Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gasman Presents: Zero to Chiptune in One Hour

Yeah, I know it's been pretty silent around here for a long time. The main reason is that I've been massively sucked in by a huge project I've been working on for the last 10 months, so other projects like this blog have been taking back seat. I'm nearly done with the big one now, so soon you can expect to see some more action around here again.

For now, here's something worth checking out. ZX Spectrum legend Matt Westcott (aka Gasman) gave this amazing presentation at the SHA2017 hacker conference. I'm pretty sure that as a reader of this blog you're well aware of the basics of chip music. But I bet you haven't seen anyone talk about it for an hour while at the same time composing an AY chiptune cover requested by the audience!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Introducing the ZX Egg Painter

Don't you just hate it when you get them fingers all dirty while trying to paint some eggs for Easter? Then rejoice with me, because Joachim and Ulrich from the German ZX-Team have developed a revolutionary device that will spare you all the hassle. Lo and behold: The ZX-Eiermaler (ZX Egg Painter), a Sinclair ZX-81-driven egg painting machine.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

[tool] Blackbird 1.0 by lft

Linus Åkesson aka lft has relased a new, native C64 tracker. Blackbird features a very clean and minimal GUI, an efficient playroutine, a live mode, and a unique microtonal fx system. It also comes with a well-written, in-depth manual and plenty of example tunes for further reference.


[album] winter songs by lpower

Pterodactyl Squad has released a beautifully melancholic and and soothingly moody collection of synth tracks by lpower. Not really chip at all, but certainly worth a listen. You are very much encouraged to buy the album on bandcamp, but if you want to grab it for free, you can do so on Pterodactyl's release page.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

[album] Balearic Beats vol 43 - Chipmusic sounds of summer

No, wait... don't scroll past this! Didn't your parents tell you not to judge a music album by its title? And hey, I'm on this one, too!

Still not convinced? Well, there's also tracks by Yerzmyey, Joss Manley, Hypnodrive, Comptroller, Cheapshot, Pulselooper, the Mist toggles, Mr. Spastic, Goto80, Jellica, Mister Beep, Rico Zerone, and Vince Kaichan! Yeah, I'm sure that now you'll give this a listen. And you should, because this is  the most relaxing, laid-back chiptune compilations in a long time. And as you can guess from the artist rooster, it's about as generic-balearic as a Himalaya expedition. Many thanks to Chippanze and Kittenrock for putting this together.

download 320kbps mp3

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

[demo] Belong by Mahoney

From the man who brought us such legendary productions as Storebror and Cubase64, here's a new, thoughtful and moody C64 4K intro. Not only is it one of the rare instances of a demo with a message, but it's unique visual style also sets it apart from the usual plasma-scroller-twister stuff. Music-wise, it reminds me of some works by Kjell Nordbø. It won the C64 4K compo at Datastorm, and I'm tempted to give this a CDC on pouet, actually.

download/discuss (pouet)

[album] Mobile Swarming by Chrome Cobra

Damn, I've been neglecting the blog for quite a bit again. All my free time goes into coding at the moment. Well, time to finally look back on some of the awesome stuff that appeared on the internetz lately.

First of all, we've got a fantastic new, step-heavy Gameboy release by Chrome Cobra (aka Doomcloud/Radlib/Oxygenstar/a-few-dozen-other-names). I'm always delighted to hear this kind of material - danceable and party-ready, yet dark, and far away from the usual Mario-at-a-rave tropes.

Friday, February 3, 2017

[album] Rare Collection by Shnabubula (available February 3rd only)

Today Bandcamp is taking action against Trump's immigration politics by donating their share of sales proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union. Chip jazzer Shnabubula is joining the action by releasing a one-day exclusive album, which will be available only today, Friday the 3rd. Of course, he's donating his share to the ACLU as well.

I'm not embedding this because it'll be gone by tomorrow anyway. So if you read this in time, head over to Bandcamp to grab this bag of magic goodies and support the good cause.

Monday, January 30, 2017

[tool] Polyanna - New C64/SID Tracker with Virtual Polyphony

The legendary Aleksi Eeben has released a new tracker for the Commodore 64. Polyanna supports an astonishing 5 virtual channels on top of the SID's 3 regular ones. Unfortunately it works on old (6581) SIDs only. Nevertheless, I think this is a fantastic achievement. Folks at Demobit seemed to agree, since Polyanna took second place in the wild compo. Haven't tried the tracker myself yet, but the interface looks nice and clean, and knowing Mr. Eeben's work, I'm pretty sure usage will be rather intuitive.

CSDB release page

[demo] Don't mess with Texas by Desire

The Texas Instruments TI-99/4A ought to be one of the most underrated and underused demo platforms out there. Until now, there were hardly any prods for it, aside from a little intro by frog of realm of illusion, which ran at last year's Revision, and some small thingies like Asmusr's 2k15 new year greetings.

