A chilled out mix of chiptune and real instrumentation.
The fact I last wrote about Kubbi in 2013 is something that I should slap myself about as Kubbi fills a very specific niche in my musical catalogue. There is a cross over circle between chiptune music, synth music and using real instrumentation. It is in here that Kubbi’s music often sits because they pull so much from the game world and bring it over to the synthwave side. To some, that may feel a weird differentiator but for me, its what makes their music unique.
Kubbi’s Home Office EP is their first live collection and features four tracks that all play around with synths, Gameboy, drums, bass and keyboards. Taking their music into a live setting has meant that rhythms have a human element to them and tracks like the skilfully smooth ‘Aloft’ imbue a Portico Quartet style to them. The hazy synths, fast percussion and ethereal keyboards toy with jazzy undertones whilst being firmly in the chill-out zone too. Elsewhere opening track ‘Resurgence’ borrows from cinematic synthwave tropes to launch that breezy feel into a hugely satisfying finale. The driving buzz of the synths captures your spirit as if you’ve just full combo’d the toughest level.
‘Something New’ is the most game music of the tracks as the six-minute epic basks in poignant hero melodies and a great interplay between keyboard and Gameboy. There is a lack of bass for a lot of the track too as it is replaced by a wind woosh. It is only in the final minute climb, everything explodes into glory. Kubbi knows how to perform for the big moments. ‘Plume’ closes the EP a bombastic chiptune piece. Here the drums are the absolute star. The dynamic nature of how they roll and flop around the melody is phenomenal. Then when the drums focus their power, the synths go ape instead. It is this call and response showmanship that reveals how the trio works in harmony. Then once they’ve enjoyed themselves, they often unite for the finale.
Perhaps it is because I haven’t been to a chiptune concert for so long but Kubbi’s live debut release is a masterclass in performance. An absolute delight from beginning to end, it is a 20 minute attack on your frown to turn it upside down. Hurrah for that.
Featured track: Something New
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