She’s done the normal single review, she’s possibly created the double review… what will Taylor Brown do next to top herself? Nothing but the logical evolution of this series. Much like how PokÃ©mon Black and White introduced Triple Battles to the series, I shall now attempt to fuse the two into a new thing. And there’s nothing else to call it but… THE TRIPLE REVIEW!! And no, this is not just a hasty way for me to clear my backlog. Maybe. Regardless, in this edition I shall review Benjamin Brigg‘s Attention Deficit EP, released much earlier this year; ProtoDome‘s BLUENOISE, also from earlier this year; and WillRock‘s Refraction of a Dream. All three of these come from wacky people well-known around the community who are quite talented in their musical stylings, and much like fine wine have only improved with age. So, without further ado, I present to you… THE TRIPLE REVIEW!! Woohoo!
1. Too Soon – 4:06
Starts off pretty nice… nice rhythm. 0:17 brings in some more melodic parts. At 0:32, it all changes, and by 0:40 the main meat of the track kicks in. 0:55 brings a brief breakdown. 1:20 or so brings in a change with Mario fireball sounds keeping rhythm. Nice idea there, chth. It starts to come back together at about 1:58. Chippiness at around 2:20. The fireballs fade away at 2:30 or so. Another breakdown at 2:40 or so, followed by another buildup. 3:18 brings in a pretty cool effect that keeps the track going. Much like the title of the album, these instruments keep changing as rapidly as an ADHD kid’s focus of attention. Ends with racecar sounds.
2. Benji Needs A Lawyer – 3:47
OBJECTION! Oh wait, my bad. Starts off with the basic rhythm, and 0:16 brings in another layer intermittently until about 0:34 when another layer is added. 1:04 brings in the bass. 1:20 brings it all together. This is a good track; makes me start to move and groove. 1:48 brings in some nice chipchimes. Remember, I’m now using chip- as a prefix. Nice mixup at around the 2:10 mark, followed by a slight breakdown and solo at about 2:44. Chippy awesomeness right here. Breaks down at about 3:15 in preparation for the end. At 3:35, the end is definitely near.
3. Troll 4 Life – 3:51
The previous track flows right into this one. Nice chippy effects at 0:35 or so. Even cooler ones at 1:04. This track seems to be just a rhythm with random sound effects, which is fine by me. It proves me wrong at 1:31 with some melody. Johnny Bravo sampling at the 2 minute mark! Okay, this track is now about 500% more awesome. Solo at 2:32. Reminds me of the old Sonic tunes a bit. It starts to fade out at 3:20. Beavis and Butthead sampling at 3:40.
4. I Can Has This Dance? – 3:55
No, you can no has this dance, chth. But you can has a review! Great usage of sound effects again; in this case, it sounds like the Mario 3 death sounds, both the enemy and Mario’s sounds. The main melody slowly builds in the background until 1:07 when it explodes in awesomeness. 1:40 brings in another layer of instrumentation, and 1:48 throws one more on top. It’s a beautiful haunting melody, that almost reminds me of Lavender Town from the original PokÃ©mon games. 3:04 brings a gradual fade, with the sounds of Mario coming back to the forefront.
5. Love The Game – 3:51
Starts out awesomely. Nice ambient howl-thing at about 0:24. Think I heard this same instrument in VVVVVV’s soundtrack. Breakdown at 0:54. Chipchimes in the background sound great. It all explodes at 1:32, bringing a much fuller soundscape. Slight breakdown at about 2:08. Buildup at 2:18, which explodes at 2:30 with singing. Is this chth himself? I think it is. Not too shabby, even though I think I heard a faint hint of autotune. More howl at 3:05. This heralds the final part of the song, which starts to fade out at 3:34.
