Saturday, 11 February 2012

Unicorn Kid - From Myspace to the masses.

Some of you wont know who Unicorn Kid is, others will with an odd MySpace glint of the eye, and a nostalgic smile for the old times - even though your nostalgia is only dating back about 3/4 years. So, for those who do not know who he is, I will give you a brief introduction into who he is.

MySpace used to have a high population of interesting stuff to pay attention to when it was popular. It was like a really rad city, showcasing the best of everything creative that the internet needed to show you. Trends began, changed and went thanks to the site, and it was pretty much what Tumblr is now, but a few years earlier. One of the more common genres that gained in popularity there was chiptune, or 8-bit music and one of the pioneers and most famed of the time was in fact Unicorn Kid. Taking the genre and making it more pop centred than most, he managed to gain a lot of popularity in that time.

Fast forward a couple of years, and a couple of changes have occurred. He has gone through several incarnations, themes, sounds and switched websites. He has dabbled in dubstep, electro, remixes and now he settles in a little place he seems to have found comfortable - it's some sort of hybrid of 90s rave music; incorporating a lot of 90s hippy imagery, with peace signs, tie dye, bleached or bright colours, ying/yangs, dolphins and that sort of thing. Him and a lot of people like him seem to have incorporated a lot of 90s animation imagery with modern elements - pixilated and poor early 3DG, 90s Windows/Mac icons, aliens, purposefully bad talk (lyk dis u no) and a lot of odd emoticons, often making a nod to Japanese anime.

Call him what you want - he's going through a very 'hip' period, and, in many respects, can be considered a bit 'hipsterish'? (not that I'm entirely satisfied with that word existing). However, despite the entire image and the unusual trending he does, there is no getting away from the fact that Unicorn Kid is a modern day young (20 years old, in fact) genius. And we all know how taboo that word should be.

Even from the beginning, he showed himself to be a highly complex and talented electronic pop tune writer, showcasing chiptune better than most. The songs had really catchy melodies, build-ups, break-downs intros and outros. Having those elements, combining good song writing with a very new and enjoyable form of electronic music, he has only seemed to progress further with every release. Even when he's writing a remix or dabbling with a hybrid of chiptune, electro and dubstep with releases like Dream Catcher, putting a new spin on a very well received new genre in itself, he is still writing solid, well rounded tracks. It is really inspiring and impressive how committed he is to pushing himself and not just always writing catchy songs that are still credible, but reinventing himself more often than most do yet still subtly hinting to his chiptune routes.

With his latest release, the free Tidal Rave EP (available here), he's refreshed his sound, with a lot of rave influence, as self explanatory from the EP title. Keeping the many melody giving elements of chiptune, he throws in a lot of that classic piano chords so prevalent in that time, and a lot of kick-pedal and cymbal heavy beats. He seems to be trying to reinvent rave in a modern context, and he does it so very well. Chiptune always has been a genre I’ve had respect for, and it's one that always has a lot of notes, basically filling the sound with as much melody and pop brilliance as possible, like an electronic incarnation of math-rock.

An artist who always seems to be on the up creatively, it will certainly be remarkable to see how he progresses over the years, and when he finally releases a debut album. Rarely does an artist excite me as much as Unicorn Kid.

Eliot Humpreys

No comments:

Post a Comment