If you’ve also been thinking about the year in game music releases you may remember 8Bit Music Power from way back in February. It was the album from Japanese chiptune artists like Hally, Professor Sakamoto and Saitone that was released on an actual Famicom cartridge. While Play-Asia sold out of their allotment fairly quickly (Amazon Japan still has 8 left in stock) there’s now a much easier way to listen instead of dragging around an old console.
A much more convenient (but way less cool) CD version of the album was released last week in Japan with two bonus tracks. The album is available from Play-Asia for $22.99 but if you can hold out until February 2017 there’s an even sweeter deal coming. For just $1 more you can pre-order the CD and an 80-page, full-color book with exclusive interviews and stories about the album’s creation. The best part, it’s been translated into English. You can take a look at some of the vibrant page layouts here and put down the $23.99 to secure a copy for yourself.
Who doesn’t appreciate a good viking story? How about one that’s a little less on the fantastic side and a bit more realistic? Well, that’s what you get with Burly Men at Sea.
Burly Men at Sea, developed by husband-and-wife team Brain&Brain, is described as “A folktale about a trio of large, bearded fishermen who step away from the ordinary to seek adventure.”
The indie adventure game isn’t your typical viking romp, however. It’s a tale you craft from the story choices presented to you, or rather the Beard Brothers, based on something as simple as a chart stuffed in a bottle you happen across that starts the whole thing in motion. The game surrounds itself with stylist art and a subtle soundtrack that appeals to the wayfarer in all of us.
The music, done by Chicago studio Plied Sound, is simplistic yet appropriate for the equally simple and charming construction of the game. Plied, whose work includes commercials and sound design for companies like Apple and Google, make their first foray into game music composition and uses their previous experience with stylistic sound design to bring the story of the Bearded Bros to life.
“Adventurous Deeds” – Burly Men at Sea (Plied Sound)
Brian&Brian along with Plied Sound went the way of making it so all of the sound effects in the game is comprised of vocalizations. While sound effects are emphasized over the background music, the soundtrack is no less captivating in its creativity. Acoustic guitar and individual flute work highlight a good amount of the music featured in the game, with other more native-sounding instrumentation being featured to bring about a sense of an adventure on the not-so-high seas. While a good portion of the music features a unique classical take on northern European music, some of the more creative sounds featured in the game’s music invoked the slightest bit of a Scandinavian twist on some of the sound from Katamari Damacy with a bit of a Disney cartoon flavor thrown in for good measure. This is a compliment to Plied Sound, as in a world of indie music, it’s never a bad thing to be a bit different.
“Maelstrom!” – Burly Men at Sea (Plied Sound)
The vocalizations woven within the game’s sound to help emphasize the music truly help to bring a folklorish-tint to the overall sound of the soundtrack as a whole. It captivates the player as they venture through the storybook settings and basic gameplay without getting too heavy or clashing with the feel of the game.
Burly Men at Sea is currently available on Steam and the Humble Store, as well as for mobile platforms, with the Maestro Beard Edition netting you the game’s soundtrack alongside the game. You can also pick up the soundtrack separate on Bandcamp.
When you say “jazz fusion” and “video games” in the same sentence, I’m there. Last year’s V-Jams is still one of my anytime, go-to albums and that same meandering melange of jazz, funk, R&B and rock is present in Materia’s New Game+. Materia’s core members are Peter Kim, Julius Verzosa, Kevin Lin, and Kwesi Andoh but New Game+ is the work of a total of 27 collaborators, all of whom came together over MAGFest.
“New Game+ is an album whose scope and impetus came from our gut reaction to the faintest attention our band was beginning to receive at events like MAGFest,” reflects Materia co-founder and musician Peter Kim. “And so the album is as much of a tribute to MAGFest and the people responsible for it as it is to the friends we’ve gained through its creation, and my hope is that the listening experience captures even just a bit of the magic that makes MAGFest the best convention in the world.”
New Game+ is produced by OverClocked Records and is available to buy for about $10 direct from OC or on iTunes, Google Play or Amazon and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud. The full tracklist is below and includes a very special 11+ minute arrangement from Chrono Trigger, the game that initially brought Materia’s members together.
In case you missed it, Original Sound Version recently conducted an extensive interview with composer Robyn Miller Known where we discussed his score to Cyan Worlds latest game, Obduction. We also briefly touched on the composers work on the game Myst and Riven. You can read the full interview with the composer here. One of the topics we covered was music that did not make it into the game.
Following the interview Robyn Miller said he planned to share some of this music on his Soundcloud page. I for one have always loved behind the scenes videos ever since movie box sets came with bonus VHS Tapes. The composer shared three of these tracks about a month ago. It is not that often that we as listeners get to hear the behind the scenes of a video game soundtrack, but you can listen to those tracks with Robyn Miller’s comments here.
It’s that spooktacular time of the year again when we Americans overdose on Halloween. We’ve done our part in years past to feature appropriately spooky video game music and so have composers and remixers. One of this year’s offerings comes from Ben Prunty, the composer of FTL, Gravity Ghost and StarCrawlers. Described as “Halloween electro-funk”, the album is actually the soundtrack to upcoming indie brawler FrankNJohn but is rebranded here as ElectroCrypt in celebration of Prunty’s favorite holiday.
