Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Review| seatrash- sedition

Recently Bit Shifter re-released his iconic ‘Information Chase’ on bandcamp. The re-release, whilst well received, showed clearly how unkind time has been to it. The crumbling of this monumental release’s power emphasises the need for a new totem pole of LSDJ simplicity, a new definer for chiptune’s growing reach and artist base, and its creator has arrived. Whilst ‘sedition’ is not the monolith of genius that the cultural predecessor of ‘Information Chase’ would need to be, it scratches at the door so violently it wouldn’t be heresy to suggest a sophomore effort would knock it clean off the hinges.

The melodies in ‘sedition’ are frequently perfect. ‘making things right’ straddles 80s ballad leads and 00’s power pop accompaniment, reeking of little-scaleian emotion with “lump in the throat” beauty. ‘falling’ slowly evolves into Eastern tinged arps speaking stunning phrases, and the title track overlaps its counter and lead melodies until the thick weave of serenity has you trapped.

The release rarely misses hitting blistering highs and euphoric brilliance. Album closer ‘with you’ highlights this perfectly; once it finds its feet it constantly hits home with passion, falling into 80s synth pop ballad territory with the skill of Depeche Mode.  The only obvious gripe is the production, which is lo-fi at best, though whilst it doesn’t add anything to the music, it doesn’t take away from it either.

Overall, ‘sedition’ is understated splendour. Its presentation and distribution has been muted at best, and it is a genuine shame, as the powerful grip within these five tracks won’t be nearly as praised as they should. Whilst no icon of the scene yet, the songs are individually better written than anything I’ve heard in a long time, and future first time LSDJers (and veterans) would do themselves a great service by taking notes from Seatrash. Eyes peeled for his next release; with some direction it’s likely to be one of the greatest releases in chiptune for some time. 2013 is the new 2006 people.

Favourite track: making things right