For This Week in Random, it’s all about chiptunes and browser extensions!
High Strangeness OSV by Cheap Dinosaurs
Chiptune savants Cheap Dinosaurs have released their newest album since last year’s “Triangle Trash” mini-album; a soundtrack for the indie game High Strangeness that’s described as a “a hybrid of 8 and 16-bit games… A 12-bit adventure”.
The inspiration of the game comes from many Action-Adventure and RPG games of yesteryear. The game’s core ability is to switch between 8 and 16-bit worlds and the player uses their generational differences to solve puzzles and explore the universe.
High Strangeness was released on this past Tuesday for the WiiU and Steam. The 17-track album released this past Monday at $6.00 (or $1 for individual tracks), making it the largest album to date from the band and should prove to be good listening for retro game music fans.
Game Music Appreciation – Google Chrome
This site allows you to listen to music for classic video games. You can listen to a vast amount of video game music (in the form of chiptunes) directly in your Google Chrome web browser and it will sound precisely the same as it did on the original console.
Pretty much everything it says on the box – a streaming program that allows you to stream an extremely extensive variety of game music soundtracks straight over Google Chrome, all for free. You can search for specific game albums, search by composer, search by console or just throw caution to the wind and play from random albums at-will; all without the need for separate programs to be open. A neat option for all of us!
If you’re a fan on the international chip music and demoscene, you’ll be pleased to know that earlier this month saw the release of “The Blossoming Years” album by Russian demo artist Sergey “MmcM” Kosov. Composed entirely on the ZX-Spectrum computer using a Yamaha YM2149F sound chip in ProTracker 3, the album features music from the height of Kosov’s career composing between 1999 and 2001. This is his first release since his 2012 eletronica album “Detuned”, and further expands his repertoire of demo and chip music, which has gained him a long-standing following.
“The Blossoming Years” by MmcM – Ubiktune
It’s time, once again, for the MAGFest recap. Every year we try to present a small sample of what we experienced at the Music and Gaming Festival. This year’s MAGFest was a little different from previous years. The event not only took place later in the month of January, it also conflicted with the new PAX South event down in Texas. This unintended scheduling dilemma left potential attendees and guests torn between the two events. While it would have been fun to check out the latest addition to the PAX convention circuit, MAGFest has always been the traditional destination for members of the Original Sound Version team. This brings us to today’s recap of the events of MAGFest 13. While it’s impossible for us to experience and cover every panel and concert that the festival has to offer, we always like to provide a glimpse of the madness and excitement that is MAGFest. With that said, here is my brief recap of MAGFest 13. (more…)
Never being ones to settle for simply one flavor of chiptune albums, our friends at Chiptunes = WIN decided to combine chip music with Celtic themes to create an album just in time for St. Paddy’s Day.
20 brand new “Celt-tunes” (#SryNotSry) from our usual wide variety of overly talented artists! (full roster coming soon!). Expect a mix of traditional celtic covers, some beautiful atmospheric pieces, and, of course, chiptune drinking songs aplenty (I HONESTLY CAN’T BELIEVE THAT HASN’T BEEN DONE ALREADY).
Brandon “President Hoodie” Hood
The album release party starts tonight at 8pm CDT on 8bitX.com with the album dropping shortly thereafter for all your chiptastic drinking shenanigans.
Need some more chiptune music in your life? The Castle In The Darkness OST may have just what you’re looking for. Coinciding with the release of the game on Steam, the Castle In The Darkness OST is out and ready for download on Bandcamp. Like the game itself, the music plays homage to the 8-bit NES era of games. Some of the tracks even manage to sneak in some clever music references/easter eggs to the Castlevania and Final Fantasy series.
The music is written by Matt Kap, who also developed the game. That’s right, he created the game AND wrote the music. You may be familiar with his work as the pixel artist for games like The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. If you’re a fan of classic 8-bit music, this is a new album that you’ll definitely want to check out. Castle In The Darkness is currently available on Steam, and the soundtrack can be found on Matt Kap’s Bandcamp site.
Famed Famicom/NES composer Keiji Yamagishi has a new music project that will be released this year. The Retro-Active Experience is a set of albums which will be coming out in three parts over the course of this year and feature brand new compositions by the composer. Inspired by his earlier work on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, these albums will have an emphasis on chiptune and electronic genres, with a healthy blending of modern instruments.
The first part of this multi-album project is titled Retro-Active Pt. 1. A handful of the tracks on this first album feature collaborations with other composers and musicians like Stemage, of Metroid Metal, and Manami Matsumae, composer of the original Mega Man soundtrack. There will also be a few remix tracks from Takahiro Izutani, Riki Arai, and Smoke Thief included on Part 1.
