Pitch to Pixel Album Spotlight

It isn’t very often that I come across a great piece of music. When it happens for me, I almost always try and make a point to get as many people listening as possible. Great music has a habit of working itself into my daily routines, much in the same way a cute pet nuzzles up for a good cuddle (yeah yeah, make fun of me all you want. I’m getting married, and my virginity lives in the distant past). I really value the presence of a good album’s tendency to create a comfortable atmosphere. They say that music is the soundtrack to life, a quote that weighs heavily on how I pick the music I enjoy. This is why I find myself immersed in only a few good albums each year, which is in itself a curse and a blessing.

This year has been pretty quiet on the music front so far, though this quickly changed last week when Moon 8 was dropped on us. I’m normally not a big fan of chiptune albums though, with, at best, maybe 3 or 4 albums in the genre attracting my attention. The novelty of hearing Pink Floyd’s original work molded into something I could appreciate, admittedly caught me off guard. Little did I know however, that right under my nose, there was a home made chiptune album being released that would surpass my week old expectations. An album that has opened up a whirlwind of curiosity and feelings of exploration in a genre that I’m admittedly not very familiar with.

That album is Pitch to Pixel Volume 1: A Collection of 8-Bit Video Game Inspired Music.

Rob Howard, industry man and Jazz enthusiast, has pumped out one of the most amazing chiptune albums I have ever heard. These songs are as complex as they are straightforward in their delivery. The work on the album will take you back to days spent plopped on a carpet jamming on your NES, eyes transfixed on whatever pixelated character you were vicariously living through, while retaining only the long term memory of the heart thumping tune blasting out of your TV’s mono speaker. I spend a ton of time sitting at my computer, and always have a need for good tunes running in the background. It isn’t often that I stop and just lean back in my chair to concentrate on what bleeds from my speakers. If there were anything bad to say about PtP, it would be how often it has slyly lulled me away from whatever task I was trying to complete.

The album isn’t something that was quickly thrown together ether. Rob’s musical background is very obvious in the way the songs were crafted; with tempo and melody changes hitting in unexpected, yet reflectively fitting places; or in how the variety in the track listing has you opening the cd with a thumping fast paced track, and ending with slightly funky slow tempo song akin with the cliche “RPG Bar-Dive”. The variety of sound this album offers should connect with almost all NES game fans. Spend enough time with the CD, and you begin retrofitting (heh, there has to be a pun in there somewhere) the songs into famous scenes from all of your personal favorites. There are even little sound effects, resounding with an encompassing familiarity, that are randomly worked into certain tracks. The whole album is a roller coaster ride of nostalgia, which is pretty damn good for 15 original, never before heard or published, songs. You have got to buy this album if you’ve spent any time in the 80’s playing an 8 bit machine. For all intents and purposes, Pitch to Pixel shouldn’t exist. The album is incredibly original, and yet it seems to drive old memories to thought like a classic gaming tune should. This makes it truly special though, and as I’ve mentioned numerous times, it really shouldn’t be passed up on.

The album was created and composed by one man, and each penny from the albums sale goes a long way. With enough support, I know we will see more fantastic work from Rob – a privilege we would all enjoy. The CD is available now on CDBaby for $10, or for $0.99 a song. Information on the album, and the current musings of Rob Howard can be found at his blog, Pitch to Pixel.

Buy the Album Here! – CD Baby

Stay Informed on PtP News – Pitch to Pixel Blog

H/T – The Waxing Sage – I can’t find the damn link 😀
H/T – Thoughts of Fei – Bruce is to Batman as Rob is to Fei…. Long.

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2 Responses to “Pitch to Pixel Album Spotlight”

  1. Wow, thank you so much for your review and support. I’m deeply gratified that you enjoy the album, and I take special note of your comments regarding listening to it while working on things. I really wrote this album with that kind of “user” in mind. While in grad school, I’d crank out projects where I’d sit in the same chair with my Dell XPS laptop for easily 10 hours in one sitting. Music is really the only thing that got me through that, so it was my hope that this album would be something that people would use to help get them through those kind of tasks.

    Anyway, thanks again! 🙂

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