I’ve always been on the fence about pairing Flylo’s layered snares, shuffling percussion and heady madness with any MC, but I do love to be wrong. Blu’s monotone drive fits well up against the controlled chaos of both the track and kinetic clip.
The most popular of all Frank Zappa songs has been given the chiptune treatment and well, it works. I don’t honestly know if I’d ever thought of an 8-bit cover of anything Zappa, but the bouncy melodies work perfectly. Credit is given to Super Zappa Brothers and bonus points for their resisting an easy Princess Peach pun.
Remix Artist Collective have built a pretty excellent portfolio of high profile remixes of bands like U2 and Yeah Yeah Yeahs as well some great left field stuff like Anamanaguchi. They’ve got a particular polish to their sound that I love. A RAC remix often takes rock songs outside their genre into a slick, beat driven style. Recently they tackled ‘Wait Up (Boots of Danger)’, a track from Tokyo Police Club’s awesome release Champ, which has grown to be one of my favorites of the year.
TPC released video for the original version of the song, which focuses less on the band and more on a rather ragtag bunch of dogs charging about the neighborhood and sneaking into a backyard pool. What better than the marriage of dogs and indie rock? By purchasing the single through the band’s website for a price of either $1, $5 or $10 you get the video, remixes by RAC and DOM and 100% of your money goes to the ASPCA. Get a videos of dogs jumping into a pool, good music and help save future dogs. Win-win…er, win.
RAC have allowed you to stream their great remix, so check it out:
Gone are the guitars and live drums, replaced with some electro synths and a head-nodding beat. The new sun drenched, almost tropical feel is something I never could have possibly conceived of working, but like with most RAC remixes…they manage to make magic.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their RAC’s Nintendo vs. Sega remixes. Their version of the Super Mario theme is amazing enough, slapped with a sick Justice style compressed beat and some squiggly synths.
Hell, I’m listening to all the tracks as I write and remembering how fucking fantastic they are. You can download the whole EP via the player above. Sonic’s level music was always far funkier than was probably appropriate for a hedgehog. A perfect example: this shockingly good Lady GaGa vs. Sonic mashup. (download link on the youtube page)
And that’s how you abstractly connect Tokyo Police Club to Lady GaGa.
It’s said in the about page of this website that chiptunes is one of the genres to be talked about within these virtual pages. Sadly, I think it’s been about 2 years since any such mutterings have happened. To rectify that, I went poking around the recesses of my mp3 collection and found a lovely little fraction of a cover of The Beach Boys’ ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ by Anamanaguchi. Though only about 30 seconds, it’s a pitch perfect chiptune rendition of a radio staple. If you do a little research on the band, you’ll see that their love of Brian Wilson & Co. is much publicized.
ANAMANAGUCHI – WOULDN’T IT BE NICE (BEACH BOYS COVER)
Though barely a full cover, I think that’s how it got released ages ago. The band’s 8bit Collective page back in 2005, but the mp3 has been lost in the stratosphere. I’m pretty certain this is where I grabbed it from back in the day. More recently, they posted up a cover of a track by sunshine and bong-hits So Cal noise punks Wavves track ‘So Bored’. Their rendition keeps the forward propulsion and adds the chiptune sheen that is a trademark of all their songs. Definitely recommended.
ANAMANAGUCHI – SO BORED (WAVVES COVER)
Anamanaguchi is also in the habit of giving bits of their music away to the fans. You can find the above track and a bunch more over at their 8bit Collective page.
This summer, the band has also gotten together a free singles program. Every two weeks they’ve been releasing a new free A & B side download. They’re off recording their next album, but awesomely finding the time to release tidbits of interstellar chip-rock to brighten our summer. Each single comes with original art and the psychokinetic gif above (from the first week’s single Airbrushed) features the work of Paul Roberston.
Robertson is an amazing animator and illustrator who specializes in the 16-bit retro style. Some of his amazing early shorts include Kings of Power 4billion% and my favorite Pirate Baby’s Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006. Go watch the shit out of those before even finishing this post. Most recently, Robertson was lead animator on theon the PSN/XBOX Live game adaptation of the (should have been a hit) film Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. He was even nice enough to release some sprites from the game on his blog.
In possibly one of the best pairings since peanut butter and bacon, the game was scored by Anamanaguchi. Though they’re tossing about the word ‘flop’ in regards to the movie, reception of the game has been exceptionally positive and the score is a big part of that.
The Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World video game soundtrack was released on August 24, 2010 via ABKCO Records. You can purchase it digitally from iTunes.
