Wednesday, 10 September 2014

TWG021| Spaceman Fantastiques - C.O.M.P.A.S.S

Nearly three years in the making, TWG is overly estatic to finally be bringing this huge album by Spaceman Fantastiques to you as part of our final string of releases.

Almost instantenously it's clear the long writing and recording progress was not wasted; full band progressive rock with math rock tinges flood over 'SW', hauntingly pretty electronic interludes like 'WSW' act as tonal poems, and tracks like the multi-movement 'N' rock through a plethora of ideas with the ease of a compositional wizard, emotional and breathtaking simultaneously. 

Whilst lodged almost in sweeping progressive rock grandoise, 'C.O.M.P.A.S.S' ducks and dives between hundreds of influences, hitting each with intent and reasoning, a patchwork of complex but reasoned diversity that, when pulled back from, reveals a deep and diverse tapestry of music. Quite possibly one of the largest, in both scope and ambition, releases the scene will have seen in years, and certainly the biggest to ever be hosted here on TWG. From the piano, choral voices and pulsing bass medley of 'NE', through the noise-laden and immedate 'SE' and the squealing-solos-into-restrained-crawl of 'W', the journey within 'C.O.M.P.A.S.S' is laden with incredible moments.

Grab the release here.

Monday, 18 August 2014

TWG020| Whitely - सन लाइफ मौत

TWG has always prided itself in its genre diversity. With the fourth in our line of final releases, Whitely brings us what is easily his most surprising and one of his best realised pieces yet. Indian influenced ambient music, with ethereal vocals provided by Whitely himself, thick in atmosphere, emotion and tension. 

There is not much else that can be said about this release, other than it's Whitely as you've never heard him before, a listening experience that is an experience as much as it is a journey, and that we're incredibly proud to have this here on TWG. Not necessarily chiptune, but incredible all the same. 
Chiptune is dead anyway, right?

Grab the release here.

01. गर्मी
02. केवल सूर्य हमें एकजुट कर सकते हैं
03. भूत (किया)

Thursday, 14 August 2014

TWG019| HODSON - Colours That Glow In The Dark

Number three of the finals sees the release debut of 'Manchester's Top Geeza' HODSON, of ex-Skin Walker fame, flexing his musical muscles under the weight of this titanic mixture of spoken word, dnb, glitch and trip hop. 

Dispelling specific genre focus in favour of atmospheric and tonal meanderings, HODSON's five track effort covers aeons of ground, self-regarded in genre terms by HODSON himself as one only named 'Particular'. Using chiptune as just one of several instruments, only adding further colour to the rich patchwork of influences on show, HODSON also adds sampled vocals and his own spoken word to weigh down tracks with an emotional vibrancy not seen often within the scene. From the delicate duality of guitar tones and big beat-esque drums in 'Pink & Blue', to the thick, suffocated dnb in 'Somewhere Down In The West' or the throbbing almost acidic bass in 'Out To Pasture', Colours That Glow In The Dark is as surprising as it is diverse, and another welcome addition to the TWG roster that we are estatic to be bringing to you.

Grab the release here.

01. Like Chalk To Slate
02. Out To Pasture
03. Pink & Blue
04. Adam Gnade - The Winter / Their Apartment (HODSON Bootleg)
05. Somewhere Down In The West

Monday, 11 August 2014

TWG018| Vince Kaichan - Yolanda

The second of our farewell releases comes in the form of a 4 track ep from chiptune's most underrated chipjazz composer, the best Ubik artist not currently on Ubik. 

Yolanda sees Vince delve into new territories, bringing to his already diverse sound a tropical and latin flare. Whilst chiptune progjazz can be accused of somtimes sounding similar, Vince's application of different styles, from the samba breakdown of 'Novaton' to the beach-laden melodies of 'Viverra', leaves his music sounding distinct, varied, and fresh. With compositional skill well beyond his years, Yolanda is a burst of 4 incredibly well constructed tracks, each packing many divergent and complimentary ideas into a relatively short running time whilst never giving up emotional content in preference of compositional complexity.

It gives us great pleasure to be able to release something from this  unique and rising talent before our closure, especially a release that is as intricate as it is emotionally delicate. 

Grab the release here.

01. Yolanda
02. Viverra
03. Novaton
04. Omiero

Friday, 8 August 2014

TWG017| aviel - gorilla_tears ep

The first in our final splurge of releases comes in the form of a label debut for LPGT Hip-Hop / R&B producer aviel brown, giving us a tight 5 track EP that seeps emotion in tomes. 

From the opening, tear-inspiring tones of 'sony' (be careful with this song, if you're  looking at anyone whilst it plays it's likely sony's melody will make you fall in love with them), gorrila_tears rolls like liquid from speakers, a soppy emotional mesh of sampled voices, Holy Konni-esque tones and tears. From the jazzy groove and ballad tones of 'sleep_well' to the almost orchestally infulenced throes of passion seen in the title track, gorrila_tears is immensely well crafted throughout.

