Goto80 - Commodore Grooves
Goto80, known legally as Anders Carlsson, is certainly a man who knows how to fill a CD. Not only does his debut album, Commodore Grooves, contain twelve tracks of highly-danceable Swedish electropop, but he’s shoehorned in over five hours of music, video and text as well. Yet again, the waste-not-want-not aesthetic of the low-budget label, Rebel Pet Set, produces a CD packed with content.
According to his seizure-inducingly colourful website, Goto80 makes his music with, amongst other things, Commodore 64s, an Amiga 1200 and a Gameboy. You see, Mr. Carlsson is one of these newfangled ‘chiptune’ musicians -- that is to say, he makes music using the audio microchips of out-of-date hardware. And he’s damn good at it. To tell the truth, Goto80 is actually one of the least-newfangled chiptune musicians out there, having been perfecting his bizarre digital craft for over ten years.
The opening track of Commodore Grooves, the appropriately-titled Let’s Go, starts with a few seconds of painful noise which, thankfully, morphs quickly into a standard bouncy chiptune beat. So far, so average…then comes the rapping. Vocals are something noticeably absent from most chip music I’ve heard, and Carlsson’s deliberately ridiculous lyrics and gloriously Swedish accent make this track great.
The next stand-out track is definitely Raymond. The intro sounds like the bastard child of Brian Eno and the princess from Super Mario Land and the ensuing heavy bass and glitchy drum patterns are another welcome departure from regular chiptune style.
Fantasy, undoubtedly the best track on the album, is an epic and hilarious computer love story, set to a dangerously catchy melody. The intricate IDM-style drum solo in the middle is fantastic. A rainbow-coloured dance fest.
Inevitably, as well as the good, there’s the…erm…less good. Namely, Spit. It’s a pretty funny track, actually -- something like Napalm Death being played down a very low-quality phone line -- but won’t really be many people’s cup of tea. I’m not too fond of some of the instrumental pieces either, though the laid-back beats of Ajvar Relish definitely deserve a mention.
Now, onto the one thing that makes this CD unique and awesome and extra-specially super-cool: pop it in your computer and you'll be greeted not only by videos, but by bonus mp3 tracks, a wealth of original Amiga MOD files, playable on software like Deli Player, and even an access code for a super-secret section on the Goto80 website. I'm not even going to hint at what that contains, but it will, in all probability, BLOW YOUR MIND! It's like a retro video game music treasure hunt.
Goto80’s music isn’t a gimmick like some chiptune -- he makes the Commodore 64, a machine released twenty-four years ago, sound fresh and vital. In electronic music, a field where the latest equipment becomes obsolete in a matter of months, that’s got to be worth something.
Buy Commodore Grooves now from Rebel Pet Set.