6. I’m Nobody (feat. Cornelius Rawness) – 2:54
And now for the final track of this album, which starts out with rough and muffled chiprhythms. At about 0:20, singing comes in. It’s pretty good; I’m enjoying it, and the effects help it fit right into the atmosphere of the track. Great writing; not many songs use “codependency” in their lyrics. The main music is pretty good too; well done. 1:46 brings in Cornelius’ part. Nice usage of the Sonic sound effects. 2:24 brings the chorus back. “I’m nobody, I’m nobody, I’m nobody… at all…” Finale at 2:46. Great work, Ben!
1. Hello World. – 1:07
Atmospheric!! More atmosphere at 0:31. Nice finale at 0:57.
2. 9am Skies. – 2:21
Did I just start listening to an Animal Crossing song? 0:15 shows that I didn’t, with a mix of Proto’s chip mastery and jazz stylings. I don’t think anyone else could do chipjazz quite like ProtoDome. Nice melody. Slight breakdown at 1:18, and another 1:27. This is reminding of Pilotwings now. Another solo at 1:51. The end is near at 2:07.
3. Blueberry Jam! – 2:17
Nice rhythm to kick it off. 0:17 brings in more music. He really is jamming right here. No sign of blueberries, but this is a nice jam. 0:43 or so brings in a breakdown, which ends at 0:57. The chippiness of this song is epic. A change-up comes at 1:26 or so. Breakdown at 1:48 or so which heralds the end.
4. Bitmap_Blues. – 1:56
How many songs do you know of that use underscores in their titling? I can only think of this one and a few on Reanimation. Ooh, jazzy! This is soooooo 8-bit, I’m loving it. Nice work at 0:36. I want to play an NES game with this music. And just pause it so the music plays indefinitely. Nice solo at 1:20. The end is in sight at about 1:35.
5. Heat Death – 2:54
IT BURNS!! IT BURNS SO GOOD! If I died in a fire, this is what I’d want to hear in my last moments of consciousness. Nice job setting up the atmosphere. 0:30 brings in chippified vocal samples. Breakdown at about 0:58. This is such an ethereal track, it’s beautiful. Chipvox comes in again at 1:24. Beautiful breakdown at about 1:48. Changeup at 2:04, which seems to bring in more real instrumentation. Chips return at 2:34 to bring in the end.
6. Her #0000ff Eyes… – 2:54
I think that’s… blue? Bumpin’ bassline, Blake! Chips at 0:24. Slight breakdown at 0:55 or so. Bassline remains quite prominent, and a nice key solo here. More chippiness at 1:14. Nice solo at about 1:38. This song has me movin’ around while reviewing. The rhythm is infectious. 2:29 brings about the finale of the track.
7. Zero-G Lemonade. – 2:09
And now for the finale of the album. How would Zero-G Lemonade even work? Would you float around with it and drink the suspended lemonade particles? Ahem, back to the review. Nice instrumentation in this track. 0:44 brings in a vocal sample stating the track’s name. Hard to hear but it’s there. Nice piano parts interspersed throughout this song. 1:43 replays the chipvox. 1:55 heralds the end of the song, and thus the album.
1. Fatigued – 1:42
Ooh, ambient. I feel fatigued just listening. 0:27 brings in guitar reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Or at least, that’s how it sounds playing off the background music. Great work here, Will! 1:14 ends the guitar for a changeup that presumably sets the stage for the rest of the album.
2. Down The Rabbit-Hole – 2:24
Oooh, nice bassline. Nice chimes at 0:09. I like the increasing speed of the chimes, and how they stop at 0:30 for more ambience. OH GOD I’M FALLING INTO A HOLE!! A HOLE WITH WEIRD AMBIENT SOUNDS AND STUFF! Also weird voices at 1:09. This song is extremely weird; the visuals on my media player aren’t helping. I really feel like I just fell into another realm, one that is far different than our own. 2:08 brings in breathing. Not nearly as creepy as effects I’ve used before.
3. Pool Of Tears – 2:11
This album flows cohesively. Nice chimes and acoustic guitar. I’m glad that absurdity is over, fun as it was. Electric guitar at 0:33. Speed increases at 1:15 slightly before stopping seconds later. Bass picks up at 1:28. Nice rhythm at 1:48 that slows down as quickly as it starts. No doubt prepping the next track.
