Blimey. I spend a lot of time trying to promote my own slightly rubbish music, so I thought it would be quite nice if i plugged some other people for a change. Consequently, here’s my first “album of the week!”
Irrlicht Project is a music producer/performer/code artist who originally hails from the Netherlands. His musical work is less to do with the “retro”/nostalgia side of the old computer scene and more to do with exploring the artistic opportunities that come from producing sound engines for ancient computers that were never intended to be used as sound-producers.
One of the sound sources used by Irrlicht Project is the piezoelectric buzzer found in the original Zx Spectrum, and that was how I came across his album Dat Fuzz.
You see, the Buzzer in the Spectrum is a really interesting piece of kit. As it is driven entirely by the CPU, the Spectrum’s capabilities as a sound source can vary quite dramatically depending on the software written to drive the buzzer. Irrlicht Project is himself a prolific producer of this type of sound driver and that helps to make Dat Fuzz an absolute joy to listen to.
Spread across 17 brisk and moody chiptune-style tracks, this album probably won’t be the one to convert someone who has an existing grudge against electronic music. Now with that having been said, if you like upbeat electronic music, have any sort of interest in harsh noisy tones, or are simply a Speccy owner who is curious about the kind of music your ancient computer is actually capable of, you could do a lot worse than giving this album a listen.
From my perspective, this album ticks every box. From a musical angle, Irrlicht Projects traditional musical knowledge and experience shine through on all of the albums tracks. His compositions are varied and interesting and this helps give his album a real sense of flow.
On top of that that, the types and quality of sounds he extracts from the Spectrum are amazing. This really is a master class in making the most of minimal hardware. You should listen to it right here, right now:
You can check out the albums release page and buy the CD from: here
If you want to find out about all the other cool things Irrlicht Project has done, you can check out his site here: http://irrlichtproject.de/