Monday night, the world got to hear 51 brand new chiptune songs for the first time on the 8bitX 8-bit Power Hour. Out of 146 different artist submissions, these colorful tracks made the cut. The listening party was well attended, not only by fans but by a huge collection of the artists as well. This review is actually going to talk about EVERY SINGLE TRACK!
It was clear by the reaction in the chat to every new track that there was not a bad song on this compilation. They’re all incredible upbeat and unique. Obviously a lot of time went into each and every one of them.
There is a huge amount of variety on this release. Talkboy, SubPixel and Apoc all contributed excellent Famitracker songs. There are also some great Genesis-styled FM Synth tracks from Snooglebum, Jameson Sutton and The Flight Away really bring back some Sonic the Hedgehog nostalgia for me.
What I was really impressed with are the LSDJ tracks. The Gameboy has become the most common chiptune instrument. That’s not a bad thing, but on some compilation tracks, the LSDJ tracks are often the weak links. That’s not the case here. Every LSDJ track stands out and holds its own. Auxcide and Zef both contribute totally epic LSDJx2 songs as well.
The slower tracks really stand out as well, sleepytimejesse’s SNES inspired Riparian Woodland, Viciosul SID’s and Foil Variant’s tracks also provide a nice break from the constant thump of awesomeness without sacrificing a moment of quality.
I really like how a lot of people are using new tools to create the classic sounds. I know some won’t agree, but I see this as a good thing. It keeps things fresh. No new synth is going to exactly match the NES or the DMG, but this adds new dimensions to the classic elements we all know and love. There is nothing here that suffers due to the fact it was created in a DAWs and not on hardware or a tracker.
I normally highlight just a few tracks when I review a compilation, and usually when I buy one, I end up deleting a few songs that just don’t do it for me. This is not the case with Chiptunes = Win Vol 2. There really is not a bad track on this entire album.
So I’m going to do something crazy and write a small review of every song on the whole thing (except my own, because that’s just tacky). Read on to get a quick look at each track!