All posts by Lost in the Music

Of Atoms and Stardust (Remix) by Auxcide ~ A Lost in the Music Review


Compilation albums rock. Through them, you gain exposure to other musicians and genre’s that you may not have heard of. OCReMix is wonderful at that as I have discovered several different genres and artist through them. It is because of OCReMix I have discovered my love for rock game covers, as well as classical piano work. Another example of a great compilation album is the remix version of one of Auxcide’s earlier albums, Of Atoms and Stardust, which I will be looking at today.

Before getting into the review itself, I would like to first commend Auxcide in using a Gameboy while making the album. Using a 20 some odd year old console to make music, and make it sound good is quite a talent, and this isn’t just limited to Auxcide. There are plenty of artists out there who use the Gameboy as an instrument which gives the old brick a new lease on life. I commend these artists for utilizing an important piece of gaming history in new ways.

Reading up on Of Atoms and Stardust, I can appreciate the love and kindness that went into these remixes. The performers here didn’t just remix the songs for fun, they did it to show appreciation to Auxcide’s first album, which is an example of how close knit the indie music scene can be.

So how is this album? It is a solid remix project. The artists keep it safe which can be a mixed blessing. They keep the music simple, but it lacks innovation. I do believe they didn’t try to innovate because they wouldn’t want to overshadow Auxcide’s original album, while commendable, does in the end make it sound somewhat average. Don’t get em wrong, the album is great, but it is also sadly predictable.

I never had a chance to listen to the original Of Atoms and Stardust as I came across Auxcide through word of mouth, but listening to this remix album makes me want to listen to the original. Also, it is because of this remix album that I would like to listen to the other chiptune artists on this album and check out their work.

Should you purchase this album? Even though they played it safe, I would still say yes as the album exposes you to new chip artists. These guys are good, and if they start experimenting more, then they could be great.

You can find Of Atoms and Stardust (Remix) on Auxcide’s Bandcamp page.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

halc & Miearth: When Late Becomes Early

When Late Becomes Early

I enjoy Chiptunes. From Anamanaguchi’s work to Jake Kaufman to the crew over Chiptunes = Win, Chiptunes are a great music genre and like dubstep there are good and bad examples of the genre. halc is an example of an artist who knows how the genre works. Today on Lost in the Music, I will be taking a listen to halc and Miearth’s latest album, When Late Becomes Early.

I feel if music makes you think, then it is doing its job and doing it well. I enjoy it when an album has you become more introspective, thinking about life and the universe. Although the answers I get aren’t what I am looking for, the journey to find the answer is fulfilling. That is what halc and Miearth did with When Late Becomes Early. It has me think, but it also tells a story in its way. The music seems to be something out of a cyberpunk story, except the main character is an average salaryman, not some angst filled hero, bent on toppling some corrupt corporation or government.

When Late Becomes Early does what I feel many Chiptune artist omit from their work and that is making the music atmospheric. Don’t get me wrong, groups like Anamanaguchi and Jake Kaufman are fantastic at their craft, but they don’t have me feel as if I am in the music. With them, I am merely experiencing it while halc and Miearth, draw me into the music. They have me feel as if I am drawn into this cyberpunk world.

It is rare that i get drawn into an album in such a way. While other artists have me visualize a story, it is rare for me to feel as if I am part of the actual world. The last time this has happened was back in 2003 when I first heard the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. Through Howard Shore’s work, I felt I was actually in Middle Earth. Ten years later halc would provide the same feeling. 

That is the mark of a great artist.

I have said that in the past that there have been individual songs that have brought me into the world that the artists have made, but that is it. With When Late Becomes Early, it was the entire album that made me feel apart of the world, not just a single song.

Is When the late Becomes Early worth picking up? Yes it is. When the Late Becomes Early is a great album to pick up. halc and Miearth did a fantastic job with this album, successfully weaving both Chiptune and Dubstep together. Very few artists can do that without making the song sound like a distorted mess, but halc is talented enough to know how to make the songs mesh and make them sound good.

I know there are people out there who are getting tired of Chiptunes, but before they give up on the entire genre, I would like to suggest that they give this album a listen to. It draws you into the world and has you become lost within the music.

You can find When the Late Becomes Early over at Bandcamp. I strongly suggest you pick it up.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

Also, Dj CUTMAN has an IndieGoGo campaign going on now for some sweet GameChops Merch. Donate for some awesome gear from GameChops.

FX3: Remastered by Jake Kaufman

FX3 ~ TC2Jake Kaufman has easily become one of my favourite modern videogame composers. His work on the Wayforward games such as Shantae, Double Dragon Neon and Mighty Switch Force has earned him, in my opinion, a place among the greats such as the likes of Nobuo Uematsu, David Wise and Yoko Shimomura.

Kaufman’s latest album FX3: Remastered is a cleaned up version of his 2006 project FX3, a self described Chiptune metal concept album.

What I enjoy about FX3: Remastered is that it was one of the first chiptune albums that told a story without lyrics. The only semblance of story you get is off of Kaufman’s bandcamp page where the story is summed up in three sentences.

What makes this album special is that it is the second album to tell a story through music alone. Before you accuse me of disregarding albums such as The Wall, American Idiot or Pinball Wizard, what I mean that there have been few, if any concept albums in the style of FX3. It paved the way for other albums such as Ben Landis’ Adventures in Pixels, showcasing that you don’t need lyrics to tell a story.

As I said earlier, the story for FX3 is simple. It is about a young man who is trapped between two warring nations. He stumbles through a rift in time and discovers a terrible conspiracy that spans the generations. There he meets someone who promises to help him find a way home, and perhaps to open his heart to love once more. I am not going to call the story deep despite its simplicity because it is not. The story here simply sets up the music so you can imagine what is happening.

Due to the fact there is no lyrics to the story, the listener can visualize their own story. Each song on the list gives you a theme in which you follow and it is up to you to imagine what is happening. In a way it is reminiscent of the old Choose your own Adventure books. You choose how the story plays out. Does the hero find a way home or does he stay in the past to avert the chaos in the future. Does he find love or does his heart remain closed off to the world? The listener himself tells the story, even if he isn’t aware of it.

So how is FX3: Remastered? A fantastic album that many artists should strive to be like. There is an underlying beat to each of the songs which help bolsters the accompanying track. Is FX3: Remastered worth a pick up? Yes it is. Jake Kaufman is easily one of the best composers of this generation. He seems to have this innate ability to utilize different genres to their fullest potential, making unforgettable and catchy tunes.

You can find FX3: Remastered both on Kaufman’s Bandcamp Page and as an in-game Radio Station in Retro City Rampage. You can also find the original album over at 8Bit People.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.