If chiptune wanted to be an 80’s new romantic band.
JAMATAR has such an evocative name. I know there will be jams and a guitar will be involved. It will likely be a bit jammy too. Indeed, I am somewhat late to the JAMATAR party as I’ve recently picked up his superb 2019 EP ‘Midorisuki’. It is an endless runner kaleidoscope of Gameboy bleeps and synthwave / new romantic crossover rock. As such, JAMATAR covers a niche spectrum of music and does it with aplomb.
Opening chiprock piece ‘Kuro’ introduces you to how synths are structured across the album. Arpeggiators are the choice of the day, whether slow or fast, and they all work together to push a feeling forward. When combined with chunky guitars in ‘Kuro’, its a fast and furious gasp of fun. With ‘Two Moons’, its an 80’s synthwave classic with massive drums and slow twisting bleeps drowning in reverb. Geyser provides an excellent vocal too.
‘Ghost Nova’ turns you to the dancefloor with a driving Mega Man styled anthem that gets your heart pumping. The beauty of the music here is that JAMATAR places the Gameboy front and centre but everything else is modernised so it would be a great way to introduce new listeners to chiptune music. ‘Lillysuki’ plays with triads and falling melodies to create a Club Asia feel to the track. Making a potent duo ‘Midori’ enjoys huge chord stabs and very Sega Club styled chord progressions. By that, I mean that things feel dancey and jazzy at the same time. It is a fun piece and the EP ends with ‘Gravaton’. This closing piece mixes together ambient synth pads and chords that bend into their pitch as giant pulsating chord zaps. It is the chill-out piece on the album and reminds me of Lifeformed on steroids.
‘Midorisuki’ is an impressive EP. Mixed by Shirobon, who is no stranger to the blog with his own music, JAMATAR has created a really interesting mix of genres that just works. I love how the bleep of a Gameboy can fit in literally anywhere and now we can jam to it with synthwave rock. Rejoice.
Recommended track: Kuro
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