As originally reported on, the fantastic soundtrack for Shovel Knight by Jake “Virt” Kaufman (with contribution’s by Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae) has been out and available for download at a Pay-What-You-Want price on Bandcamp for a little while now. The the music, as well as the game itself, has been described by most as both a a love letter to the NES and Genesis-era of video games, though it’s probably more appropriate to say the music and game are faithful evolutions of the retro-gaming genre. The inspirations from popular past franchises is evident in every nook and cranny of the sidescrolling platformer’s construction, but it does well enough on its own that the term “cookie-cutter” would not be giving the game enough credit, nor the music.
And there is a significant amount of music, and an additional album of arranged music by various artists on top of the original soundtrack’s ensemble as well. Shovel Knight may have had those who pledged to the game’s Kickstarter biting their nails in anticipation, but it certainly did good on its promise to deliver….in spades! (sorry, I’ll keep the puns to a minimum) Today, I’ll finally be focusing on Strike the Earth! Shovel Knight Arranged.
Back in February of this year, composer Jimmy “Big Giant Circles” Hinson released a Kickstarter funded album titled The Glory Days. A spiritual sequel to one of his earlier albums, Impostor Nostalgia, this new project featured original music written in the style of chiptunes and old-school videogame music. Part of the original Kickstarter stretch goals included the eventual release of a remix album, which the Kickstarter achieved.
The time has finally come for the release of this extra album. Each remix track comes from members of the game music community. Artists contributing on the album include Stemage, Chipzel, and C418. The Glory Days Remixed is set to launch on August 27th and you can pre-order it on the Big Giant Circles Bandcamp page.
Creators of a new game documentary have launched a Kickstarter. The project titled Beep is intending to take a look at the history of game music and sound. Everything from the old school sounds of arcade games all the way to the games of today. The focus isn’t just on the music of these games. The documentary will also be an exploration of audio design, voice work, and the use of chiptune and other game sound technology outside of the gaming medium. A book will also accompany the documentary to supply more detailed information about the various subjects covered in the film.
There are already plans for interviews with major members of the game audio community. Raising money through Kickstarter will aid the creators in being able to travel and interview composers and sound designers. Several composers have already been named for interviews including Tommy Tallarico, Winifred Phillips, Shota Nakama, Peter McConnell, and many more.
Rewards for backers include copies of the documentary, book, soundtrack, t-shirts, and many other physical rewards. The Kickstarter has already raised over $15,000 of the needed $40,000 pledge goal. If this sounds like a project you’d like to see made, definitely check this Kickstarter out.
Need more Random aka Mega Ran in your life? Then you may want to consider pre-order his new tour documentary Mega-Lo-Mania! Coming in more digital and physical formats, the documentary will chronicle the chip-hop artist’s recent tour and appearance at PAX. Along with the 33-minute film, directed by Michael Cardoza as he followed Mega Ran and soul/funk band The Lo-Classic, you’ll also be receiving 5 never-released recordings and some other goodies.
“I had a blast. It didn’t totally go as I’d expected, but I think that’s the best story to tell; that it won’t always work out 100% according to plan, and that making adjustments on the fly is such a big part of what we do. I love the way the documentary came out.” – Mega Ran
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – “Aria Of The Bloodline” (Live Practice Instrumental)
Pre-Order @ Mega-Lo-Mania Purchase Page
I wasn’t sure what to make of this album. I have listened to and reviewed game composers remixing game music before, but I have never reviewed an album of original compositions by game composers, that aren’t attached to any games. I admit I was dubious. Also, looking at the list of composers, I was only familiar with a few of them, most notably Akira Yamaoka, composer for the Silent Hill series. This album raised another question for me. Do I listen to game music because I associate the music with the game, or is the music good in its own right? I personally believe that there are elements of of both and I find an album comprised of original music from game composers to be very interesting. Will the music follow gaming tropes and conventions, or will the composers write music purely for the album and allow their music talents to flourish. Let’s find out what this “East meets West” album had to offer. (more…)
If you don’t know who game music hip-hop artist Random aka. Mega Ran is, then shame on you and go do yourself as favor and check him out. (it’s worth it) For those of us who do know who Mega Ran is, then we just got a little treat to kick off the artist’s North American tour. Just released was a brand new bonus track for The Call: 8-bit Anniversary Edition called “T.U.R.T.L.E. Power“, complete with music video along with nerdcore rapper Klopfenpop.
“The TMNT arcade games were some of my favorite memories of being a kid. We spent pockets full of quarters on those games. I wanted to revisit those awesome childhood moments with this video.” – Mega Ran
August 8-11: Orlando, FL @ Orlando Nerd Fest
August 12: Jacksonville, FL @ Raindogs
August 13: Atlanta, GA @ TBA
August 14: Baton Rouge, LA @Spanish Moon
August 15: San Antonio, TX @ 502 Bar
August 16: Austin, TX @ Classic Game Fest
August 17: Ft. Worth, TX @ The Grotto
August 22: Phoenix, AZ @ FilmBar (Mega-Lo-Manialive premiere)*
August 25: Portland, OR @ Ground Kontrol*
August 26: Bellingham, WA @Glow*
August 27: Vancouver BC @ Columbia Theatre*
August 29: Seattle, WA @ LoFi
Fellow fans of Mega Man music, this will be a good year for us. Thanks to a deal with Sumthing Else Music Works and Capcom, there will be a digital release of the original Mega Man soundtracks in the west. Each volume consists of music from one of the Mega Man games, meaning that there will be individual digital soundtracks available for Mega Man 1-10. In addition to the NES versions of the music, the soundtrack volumes also include tracks from the PlayStation versions of the games.
