. The quality of the large projects organized by しのりゅー is not indisputable, it keeps raising the bar with each installment. In this particular case, the conjunction of light and dark lets us glimpse all the shadows and duskiness that are in-between. Is the personal vision of every featured artist which enriches the material and lets us, the spectator, know that there’s more in light and darkness than we thought. Massive thank to しのりゅー for making this album possible and supporting his local scene. If it’s in your possibilities, please consider supporting him and/or your favorite artist from this compilation.
It’s good to be back, see you soon!

novtos: Bandcamp
しのりゅー: Twitter | Soundcloud

流離: Twitter | Soundcloud
MURASAKI: Twitter | Youtube
蒲山(Kabayama): Twitter | Soundcloud

isonosuke: Twitter | Soundcloud
飴さん: Twitter 
NASA: Twitter | Soundcloud

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