Mixing jazz, hip-hop and R&B in equal measures, aviel sounds both recognizable and totally unique simultaneously. Fitting into TWG's remit of emotional esotericism, making this a release we're incredibly excited to be setting off our countdown to closing. And if it's the last thing we do, aviel brown will be realised for what he is: a fucking musical genius who can push out more emotion then most.

Grab the release here.

01. sony
02. sleep_well
03. ...(  -._ - )...
04. rosemary
05. gorilla_tears
06. sony (ancient gods version) [Bonus Track]

All songs mastered by Jesse Martin 
Cover art written by Victor Arce

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Guest Review| Auxcide - Omnia

With Andrew Kilpatrick gallivanting across Europe, Bertrand Guérin-Williams has stepped up to review the upcoming double album release by Auxcide (the first part of which comes out later today). Taking the position flawlessly, TWG are very grateful and excited to introduce our first guest review (in what will hopefully be a long line!)
Auxcide has been busy since December. For Omnia, his latest release, he’s written two albums’ worth of fairly consistent material acting as a soundtrack for a fictional video game. Within, Bryan Dobbins, aka Auxcide, throws his hat in the already overflowing chip/VGM ring with as much flair as he can muster.
The clear focus on thematic melodies, leitmotifs, and a healthy dosage of grandeur lends itself to this album’s structure due to its positioning as a soundtrack. As with past releases, Auxcide utilizes a narrative-grouping structure to order tracks. For instance, the smooth transitions between the first three and last two tracks allow for some awe-inspiring moments in the songs they lead into. The sweeping, introductory duo of 'Past Beginnings' and 'The Not So Distant Memory' crash into the bass and percussion hits of 'Deep Space Drifting' to create a powerful opener. It works as a reminder that, though Omnia is a 'soundtrack,' Auxcide is still writing the music with all the typically lavish trappings his style usually employs. 'Starship Nova' and follow-up 'Horizon Line' both exemplify this; they’re thematically tied to the songs around them, but retain the danceable-yet-intense nature of Auxcide's previous work. The rhythms and memorable solos draw the listener in; most notable are the slow, steady melodies in 'Spectrum' that soar above pulsating backgrounds or the searing main synth that counterbalance the cathartic rise and fall of chords in 'Omnia' in hypnotic fashion.
Omnia's striking melodies show Auxcide's progress from his previous double release SPECK/PIXEL, and EP [Dimensions]. Whereas his original songs there sounded relatively similar, many on Omnia have distinct melodic and stylistic differences. Nowhere is this contrast more obvious than in the format change between discs. For the first disc, Dobbins uses three copies of LSDJ on GBA SPs MIDI-synced with synths, a drum machine, and an effects pad. However, the second disc brings the power of LSDJ and his composition skills to the fore. Stripping out the synths in Gameboy-only tracks on the second disc like “Horizon Line” show off effective use of LSDJ’s limited track economy and the wide variety of textures and sounds he can pull out of LSDJ.
The frenzied nature of his music has drawbacks, though. Like SPECK and PIXEL, after listening to this album for a while, the distorted sounds Dobbins often uses begin to grate. While he does allow respite in songs like 'Nihil,' the abrasive noise and WAV channel instruments characteristic of his sound, doubled with the album length, eventually wear. So too does the somewhat repetitive nature of his sound; reliance on danceable, recursive styles in rhythms and thematic 16th-note arpeggios becomes glaringly apparent after a while. Since this is a faux-soundtrack, similarities between some songs are inevitable, but the fact that Dobbins isn’t more eclectic with his track listing is becoming a trend following the release of two double albums in a row.
This problem is particularly evident in his choice to leave in the middling song 'Second Strike'. The song is short enough to be inoffensive, but it doesn’t fit in the album's context, and is especially out of place being surrounded by 'Horizon Line' and 'Nihil', two songs that follow the echoic, vast themes seen in almost every other song on this album. 'Star-Crossed Stars' is another questionable inclusion. The intro and bridge —though reminiscent of older VGM’s simplicity—don’t follow the trend of the rest of Omnia which is built on taking old VGM tropes and fusing them with modern dance conventions.
Omnia moves away from these problems by experimenting with comparatively unique sounds. 'Heavy Cannons' takes a deeper stab at hardcore and progressive trance styles briefly flirted with on SPECK's 'Varia'. While the emotive intro mimics piano, the bulk of the song churns and roars like an army en route. In contrast, the 80s sci-fi noir, Infinity Shred style of 'Starship Nova (Infinity Mix)' is an example of where Auxcide could go next. Though not the album's best, it's an interesting filter to hear Auxcide's typically chaotic style through.
Auxcide does alleviate some of the repetition within songs with solos during and melodic breakdowns between “looped” sections. Overall, however, Omnia sometimes falls into the same traps as his previous releases, becoming repetitive over time. Don’t let the negatives scare you away, though: a clearer focus on memorable, melodic songs and the interesting new directions dabbled with carry this release. Everyone will find more of what makes Auxcide great, and VGM composers should take note of Omnia as a varied and unique approach to the field.