The first four volumes are currently available, with the remaining six due to come out this year. Two volumes are planned to be released every month up through November of 2014. These volumes are based off of the 25th Anniversary “Rockcan” box set that was previously released in Japan. While it’s a shame that the west won’t have a physical release of the set, it’s nice to see that we will still be able to obtain the official digital soundtracks. The first four Mega Man soundtrack volumes can be purchased on Amazon, iTunes, and the Sumthing Else Music website.
If you haven’t heard, there’s this new little Kickstarter for a 2D platformer/shoot-em-up hybrid game called Temporus that’s currently seeking funding. Why that is relevant in this case is because Ubiktune founder Dmitry “C-jeff” Zhemkov is the one who will be composing for the game should it reach its goal.
Featuring a chiptune prog flavor inspired by the FM synthesis of the Sega Genesis era and retro NES 8-bit synths, C-jeff currently has a preview on his Soundcloud of what he plans to do with the Temporus soundtrack should it reach its goal.
“Think the ambient chiptunes of FEZ combined with the classic progressive rocky stylings of Transformers: The Movie (1986), and you’ll have the basis for Temporus. It’s this, and so much more.” – C-jeff
Beyond that, should the project reach its stretch goals, a remix album will be created featuring other names in the game music industry such as Jeff Ball (Tiny Barbarian, Globulus) and Mitch Murder (Kung Fury, Interception LP) and the one and only Mr. Vince DiCola! (Rocky IV, Transformers: The Movie, Saturday Morning RPG)
The Kickstarter has under 2 weeks left in its campaign and looks to have some interesting style in its construction that draws inspiration from games like Mega Man and Cave Story, so why not throw a few bucks at Temporus to help fund a fun-looking indie game that is sure to have some great tunes to enjoy?
The creators of MAGFest, the Music and Gaming Festival, have launched another event that will take place from September 12-14 at the Hilton Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Unlike the regular MAGFest event, which takes place in National Harbor, Maryland every January, this event is taking place at the original MAGFest venue this fall. A few years ago, the main MAGFest event was moved to the National Harbor location, when the festival got bigger and required a larger venue. This new event aims to bring back the vibe of the early MAGFest days to current day festival attendees. Essentially a smaller and more intimate setting for game and music fans. MAGFest 8.5 will be happening in addition to MAGFest 13, the latter of which is set for late January.
For those of you not familiar with MAGFest, it’s a festival, as the name implies, dedicated to games and music. The event features tons of concerts from videogame cover/remix bands and guest appearances by some of the top videogame composers in the world. Past composer guests have included Nobuo Uematsu, Yuzo Koshiro, Chris Huelsbeck, and Tommy Tallarico.
Because of the smaller venue size for MAGFest 8.5, the tickets are going to be limited to only 2000 attendees. If you’re interested in getting out to this event, grab tickets and hotel reservations while you still can. Guests and music performers have yet to be announced. Information on hotels and tickets can be found at the MAGFest 8.5 website.
If you haven’t heard, the soundtrack to Shovel Knight, one of the most anticipated games to come out of Kickstarter in the past year, has officially been released on composer Jake “Virt” Kaufman’s Bandcamp. Along for the ride is also a special arrangement album featuring several of the game’s tunes done by several artists in the arrangement scene.
They’re good. Really good. Currently-top-on-Bandcamp good. And at a “Name-Your-Price” dollar amount to get both albums, you have no reason not to get them. And to take it a step further, Kaufman has even released the .NSF original files for anybody to has a compatible player to enjoy!
We’ll no doubt be doing an extensive review of the albums in the near future, but until then, be sure to grab them and enjoy the awesome.
Back in 2010, Terry Cavanagh released a game titled VVVVVV, usually just pronounced “Vee”, for PC and Mac. The game is a 2D puzzle platformer that uses gravity reversal as its primary platforming mechanic. The game has seen release on several other platforms since and has earned a large following from the indie game fan base. Not only is the game engaging in its central mechanic, it’s also fairly difficult. The music of VVVVVV was composed by chiptune artist Magnus Pålsson, aka Souleye. If you’ve never heard the original soundtrack, fix that immediately. It’s easily some of the best indie chiptune music that’s been written in the past few years. Pålsson has also written music for a number of projects including Extreme Roadtrip, Drop Sort, and has even written an intro theme for Twitch caster MANvsGAME.
The original soundtrack, titled PPPPPP, has already received an arrange album in the form of PPPPPPowerup!, which featured arrangements by several indie composers and remix artists. This new album, titled MMMMMM, is a power metal re-imagining of the original soundtrack. This new work features a collaboration between Magnus Pålsson and music remix artist and composer Jules “FamilyJules7x” Conroy. As we covered recently on OSV, Conroy has been creating some impressive metal covers of videogame music for a few years on Youtube. His talent seems to have caught the attention of Pålsson, which has led to the creation of this new album. So how does this metal re-imagining of the music stack up against the original soundtrack? Read on to find out. (more…)
The Amazing Frenchman Cometh! Longtime arrangement artist and fantastic musician Christophe “CarboHydroM” Blondel has just released his newest album “Prime Legacy” for all to soak up in it’s glory!
Prime Legacy is the soundtrack to a fictional STG, in the glory of those games, my favorite genre ever. The story it tells is very ambiguous, as one can tell from the song titles, and embeds possible deeper meaning. It is left open to interpretation on purpose. It’s up to you to let your imagination go wild while listening to it!
The album features 12 tracks of blaring guitars and amazing melody that just drips nostalgic appeal to fans of the old-school SHMUPs of yesteryear. If you haven’t been able to grab it during it’s pre-sale period, it’s now live and ready to download for a few bucks on Bandcamp and Overclocked Records. (Also a brand-new update to Blondel’s 2005 Link to the Past arrangement “Unsealed” will soon be available for auditory consumption, so keep up on Blondel’s Facebook for updates!).