4. The Garden Waltz – 0:53
Kicks off immediately with what could be used as a game over effect. Waltz rhythm at 0:11. I never thought I’d hear Will make a waltz but hey. Should’ve been an epic guitar waltz. It ends suddenly at about 0:35.
5. The Caterpillar – 1:24
Bassline at 0:15. Building guitar that stops at 0:35 or so. Nice woodwind at 0:48 or so. Reminds me of Easton from the original Mario Land. The end comes quickly at about 1:16.
6. Tulgey Wood – 1:44
It flows right into this track that begins with piano. Slow, somber piano. It stops at 0:30 and replaces it with intermittent effects. Piano returns at 0:54 with a fuller soundscape. More effects at 1:22, straight from the ’80s. Chimes at 1:30 or so.
7. Lost – 1:44
It’s birdcussion! Piano kicks in almost right away with drums. Awesome guitar at 0:26 or so. Piano comes in at about 0:54, with woodwind shortly after. It ends at 1:40.
8. Don’t Step On The Mone Raths – 1:24
Will, it’s spelled “mome raths.” Eh, no matter. Trippy effect here. Is this the sound mome raths make when you step on them. This track is just full of ambience. It’s well done, don’t get me wrong. But there’s a lot of it.
9. Refractions Of A Dream – 2:06
Title track time!! This song is fuller than the previous, complete with synth rhythm almost right at the start. Guitar at 0:46. Guitar cuts out at 1:22 or so, only to be replaced by some more ambience. It slows down at 1:40 with more ambient sound effects. The last seconds set up the last track.
10. The Queen Of Hearts – 4:11
Nice rhythm to kick it off! Dramatic beat at 0:22. Chimes at to the rhythm, and 0:45 brings in chippy awesomeness!! Slight breakdown of the chippiness at 1:15 or so, only to return at 1:28 or so. This is a weird song, as it seems to end at 1:58, only to pick right back up. Screech at 2:14 brings the track to a halt. Guitar screech at 2:43. More trippiness follows. Honestly, I have no idea what is going on, but I’m a little scared. Seriously, great mind-trick performed by this track. Easton-esque woodwind rhythm comes in for a second, only to be replaced by ticking, and more ominous ambience. It ends at 4:08.
That… Well, I think the whole triple review thing worked out well. It was only 23 tracks, taking up a total playtime of less than an hour. First off, Ben’s album. I enjoyed it immensely, and it was a really fun listen. I hope that he comes out with more stuff like this in the future, because I loved it that much. As for Proto’s album BLUENOISE, it was more of the same from him. But that’s a very good thing, since it was full of really nice tracks that showcased his abilities with the chiptune style of music. Also, the track names were awesome. Lastly, Will’s album. It was… well, I’ll be blunt and say it was the weirdest album I have ever listened to, one I never thought I’d ever hear, and one that I don’t think will ever have anything even remotely similar to it. It really did mess with my mind a little, but you know what? That’s okay. The song titles obviously allude to Wonderland, and with that connection, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Excellent work, Will!
In conclusion, these three albums have been out for quite some time now, waiting to be heard, waiting to be reviewed. And it wasn’t until now that I decided I would review them. Now that I have listened to them and reviewed them, I’m happy that I did. All three showcase the artist’s talents. In Ben’s case, it’s paying homage to the classic games of yesteryear, when the technology on the system only allowed very few simultaneous sounds. For ProtoDome, it’s his talent to just keep creating wonderful music in styles he’s quite skilled with. And in Will’s case, it’s his talent to just create something off the wall, so outside the box it’s kilometres away. I think that’s what they use in Britain. Anyways, all three demonstrated that what they do, they do well. And it’s my sincere hope that they continue to do so in the future. I’ll be uploading new reviews every day this week, so stay tuned. And until next time, game on!!