Smoke Reviews... Aivi and Surasshu Presents: The Black Box
The Black Box is a top notch album, and comes at a high recommendation to both Chiptune and Jazz fans alike.
Album: The Black Box
Artists: Aivi and Surrashu
Release: March 8, 2013
What's all this then?
The Black Box is the creation of composer and pianist Aivi Tran and chiptune musician Surasshu, with artwork by Diana Jakobssen. This collaborative piece is only one, of a range of works that Aivi has done, as she has also worked alongside other fairly well known youtube artists, as well as a number of indie games. Surasshu on the other hand, has worked with the likes of Capcom, Amaze Entertainment, and EA.
As you can clearly see, the artwork of Diana Jakobssen is highly influenced by such pieces as The Adventures of Tin Tin, while still blending it with other art styles. Not only does this artwork provide something pretty to look at, but it also functions as the story of the album. All of this thanks to the 14 page mini comic detailing the begging of the adventures of Aivi the archaeologist and her findings of the mysterious Black Box. I can only imagine that this is the beginning of a line of adventures featuring our heroes. Whether that means a continuation of artwork alone, or more albums... well that remains to be seen.
It's amazing that I have gone this long without talking about the actual music. The Black Box provides a fantastic mix of classical, jazz, and chiptunes. As someone who enjoys all of these genres, it is quite easy for me to get into the album. As for you Zelda and Katamari fans, well there might be something for you guys as well. In terms of must listen to tracks, one of the best on the album would have to go to “Here's How!”, for being a straight up jazzy tune all the way through. If you want something more happy and upbeat, well Distance is more up your alley.
It's not much of a stretch to say that this is one of my favourite albums of this year, and one of the best chiptune records I've heard since Vacation Wasteland by Slime Girls and Bug Spray by Ben Carignan last year. Oh, and did I mention that it is available at the low price of... whatever you want to pay. This may not appeal to those who aren't into melodic piano music, but if you are looking for something different in the world of chiptunes, well then, this comes at a heavy recommendation. However, if you are more into the crazier side of chiptunes, then may I recommend the works of Chipzel or Knife City.
In the end, I give this album an 8.5/10.
As for my next blog, well...
Well since you can stream it for free, there is no reason not to.
Nice review. I'm kind of interested in giving it a shot.
I threw a few bucks in. It is quite amazing, and I hope they continue the series.
I got this album on Band Camp a few days back. It's a very phenomenal series of songs. Here's hoping I can give a few bucks to them soon. I hate downloading the music of talented artists for free, even when they allow it.