Blitz Lunar
Triptunes


4.0
excellent

Review

by Moses Kim USER (19 Reviews)
June 20th, 2013 | 13 replies | 1,179 views


Release Date: 06/06/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One adventure that'll run just fine without a graphics card.

Diversity just may be the best part of the chiptune community. In the past few years, Nintendo aficionados have experimented with everything from drum and bass to twisted, seductive salsa to ‘80s-style disco. Of course, many of those artists have also become musical chemists in the process, finding increasingly bizarre and fascinating combinations of genres. Blitz Lunar is one such omnivore, not to mention one with quite the palate. His debut Triptunes, one of the finest of 2013 to date, should prove a feast for even the most voracious appetite.

First impressions matter, and Triptunes makes a big one with a trippy outer-space overture, albeit one neatly divided into a trilogy of fast-paced openers. “You Time” begins with an ominous, lonely melody before spiraling into trippy breakbeats and machine-gun arpeggios, and second movement piece “You Show” continues to turn up the heat. Yet it’s not just the intensity of the track that’s evolving: the atmosphere and texture of the track gradually begin to shift. By the time the overture segues into its grand finale, “You Universe,” what began as straightforward drum and bass has charted a path into an altogether nebulous area, somewhere between that genre, electronic, psychedelic, and jazz. The first seven minutes of Triptunes are a prolonged, blistering assault on the senses, a clear refutation towards anybody looking to dismiss chiptune music as something coke-rimmed geeks make in their free time. When the song ceases take-off and enters orbit in its final thirty seconds, take a moment and look down. If you aren’t eight miles above the earth, you weren’t listening close enough.

Once Triptunes has settled down, the real party begins. “Bedroom Superstar” refilters dance-hall pandemonium through the age of SEGA (picture Sonic The Hedgehog getting crunk with a heaping helping of dub and a synth-sax solo or two). For all its depth, however, the track never feels claustrophobic. There’s a lovely bounce to Blitz’s beats that keeps things light, and the dreamy, lush production prevents it from feeling overwhelming even when it’s running in twenty different directions. There’s also plenty of melody to chew on: “Hidden Heaven” layers rich melodic patterns straight out of prog-rock outfit Liquid Tension Experiment’s playbook over what sounds like game-show theme music from 2050.

Blitz Lunar’s most jam-packed moments are often his most inspired. “Child Play Zone,” a schizophrenic jam session, finds plenty of opportunity for play with solos for the drums, the bassline, and the groovy keys that carries the track. What’s more, the rhythms are always fresh, almost taking on an improvised feel in sections. Wisely, however, he also lets up on the blitz once in a while. “Comfort Zone” offers a brief moment of serenity from all of the madness, hearkening back to the suave jazz movements of the ‘80s with its tropical atmosphere and soaring melodies. “Holy Day” is an adorable little concoction, a starry-eyed take on lounge pop. Say hello to synths that warble like whales, fizzy bubbles floating in the background, and playful percussion that’s part rock band and part marching band, all bolstered by some of the most heavenly production to be found on Triptunes.

Make no mistake: this album is rooted in video game music, and there’s plenty of that influence shining through...yet to label it as just that would do it severe injustice. Sure, the swirls of synths and the accelerated pace of “Your Royal Highness” evoke memories of “Starman,” but it’s way too fun to be relegated to the background of some Italian plumber’s drug high. And yes, “Cosmic Joke” is an epic worthy of Triptunes’ final battle, the rhythms a bit weightier, the melodies a bit more heroic. Still, the track’s ambitious, adventurous spirit propels it past VGM pastiche and into something plenty compelling on its own merit. Especially when it enters its magnificent, diabolical second half. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but if you imagine Dream Theater penning a soundtrack for Paper Mario, you’re getting close.

Point is, Blitz Lunar’s music may be built off of the blips and bloops any self-respecting ‘90s kid (read: not those little drips plastering half-baked Pokemon references all over Facebook) will know by heart, but it sure as hell doesn’t end there. This isn’t music for gamers. It's music made in the spirit of gaming, for spelunking, building, and imagining. Controller and graphics card recommended but definitely not required.



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user ratings (3)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
stepmaniac
June 20th 2013


202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

one of my favorite chiptune releases in years. this guy is nuts.

by the way, album's free, guys!

http://ubiktune.com/releases/ubi066-blitz-lunar-triptunes

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2013


10186 Comments


picture Sonic The Hedgehog getting crunk with a heaping helping of dub and a synth-sax solo or two


I mean, who doesn't think about that often?

This sounds cool, though. Did Will introduce this to you by chance?

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

stepmaniac
June 20th 2013


202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the other way around, actually! and it's very cool, yes: if I had to describe it I'd call it Venetian Snares + Liquid Tension Experiment + Jaga Jazzist + a bunch of old Nintendo classics.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2013


10186 Comments


That formula sounds incredible. I'll download this when I get home today.

Also, just as a precaution, keep in mind that Sputnik prefers if you only upload one review at a time to the front page. This isn't a problem here, but try to stagger them more evenly next time so others' reviews get as fair of a chance.

stepmaniac
June 20th 2013


202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whoops! I'll keep that in mind, thank you for letting me know. I hope you enjoy the album!

Vespiion
June 20th 2013


1222 Comments


This looks interesting. I'll have to check it out.

Digging: FKA Twigs - LP1

pizzamachine
June 20th 2013


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Wtf, I love this album!!!!!!! 5/5. By the way, excellent review. pos'd

stepmaniac
June 21st 2013


202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You just made my day, good sir.

stepmaniac
June 21st 2013


202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's supposed to be a smiley face but it seems Sputnik hates sunshine and puppies...

pizzamachine
June 21st 2013


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

haha yeah you have to space the smileys here for some reason. Like this! : )

stepmaniac
June 21st 2013


202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

: )

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2013


968 Comments


This is so bright it almost gives me a headache. Great review though.

stepmaniac
June 23rd 2013


202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks, Dan! for what it's worth a lot of people (Jacob and Will) seem to think it's too bright...though I'm a fan of chiptune music so it comes with the territory for me.



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