Is it time to load up on some chiptune albums? Groupees has launched their seventh Chiptune + Charity bundle and for as little as $3 you can nab ten albums from Bignic, Shirobon, Monomer, Glenntai, Zalza, MisfitChris, MmcM, Note!, Zabutom and Xyce. There are also some bonuses to be had, the first of which is a live streaming performance by Glenntai for those who buy the bundle. The second bonus (yet to be unlocked) is a live performance by Zabutom.
I’m always up for more music from Bignic but I admit, I’m not familiar with many of the other groups. The samples sound pretty good, though, especially Monomer and Shirobon. What about you? Any favorites in this bundle or are you stumbling into this with me?
The passing of Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata has hit a lot of gaming fans hard, but has also inspired a plethora of dedications and tributes to the man who was known by so many as a kind man and the heart of Nintendo Japan. One of those dedications comes from none other than Metroid composer Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka, who has created his own fitting memorial to the late Iwata in his own unique way; a cheerful chiptune piece to reflect the equally cheerful nature of the man who touched the lives of so many gamers of our generation.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Iwata. You’ve had an impact on all the facets of the gaming community and will be greatly missed.
With each new streaming music service that launches I always have a poke around to see what they consider to be popular video game fare. The results are usually spectacularly disappointing. A handful of Halo. Some licensed rock and rap tracks that featured in a Tony Hawk game. A playlist of pop music from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Now that Songza has been folded into Google Play Music, and with a time consuming project unfolding at work, I decided to have a poke around.
I wish I could tell you what I typed in to find it but at the hands of Google’s search algorithm I was deposited in front of the Aperture Science Psychoacoustic Laboratories station. True to its name there’s plenty of Portal 2’s excellent soundtrack in store but it also serves as a good sampling of the modern video game music scene. If it weren’t for a few tracks from Mass Effect and Portal I’d even call this the Indie Video Game Music station.
There’s a good mix of albums and artists here with a focus on atmospheric EDM stuff. Fez, Minecraft, Frozen Synapse and Sword & Sworcery mingle with the peppier sounds of PPPPPP, Super Hexagon and Scott Pilgrim: The Game. Every now and then you get a nice acoustic/orchestral break with Bastion, The Banner Saga, Thomas Was Alone and Trine 2. Rounding out the mix is a helping of original tracks from artists including Anamanaguchi, Big Giant Circles and Chipzel.
It’s been a nice backdrop for my work lately and I really appreciate that it never goes to extremes causing me to scramble for the skip button. Did I mention it’s free, streaming and available from your Android or iOS device? Check it out the next time you find yourself itching for a new playlist.
If you’re a fan of nerdcore hip-hop artist Mega Ran and have been waiting with baited breath for the release of Mighty No.9, then this will be a double-score!
Random Beats has released “Your Favorite Song” from Mega Ran’s upcoming album, RNDM. The new album is set to release on September 15 of this year and will feature “Mighty!,” a collaboration with the fantastic Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae which will be featured during the credits of Mighty No. 9. As if that wasn’t enough, there will also be an additional collaboration with Castlevania composer Michiru Yamane.
“This is a dream come true. “I’ve been working hard to land a videogame placement, and for this one to be the one, with a game and creator that I’m so close to, so inspired by, this is such a storybook tale. I’m really fortunate and I hope this is the first of many.”
– Mega Ran Press Release
You can pre-order RNDM on Bandcamp get in on the giveaway while the getting is good. You can also follow Mega Ran’s collaboration with Mighty No. 9 on the Random Beats website.
RNDM – Bandcamp
Random Beats – Website
We’re all familiar with the likes of Humble Bundle and the Game Music Bundle but there are a handful of other bundling sites out there. Groupees is especially noteworthy as it regularly bundles games, music, graphic novels and digital art collections. Sometimes it’s a game and its soundtrack, other times the collections are curated by a game’s creator or even left to you to pick and choose individual items.
Debuting this week is the Badass Banana Bundle curated by eccentric electronic musician, Remute. The bundle includes nine games, five albums and access to a livestream on July 13th where Remute will mix a bunch of his favorite 16-bit game music. Giving the bundle its name is You Are Not a Banana, a humorous, pixelart audiovisual experiment that includes its own chiptune soundtrack. Other highlights include Remute’s 2009 album Grand Slam, a collection of Frederic “Elmobo” Motte’s demoscene tracks from the late 80’s/early 90’s and his entire soundtrack to the Amiga game, Fury of the Furries.
You can get all of that for a minimum donation of only $2.00 but you can give as much as you’d like. The bundle is scheduled to end on July 15th.
Occasionally I find myself searching bandcamp for keywords of things I like and stumble onto something great. Video Game Explosion is a recently released compilation by Square Punch (Lukas Daum). The album is available on Bandcamp right now for “name your price” and features five solid tracks remixing music from Castlevania, Lufia 2, Mega Man 2, Mega Man X and Mega Man X2.
