Saturday 25 April 2020



Back in 2013, Lindsay Lowend released an incredible collection of music: the Wind Fish EP. It popped with energy, combining hyperactive dopamine-firing electronics and footwork-flavoured beats with videogame music for an unforgettable sound. With the added bonus of being, in title at least, inspired by a unique Zelda title (Game Boy bop Link's Awakening, of course), Lindsay Lowend set a bar of quality for early '10s internet music.

And then he was gone — sort of. Lindsay Lowend maintained an output of a few sporadic tracks from then on, and even an album under his actual name, Antonio Mendez — 2018's Highland Drive.

Meanwhile, the Wind Fish EP, and its creator, drifted into legend.

- But now like Link himself in a legend retold, Lowend has risen and released LL 2020 - Volume 1 into the world: a 3-track EP that enlists the help of fellow VGM-leaning musicmaker Maxo.

Beginning with a dose of chiptune, 'NBA LIVE 99' shares the funk-meets-jazz club vibe of its namesake's soundtrack (check out the NBA Live 99 menu music, for starters) but keeps it strictly 16-bit. The bass fuzz and staccato beat, stuttering melodies and glittery top notes carve a territory somewhere between Streets of Rage and an off-duty Sonic the Hedghog, moving into a second half beset with hefty chords and fluid neon melody. It's a party.

In 'should my pet be eating that' (lol), the sound morphs into something more contemporary, plasma chords clacking with wonky sheen — similar to the spacey vibe of the 'Wi-Fi Menu' theme in Mario Kart Wii and the stark, soft-and-sharp intro to Dizzee Rascal's 'Sittin' Here'. It presses on, driven by a robust D&B-flavoured beat (a passage of skiffling breakbeat dropped in for good measure), the warm melodica-esque chords and a woozy virtuosic melody painting a the by-the-sea vibe.

'Permabanned' (again: lol) finishes things up beautifully. Like admiring a sunset with new pals on Animal Crossing, this is Lowend's effervescent collab with Maxo, streaks of melody like sun sparkling on water playing over a chord progression that K.K. Slider would be proud of: lounge-y, emotive and dipping into pools of chill, snippets of real-life birdsong peal between the instrumental (it's not his first foray into foley, going by this Breath of the Wild redub) — a trickle of reality from your window. An echo, maybe, of Wind Fish title track with its crashing waves and beeping seagulls.

The first multi-track release from Lindsay Lowend in years may be short, but it hits the spot: pure chiptune, VGM-style atmospheres, variegated beats, a lush environment. And if you're left wanting more, that's ok: LL 2020 - Volume 1 is just the beginning.

  • 🔔 You can listen to and purchase ($1, or more if you're feeling generous) Lindsay Lowend's LL 2020 - Volume 1 over on his Bandcamp.

Lindsay Lowend Internet Presence ☟

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