My brain is still pretty blown from a 16 hour solo drive, so all the plans I had for posts last week just kinda fell by the wayside. Much of my listening lately has consisted of Anthony Bourdain’s new audiobook Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, so the musical selections have taken a backseat. I can definitely recommend Medium Raw as it’s probably his best. For a man who was one thing in the past attempting to co-exist with an older, dare I say it mellower current self; it’s a smartly self-aware narrative, still bristling with the rage that is a staple of all eras of his persona. Enough about audiobooks, here’s some music:
I was terribly skeptical of this album with all the press that proceeded Ariel Pink’s newest release, but it’s a twisted charmer. ‘Reminiscences’ will most likely be what you will listen to on the not-yet-built space elevator up to the Frank Zappa memorial that will orbit the moon. Or, maybe…during the local forecasts on the Weather Channel in 20XX.
A man can dream, can’t he?
I already gave him a write-up just over a month ago, but this one track seems to just stick out the more I revisit Hooooded Plus*. A multitude of cascading synths, headnodding electro beatsand cooing, halfway there vocals…what more do you need?
He gives his album away for free. You’ve got few excuses as to why it’s not on your HD already.
While not new by any standards, Daedelus’s ‘Make It So’ is still a fantastic song by an equally good performer. The track is is a perfect example of the casual, beat heavy beauty that he seems to produce so consistently. I had the chance to catch him ages ago at LA’s best weekly event Low End Theory and he performed, as per usual, in a charmingly odd suit with his Monome pointed out toward the crowd for an extended mix of beat stylings from the last 3 decades. His live sets are always worth the price of admission.
Also worth checking out is the XXXChange remix of ‘Make It So’ hosted over at RCRDLBL:
The syrupy thick layers of sound in any given Candy Claws song seems to leave them dumped with a ton of bands buried under the banner of the new and quickly reviled genre de jour that is Chillwave. There’s something more in their work in their music though; the lush vocal pairings of couple Ryan Hover and Kay Bertholf flow perfectly with an shockingly well mixed array of sounds. While I think much of the Chillwave genre arrives at the muddy and distant sound out of organized chaos, everything on ‘Sun Arrows’ seems to be aligned perfectly…as Candy Claws most likely wants it.
A highly recommended song and album. Do check out the just released album Hidden Lands:
I’ve had a ton of shit floating around on my HD that just hasn’t made it up to the site…tracks just nabbed from random websites that I mostly swooped off the shelf blind and have been digesting for a while now. Here’s a few from that batch:
Given that it’s so soaked in a summery warm haze of reverb, it’s a pretty easy sell for me. Wild Nothing dips into a fair number of influences to make something contentedly charming that feels like a second cousin to the Cocteau Twins. The subdued cavernous vocals and plucked strings nestled into a clatter of backbeat create something discordantly beautiful.
Even if for some reason the dude’s squeaky pangender vocals alway make me think of Silversun Pickups and the opening bass line feels nicked from ‘My Sherona’, I still enjoy the hell out of this track. It’s a simple, lo-fi jam poured out with a kind of fresh effortlessness that charms. Clocking in at 2 minutes, it’s the kind of tune that is over before you’re bothered by any single element.
Off their forthcoming release Night Work…it’s not in line with what I usually listen to, but this is the perfect example of how a great hook can change something from generic to worth of repeat. Bonus points for getting Ian McKellen in to do contribute some spoken word. I hope to be guesting on tracks when I’m 71.
I’ve posted before about these guys, so I don’t feel the need to on about them too much. That said, this single is something I can contentedly leave on repeat for a while. As with earlier TPC, the core elements are simple which for them is less a detriment and more part of their charm. The layers gel quite wonderfully and are accompanied with the usual lyrics that deal with old friends and lost memories. The whole album is solid, but this is a standout track.
A killer, midtempo chiptune stomper grabbed from the Ministry of Sound blog. They released the song in honor of his signing to the label a few months ago. Unicorn Kid seems to have snagged a lot of high profile slots in recent years – opening for Pet Shop Boys, Owl City & remixing The Gorillaz – something especially awesome considering he’s a chiptune artist. (The previous sentence is in no way an endorsement of Owl City)
I’m not even sure where this one came from, but as mash-ups go, it’s a pretty bizarre pairing that works like magic. Chopped up vocals from Jonsi and a chill minimal beat paired with some Mobb Deep verses come together in an unexpectedly satisfying way. Emancipator is a clever clever man.