Listen and download:
A really big weird album with stuff I’ve made over the course of several years. It’s the sequel to Vertical Slice, but it has a lot less bad chiptune in it.
- Redistort: A lengthy ambient piece to open the album. The beginning is a reversed version of the end of “Undistort”, the last track from Vertical Slice, so there’s some neat symmetry to it.
- 4D Turbulence: The first of many really short tracks. This was made much, much earlier than Redistort, but I think it extends its intensity pretty well.
- Supertri: Where “4D Turbulence” extends the intensity, this casually subverts it. I’m such a jerk.
- Technicolor Circuitry: I think this is a song about tiny multicolored robots buzzing around to fix something. It’s cute but it also has noisy breakbeats.
- Buzz Roll: This is basically extratone that I made before I knew what extratone was. Congratulations to me for thinking of the revolutionary idea of turning up the tempo in my DAW really high!
- [timestretch/hell]: This was made for the Abstractionauts “Stretch and Split” album. The entire album was simultaneously produced in only 2 hours.
I interpreted the theme by having lots of broken-up bits and timestretching. The main breakbeat the track is based around is also present in a drastically slowed-down form.
- Makers of the Spire: This track was originally meant to be part of the “Aliased Road” album, but I felt like it didn’t fit there. But Horizontal Slice can be a home for anything.
- Synthetic Orange Juice: Another cute interlude. I made this years ago, forgot about it, and recently discovered it, which is the story of a lot of the tracks on this album. Somehow it really feels like it sounds the way that orange juice tastes, right? No? Forget I said anything.
- Strange Waters: This track is ultra simple but I really like it for some reason. It’s like a vignette of a raft in a calm ocean in the middle of the night.
- Nothing to Hear Here: The shortest track, clocking in at a whopping 2 seconds. This was supposed to be a video essay intro at one point, but probably will never be used for that purpose even if I do eventually get to making videos.
- Gorilla Jam Power Bite: I made this for a goofy video a friend was working on for a school project. It’s a stop-motion animated fake commercial where two guys are enjoying “Power Bites” (like an energy drink but it’s gummy candy), but then a robotic gorilla appears out of nowhere, wrecks their shit, and steals their candy. I have good friends.
- Danger Mod: Messing around with delay effects. It sounds pretty dire, doesn’t it?
- Pivotal Moment: This was made for a secret project that isn’t out yet. It’s a dark ambient piece about choices.
- I don’t know what he was expecting (in C Elephant): This was written in 12tone’s randomized “Elephant Scale”, described here.
I dunno if it really feels like C is the root, and the sample at the end doesn’t really fit the scale, but for the melody I sure did use the notes from the video! I’m a master composer.
The outro is sampled from a Hollow Knight stream I did where I mourn the death of Tiso, an in-game character who threatens to easily defeat you but then gets unceremoniously killed offscreen. (Sorry if I spoiled Hollow Knight for anyone just now.)
- Space Trolley: A weird variation on “The Dimensional Siphon” from my Unshackled OST album.
- Space doesn’t sound like this but I thought it would be fun to use these samples so please be nice to me: The title says it all, really.
- ClutteredHardDrive: Really old track. Every sample is a non-audio file interpreted as waveform data. These include text files, batchfiles, jpegs, and more obscure filetypes like AUF models, Interface Builder files, whatever “SuperMarioBros4(W1).xtgg.mm” is supposed to be, and game worlds for Alice (a very simplistic educational 3D programming…thing) and ZZT (a game creation system from the 90s. The opening sample is a snippet of “Code Red” [file 2] by Alexis Janson).
Going through trying to figure out these files years after the fact was a trip (I completely forgot Alice existed, and I’m not quite sure what to do with this information).
- Robot Monks on a Mountaintop: This was made using instrument samples from “ThePath 2.009”, a Renoise demo track. I had a lot of fun with extended arpeggios and stuff.
- Save Saturation: This was made for “The Cuest”, a VVVVVV level by pixelator.
It’s a rough dark ambient piece that uses VVVVVV’s checkpoint noise, since it takes place in an area with giant checkpoints everywhere. It’s probably the most chiptuney this album gets, but it’s still relatively sound design-oriented.
- Ice Spikes: This was made for the Ableton Loop “Start Here” challenge.
The challenge was to make a track that heavily samples a short ambient piece by Flora Yin-Wong. My track exclusively uses the sample, nothing else is added. The breakbeats are constructed from little percussive bits from near the end of the sample.
- Mow: This was made for “CATS!”, a compilation album organized by Abstractionauts. (best fuckin album theme ever)
The synth makes meow noises! Also I like the buildup of the track, it sounds really big. Also the last note is deliberately way out of tune, it’s literally halfway between two notes.
- “I MADE SOMETHING”, I bombastically declare before giving you tinnitus: Coming down from the energy of “Mow”, it’s a ringy break.
- UUhh,,: For some reason I really like the shift distortion at the end of the track. It’s a pretty… unique sound, if nothing else. Like a harsh pillow for your ears.
- Using the amen break unironically: An old track, from a simpler time. A time when I used the amen break unironically. I like the weird chords near the end.
- Sky Blue Zone 3: I just can’t stay away from Sky Blue Zone, which I’ve only just now realized sounds like the name of a Sonic level. Zone 1 was made for an ancient game project I never finished and later put on Vertical Slice, Zone 2 was made later specifically for that album, and now we’re on Zone 3. Just as Zone 2 was an ambient piece (which I wouldn’t have done back when I made Zone 1), Zone 3 is a more conventional house track (which I wouldn’t have done back when I made Zone 2). So I guess I’m gonna make one of these whenever my style shifts drastically? As I write this, I wonder what a bedroom pop Sky Blue Zone would sound like…
- 187 Languages: “I am at your disposal with 187 languages along with their various dialects.”
— robot voice I got off some free sample site years ago
- Suspended Rhythm: This was made for the Abstractionauts “Spring” album.
Every track pulled from the same set of spring box samples. I used the samples exclusively: even the kick and snare drums are samples with pitchbending.
- of the 1 bleep: So named because it’s all made with a single waveform run through different effects. The title is the exact same as the filename from years ago, because I thought it was the right mix of quirky and slightly baffling.
- It is Human to Sine: A fun interlude. Has some neat automation on the effects.
- Pretentious Video Essay Music: I want to make some video essays at some point, but if I do they probably won’t feature this music. It’s the last “conventional” track on the album; things are about to go off the rails.
- A Protist is Calling You: This song is tiny and cute.
- Tone Zone: This track changes the offset of the sine at the start (away from the center of the waveform) to deliberately clip it. The rest of it is less gimmicky but has a quirky, off-kilter feel. I love the title of this track. It’s the exact same as the filename I came up with in 2009. WELCOME TO THE TONE ZONE MOTHERFUCKERS
- DC Offset Tricks: The offset modulation from “Tone Zone” is now where all of the sound design comes from. If you connect a DC Offset effect to an LFO then you now have a really stupid oscillator.
- It’s Busted: Oops
- What if I made music?: This is the earliest-dated track I could find on my hard drive, so for all intents and purposes it’s my very first song. Since this album is stuff from lots of different time periods (this track’s a decade old!), it made thematic sense to put this here to cap it off. It’s lucky that it’s listenable (and accidentally sorta neat): it’s just a weird haphazard combination of built-in synth instruments, but soon after I switched to impossibly grating cacophonies of basic waveforms. Thanks past me!
- Dedistort: I made this track because I was worried about stagnation. It’s a pretty depressing note to end on, but I think my next album’ll be more optimistic. So until next time, thanks for listening and reading everything!