As a huge chiptune lover, it’s always nice to see an artist that seems to actively do things differently. Seiken is one of those that seems to fall towards the more avant garde and experimental of the chip artists. Avoiding simple four chord anthems, Seiken goes for the curious, weird and melodic.
This four track EP which showcases Seiken’s skills opens with the brutal “Mayflower Timeleap” which flicks between the evil quirky overlord chip saw rough hammer smashes towards a heavy bass and twisted synth middle section. The track has a fast-in-slo-mo feel to it. The drums are initially going quite slowly but the bass and melodies are running at twice the speed and so you have an urgency even when things are seemingly calm. It’s a mega track and “Fudmace” takes things further down the grungy bass riff side of things. The dubstep over tones on the main riff are funny and yet fit perfectly as a barrage of sound effects push the track down and down a hole. The tempo feels like it’s constantly slowing down but it’s not, the track gets thinner and thinner as it goes on so it strips bare rather than builds up and that’s an interesting twist on traditional song structure. “Cali Brutes” feel slightly more crunchy and mainstream with it’s serious drum looping and use of high pitched arpeggios really layering the main melody across the other chip sets. It’s clever and fun. The EP closes with a mammoth chiptune cover of Silent Shout from The Knife. It has all the percussion and main bass line and melody covered perfectly. It doesn’t attempt the vocals but it doesn’t need to as it’s such a strong interpretation, it’s great as it is.
Chip tune is usually about creating anthems and fun memories hazed in the past brought back to life. Seiken is firmly telling us that chip tunes can absolutely take an artistic form of their own and so long as he continues to push the artistic boundaries like on this EP, I’m delighted to see where Seiken goes.