Xyce’s brand of chiptune always has such a clean and light happiness to it, whenever I listen to Xyce’s album’s I end them happier and with a bounce in my step. “Autre”, the 2016 album, does this with aplomb.
From the opening sine waves from “champe de fris” the 16 bit happiness spews out and never stops. There’s euphoric melodies and nods to various cool Americana power chords in “Miami” and a twist of French with “la vie” which has a reprising theme that pops up throughout the album. What Xyce does really well throughout is make a melody that has a swing and flexibility to it which goes way above and beyond the bog standard chiptune levels. Even when things are crunchier and grittier such as “desoler” there’s flamboyance in every step.
Whilst the titles are all in French, there’s little else that nods to the country although “novelle fromage” is an amazing track name and an anthem to dance to proud to. “Okay” is a bass heavy dub track with synth voice samples and distorted grinding grooves which along with “bass aller” which moves into a jungle beat, shows that Xyce isn’t afraid to switch things up either and create something that wants to kick arse too.
However it’s when Xyce focuses on the melodies and emotions that the music hits its peak and tracks like the childish “Pierre” which is a nursery rhyme meme in waiting, the crazed and warped stomper “tapage” and the warm and end credit like “autre” are where the individuality really shine.
Chiptune lovers – seek this gem out and anyone who remembers classic tunes from yesterday or wants to feel a little extra happiness in their day would do well to pick this up.
Recommended track : la vie