Oh that sprinkling of chiptune nostalgia, why did I forsaken thee. You couldn’t move round these parts for early 80s home computer music. Quite rightly hugely influential on all manner of electronic musicians, the primitive (by necessity) synths of Rob Hubbard were being resurrected all over the place. Then came the rise of the analogue synth and we all went Oneotrix and dug out some obscure German private press. And that was hugely enjoyable too. I’m reliably informed that the 16-bit generation were now fully entrenched making all manner of Bass in the UK which means that in a few years time hook laden channel-poor title screen music won’t have that same pull on a generation of music producers. Which, in some small way makes us rather sad. Licensed high quality music allowed us to drive around the virtual streets listening to Terry Riley and/or Jamie Principle which was great, but was it as great as this?
Chandeliers return to these pages with a headlong rush down the geometric trench you see above. The chiptunes are strong with this one; managing to uncover the hitherto unseen path between No-Wave in NYC and our Spectrum dominated bedrooms on the other side of the Atlantic. The recorded-in-a-box drums and wandering guitars would grace your favourite New York Noise comp. (ours is Vol.2), but the synths are straight from a wasted youth traversing endless 2D worlds — where games were still like books: requiring an almost parasitic investment of imagination to make their abstract shapes comprehensible, but in return they gave us worlds.
There’s a great moment after the initial rush of New Times, where the music seems to split apart. Snatches of early Chicago House (which so influenced Sega’s early 90s music policy) and echos of the aforementioned Germanic experimentalism of the 70s, pull that early 80s nucleus in two. What’s unleashed from that atomic metaphor is a an endearingly kaleidoscopic, complex world. As evocative as the evocative things it invokes.
New Times is the first track on Chandeliers’ latest album, Founding Fathers. It’s out on Captcha Records on June 19th.