Review Summary: An electronic review that doesn’t mention the so-called “EDM revolution” in America! Wait, dammit
It’s a little unclear as to what she is going for on chiptek
. At its core, it seems like a chiptune-meets-electro-house release - most songs have a cracking electric whip of a chiptune hook over mostly four-on-the-floor beats. However, the EP is all over the place - some influence from Far East pop ballads here (“memories,” “1997”), a little pinch of classic Crystal Method-styled big beat there (“intro,” “kicks”). At times, chiptek
is honestly befuddling: it’s easy to imagine the title track building perfectly into a festival drop a few times over the course of the song, but it doesn’t climax nearly long or hard enough (sex pun not intended, in fact) to find an easy home at Creamfields or something of its ilk. Brief research into any sort of advice from the artist - an interview, some Facebook information - for making sense of the whole thing only yields more confusion: apparently, there’s a whole backstory behind the album, and, if I may quote the artist’s Facebook page, “the listener decides the outcome of events played out in the music.” (No offense, but what the hell?)
However, it’s precisely this eccentricity which makes chiptek
such an alluring release. If there is one straightforward, easily visible fact about the EP it’s that the whole thing is incredibly vibrant. The heavily pitch-shifted vocals and maximalist chiptune-y backdrop of “music” is so chock-full of life that it’s hard not to enjoy yourself while listening (plus, there’s a sweet distorted guitar lick during the final 15 seconds which captures the spirit of the piece perfectly with its kick-ass tapping and great tone). No matter where she takes the listener, there’s always the thread of vitality tying the whole thing together, almost causing the all-over-the-place nature of the EP to knit itself into an easily understandable picture.
The fact that it’s near-impossible to totally understand what’s going on, though, is a testament to just how captivating chiptek
is. It’s a wonderful experience, one that makes just enough sense to draw the listener in but that isn’t quite coherent enough to warrant an “I get it” and become boring. It goes in with a bang and goes out almost as quickly, a ephemeral shot of energy which shoots by and leaves the listener scratching his head. The big breakbeats of “intermission” sum up chiptek
quite well: it’s close to but not quite stadium-filling, far too short, fantastically animated, and overall a sugary treat which is near-impossible to turn down.