Album Review for Old Hedgy Times (Vol. I, 1)

(This is a piece I wrote for a new online magazine, that’s Kindle-exclusive right now and should be available in more formats soon Good taste, excellent design, tightly edited and while I can’t speak for my own work, the rest of the content is written quite well. Check it out.)

NNNNNNNNNN is a 24 years young chiptune producer that a friend put in my face a few weeks ago. His EP, Cosmic Lovely Lovely, is wonderful, in a misshapen-but-formless, heavy-but-delicate kind of way, if such a way to be wonderful exists. The EP drops right into it with some serious chops in “Johnny Mnemonic.” Besides reminding me of how hard I sucked at video games when I was a kid, is exceptionally well produced and has a rambling beat to it that I think chiptune peeps will love. The beat and the well-arranged chip lines give the track some depth that I didn’t expect, which is always welcome. The main melody is fun and smacks of an unforgiving level of an 8bit game I’ve not played in over adecade. I wish I could remember what it was and perhaps that’s the point.

“Wank Harder” is a fun little ditty that reminds of some of the old school chip & 8bit I listened to back in the day, until the major dubby sounds hit. Then I get confused and wonder where I am. All joking aside, it’s a great mixture of retro and modern elements that gave me a reason to like brostep for approximately 4 minutes and 30 seconds. “Space Bass chang:01” returns to the form and the EP glitchily chugs along with that heavy bass sound that I’ve not heard since the days of Saskrotch, Saberpulse & heading out to go to Blip Festival. “Fuck yea NONONONO -Los Angeles-“ starts out on the lighter side (makes up for it when it came to the naming convention) of the chippy spectrum, but then builds into a robust banger pretty quickly. I mean, as much as chiptune can ever be conceptualized as able to generate a “banger?” Like, this isn’t comparable to a track by the Swedish Fish Mafia or Avicii,but it’s still massive and could probably be a solid floor track at chippy shows. DJs, take note.

“TORIENA-ASDCjam(Cockscomb Remix),” while taking home the gold medal for confusing-as-fuck song titles, is definitely a great way to end the EP. The broken, upbeat melody helps round the sound out, and creates a lot more diversity in the tune than you saw on Wank or Fuck Yea (amazing way to refer to the other tracks.) There’s a lot to like about what this tune is doing, especially if you’re into that whole “compose & produce with a GameBoy” kind of thing.

Overall, I’m delighted that I was handed some fresh, fun, chippy goodness, while being delightfully surprised at the brostep, chipbass & other more modern takes on what the genre needs to be relevant in this century. Especially now that there’s an entirely new generation of kids listening to EDM that have never actually heard these sounds being made in video games, more than ever. Evolve or die, my friends.

This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor.


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