llydia’s rpg by Jellica, but really a treatise on process

Made in Goattracker Stereo for Commodore 64, with some effects.

Art by Francoise Gamma (Videogramo)

Mastered by Dominique Pelletier

Option to buy with 8 completely unrelated Stickers

8cm x 8cm, vinyl, laminated.

Internet Era
Chantal, my friends silly cat
Mystic Hand

7 by Jellica, 1 by Francoise Gamma (Videogramo)

Relatively speaking, I do not have to review albums. Whatever I say about an album immediately goes out the window when you, the reading, click the embed above and become the listener. In the old version of the blog, I was fastidious and prompt in posting stuff I like as it became available because I was excited for and wanted to do my part to help spread the wave of discovery. Since the blog ended, I thought a lot about the labor involved in this, and sometimes even the anxiety it brings and decided to do things a bit differently this go around.

First of all, a disclaimer. Jellica gave me a download code. I love his work and would’ve posted this otherwise, but I greatly appreciate the gesture, as it was something that never caught on as an idea at the old TCTD. I will gladly listen to anything people send me but reserve the right to not post about it, and only ask that you please don’t take it as a judgment call. I will tweet a lot more and blog a lot less in this go of the blog, and hope that is enough for people.

Ok, so what about this release? If you are unfamiliar Jellica has always been on the periphery of the Commodore64 style, owing more allegiance to spacesynth visionaries like Klaus Schultz or Tangerine Dream than Hubbard or the Demoscene. This is a compliment, as the c64 sid chip tends to be both rich from a chiptune sound palette design perspective, and limited in melodic voicing (having only three voices, and a shared analog filter). This really lends itself to the sounds on this release, as the interplay of these two realities paints a sound that is at times baroque and futuristic, claustrophobic and expansive.

The accompanying artwork on the physical side is gorgeous, both in the colors and simplicity of the designs. The artwork by Videogrammo and Jellica evoke classic bbs graphics, something even more retro than most retro pixel art I can describe them, but simply look at them:

A series of 8 stickers are included with the physical release of Lydia's RPG. They are shown here in two rows of 4 images. The top row starts with a blue sticker labeled "Internet Era", A cheerful cat, a pixel version of the us television show friends, and a juxtaposition of geometric shapes over a landscape image. The second row starts with a friendly bird and the text Jellica repeated in sequence, a neon image of a hand covered in Mehndi and various symbols, four feminine faces looking leftwards, and a fashionable woman adjusting her sunglasses.

If you cannot view these, I have described them as best as I can in the alt text, something I intend going forward.

Finally, I want to call out the gorgeous mastering by Dominique Pelletier, in her hands, there is cohesiveness and fullness to the sound that makes you forget this is an incredible archaic sound chip and believe this is a lost synthesizer classic. Really top-notch stuff.

My job as a reviewer is to get you to simply press play and let the reader decide for themselves. I don’t have any expectations beyond that for these types of reviews and hope that if I only do that, for long enough, then each release profiled here will be regarded as interesting and as noteworthy as I believe there are. I’m sure the methodology of these posts will evolve as my thinking on TCTD’s return does, but I thank you for coming along the journey.