We’re a few days late, gang! Sorry about that. Anime Festival Orlando happened over the weekend and it took me a few days to recover. But it was a totally awesome time.
At AFO there was live music including Richie Branson with plenty of killer anime raps and Orlando-based performers EyeQ, Shammers, and Geekapella. There were even TWO dance parties featuring some of the best DJs/producers of both GameChops and Tiny Waves, including an Undertale rave. A few of us even got together to host a panel about nerd music. All important stuff that should have gotten more love, but if you checked any of that out over the weekend, you have our thanks.
This weekend at Tampa Bay Comic Con, Friday specifically, there will be performances from Random Encounter, Shammers, Geekapella, Super Guitar Bros, and Raspberry Pie and the Dance Dance Revolution. Most of that will be in Ballroom D so make your way there if you happen to be at the con. I will be there at some point. Let’s party and talk nerd music and anime.
July was low on the quantity of releases, but the QUALITY is a whole different story. There were a couple whoppers this past month. Plus, the first and second rounds of the fourth Nerdcore Vocalist-Producer Challenge (VPC4!) are out with Round 3 on it’s way. Here are some of the highlights of this month.
Every year, the fine folks of the Chiptunes=WIN community take submissions for their annual whopper compilation. They get many amazing songs from all over the world, but only 51 made it into Chiptunes=WIN Volume 5. This is an amazing release with a wide range of chiptune goodness, including tracks from Auxcide, Knasibas, Nanode, pr0xii, The Chunderfins, Chipzel, and Florida’s own Masikus,
In regards to the success and growth of the Chiptunes=WIN community, we saw this from the liner notes from President Hoodie: “This is the 5th annual Volume, the 17th compilation that we’ve released in a period spanning approximately 4 years. The biggest question I have to ask in response to these simple facts is why in the hell does it feel like we’re just getting going? That is both an amazing and frightening feeling at the very same time.”
Chiptunes=WIN always has a huge prescience at MAGFest, and another regular there is the VGM rock duo Marshall Art. Their latest release, Gallery contains songs that they have created and arranged over the last five years. There are some pretty good songs here from Donkey Kong Country 3, Chrono Trigger, Ecco the Dolphin, and Undertale. It’s only a matter of time until Meglovania has as many covers and remixes as Dr. Wily’s Castle 2.
Video game nostalgia kicks over to the legendary Nintendo 64 with OG64 from Solar Slim of Otaku Gang. It has a mainstream club rap feel to it, which you may or may not like. It’s not my jam, but it’s cool to hear some raps dedicated to Perfect Dark and Goldeneye, along with the usual Nintendo suspects.
1-Up Creative Mind Frame doesn’t get enough props in the nerdcore community, but I love what he has done with the Nerdcore Emulation Station albums. After traveling from between the universe of Nintendo games with his nerdcore besties, 1-Up now he has something for Square fans.
Square Up reminds us of a better time for the company before they merged with Enix and would ultimately have nothing to show for it. Instead of hip-hop, these are jazz instrumental covers, with all instruments played by 1-Up himself. It’s very chill and I hope you guys check it out.
There is this game called Undertale that is really popular. I haven’t played it yet, but I hear it’s like Earthbound, and I know the music is awesome. One of these days, I’ll get filled with determination and give it a shot. But until then, Tiny Waves and GameChops have teamed up for a 2+ hour mega-release, Straight from the Underground.
Most of the album are electronic dance mixes from the likes of Benjamin Briggs, dj-Jo, voia, James, Landino, Dj Roborob, Mykah, bLiNd, and many more. But there are a couple of non-EDM remixes, like a hip hop track from EyeQ and and accordion cover from Random Encounter’s Jackson Parodi.
Straight from the Underground was a passion project from all involved, but producer Benjamin Briggs had a strong personal connection with the game that motivated him to make sure this album was a huge success: “UNDERTALE is a work of art that deeply affected me and this album is a product of the life-changing experience I had with the game. It stands as a symbol of friendship, collaboration, and the power of love. I truly hope that it can make the world a brighter, happier place. Stay determined!”
There were some other releases that came in July. Make sure you check those out as well and tell me what you think in the comments.
Arcien – Hopes and Dreams: An Undertale Remix Album
Astro Fox – SQUAREWAVE SPACESHIP START
bogus – Momentary Failure
Derris Kharlan – Sonic Art 4
Electric Cafe – Crazy Comets OST
Electric Children – RESET
JANX – Chiptune the Musical
MPG – 3,554
Nintendocore Lives – Smash 64
Pterodactyl Squad – Weezer: The Second 8-Bit Album
Remute – Bear
William Kage – Secret of Podunk