Mail Chimp

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nerdapalooza Quest 2013 - Album Review

I am not giving you the backstory on nerdcore here. B-Type is a rapper and producer from the UK who wants to perform at this big nerdcore show in Orlando, FL, so he's released this "pay what you want" compilation album to help pay for it. A noble gesture, and one he hopes you'll return.

There are thirty tracks, many of them quite good. I'm just going to mention some of them.

The first, appropriately enough, is by B-Type himself, "Party Robot". And, oh, yeah, B is a British MC. I sort of forgot about that somehow. I don't really dig British MCs. I never even listened to The Streets. I like that sort of thing best in small doses, like on The Shamen's albums. But, to his credit, what he does is pretty listenable, and also nicely nerdy. The track itself is classic nerdcore, instrumentally, and sets the tone for the rest of the compilation.

Next up is The Great Divide, by Dual Core. I love the instrumental, which is a slow dubsteppy track. Intense The MCing is sort of frantic but cool. The whole thing is utterly dominated by the instrumental, though, and that's not too bad, in this case. Cause I love the instrumental. I'm not "down" with the latest "lingo", but I think this officially makes DJ Roborob a "beast".

"Digital Nightmares" by Equivox is pretty amazing. I guess this qualifies as chiptunes? It's an instrumental that would be a great soundtrack for an R-Type style shooter, preferably on the Amiga. But to call it mere videogame soundtrack music is to do it a huge disservice. It's actually more like a video game itself, if that makes any sense. The music actually does a great job of making you actually see the game in question. While the graphics are supplied by you, the actions of the game are well described by the music. There is simulated laser fire and explosions. Not sounds effects, but the music implies such things. So it's overall subtle and compelling. They're really packing a lot into a three-minute instrumental, conceptually. Bravo. 

Breakbeat Heartbeat 's "Breath" is a slower, non-techno instrumental. It's vaguely Asian in feel. A bit repetitive  but it did make for nice background music as I wrote the previous review. Excellent video game music, though.
"Palette" by Skin Walker comes pretty hard. Very Octomed/Tracker in feel, it's bouncy and varied. The bridge is wild. I really like this track. It's hardcore. I could dance to this, but people might get hurt.
SK8BIT - "Thats What You Get" (Paramore Remix). Couldn't do it. Not a fan of Paramore, and I couldn't listen to enough of it to say anything about the instrumetal aspect of it, and I never heard the original, so I can't comment on the remix aspect. Great if you like upbeat, female vocals in your techno. Just not my thing.
Superpowerless - "My Dinosaur". Ha! I've got this bastard now. Oliver is one of these scene cats that just makes everyone sick. Everything he touches is golden. He's made some insanely good tracks, is immensely popular, by most accounts good-looking, a phenominal artist and humorist with an ever-growing following. And I think he dated fanatical? We all love him so much we hate him. Yes, I can speak for everyone, here. That's why I am ELATED to say I don't like this track very much. Fuck. That's what I was going to write. But I'm listening to it again because I need to write this review. And it's grown on me. It'd be perfect on college radio. Hell, it would make a good intro to cartoon on PBS. Bah, you bastard, Oliver. You have a weak point, somewhere. I'll find it. A perfect example of someone who would have been snapped up by a label back in the days when there were record labels.

On the other hand, I wanted to like Ham-Star's "Moral Turpitude" more than I did. Of course, it's a sort of niggling complaint I have with it, anyway. I don't mind the somewhat tinny backing track. This is kind of like a white kid "Nature of the Threat", in feel and conceptually, to a lesser degree. The flow is cool, the lyrics are an example of Ham-Star's command of the lsnguage. I like what he's saying, furthermore. I just don't think the track got as extreme as it could have. He even makes note of this in one of the last verses. Since it's all about moral outrageous of the past, it feels a bit like preaching to the converted. I'd like to have had it tackle controversial issues of today, as well, for maximum impact. I would almost compare this to Consolidated, except it's not whiny and annoying. 

8bit Duane - "Party In Space" (feat. Shammers and B​-​Type) is great. It's just a fun party track, and the backing instrumental is sort of subdued. A lot of clever lyrics.

And that's just a few of the whopping 30 tracks included. This is a great compilation, especially if you're not a nerdcore snob and also like non-hip-hop nerd music. I gotta hand it to B-Type for helping to keep the nerd music scene alive. 

I should also mention that Torrentz, a crew in part also from the UK, are trying to get to NPLZA, and have a compilation effort of their own, toward the same end. My man Milk Plus.

Best of luck to all involved. Nerdapalooza looks to be massive this year.