Coming off of Patient Corgi’s mega collaboration, Tribute Album 64, Vancouver’s video game medley band, The Runaway Four, have announced the release of their first studio album on January 20th. Titled Chaos Theatre the 45 minute album offers five tracks of themed medleys with tunes from 31 different games mingling and mixing together.
In the opening track “This Game is Baroquen”, you’ll hear Final Fantasy, ActRaiser, Super Mario RPG, Columns and Katamari beautifully intertwined and played in a classical baroque style. The next three medleys are themed around the video game tropes of Ice Worlds, Fire Worlds and Battle Themes.
In “Borreal Bedlam” Earthbound flows into Donkey Kong Country into Kirby’s Dream Course among 8 other themes. On “Magma Mayhem” you’ll hear Diddy Kong Racing mingle into Super Mario RPG and charge into “Hot Damned” from Super Meat Boy. “Battle Royale” is a 17-minute track that melds 15 different battle themes from games including Chrono Cross, Bahamut Lagoon, Kirby Super Star, Pokemon R/B/Y and even Mega Man. Finally, there’s “Your Sanctuary”, a medley of themes from Earthbound which the band describes as “the warm hug at the end of the journey”.
Chaos Theatre will be released January 20th on The Runaway Four’s Bandcamp page and kicked off with a live show and listening party at Seven Dining Lounge in Vancouver. For those not on the continent or in the area they’ll also be streaming the event live on their Twitch channel. In the meantime, check out some of The Runaway Four’s past performances on YouTube and their previous release Live at Columbia Theatre on Bandcamp.
If you didn’t get to attend MAGFest this year (or weren’t covertly handed one under a table at the show) there’s still time to grab one of these jampacked USB keys. Available from GameChops’ Bandcamp page for $50, the metal drives contain 4.1 gigs of GameChops music and include “every single, EP and album release from 2012 – 2016 with artwork, including exclusives”. That’s a ton of great music, 446 files in all, in 320bkps MP3 format.
It also includes streaming access to 2015’s Smooth McGroove Remixed album in anticipation of the upcoming follow up release. But act fast if you’re tempted, at the time of writing there were only about 40 USB keys available which were apparently hidden among GameChops’ luggage.
Unpacking from MAGFest and I’m finding USB Keys EVERYWHERE. It’s like an infestation of merch pic.twitter.com/xRfKeuCXYa
— Dj CUTMAN @ MAGFest! (@VideoGameDJ) January 9, 2017
I was unable to make MAGFest again this year, but am very happy that MAGFest’s channel has videos available of some key events. As things only just wrapped up a few days ago I expect the list of videos to grow. I wrote about the videos they posted from the 2016 event which you can revisit here.
I have added the MAGFest Underground Playlist above, which features some awesome performances by Cowabunga Pizza Time, Gimmick, Jackal, Michael Zucker, Search Snake, Steel Samurai, Super Guitar Bros., Super Soul Bros., The Mountain Chiefs, The Tiberian Suns and Triforce Quartet (who I said was runner up for best arranged album of 2016).
There are plenty more concert videos and panel videos you can watch directly on MAGFest channel. Keep checking back as I’m sure there will be more videos added soon.
Did you attend MAGFest this year, is there a panel or concert that you saw that you really enjoyed? Let us know!
In case you didn’t know, Brave Wave is wrapping up it’s Holiday Sale on January 8, 2017. Their sale includes the physical and digital releases on the Brave Wave label only. It does not include any of the releases under the Generation Series (Street Fighter II, Shovel Knight). Brave Wave has also commented that they only do one big sale a year.
So if you’ve been thinking about picking up one of these great albums, now is the time. Personally I ordered myself Heart Beat Circuit and Terra Magica to complete my physical Brave Wave collection. You can sample In Flux, one of my favorite albums below.
You can find all of the sale albums at Brave Wave’s store.
Do you have favorite Brave Wave album?
