Nerd Music Releases: July 2017 Edition

Here we go! It’s another hot month of nerd music releases! There was definitely some good tunes last month as July was all over the place. Locally, we had Danimal Cannon and Creative Mind Frame 1-UP returning to Orlando to rock with Mag.Lo and Under Polaris. It was a killer time and hopefully those guys will return sooner, rather than later. DragonForce also came back to Orlando and shredded some video game jams on stage. It was both insane and unexpected.

July also brought us sadness, as Urizen bassist Rustin Luther passed away last Saturday to brain cancer at the age of 31. We knew it was coming since last year, but it is still depressing to find out. The kind words and stories that have come throughout the nerd music community have spoken to what a great guy Rustin was.

I’ve only spoken to him a few times, but he was always hilarious and passionate. At MAGFest in January, he was incredibly upbeat and excited as always and even let me listen to some new Urizen music for their upcoming album. I have no idea what will come of that, but Rustin will be missed by friends and family all over.

Thank you all for letting me share my thoughts on Rustin. I know you all came here for music, so let’s spin in to to what July brought us. Gottagofast!

GameChops – Spindash 2 

July started off with a bang with another tremendous compilation from the GameChops crew. Spindash 2 is another collection of fantastic EDM remixes of Sonic the Hedgehog themes from the likes of Hyper Potions, Grimecraft, Mykah, and more. Some favorites are remixed including Ice Cap Zone, Marble Zone, Flying Battery Zone, Chemical Plant and someone had the balls to remind us that Sonic ’06 existed with what ended up being a great remix of Crisis City. If you dig Sonic tunes, you are going to love Spindash 2.

raptorface – fake bit

My favorite chiptune release from this month was from raptorface. I am unfamiliar with raptorface and could not find any information on them besides their bandcamp and soundcloud. Apparently he is from Australia and really like Japanese culture.

raptorface’s first album since 2011 is fake bit, which features over 30 tracks (talk about making up for lost time) of original progressive chiptune music and a few video game chip covers. The music has an upbeat tempo, but never goes over the top with energy, and it avoids using those shrill-sounding pitches I hate hearing in chiptune, so I enjoyed this quite a bit.

Stemage – Retrogression Vol. 1

Stemage has been known for being a part of Metroid Metal as well as the many VGM albums he’s worked on as an engineer, but he has has his own solo projects. The latest, Retrogression Vol. 1, goes into uncharted territory as far as video game covers go. You might have seen a video of the Super Mario Bros. played backwards, music and all. This album is where that comes from and he does the same with Tetris, Punch Out, and Ghosts N’ Goblins.

It’s fascinating to listen to. To break these compositions down and remake them backwards and perform with live instruments must have been a massive undertaking. And for the songs chosen, it works pretty damn well! To make things more fun, the second half of Retrogression are the backwards-songs flipped in case you wanted to to hear how close they sounded to the orginal melodies. Stemage, you are a crazy bastard.

Bitforce – Nerdcore and Beyond

Bitforce hails from San Antonio and the first time I became aware of them when they performed as Mega Ran’s backing band at a past MAGfest. They returned to do the same this past year with the other members of the NPC Collective. This rock band with a keyboard reminds me of Armcannon in some ways, as they run the gamut of music of video games and 80s childhood nostalgia. They don’t go as hard as Armcannon but Bitforce has decided to play some anime songs as well in their latest album, Nerdcore and Beyond.

Represented on this album are Attack on Titan, FLCL, Gurren Lagann, Legend of Zelda, Teen Titans, and Transformers, just to name a few. There are some songs here that came out pretty good, like Soldiers of Cybertron and Who the Hell do you Think I am?, but others like Rock Man’s Revenge, Nothing Amazing, and the Brave and the Bold need a bit more work, especially on the vocals. I’m all for more bands doing anime covers, so give it a shot.

TekForce – The Bits & Bytes EP

Last year, TekForce caught my attention with Server Crash Pt. 1, which brought some thoughtful nerdy raps that were more personal than pandering. Server Crash Pt. 1 was a breakout album for TekForce; however, The Bits & Bytes EP is a departure from that as it is dedicated to the 35th anniversary of Tron. (Feel old, fellow children of the 80s.) I’ve actually never seen the movie Tron or its sequel, but I have played Discs of Tron on arcade cabinets so kinda get the idea of what it is.

This four-track album tells the story of Kevin Flynn’s adventures in hip hop form. Creative Mind Frame 1-UP and Aramix join TekForce to fill the other character roles. The Bits & Bytes is decent, but not impactful. I’ve listened to it three times to try to get into it, but I just can’t. TekForce plans to follow this up with 2nd Tron release called The Light Cycle Chronicles EP. Hopefully that ends up being better.

The month July had even more releases! Check them out and let us know what you think in the comments.

8 Bit Weapon – Class Apples
bitzen – Cumulus Clouds
C.P.T.N. – C.P.T.N.
Cyanide Dansen – Zenzoo Pop
fearofdark – Exit Plan
Foxx – Jumper
Mega Flare – Soundcloud Selections
Nursehella – Second Coming UK Mix
POPCORNKID! – The Last Human
Spaceman Fantastiques – I Just Want To Go Home, Is That So Difficult?
Shiryu – #SplitTheScreen
Trominal – Astronaut in Cyber Love
ureyu – Cross Creaks
venoSci – Club Nite

Author: Kent Ward View all posts by
Kent Ward was created from the combination of anime, classic videogames, and pro wrestling. His obsession with crazy cartoons from Japan led to the founding of Propeller Anime, a prominent anime club in Orlando, FL. Kent also runs Ongaku Overdrive, a music festival dedicated to all sorts of music inspired by anime, video games, and all things geeky. You can follow him on twitter @FistoftheMFK.

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