“The music was inspired by Danny Elfman, the old Super NES game Zombies Ate My Neighbors, and the gleeful indulgence of OCRemix, a community of game music rearrangement artists that I love,” Prunty explains.
You can check out the full album on Bandcamp and pick it up for $5 if so inclined. Prunty adds that the sales from the album are going towards getting his live shows up and running.
Los Angeles, California – October 11, 2016 – AREA 34 is pleased to announce TINY METAL, a military-themed turn-based tactical game for PlayStation 4 and PC developed by a team of industry veterans from Japan known as Project Milk. TINY METAL draws inspiration from titles like Advance Wars and aims to modernize this long-forgotten game genre with deep tactical gameplay for both casual and hardcore fans, an engaging story, and a mesmerizing soundtrack. Project Milk is headed by Hiroki Kikuta, who is best known as the composer of Secret of Mana, but also has extensive experience creating games, with TINY METAL marking his triumphant return to game development.
TINY METAL was recently greenlit on Steam and Project Milk has prepared a playable prototype for players to see their progress. Currently on Kickstarter, Project Milk hopes to raise $50,000 USD by October 18 to fund development:
“Happy Town” – TINY METAL
Source: Scarlet Moon Promotions
Available at: http://www.randombeats.io/
We’re back with another roundup from independent game remix label GameChops. Over the past week they’ve released a slew of new remixes and mesmerizing music videos through their YouTube channel. From modern fan favorites Undertale and Overwatch to Sega’s niche nightopian, NiGHTS, there’s a bumpin’ remix for just about anyone inside.
Pixeljams Volume 2 comes to us just under four years after the original album and features many of the same artists from Pixeljam and their circle of friends. While Volume 1 was simply a collection of “new and used tracks”, Volume 2 has a more focused goal in mind. As Pixeljam co-founder and musician Miles Tillmann puts it, “we’re looking to express how games have influenced our sound aesthetic… music inspired by the technology behind game development, you could say.”
That translates into an album of bouncy electronic tunes and wafting soundscapes that echo retro consoles and PCs without simply sounding like typical chiptune. With a roster of seven artists (providing solo songs and collaborations) the 10-track album is diverse but maintains a few consistent sounds that work well throughout. Click inside to find out more about this array of new pixeljams.
Austin Wintory has done it again. That’s it, review over. That’s all you need to hear right? Well at this point when it comes to video games scores you know that Austin Wintory is going to provide an exceptional score. Abzu is 505 games next game following the critically acclaimed Journey, which Austin Wintory also scored.
I took time to listen to the soundtrack to Abzu and was swept away by it’s beautiful melody and reoccurring theme. So come read about my thoughts on the album and why thoughts of ballet sprung to my mind with this soundtrack.
Canadian Composer, Leonard J. Paul just put The Beep Movie Soundtrack up for pre-order on bandcamp. The full soundtrack releases on September 16, 2016, and here’s what he had to say about the creation of the Beep Movie Soundtrack:
Nearly two years in the making, this 100+ minute soundtrack is a true labour of love to support the “Beep” movie (BeepMovie.com) by Karen Collins. It is my first film soundtrack since the release of the soundtrack of the “The Corporation” by Mark Achbar, which has become the highest-grossing Canadian documentary to this date.
The “Beep” soundtrack is likely the first feature length procedural music film score in history and most of the songs are entirely produced using the open source visual scripting language Pure Data. Each song uses mathematics to both create the sounds of all the instruments as well as improvise on my musical patterns to generate a different performance each time the song is played. Many thanks to cellist Peggy Lee for her heartfelt improvisations on several songs on the album. If you enjoy the music, please consider supporting the album with a purchase and by letting your friends know about the album. Many thanks to those who have supported us already.
-Leonard J. Paul
You can listen to the first fews track through the link below. I for one am very impressed with the groovy third preview track “Half Steppin’ – Freaky DNA”.
You can pre-order The Beep Movie Soundtrack on bandcamp for $7.99 CAD, which is about $6 USD. All pre-orders include immediate access to the 5 preview tracks. If you need some more Canadian content in your life (and who doesn’t) Leonard J. Paul has you covered.
The Beep Movie (Beep: A Documentary History of Game sound) will be released digitally, on DVD and Blu-ray on September 30, 2016 and can find links to pre-order it and the soundtrack on it’s official site here.
Are you excited for Beep?
Last week we reported on the release of the soundtrack to Obduction a new game from Cyan Worlds, the creators of the original classic games Myst and Riven. Robyn Miller composed the music for Obduction and he graciously took the time to talk to Original Sound Version about composing the score.
In our interview Robyn Miller provides insight on how he became a part of the project, his approach to scoring the game, and his favorite tracks on the album. He also answers a question I’ve had for years about the Cyan introduction music. Read on for our extensive interview and listen to tracks from the score that formed part of our discussion.