We may have Sonic on the brain thanks to his 25th anniversary this month but I stumbled upon Mindwipe’s tribute album yesterday totally by accident. Mindwipe Goes Sonic – The Album wasn’t released to commemorate his 25th (it’s from all the way back in 2012) but like all things on the Internet “if I haven’t seen it, it’s new to me” and in this case it’s perfectly appropriate.
I’m not familiar with Mindwipe’s other music but I can attest that there’s some truly special treatments of Sonic’s memorable themes going on here. Overall I’d describe the sound as High Swank. The familiar Green Hill Zone launches with orchestral pomp as the melody is sung by strings with breakbeat percussion racing behind. And it turns out what my life was missing was the Marble Zone theme done up with accordion and driving orchestral flare. Naturally, there’s a treatment of Starlight Zone and it’s instilling goosebumps and making me misty eyed as I write this.
The album hits 16 themes from Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, 3 and even the maligned 4th entry with styles that are wonderfully diverse. Spring Yard Zone has the soulful funk, Chemical Plant Zone a smooth electronic vibe and Death Egg Robot is blown out into a near-rock opera rearrangement for electric guitar and drums (sans vocals).
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since a certain blue hedgehog graced the screens of our living rooms and became the flagship title for the Sega Genesis. However, as of tomorrow, that’s exactly what anniversary it is – Sonic the Hedgehog came into being on June 23rd, 1991 and helped change video gaming for a generation. Likewise, the music of Sonic the Hedgehog became as iconic as its contemporaries such as Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda and Mega Man.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, the video game record label group Materia Collective have put together a tribute album that spans so much of the Sonic franchise and some of the most well-known music within the series. MOBIUS: Sonic the Hedgehog Remixed features a whopping 58 tracks of arranged Sonic music from a wide variety of musicians and performers within the game music community, such as Stemage (Metroid Metal), DJ Cutman, Videri String Quartet, John Robert Matz (Gunpoint) and a whole lot more!
“Sonic the Hedgehog is quite literally one of the main reasons that I became a musician. It was also one of my earliest musical influences. Now that I have three kids of my own (who are also Sonic fans), and I am actually a working musician for my career, and it’s the 25th Anniversary of Sonic…there was no way I couldn’t do an album like this as an homage to where it all began.” – Stephen Robert Froeber, MOBIUS director and producer
The album has a huge assortment of genres its draws from, as can be heard within the preview clip. Jazz, electronica, orchestral and rock are just a sampling of what you can expect to hear from the 80 contributing artists attached to the project. MOBIUS: Sonic the Hedgehog Remixed launches tomorrow, June 23rd on the Materia Collective website. Speaking as a girl whose first introduction to video gaming (and thus, video game music) was Sonic the Hedgehog on a snowy Christmas Day in 1991, this should be an album worth checking out.
GameChops has announced the release of their big Summer album Hopes & Dreams by Arcien with an accompanying music video. Hopes & Dreams is a remix album dedicated to the indie fan favorite, Undertale. Unlike the label’s previous Undertale album — Undertale Remixed by Holder — Hopes & Dreams takes a different approach to the massive amount of music from the game.
“While Holder focused largely on character themes, Hopes & Dreams sets out to adapt the setting and story of Undertale in a musical form. From the future house intro, “Once Upon a Time,” to the 80’s synthwave “Thunder Snails,” to the dark, drum and bass boss battle “Your Best Nightmare,” Arcien hits all the major plot points of the Undertale story. Thoughtful transitions make the album a joy to listen to, front to back.”
Hopes & Dreams is available to purchase on Loudr, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play or can be streamed on Spotify. You can also check out the music video above for the track “Your Best Nightmare” to get a feel for Arcien’s interpretation of Undertale’s music.
The video game arrangement label Gamechops have released a new remix track for your Thursday morning pleasure.
A Mario 64 remix of the File Select music by GrooveCube! Video by @FuNipz! This trap remix of Mario 64’s File Select Theme brings back all the memories of this genre defining game, Super Mario 64!
OverClocked Remix’s own community house band OverClocked University, who debuted at MAGFest 9 on a OCR panel and performed as a full-fledged band at MAGFest 11, have released their second album “Spring Break DJ Set” in time for Memorial Day!
The follow up to their 2014 debut EP, “Freshman Year“, the new album features ten tracks with upbeat, summer-y tunes from games like Pokemon Black, Bravely Default, Undertale and more!
The sun is shining, the waves are crashing, and there is an umbrella in your drink. It’s gotta be spring break! Get down with the latest OCU release, OverClocked University: Spring Break DJ Set. It’s sunny, it’s synthy, and every track is completely crossfaded to have a continuous playing time, so the party never stops!
A few weeks ago, Shaun posed the question of what the very first game soundtrack album you ever heard was. This got me thinking of my own past dealing with video game music and getting into “the scene”, as it were. I started thinking about the first time I started looking up game music on the internet (circa 1999-ish?), which lead to my eventual discovery of video game music *remixes*. While arranging game music had been something people had been doing for a a while prior to the internet really gaining traction, sites like Overclocked Remix & VGMix became the centralized places for potential arrangers to congregate and show off their works by the early 2000’s. The scene grew to the point musicians were challenging one anothers abilities in arrangement competitions, and thus places like Dwelling of Duels were created.
So this got my brain juices flowing in my quest to remember what my very video game music remix was. (No small task, as my memory is shite.) Having scrolled through the plethora the old arrangements I’d saved over the course of almost a decade an a half of saved remixes, I settled on two that clicked the lightbulb in my brain. I’m not sure which one came first as I’d discovered them pretty much at the same time in 2000. Back then I’d stuck to the game music I’d been limited to as a kid, which was 90% Sega Genesis titles, which some Amiga, NES and Gameboy thrown in here and there for variety.