Not only is the music great, but the cover art created for the album by Mike Lyon aka xHOJUx whose additional art you can check out on deviantart.com
I found the album because I was was searching for the keyword “SeaQuest”. I was big fan of the SeaQuest DSV/2032 television series. Square Punch created an awesome chip tune version of the SeaQuest 2032 theme song originally composed by Russ Landau, the game never existed but this will do just fine.
Square Punch has also released some great electronic albums also available on bandcamp for “name your price”. Check it out and let me know what you think.
It seems our friends over at Arecibo Radio will be closing down their active status by the end of the week, according to a recent tweet and confirmed to me by the station’s management.
Yes, Arecibo Radio will shut down on July 4th. Hosts who still wish to keep doing their respective shows will move to 8BitX. I can’t think of a better place for Arecibo hosts to go, many of us are friends and have worked and partied together at MAGFest and other music related events. With 8BitX absorbing Arecibo, our listeners will have one single and robust internet radio station they know they can go to and enjoy.
Kristina Kaufman – Noise Channel
Arecibo Radio has been a staple in streaming video game music, chiptunes and hosting listening parties for the past 6 years. Be sure to tune in for its last days in operations and give it a fitting send off and some much-deserved love, and also change over your bookmarks to 8bitX to continue listening to several staple Arecibo hosts as they make the trek to their new home.
Antoine Vachon also known as Reveirg is a Canadian composer and sound designer from Montreal, Quebec who has written the music for an indie PC game titled Chilie: The First Encounter, an app called Gentlemen…Ricochet! and Gentlemen Ricochet! Mini which is a de-make or 8-bit version of the original App with a chip tune soundtrack.
He has also composed the music to accompany an award winning act of a Magician, Marc Trudel, and recently released the soundtrack to a moutain bike film titled Cycles: A Mountain Bike Season in Flims-LAAX-Falera. I recently spent some time with his music which is an absolute pleasure to listen to.
The music from Gentlemen…Ricochet! features some jazzy and creative piano that has a wonderful swagger. The de-make 8-bit version Gentlemen Ricochet! Mini, has all the elements of a classic Gameboy title and is a very nostalgic listen. Chilie: The First Encounter makes use of the xylophone with piano and some high tones to bring out the character of the young girl featured in the game. The magician piece “Legerdemain” starts with soft piano and builds into a much more colorful melody. And the newest work, Cycles: A Mountain Bike Season in Flims-LAAX-Falera features great atmospheric synth and piano. He’s also got a pretty impressive Xenoblade Chronicles Main Theme Piano Cover on his Soundcloud page too.
All of Antoine Vachon’s music is currently available on bandcamp for “name your price” for now, I recommend checking it out as I expect we’ll see some great work by this composer in the future. Have you experienced any of Antoine’s music in these games?
The music guests for this year’s MAGStock have been revealed. Performers for the event will include Professor Shyguy, Materia, Eight Bit Disaster, and Inverse Phase. MAGStock 5 is being held at Small Country Campground in Louisa, Virginia on the weekend of June 19-21.
If you’re wondering what on earth MAGStock is, it’s a music and gaming event, run by MAGFest, that takes place in the summer. Think of it as a smaller version of MAGFest in the great outdoors. This year’s music guest list is as follows:
Eight Bit Disaster
If you didn’t get your fill of music and games at MAGFest earlier this year or if you’re just looking for a fun weekend of games and music, be sure to check out MAGStock 5. You can find out more information for registering and attending MAGStock 5 at the MAGStock website.
Retro-Active Pt. 1 Remixed contains remixes of Ninja Gaiden composer Keiji Yamagishi’s acclaimed debut “Retro-Active Pt. 1”. Artists such as Chipzel (of Super Hexagon), Kozilek (Nuclear Throne), ABSRDST, and others lend their unique touch to Yamagishi’s high-energy tracks. The opening remix of “Kaleidoscope” by Daliesk was the Grand Prize Winner of Brave Wave’s March 2015 remix contest.
If you pre-order now you will get a copy of the winning track, and the remainder of the album delivered to you on release day which is June 10, 2015. As you can see from the tweet below it has Mr. Yamagishi’s full approval. I have also given it a few listens today and highly recommend it!
To pre-order head over to Brave Wave’s website, the album will set you back $7.00 and from my experience (as a huge fan of their In Flux album), it’s a solid investment as Brave Wave continues to produce fantastic releases.
The Original Soundtrack to Crypt of the NecroDancer is my first experience with music composed by Danny Baranowsky who has composed the music for Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac and who has also worked on some excellent arrangements including Super Metroid: Relics of the Chozo.
The soundtrack contains 42 tracks and is a blend of chiptune rock and electronic melodies with a runtime of just under two hours. I listened to the soundtrack through at least three times and was blown away with the blood pumping beats and pleasant repetition and alternate versions of tracks. My first play through of the album was during a drive from Ottawa to New York State to camp over the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada. If you’re in the USA you can look forward to Memorial Day weekend next week. Read on to find out if you should pick up this soundtrack to kick off your weekend.
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!