Review Summary: 8-bit's of technical prowess and compressed ambition allow old hardware new life
The constant reality of the digital age is inevitably relevant to how our world works. Our day to day is dominated so powerfully by hardware and internet access that the fate of humanity would likely collapse if unplugged from our digital selves. Music isn't much different; both in the way we access it, hear it, and the way it's played. As popular music leans towards a more electronically synthesized sound, there is no style of music more relevant to that idea at its core than Chiptune; music that is completely reliant on digital sound manipulation.
Chiptune has essentially been around as long as computers have been making sounds, but its influence is most prominently heard on the sounds of early video game consoles like the Atari 2600 and the Nintendo Entertainment System. As a genre of music, it's simply about transferring those sounds out of the context of little jingles and quirky cartridge MIDIs to create full compositions that work outside their due hardware. On album number three, Rich Vreeland's solo project Disasterpeace not only accomplishes that task, but calculates a striking emotional quality through a wired progressive rock influence, and an effortlessly coded nostalgic response to 8-bit processing.
Rise of the Obsidian Interstellar has no difficulty actualizing its sounds of hard-chip operation into solid symmetry, because there isn't any outside instrumentation featured, only heavily compressed bits Vreeland programs. Although that certainly doesn't make for a one-sided coin. Present is whirling ambience, catchy pop inspired tunes, experimental discord, and often times vast ambition. "Club Wolf" boasts an almost dubstep sounding bass crunch, while maintaining its roots in vintage cosmos. "Counter Of The Cumulus" scales for higher ground, with a danceable progressive rock take compressed down to mere units. While on the other hand "Day of Reflection" and "Adrift" act as melting transitions, calling back to planet Zebes and its heroine Samus Aran scrolling through underground caves.
This is clearly an album that has both the potential to properly introduce others to the style of Chiptune and a leave you with one of its most rewarding listens. While this album certainly isn't for everyone, some may not able to see past its condensed quality; this is music that is just as exciting and a rewarding of a listen as its electronics contemporaries. Ultimately Rise of the Obsidian Interstellar is 8-bits of technical bliss, contrasting flavors, technological rock ability, and (for those of us who grew up with it) pure cartridge gaming nostalgia. Only instead of those 8-bit side scrollers of yesteryear maintaining their place in the past, this album is here to stay; future forward and fresh as ever.
"A little dramtic maybe? And what's the fate of humanity, lol?"
Think about it, without technology big business, the stock market, media, transportation, and countless others all go bust. Without transportation we can't get all the goods we ship over from other countries, it automatically kills hundreds of thousands of technology related jobs, and vital things like food and water are reliant modern technology to get to us. I don't know what the fate of humanity is, it's different things to different people, honestly that just sounded good there, but it's easy to see we wouldn't be ready or conditioned for life without technology.
"Well think about it, without technology" But what do you classify as technology. The internet, a television, a phone? Do you simply mean that without electricity or oil to run machines as the "killing" of technology. I get your point but there are to many variables to take in that's not supported in why it would be so, when you simply say that "without technology the fate of humanity (as you put it) would collapse".