Amid all the noise in the universe in 2018, there seemed that we would have no escape. That was until March 10th.
This album, boasting a beautiful blue and green scheme for its cover art, designed by Shepaintswithblood, is a drastic change from chiptune artist, Kubbi’s, last full-length album, Ember, which with its red and orange cover, plays louder and harder than this new edition to his catalog. There are other subtle differences in the cover art as well. The triangle symbol in the middle of each image facing different directions and the small items hidden along the circular color patterns reference the feelings of each album. The fire and flames from Ember are represented by fast-paced tracks with distorted guitar, while the soft blue/green cover from Taiga hides stars, foliage, and forest demonstrated through a more atmospheric sound.
With its haunting intro track, Retrospect, you’re brought into Kubbi’s world. The swell of the pads resembles the dawn of a new day, the venture into a new season, the birth of something new. You can feel the environment around you. The melting of ice, the rivers flowing once again after the deep freeze of winter, the buds of the trees forming to blossom the green shade for the wildlife coming out of hibernation which flows into the second track of the album, Wake. You sense the feeling of being alive with the bells that fade in tolling like the sound of an alarm clock.
The album brings an uplifting euphoria to the foreground for the listener without breaking the aesthetic of being overpowering as it ebbs and flows and swells into whatever you are doing. As you continue your adventure through the album, you come across one of the most powerful tracks on the album, Hunter. With its opening notes hammered out from a piano, you are introduced to vocals by Andreas W. Røshol. The uplifting lyrics do not over-power and match the tone of the not only the track, but the whole album.
Coming out of Hunter, you’re brought back into the more chiptune based track, Antlers, that does not feel out of place with the “Chainsmokers-esque” track that it follows. Rounding out the album is Cold Snap. The final track on the album with a simplistic overtone seems like a mellow chiptune sound, but as the song progresses, you hear the synth-y strings wade through the atmosphere, creating the same feelings that Taiga’s opening track brings you, as the listener through.
The album, start to finish, brings you along for a positive ride, making anxiety and restlessness seem to be a thing of the past, even if only for the just over 42 minutes of the album’s run time. As the album starts to end, set it on repeat. When Retrospect starts over, you cannot tell the where album ended or began again. It is rare to find an album that not only works from start to finish, but grabs a hold of you and brings you from start to finish to start to finish again.
As always, all music reviews are 100% unsolicited from the artist(s).