Castlevania being one of my most beloved game series back then (despite only owning 2 titles, and playing others elsewhere), I remember somehow traipsing across an arrangement from Castlevania The Adventure by Mike “McVaffe” Vafeas called “Tempest Mix“. Trance and techno music appealed to me heavily back in those days, and this arrangement of “Revenge” from Castlevania Adventure hit the spot for me. It had just enough of the source to grab me and keep my head bobbing for days. This is the same reason I’d come across the other arrangement I remember as being one of the two “firsts” I’d found. Golden Axe was another penultimate title for me as a kid, so “Death Adder Trance” by OCR founder David “djpretzel” Lloyd also hit the spot in terms of appealing to my love of Golden Axe’s music, in this case level 1’s “Wilderness”, and satisfying my fixation on dance-able music. For years I’d pop both of these tracks on from my burned CDs of remix music I’d accumulated and blast them in my beat-up Buick Century.
So what was your first video game music remix? It doesn’t have to be your favorite, but the first you remember listening to ever. Were you specifically looking for arrangements from a certain game? Where’d you find it? Let us know in the comments!
I’ll be taking over the Arrangement of the Week segment for this week, and it’s apt timing. Recently in my random arrangement-diving that happens every so often when I’ve had a nice glass of whiskey and some free time, I came afoul a track from Samuel “Shnabubula” Ascher-Weiss that I’d never heard before. I certainly wasn’t looking for his material, but rather searching out any rare gems from my beloved Castlevania series.
Shnabubula’s 2003 arrangement “Mucho Dollar Care a Junk CIA” comes from Akumajou Dracula for the Sharp X68000, much better known in North America as Castlevania Chronicles re-released for the Playstation and one of the more obscure of the series titles. Here, the track in question is one of my favorites of that game in particular; the dungeon theme “Etude for the Killer”, which is an odd track to begin with that I can only possibly describe best as ‘cheerfully creepy’.
The arrangement takes an already odd tune and turns it on it’s head, but in a tasteful way. Piano, acoustic guitar and woodwinds construct a melody that softens the unnerving undertones of the original tune and bring it to a more playful tone while still sticking to the source music. The result is an interesting piece that flows well, and while not particularly dynamic, still exhibits a lot of personality apart from that which was already very unique from “Etude for the Killer”. I can appreciate that Shnab took the time to give the track a bit of attention with his own flair, even if it might not be for everyone.
For as big as the video game music scene has gotten in the past few years and as many games have been covered, there’s still so many more that don’t get enough love, and Journey to Silius is one of them. The side-scrolling, run-n-gun game was published by Sunsoft for the NES and had it’s soundtrack composed by Naoki Kodaka (Batman NES, Fester’s Quest), and is now receiving a bit of love from Michael “Sir_NutS” Molina in the form of an eight-track arrangement album, “Silius: 0373”.
Molina has worked on other arrangement albums for the past decade, including Legacy: Game Boy 25th Anniversary and For Everlasting Peace: 25 Years of Mega Man, and “Silius 0373” marks his first solo album.
This album features a varied range of genres, from rock, modern EDM, chiptunes, classic 80’s synthpop and more.
The album will also feature contributions from the insanely talented Jivemaster and Showroom_Dummy, while the incredible retro album art and trailer was made by the The_Coop.
I hope fans of underrated gems like this game, as well as fans of Sunsoft soundtracks in general will be able to enjoy the work I’m putting into this. – Sir_Nuts via Facebook
The album can be purchased on Overclocked Records for $5.99.
The OneUps have just released their seventh studio album, appropriately titled “Part Seven”. The OneUps are a video game music cover band that performs arrangements of a wide variety of music, oftentimes in variations of jazz and rock styles. Their latest album, released just prior to this past MAGFest last month, continues this trend with new covers in a funk rock style. It includes a nice selection of songs, including some fairly familiar ones and some less so. Read on for the full review.
Shift by WASD is a metal album that is a solid tribute to early PC era video games. WASD is an obvious reference to keyboard shortcuts. For me listening to the album took me back to a time that I had long forgotten about, the age of 3 and 1/2 inch floppy bootdisks, and 4X to 8X CD-Rom drives. The band’s mantra is “Console games are dead. Long live the personal computer.” If you grew up with early PC games, this is an album you will appreciate.
So come take the trip down PC game memory lane with my review of the album.
If you hadn’t heard, game band The OneUps recently debuted their newest album, Part Seven featuring arrangements from F-Zero, Earthbound, Megaman 2 and more. Done in their signature mashup of smooth jazz-funk-rock fusion, this marks their seventh studio release. (If you couldn’t tell.)
Physical copies of the 11-track album were released at MAGFest last week, and digital format was supposed to be released at the same time but complication lead to a delay until today. Part Seven has now been released for purchase on Loudr, with releases to iTunes and Spotify soon to follow.
Songs off the new album were performed live at this past MAGFest 2016 via the MAGFest Youtube channel. Worth the check out for a preview of their new music.
If you’d been keeping track of the teasers and trailers for the long-awaited release of the Chrono Trigger mega arrangement album “Chronicles of Time“, then your wait is over. The five-disc behemoth project has finally been released to Loudr and iTunes in all its 75-track glory. (we originally counted 60, but we can’t numbers good)
Clocking in at just under six full hours of music, the album is packed to the gills with talent across the entire VGM spectrum. Directed by Spectrum of Mana’s Nate “FoxxDragon” Horsfall and co-directed by Kurt Horsfall, Chronicles features musicians, arrangers, artists and bands from Overclocked Remix, Dwelling of Duels, TheShizz.org, MAGFest bands and several other talents from across the world.