Well, the wait is over - Synchrony 2017 saw the release of a massive TI99/4A mega-demo. Props to Asmusr, jmph, orby, and Ramon B5 for an excellent show on this badly documented, ancient 16-bitter, and congratulations on 1st place in the demo compo.

download/discuss (be sure to read the extended notes)

[album] 50564: Goto80 vs Pulselooper

Chippanze strikes again, this time with two of my favourite chip artists jamming on C64 and a circuit-bent TR-505! If you like dark and quirky stuff, this should be right down your alley.

high quality download pack

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

HVSC Updated

Hey, didn't you folks have enough of a chiptune fix yesterday? No? Ok, well then I think it's time for you to download the latest High Voltage SID Collection. While not as massive as the previous, 20 year celebratory update, the traditional Xmas update still adds a whooping 430 new C64 tunes, as well as the usual array of re-rips, fixes, and identifications.

Monday, January 16, 2017

[album] Basic 1​.​1 - Ready. A Chiptune Compilation by McKlain

Alright, enough with all that fancy new-school space stuff. Let's treat ourselves to some classic, true-to-the-core 8-bit material. Well, as luck has it, McKlain has just what we need - a massive collection of his AY works on Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum, spanning a work period from 2011 to 2016.

Once in a while I stumble across a track on Soundcloud and just can't stop listening to it. "I've Heard All This Before" is one of those tracks, I still play it at least once a week despite having listened to it like 300 times already. Luckily, I now have got another 29 tracks to go with it :)

/end posting frenzy for today, see you back soon.

[album] EP 0x00 by n0p

After our trip through space with Remedmatika, we touch down on planet 0x00, a magic world ruled by Mister n0p and his Teenage Engineering OP-1. Bubbeling arps, intricate pads, and laid-back beats set the mood for a wonderful mini-vacation.

For those interested, there's free download package on which includes additional high-res artwork and source material. However, I would certainly encourage supporting the artist by buying the EP on Bandcamp. In any case, many thanks to Chippanze for putting out this excellent release.

[album] Mesin Peretas Jarak by Remedmatika

If you've been following this blog for a while, you probably know that Remedmatika is one of my all-time favourite chiptuners in the universe. And here is another reason why. Again, Remedmatika takes us away in the comfort of his beautiful spaceship, on to a galaxy far, far away.

[album] VA - Soundshock 3: FM Funk Nirvana

Boy oh boy, the good chiptune releases are just piling up this month. Guess I'll go into a little posting frenzy today (at the risk of having nothing to post for the rest of the week), because otherwise I'll lose track myself.

Anyway, after nearly a year of silence, Ubiktune is back with a new FM funk collection, as usual featuring a high-profile rooster of artists such as zabutom, linde, Shnabubula, cTrix, Keishi Yonao, and more. Soundshock 3 marks the end of the series. Now that's what I call ending it on a high note.

Friday, January 13, 2017

[album] Artificial Presence by Rico Zerone

Austrian XM wizard Rico Zerone and French visualist Julien Ducourthial aka Otro have teamed up to bring you a magnificent audiovisual treat. Prepare yourself to dive into comfortingly lush pads, float through time on spacey melodies, and let the colourful visuals rinse the grayness of everyday life from your eyes. Ehh...enugh blabla, head over to now to check it out!

By the way, if you are interested in the creative process and the philosophical thoughts behind this release, check out this Rico Z interview on Kiwaïda.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Heinz Billing Passed Away

Heinz Billing in 2012, photo by Mark Bluhm

German computer pioneer Heinz Billing has passed away on January 4th, aged 102. A contemporary of Konrad Zuse, Billing developed the G1, G2, G1a, and G3 mainframe computers, which were used for astronomical calculations at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Göttingen from 1952-1972. He also did pioneering work in the field of data storage, having developed his own variant of a magnetic drum memory in 1948. In the 1970s, he left the field of computing and moved on to become one of the leading experts on gravitational waves. Rest in peace, Mister Billing.

The G3 computer

Monday, January 9, 2017

[album] Hardcore LSDJ Party Jams to Fuck Off To by Muzak Efron

Another essential listening experience from December 2016 - here's some very creative LSDJ (ab)use by Muzak Efron aka Cooshinator, shifting back and forth between highly danceable and outright weird that defies genre boundaries. Reminds me a bit of that Duke Flex release that came out on CalmDownKidder earlier last year, though "Hardcore LSDJ Party Jams" is certainly more on the quirky side.

[album] #010010 by Pocketmaster

A slightly belated Happy New Year to you all! Just came back from my yearly recording session in the middle of nowhere, and looking forward to a successful year 2017 filled with great chiptune releases and stunning demos. But before we get started on that, let's clear the backlog, shall we?

One thing from the end of 2016 that you definately shouldn't miss is the new Pocketmaster release. Once again, the duo is here to rock the micromusic dancefloor with their signature gnarly sound. A++!

There's no embedable widget for this, so head over to the release page on Da! Heard It Records to stream, download, or order a CD.