Taking Me To School

artist: Byzanite
genre: electronica, chiptune, trance
label: unsigned

Oh music, I am your eager pupil and you rarely disappoint me. Today I learned about a genre I’d never heard of. It’s called chiptune and one of its practitioners is Ben Paulsen, from Wales, who goes by the musical name Byzanite! On his MySpace page (www.myspace.com/byzanite), Ben says chiptune is also referred to as 8-bit/80’s game music and is “music that is made on a step-sequencer running on a games console, preferably a console from the 80’s. In the most common case, it’s a GameBoy.” Okay, let me get this straight, he’s making music on a Nintendo Game Boy? I couldn’t even get past level 4 on Mario Brothers and he’s turning out tunes with his? I’m intrigued, but what’s it sound like?

You won’t find much in the way of vocals, but Byzanite creates dance-ready anthems like “Enigma,” with its relentless pulse, chiming electronics and ray-gun sounding effects. “Panic Attack!” struck me as what a thunderstorm in hell would sound like. “Homebase” features pauses and starts, yet never stops coming. The thing I took away from Byzanite’s music was how cool it sounded when played loudly and how impressive the movements and sequences were. The songs may not hit you immediately, but additional listenings bring the rewards. Byzanite’s music is layered, a bit hypnotic and definitely exciting. Plus, he seems like a good guy, as he writes on his myspace page: “if you wanna know how i make my music, or you just want some help in making your own music, don’t be afraid to message or comment me…i will get back to you as fast as i can: YOU WILL NOT BE IGNORED!” Honestly, it’s hard to ignore music as creative as this. If you like electronica, seek out Byzanite.

– Thurdeen

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  • DMitch 2011.03.11 at 10.30 am

    I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I couldn’t believe how rich the tracks sounded. I’m not expert on electronica, but the layers and the nuances are as good as anything else I’ve heard. I think what Byzanite demonstrates is that musicality will shine through, no matter what instrument you use.

  • Byzanite 2011.03.12 at 4.12 pm

    Thanks so much for this review. I’m glad that my songs give out such a positive & powerful vibe!


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