Got my hands on some music from the future. That’s right, this transmission is coming to you from the future, and I’m going to tell you it’s bleak. Well, ok maybe not but I do have a pre-release preview of WYLDCAT’s debut chiptune album “CatAtonic,” out September 22. It does kind of sound a bit like the future, while drawing from the past. It’s pretty neat.
WHO IS WYLDCAT? I feel I’ve personally really missed out on an opportunity by not having my musical alias also sound like the name of a superhero. Anyways, who is WYLDCAT? WYLDCAT is Stuart Sanchez, and a Gameboy Advance. Well, maybe it’s a bit more complicated than that, but that is the soul of it. Stu is another person I know from the scene around the unfortunately closed “Exferimentation Brewing Company” in Pontiac, and I’ve gotten the chance to see him perform a bit before. He drew these huge sounds from his tiny Gameboy Advance and delivered some really high energy chiptune. It’s really cool to see these efforts manifest themselves into an album with “CatAtonic.”
I used to listen to a decent bit of chiptune music, and have actually tried my hand at making some before. WYLDCAT is certainly much more successful at it than I ever was. I was just sort of fooling around, but you can tell WYLDCAT’s music comes from a very genuine place of passion for the genre of chiptune and electronic music as a whole, as well as a specific nostalgia for the Gameboy Advance and its distinct tonal palette. At its core “CatAtonic” is dance music, with irresistible bass lines and satisfying bass and kick drums. I really love the way the more primitive consoles are manipulated to create drums in chiptune music and the drums in “CatAtonic” are especially excellent. WYLDCAT does a great job at manipulating the sounds available to deliver some great melodic hooks, as well as a dreamy sort of nostalgia fogged atmosphere. I can really imagine myself bopping along in some GBA side-scroller to these tracks.
For a debut effort, the three tracks I’ve gotten to listen to “Cat Khan,” “Cat Walk,” and “Chem Cat” show strong composition and variety. All three deliver an irresistible head boppiness, but deliver it different ways. It feels appropriately like moving on to a different stage in a video game without being strictly tied compositionally like video game music can be. I’m excited to get to listen to the whole album on September 22 with everybody else. To let out my inner dad; I enjoyed the “demo” and I’m excited to play the “full game.”
Have I reviewed an instrumental album? Why am I asking you? Who are you? Who am I? Anyways, Loops & Loops Lost Thoughts. Does that count as I tie in, because I didn’t know how to introduce this and the title of the album is Lost Thoughts? Am I clever now? I do believe I’ve mentioned Loops & Loops before. Loops & Loops is Peter Bogolub a long time musician and producer who makes chilled out ambient, folk, and electronic music. He does instrumental albums, as well as some pretty catchy singles like “The River Don’t Want Me Yet” (well, catchy if you like dark shit). This is one of the former, conveying heavy ambient vibes and spacey tones similar to the works of Brian Eno or Steve Roach.
What I like about Loops & Loops’s instrumental works is that the heavy atmosphere delivered does not feel like it comes at the cost of melody or direction. Each instrument feels like it conveys an emotion, layering on top of each other and making something that lends itself to passive or active listening. Loops & Loops provides excellent sonic manipulation that drives the songs forward, even while it feels like you’re floating in place. This amounts to something that is not just interesting, but in songs like “Twilight” has a near drug-like meditative effect.
I feel like thought must have been put into the progression of this album. Its subtle movement from bassier to more mid and high range tones give the album an uplifting effect. Lovelier still, the final song “Snowy Day” appropriately feels like it’s gently letting you down to the ground after you had drifted up into space throughout the album. Peter’s long time work as a musician makes itself evident in the craftsmanlike and subtle way this album is produced and constructed. I know ambient music isn’t for everyone, but I can’t imagine anyone complaining to find this on in the background, and I have a feeling, after a while they couldn’t help but listen closer. I think this is my favorite ambient work since Brian Eno’s Thursday Afternoon.
Fairly quick update: I’ve got a couple of The Existential Dread albums in the wings coming at y’all pretty soon, and I may be working on another Symphony on one of my favorite themes, The West. Anywho..
Long time no see eh? Well, I got a new part time job, and then Covid. So, woops. Anyways hopefully we’ll get back to some more substantial stuff soon, but for now I got some quick updates, and some picks with a playlist at the bottom. You checked out Birthday Boi Bash, available anywhere you listen to music yet? You should. Also, I’m working on another symphony. They are fun to write. Anywho.
Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome, The Mountain Goats July 11
I try not to cover larger bands here, but I just love The Mountain Goats so goddamn much. This song is fast, aggressive and catchy as fuck.
Meet Me at the Park, Sick Day July 15
Sick day continue to move up and produce great tracks as they do so. In fact this song got a little write-up in Under The Radar Mag which is worth checking out. Ethereal and chilled out this song channels dreamy pop with an underlying sense of unease and atmosphere.
That’s Life, Shoplifter’s Mugshot July 15
This folk-punker delivers a high energy tirade against our current wasted lives. The guitar is hectic, and the vocals are the perfect raspy folk punk angst. Topped off with some interesting editing.
Skeletons, Hunyor July 15
This is a song you play depressed in your room at 2am. Dreamy pop with good progression, and vulnerable passionate vocals. Also has a video.
Rome, Secret Tween July 15
An instrumental wall of sound off “Film School Boyfriend Disc Two”, I love the build this song has while seeming to stay in the same place.
I’m going to try names for this format until I feel like one sticks. Anywho, here’s some newish tracks I’ve enjoyed. You’ll find a playlist at the bottom, with an attached weekly pick from Dirt Witch Records.
“Coward” by Ghostmarket, July 1st
Off of Ghostmarket’s debut wastelands these Portland post-rockers deliver a pensive song with a great western feel, and I love the progression and slow intensity of this song.
“The River Don’t Want Me Yet” by Loops & Loops, July 1st
Single from bedroom producer and lofi genius Loops & Loops mostly out of New York, this thoughtful and gloomy folk song is enhanced with fantastic production and atmospheric synths.
“Ghost Piano” by Of House, June 24
Off of their latest album Ripoffs these Detroit indie-poppers deliver a high energy, but ambient and pensive bop with a fantastic bassline and atmosphere.
“Never Hide The Herb” by Julian Belvedere, June 24
Debut single from a folk-punker out of UK this Frank Turner esque ode to the herb winds through tongue and cheek lyrics and driving horns.
“Remember” by Walter Mmari, July 1
Single from Walter Mmari, ambient and electronic artist out of South Africa, I love the floaty synths and constant strings, it reminds me a bit of the Westworld theme, definitely a headphones song.