What does L_qcy sound like?
Haunted, often aggressive chiptune loops and noise.
The review of L_qcy – Obelisk
Often the chiptune music I love and adore the most are absolute earworms or banging anthems. One side of chiptune I haven’t really strayed into is the art of horror or mysterious chiptune. This is the area where artist L_qcy resides. On their second album ‘Obelisk’, we’re given some simple flavour text about being lost and chased in a forest. It sets up the album to be an unusual ride.
L_qcy created the album using Nanoloop 2.8 – a cartridge for the Game Boy Advance which allows you to create music using the sound set from the handheld. Using live jams, L_qcy created a continuous 20-minute adventure across eight tracks, twisting and turning the loops and beats as they went. The result is something that never sits still. For example, the arpeggiators of ‘Zamri’ filter in and out as the drum loops switch drum machines and filters to create booms of chaos at random. ‘Begi’ flicks from alien theremin to breakbeat freakouts in an instant. Throughout half the release there is a sense of fear and schizophrenia as underneath all the chaos is often a layer of smoother synth pads you’ll rarely hear.
Those smoother pads are kept for other tracks such as ‘Smotri’ and ‘Padai’ where the album feels more cyberpunk and cinematic. The relaxed beats and low-octave moods feel like the forest is foreboding but safer in these songs. All these tracks mentioned are largely quite short though and half the release’s runtime is dedicated to two tracks. ‘Leti’ and closer ‘Doroga’ are experimental noise pieces. They use the GBA sounds to create harsh atmospheres and creepy vibes. In ‘Leti’ we have thick drone hums and scattered high-pitch warbles. With ‘Doroga’ it sounds more like multiple oscillating modular synths are unwinding at different speeds. Both remind me of the experimental modular synth genre and give this whole release a uniquely uneasy tone.
Whilst certainly not for everyone, if you were looking for an 8-bit mixture of horror and intrigue, L_qcy brings it in spades. It took me a few listens to really click with ‘Obelisk’ but now I feel like it’s a missing Clock Tower game soundtrack.
Recommended track: Padai
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