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C-jeff – Magenta Review

Complex chiptune arrangement from the electronic composer.

Complex Chips without the Carbs

Five years ago C-jeff released ‘Big Steel Wheels‘ – a love letter to 80’s synth cinematics. Now C-jeff returns with a more chiptune-focused album ‘Magenta’.

What’s immediately apparent is that the cinematic approach stays with C-jeff with his crossover into chiptune. ‘Changes’ opens up like a Rambo-esque theme but over its six minutes has a swinging jazz section, a synth-rock part, cinematic tom drums and disco build-ups. They swoop effortlessly in and out and it’s quite impressive to hear. The chilled squiggles of ‘The Lovers’ evoke that 80’s production of saxophone jazz solos but as a chiptune piece. ‘Garblegalore’ and ‘Magenta’ feel like epic mini soundtracks in their own right. The title track, in particular, embarks on its glitchy percussive solos and d’n’b skits at pace whilst still having quite melodic sections off in the distance.


C-jeff often skews simple melodies of riffs for really complex arrangements but one track he keeps simple is the hardcore banging ‘Killustrated’. It nails your jugular and feels like an epic boss battle where it’s all about the drum and bass sections. It’s at odds with a lot of the tone around the album as the slinky ‘Now It’s Over’, the trippy ‘Revolution’ and the generally bouncy ‘To Be Courageous’ and ‘Is It’ all feel more uplifting and positive whilst refusing to be drawn into cheesy 4/4 chord progressions.

The album closes with four remixes. ‘Changes’ gets a full-on metal version with the Stemage Remix and it’s phenomenal. All that complexity comes into life and it’s glorious. The guitars stay for an excellent version of ‘Lovers’ from Marshall Art and Kev Ragone as they go full-on chip-rock to great effect. For pure shock value the Miette Remix of ‘Lovers’ blows it out of the water as an alt-pop vocal version. It sounds like Daughter or Hundred Waters. Closing out the album is Shnabubula’s piano version of ‘Killustrated’ which ragtimes the boss theme to comedic brilliance but has utter showmanship at the core of its arrangement.

C-jeff has made a great album with ‘Magenta’. The original tracks themselves are so complex and ever-changing that you need a few listens to really get your head around them. It’s not an immediate album, this is one that will age over time to reveal its excellence – and the remixes are inspired too. All’s well at C-(jeff).

Recommended track: Now It’s Over

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C-Jeff - Magenta


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