Retro-Active Pt. 1 is currently available for pre-order on the Brave Wave music site. Pre-ordering the album will get you early access to 4 tracks for download (Tracks 1, 2, 7, and 9). The full album will receive its official release on February 5th. So if some new tunes by one of the great Famicom/NES composers sounds like something up your alley, check out the first entry of this new music project.
Time to switch gears for Know Your MAG and start giving the chiptune performers a bit of love. At MAGFest, rock music great and chiptunes are great, and when you mash them together you go a step beyond. Much like the stylings of fellow performer Danimal Cannon, the duo of Marshall Art take this concept and sprint like hell with it.
Hailing from opposite ends of the globe, the duo of Canadian Jeffrey “jmr” Roberts (host of Open Circuit on Arecibo radio) commanding the soundchips & VRC6 and Russian native Mikhail “streifig” Ivanov (current manager of the Dwelling of Duels) jaming on guitar actually started performing at MAGFest last year during MAG 12. Attendees might remember the pair set up in the hallway corner of the Gaylord Convention Center on the Chipspace stage and throwing out some amazing music for the crowd that gathered around.
Marshall Art have appeared on several compilations in the past few years, including Danse Macabre 2, and will be debuting their self-titled album at MAGFest 13 before they hit the big stage for a full-fledged concert rock-out this year on the big stage, Saturday at 3PM! Check them and all the rest of the MAG bands performing times on the MAGFest Schedule!
If you’re looking for some seasonal tunes with a nice wintery feel to them, then you’ll enjoy the newest release from Chiptunes = WIN group with chipWINter Wonderland. The sequel to the original chipWINter release in 2012, this “Pay What Your Want” album features 16 tracks from several fantastic chip artists such as Joshua Morse (Castlevania: Sonata of the Damned), Rekcahdam (Band Saga) and mastered by Metroid Metal’s Grant “Stemage” Henry! (Toni Leys’ “Borealis Palace” reminds me a bit of a smooth version of “Diamond Dust Zone” from Sonic 3D Blast)
So if you’re needing some chip music with a solstice-swing to it, go grab chipWINter Wonderland and rock your fuzzy socks off! \m|♥♥♥|m/
chipWINter Wonderland – Bandcamp
Ever wondered what The Binding of Isaac would sound like if it were an NES game? Chiptune artist Inverse Phase’s newest album The Chipping of Isaac explores that very concept. Covering the music of Danny Baranowsky’s original The Binding of Isaac OST, this album features NES interpretations of every track from the original game. This includes the title screen, boss fights, and even the shop theme.
According to the album home page, Inverse Phase plans to add tracks from the Wrath of the Lamb expansion and loopable tracks at a later date. So if you’re a fan of The Binding of Isaac OST and enjoy the chiptune sounds of the NES, this may be an album you’ll want to check out. The Chipping of Isaac is currently available on Inverse Phase’s Bandcamp page.
Mariachi Games out of Mexico will be putting on the VCONCERT 2014 Game Music Event tomorrow, November 8th out of Monterrey, and streaming live through Twitch! Starting at 4 o’clock CST, a lineup of 10 hours worth of music performances from some of the most iconic names in the game music industry will be broadcast online for the masses to enjoy, including composers Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill, Shadows of the Damned) and Michiru Yamane. (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Skullgirls)
If you’re a big Nintendo fan, then chances are that you spent most of this past weekend playing the latest Super Smash Bros. game on the 3DS. To celebrate the newest installment of the franchise, a number of talented game composers and remixers have released a massive arrangement album for free. Here’s a little sample of their work below.
The album Harmony of Heroes covers music from the Super Smash Bros. franchise and the music from the games represented in the series. It’s a large and diverse library of game music to cover and this collection delivers. The album is a colossal 101 tracks of music. Styles range from light jazz and rock to electronic and orchestral. There’s over 7 hours of music for you to listen to and enjoy. You can check out the album at the Harmony of Heroes site, or grab it on their temporary torrent link, since the main site has been having issues due to the high levels of traffic.
Source: Harmony of Heroes
The Legend of Zelda series plays host to a lot of great game music. A number of different composers have contributed to the franchise including Koji Kondo, Akito Nakatsuka, and Toru Minegishi, just to name a few. The first handheld Zelda title Link’s Awakening featured a few themes from Kondo, but primarily had its music written by Minako Hamano and Kozue Ishikawa. The two composers wrote some fun and memorable tunes that have stuck with many Zelda fans, so it shouldn’t be surprising that their work has inspired a remix album of the Link’s Awakening soundtrack.
The Meow Meow & Bow Wow remix album is a collaboration between DJ Cutman and Spamtron. The album’s title comes from the two chain chomp characters in the Link’s Awakening game. These two artists have worked together before on albums like Bagu and The Riverman. They each have a style that complements the other and their efforts have led to some great remixes. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has some great material to be covered. How do these two remix artists approach this classic videogame soundtrack? Read on to find out. (more…)