Although 2016 will be remembered as a year that the world lost so much, for me one positive thing that I can say about this year was that it was an incredible year for video game music. I did not play a lot of games in 2016, but I did listen to a lot of video game music, and arranged albums.
What I sincerely enjoy about Original Sound Version’s Ost of the year is that all the authors for this site have different choices. I am a huge film score fan, and love sweeping symphonic scores which led to my choice for Ost of the year. I also highlight some arranged and inspirational albums too.
With 2016 nearly over, it’s time for our tradition of highlighting our favorite game music of the year. For me, there was a lot of great material in this year’s releases. For whatever reason, I ended up listening to a lot more of the music coming from the indie game section of the industry. There were definitely soundtracks from bigger games that caught my curiosity, like Doom and Dark Souls III, but the music that I kept coming back to listen to were from this year’s smaller titles. (more…)
In terms of video game music I think a lot of us were first introduced to Loudr by way of their annual Game Music Bundles. The group has become one of the go-to sources for clearing cover song licensing quickly and affordably but their digital storefront was never a great place for discoverability. As such, Loudr announced in March that it would be passing its sales business over to CD Baby and has just confirmed some important end-of-life dates for customers.
Check the full article inside for the dates, details and some tips on a few deals.
Side Slider is a free to play mobile game available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The arcade style game was the brainchild of Long Island University Post graduate students and was designed to jog your Geometric memory. Gameplay involves sliding shapes off of your screen and getting a set target down to zero. Side Slider hearkens back to a time when striving for high scores was all-important.
The music for the game was composed by Eric Guadara using LMMS, using an open-source music-making tool available at lmms.io. I have listened to the full soundtrack and was pleasantly surprised with the overall sound which is engaging and large. This is the type of sound I would expect to find in an arcade cabinet game. Listening to the music at times took me back to my teenage marathon sessions of The Next Tetris on Sega Dreamcast.
You can see a brief clip of the game in action in the video above. The a soundtrack runs just under 20 minutes, but contains a solid amount of music for a mobile phone game. My favorite track is “Heart BeepBop” which sounds a bit like a Marble Madness tribute, which I think might be one of the composer’s favorites after I visited their personal website.
You can grab a copy of it on bandcamp for $3 which should buy at least one cup of coffee for the composer, as it’s one of their album release goals.
Now that the original 8Bit Music Power album is out on CD it’s time for Riki and crew to unveil their next limited edition album-on-a-Famicom-cart. 8Bit Music Power Final will be released in late March of 2017 in Japan and will once again be playable exclusively on a Famicom console. The cart will include 18 tracks this time with songs from past collaborators and some exciting old school names. NES era composers like Manami Matsumae and Motoaki Furukawa along with more modern composers like Junya Nakano (Threads of Fate, Dawn of Mana) and Ippo Yamada (Mighty No. 9, Azure Striker Gunvolt) are now on board.
An original album of music built for the Famicom is great but one sticking point raised by Attract Mode is that the console only outputs audio through its scuzzy RF connection. That may make for an authentic sound but for those who prefer to hear the music directly from the hardware there’s a new peripheral you can get bundled with the album.
The 8Bit Sound Adapter looks like a miniature Famicom controller (namely the Player 2 side) and plugs into the console’s expansion port. It offers a volume slider, power light and 3.5mm port to plug in headphones or external speakers. It also adds about $25 to the price but it’s still a lot cheaper than the vintage Famicom S.D. Station. The bundle on Amazon Japan is currently around $70 with the cartridge alone at $46.
For now all we have are some early photos and the temporary tracklist to go on which you can check out after the jump. Hopefully Riki will grace us with another video preview as the album gets closer to release.
I love writing about soundtracks I’m excited for, and usually do it following E3 every year. You can read my most recent list of most anticipated soundtrack following E3 2016 here.
This past year I’ve learned about a number of soundtracks that are in the works, and I’ve collected a list of them for you. I know 2016 isn’t over yet but let me know what you think, and please let me know about all of the great upcoming album’s I’ve missed!
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.