Favourite track: Heavy Cannons
Grab part one of the release here.

Monday, 7 July 2014

TWG016| sleepytimejesse - ~ ̱o̅ p̬ ̔e n ̓e͒ d`͍ ͔̘᷊̙̉̍᷃͢

TWG turns two today! And to celebrate, sleepytimejesse has offered up a highly emotional, broken ambient release teeming with atmosphere, dread and serenity. 

Sounding almost like soundtrack to a giallo film crossed with a haunted tape deck, Goblin via Trent Reznor, sleepytimejesse carves out an 18 minute cascade sounding more like tonal poetry than anything else in the chiptune scene today. This release also does a good job of summarising TWG's long-held mission statement: esoteric music full of emotion, the experimental and the affective glued together. 

It's hard to describe a piece of work that is as much felt as it is heard, so instead, celebrate our anniversary with us by turning off the lights and the music up: it's definitely a journey worth taking. PS, your computer screen isn't broken. 

Grab the release here.

1:̵͇̬͕̗᷈ͫ̊ͮͬ̽̚͡ ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ̵͇̬͕̗᷈ͫ̊ͮͬ̽̚͡ ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ
2:̢͊̽͏̝̑͠ ͍̤͇͇̅̂̈́ ̖̅ͬ̿͘͜͝ ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ
3:̡̗͚̙̤ͭ͆͂͐̇̽͂̓͞ ͉͙͆̾᷄̕͘ ̵͇̬͕̗᷈ͫ̊ͮͬ̽̚͡ ̧͚᷿̇̈́̈́ͦ̃ͯ͝͠ ̥͑ͥ̃ͯ͠ͅ ̴̟̲̓ͦͦ͂ ͉͙͆̾᷄̕͘ ̗͚ͭ͆͂͐͞ ̴̟̲̓ͦͦ͂ ͖̟̓
4:̧͚᷿̇̈́̈́ͦ̃ͯ͝͠ ̖̬͙̅ͬ̿̎̏̆͘͜͜͟͝ ̰̱̞̖̔ͩ̏ ̘̯̣̂͛͘͜ ̞͊͆᷉͗̍͡ ̭̹͛ͥ̓᷃̚ ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ
5:̞͊͆᷉͗̍͡ ̧͚᷿̇̈́̈́ͦ̃ͯ͝͠ ̖̬͙̅ͬ̿̎̏̆͘͜͜͟͝ ̡͔̘᷊̙̤̉̍᷃̇̽͂̓͢  ̖̬͙̅ͬ̿̎̏̆͘͜͜͟͝ ̯͔͔̉ͣ̚͠
6:̖̬͙̅ͬ̿̎̏̆͘͜͜͟͝ ̖̬͙̅ͬ̿̎̏̆͘͜͜͟͝ ̵͇̬͕̗᷈ͫ̊ͮͬ̽̚͡ ̢͊̽͏ ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ  ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ
7:̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ̖̬͙̅ͬ̿̎̏̆͘͜͜͟͝  ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ
8: ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ̯͔͔͕̩̤̻̉ͣ͗̚͠͝ ̭̹͛ͥ̓᷃̚ ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ̯͔͔͕̩̤̻̉ͣ͗͑̚͠͝ ̞͊͆᷉͗̍͡ ̭̹͛ͥ̓᷃̚
9:̗͚ͭ͆͂͐͞ ̴̟̲̓ͦͦ͂ ̢͖̟̓̄̈́͡ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ̯͔͔͕̩̤̻̉ͣ͗͑̚͠͝ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ̯͔͔͕̩̤̻̉ͣ͗͑̚͠͝ ̞͊͆᷉͗̍͡ ̭̹͛ͥ̓᷃̚ ̝̤᷿͂́᷀̃ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ̯͔͔̉ͣ̚͠
10:̢͊̽ ͍̤͇͇̅̂̈́ ̖̅ͬ̿͘͜͝ ̯͔͔͕̩̤̻̉ͣ͗͑̚͠͝ ̡͔̘᷊̙̤̉̍᷃̇̽͂̓͢  ̖̬͙̅ͬ̿̎̏̆͘͜͜͟͝ ̞͊͆᷉͗̍͡ ͕͉̲̆͑̓ͅ ̯͔͔͕̩̤̻̉ͣ͗͑̚͠͝
11:b᷉ l ọ ͟s s ȏ̜͘ m