GEECH ГИЫЧЬ – Smetana EP

Chiptune could (some say should) be a genre that focused on awakening our nostalgia for 8-bit and early computer gaming. The time in our lives when an extremely pixelated image of a troll and a bunch of statistics could awaken the sense of adventuring in a lost land, fighting evil. It can, however, be something altogether different, especially when it meshes with other genres. Often the result is terrible, sometimes it is truly great, and sometimes – as with GEECH ГИЫЧЬ and their Smetana – it is both simultaneously.

Recorded in Sweden and the Ukraine during the latter part of 2014 using a Nintendo DS and a Sony Xperia J, the EP is hardly the epitome of traditional chiptune. It opens with some odd voices and clicks, whereupon the radically catchy dance/house track “Rubberduck” opens with its strong chiptune influences. It is followed by two far more minimalist, somewhat noisy pieces, both of which have their special charm. Then, after a field recorded beer can opening and some distorted mumbling, the dreamy and funky “Revo Bubbles” kicks in. Another inaudible conversation covered in what amounts to cassette tape hiss, and “Cheap Booze” invites us to walk in a drunken, self satisfied manner down a street in Stockholm or Kiev. Mumbling noise begins and fades, and the EP ends with “Electrode”, which kicks so much ass the only bad thing that can be said of it is that it is absurdly short. Don’t make your good tracks absurdly short, please, GEECH ГИЫЧЬ.

The overall feel of this EP is one of befuddlement. Everything, from the band name to the supposed recording history of the album itself (what were they doing in the Ukraine in late 2014? Are they really from Hong-Kong?), is confusing, and that includes the music. There’s lots of stuff going on here, and it’s difficult to wrap your head around it all, despite the minimal play time. Nevertheless: if you can handle the confusion, this isn’t half bad.

This is clearly headphone music, with the stereo being utilized like it’d just been invented. There’s all the right blipping and blopping, but there’s clearly way too much strangeness going on to qualify this as the regular, feel-good chiptune we all know and love. Considering it’s free, you should probably check it out anyway.

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