- Central Processing Unit concerns itself with the language and the look of coding. Each release has a catalog number and artwork in binary code. No release on the Sheffield label has embraced this like Floptrik, an EP from the Swedish experimentalist Anders Carlsson made entirely on a Commodore 64, an '80s 8-bit home computer, and released on floppy disk. The disk is designed to be loaded into a Commodore 64—or more realistically, a C64 emulator—where you can play the tracks along with videos created by Carlsson. The music, like most chiptune, is crunchy, brittle and occasionally harsh. But it's also surprisingly complex, embodying the Sheffield label's lineage of ambient techno, IDM and electro.
Despite the primitive technology, the songs on Floptrik sound bulky. This is heard in the thick, gurgling textures of "Monday Night" and the bass-heavy growl of "Varkex." The tracks are also detailed—"Varkex" buries catchy melodies underneath bleepy chaos while "Oso" makes the usually chirpy sound of chiptune dizzyingly dense. Sometimes the music is abstract, like on the IDM-ish highlight "Automatas," which sounds like a Commodore 64 gone haywire, or the relatively straightforward "Varken," which would suit a club set. The bitcrushed noises on "Dansa In" recall the dubstep experiments of Akira Kiteshi, while "Birds On Fire Note," another highlight, pulls back the frantic vibes for something more plaintive and considered.
"Birds On Fire Note" captures what sets Carlsson apart from gimmicky chiptune artists. The heaving bassline on "Monday Night," for instance, rivals any modern techno or dubstep track. Floptrik sounds like literal computer music. It's not always easy listening, but it's a fascinating extension of the CPU aesthetic.
01. Monday Night
06. Dansa In
07. Birds On Fire Note
08. Dr. Step
09. Fist Of Trade
10. In The Name Of The Sword