Roboctopus, aside from having a fantastic artist name, is also a master of club thumping chip tunes. His latest EP “Jelly” solidifies him as a hit in my chiptune roster and should hopefully pave the way for a full album release at a later point.
“Midnight at the Ice Palace” fades in with a stomping beat and doesn’t let go. It’s a similar style to Toriena although not quite as manic on the stereo phasing. There’s tons of arpeggios that fluff up the main synth voice and once everything is going, sometime’s the kick drum pushes a little of the oomph out of other instruments as they battle for ear attention but it’s a very minor complaint in what is a well structured and performed track. “Evening for the Rest of Your Life (Remix)” again pulls out the kick drum from the get go and manages to make audio clipping feel part of the percussion. I’m not sure if it’s intentional but it works. The track makes me want to jazzy hands as several points too as it falters and bends synths in and out of tune. There’s a lot of phasing that goes on throughout the track too which allows transitions between sections of the music. “Memory Erasers Local” is the more abstract in its composition. A lot of it doesn’t have a drum beat early on and it relies on bubbling bass waves to keep you in time with the music. It does all come together after about two minutes to give you some of the most complex melodies on the EP and it reminds me very much of the C64 in its production. The closing track “Can’t Have the Fish If You Ain’t Got the Jelly” feels like an end credits from a 16 bit game. It’s got so much joy coming out of the main melody with its cheesy anthems and glitchy percussion – it is three minutes of feel good fun wrapped into a chip tune.
Roboctopus is a fun-loving composer and Jelly shows that off with aplomb. A great release for those whom enjoy retro game music and chip tunes, this is set firmly in the late 80’s with all the complexity of 2014.