Tuesday, November 29, 2016

[album] Third Laser by little-scale

Thrash44 Records has put out an album with previously unreleased Nanoloop 2.2 material from Australia's chip master little-scale. Float through space on those trademark lush pads being pitched against hypnotic, pulsating beats. This might just be my favourite little-scale release to date.

Monday, November 28, 2016

[album] OBOLE II by CYMBA

The folks from Cymba have been working really hard to create their own unique flavour of chipmusic that doesn't sound anything like chipmusic at all. Dark, evil, slightly acidic techno running off 4 Gameboy Advance. OBOLE II is one 12-inch vinyl that shouldn't be missing in your collection, if you ask me.

[demo] Electric Night by Dune and SMFX

Here's the winner of this year's Atari Falcon demo compo at Silly Venture. It could have benefitted from a more tight pacing in my opinion, but otherwise it's undoubtedly a top notch Falcon prod with great style. I especially dig the underwater scene.


[demo] Abeyance by Satori

Zden's latest audiovisual glitch assault in 256 bytes. Appearantly it ran at Compusphere, but wasn't ranked due to lack of competitors.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

AWW Link List Restored

Finally got around to restoring the "Ancient Wonderworld Recommends" link list (in the lower left sidebar), which was destroyed by an update of the Blogger software a couple of months ago.

I've mostly kept the list as it was for now, just removed a couple of dead links and added a select few new sites instead, like the sizecoding.org wiki, and the Pterodactyl Squad netlabel, which should have been on the list right from the start. I've also removed the World of Spectrum forums, because with the way the new management is treating some users there, I can no longer unreservedly recommend the site.

Anyway, what I wanted to say is this: I'm aware the current list is a mess, and a rather arbitray one on top of that. My plan is to split it up into different categories eventually (chiptune archives, forums, people, netlabels, blogs, etc) and, most importantly, to add more items. So, if you have any suggestions, feel free post them in the comments! Proposals should generally be 8/16-bit coding/chiptune/demoscene/computer history/lo-fi related, of course.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

[album] NMLSTYL by Animal Style

Animal Style has released a new, blasting chip prog album. Features hard-rocking guitars, sweet Gameboy melodies, and excellent drumming from Rob Martino.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

4mat on Chipmod History

Chiptune pioneer 4mat put up a great talk about the early days of Amiga chip mod tracking, with a focus on the techniques that came to define this format. A highly recommended watch.

Friday, November 18, 2016

0day Exploit Using NSF Files

You thought .nsf files are just harmless NES music files and nothing bad could ever come from them? Well, think again. Security researcher Chris Evans has just revealed a zeroday exploit on Linux involving the use of specially crafted .nsfs.

The actual vulnerability is found in an old version of gstreamer which is still widely being used. What's happening is that the internal emulator that is used to execute the 6502 code contained in the .nsf doesn't verify the ROM size, which, in conjunction with the use of bankswitching, can lead to the emulator breaking out of its virtual memory and start writing to the heap.

Meanwhile, Battleofthebits user b00daw has found that the problematic gstreamer code is currently used by the Jabber/XMPP client Gajim, which means the vulnerability can possibly be exploited on non-Linux systems as well.

Long story short, if you still have gstreamer plugins from the 0.10 release running somewhere, you might want to run an update.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

[demo] VCS Demos from Silly Venture

So last weekend the mightiest of all Atari demoparties took place once again in Gdańsk, Poland. And y'all probably know what that means: Lot's of fresh Atari demos!

Well, when it comes to Atari machines, the 2600 (aka VCS) holds a special place in my heart. It's not just about those growly, detuned TIA sounds. The really fascinating thing about the 2600 is that allows programmers access to the hardware in a much more direct way than almost any other platform out there. Which, in conjunction with the otherwise extremely limited specs, often leads to very unique stylistic choices, such as incorporating very blocky, rough graphics with very intricate colour schemes.

Ok, enough blabla, let's look at the VCS demos from Silly Venture 2k16.

Mr. Caterpillar and the Tale of the Turquoise Twisters by Genesis Project

Shadow and Mermaid - when these two get together, the result is rarely ever disappointing. So here's their latest prod: Simple, but awwww... so cute! Look at that little caterpillar! And hey, it all fits into an 8k ROM. 3rd place in the VCS compo.


rotor by Flush

A bit rough around the edges, but hey: That music sounds pretty damn good for VCS - great to see TIAtracker being put to good use. Also, props for releasing the source. 2nd place in the compo.


Chiphead by altair

Ziphead on Atari VCS? U kiddin me mate? That's one impressive feat. It could have benefitted from some more horses, though ;) Anyway, well deserved first place in the compo.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

TMDC19 Announced

For the 19th time, the legendary Text Mode Demo Contest is awaiting your submissions. Deadline is December 12th, as usual. There were some rule changes from last year, so make sure you check those before you start to hack away.

The above invite is available for download here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Stella at 20 - An Atari 2600 Retrospective

On the 20th birthday of the Atari 2600 VCS, AtariAge member Glenn Saunders gathered a group of Atari legends to celebrate the occasion. He filmed the event, thereby creating the "Stella at 20" documentary.

Previously only available on VHS, the original footage comprises nearly 14 hours worth of material, including interviews with Nolan Bushnell (Atari founder), Al Acorn (Atari co-founder), Joe Decuir, Steve Mayer, Ron Milner (2600 designers), David Crane (Pitfall, Freeway), Carol Shaw (River Raid), Al Miller, Larry Kaplan (Activision co-founders), and many more.

Curtesey of Glenn Saunders, the entire 14 hours of this fantastic piece of computing history are now available on Archive.org.

[demo] kaliskop by Kuemmel

Neat 256 byte MS-DOS demo by Kuemmel, based on an algorithm proposed by fractal researcher Kali. Gotta love that crazy music, too! The prod scored 4th place in the combined demo compo at Demosplash.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

[album] Goto80 - 80864

Staying on the topic of Commodore for a bit... so what happens if a C64 and an 808 drum machine meet in the hands of one of the most creative chiptuners of all time? Well, this happens:

The vinyl is almost sold out, so you better be quick if you want one.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

[album] F13 by lpower

Ha, I had no idea that lpower is still around! But here he is, back on Pterodactyl Squad with a beast of an eerie game soundtrack. Classic horrorchip at it's best, in the spirit of legendary soundtracks such as the one from Friday the 13th, or the Castlevania series.

The game itself is to be released next year, so for now I suggest you grab the full download and additional artwork from the release page at PTE. There's also a limited edition cassette release available through lpower's bandcamp.

[demo] Total by Extend

Another stunning masterpiece from X Party. Due to an organizational screw-up, this ended up ranking 18th. No doubt it should actually have ended up in the top three. It's my favourite from the party, in any case. While lft's Lunatic wins in terms of design, this one just kills the show with it's fresh ideas and unique style. Also, gotta love that skull pic.


[album] Bud Melvin - Shaking Like Milk

Breaking news: Banjo-wielding chiptune caballero Bud Melvin takes on The Cure! These tracks were created for a liveset for the recent Pulsewave edition. He should work on that British accent though... just kidding, it's a great tribute that stays very faithful to the originals.

full album download