Frozen Synapse, from Mode 7 Games, is a once-underground hit gone above-ground due to critical mass, much like Minecraft, though for different reasons. But I’m not really here to talk about Frozen Synapse, or even its soundtrack. I am here to talk about the game’s composer, Paul Taylor.
Paul, under the alias “nervous_testpilot,” scored Frozen Synapse and other Mode 7 titles, and has even released original content under that name. And yet, one pseudonym was not enough to contain the power of Paul Taylor. I’ve been listening to a lot of his work in the past few weeks, just taking an interest in his collected works, and the one that stood out to me the most was a dance-friendly chiptunes release called “Impeccable Micro.”
Apparently, the style of Impeccable Micro was different enough to force Taylor to change his name, yet again. Even though it’s still just him releasing it as a solo work, he takes on the stage name _ensnare_ for this project, which was released in the 2nd half of 2011. After the jump, my thoughts on Impeccable Micro, and how to add the album to your own music collection. (more…)
Since the summer of 2002, David Saulesco has climbed the ladder of success slowly but surely in his lifelong dream to work with video games and music. It was in that year that the then 16 year old composer was launched to indy fame and recognition with Derek Yu’s freeware masterpiece Eternal Daughter. Since then the young man has thrown himself into nearly all ends of both the music and video game industry, producing, arranging, contracting, he even rode on a horse once.
Now, Saulesco is returning to his proving grounds, and will be releasing the Eternal Daughter 10th Anniversary Original Soundtrack on May 1st. With so many projects behind him and in store in the near future, it seemed only natural to have a chat with the man and speak about his views on composing, video games, symphonic shows and everything in between. Saulesco is never short of his trademark charm, and is of no loss of words on any subject.
Click the jump to read our interview with David Saulesco (more…)
It was the next step in the evolution of game music. After the hardware-created “chiptunes” of the NES era, the sound banks of FM synth reigned supreme on the SNES. And while we don’t find as much chic or nostalgia for the super lo-fi synth restrictions of the 16-bit days as we do the hardware emulation of chiptunes, it’s great to see today’s composers make use of that strange and wonderful musical palette.
I am talking about the music of Keith Burgun and Blake Reynolds, both of Dinofarm Games, in their first major title, 100 Rogues (available on PC and various mobile platforms). After the jump, our review of the game’s soundtrack. (more…)
This is the least surprising album review I’ll ever write.
You see, Jeramiah Ross (aka “Module”) composed this amazing game soundtrack 3 years ago. Remember Shatter? Yeah, that was awesome.
In 2012, Module finished his original album “Imagineering.” According to his statements in our most recent podcast, some of these songs have been bouncing around in Module’s mind (and computer) for as many as six years. Given time to mature, they’ve become something absolutely stunning.
We’ll highlight some of our favorite tracks, and why they’re our favorites, after the jump. (more…)
Have you listened to Les Friction’s debut album yet? If not, it’s your lucky day because we have a signed copy up for grabs courtesy of the band. The copy is signed by both Helmut Vonlichten and Nihl Finch, and all you have to do to win is hit us up on Twitter and give a shoutout to @OSVgamemusic and @LesFriction. A winner will be selected at random to receive the signed copy on March 5th, 2012 at 11:59 PST. In the meantime, feel free to read up on our review of the album.
Good luck, and special thanks to the band for providing the copy to give away to you guys!
The smoke has finally cleared, and we can finally announce our winners and runners-up for our 3rd annual Original Sound Version Original Soundtrack of the Year 2011 Awards. As always, there are a few surprises, and while I know some editors are still passionately clinging to their given favorite, I think that points to the amazing quality and variety of music that was released in 2011. This year in particular saw a number of new franchises and sequels that went in radically different directions, and I think the music accurately reflects this fresh and exploratory direction.
While nearly all of our winners and runners-up are included after the jump, we’re reserving our Composer of the Year award for an individual post that will come at a later date, as we did last year. So don’t freak out when you don’t see the winner of that category announced. Aside from that, enjoy, and please feel free to comment with your top picks for the year, including those that didn’t make our list of nominees.
On that note, I just want to say congratulations to all of our winners and nominees. We had a lot of debate among the staff, even about the list of nominees themselves, again pointing to the caliber of music released this year.
After the untimely death of E.S. Posthumus’s Franz Vonlichten, surviving brother Helmut Vonlichten said that E. S. Posthumus would no longer be an active group. I feared we would never hear from Helmut again and that the world had not only lost one great musician, but two. My fears were put to rest late last year when Helmut announced the formation of a new group with lifelong friend (a “brother by destiny”), Nihl Finch and a singer by the name of Paint.
Les Friction released their debut self-titled album a couple weeks ago on January 24. It maintains much of the feel of an E. S. Posthumus album, but has evolved into something much more than just “an E. S. Posthumus album with vocals” – after all, that’s kind of what Cartographer was.
Read more about the album and the individual songs after the jump. (more…)
We try to stick to a tidy schedule here at OSV. But if you’re reading the site right now, you’ll notice we’ve posted something at midnight. It’s a special something.
If you head over to gamemusicbundle.com right now, you can get in on a massive and wondrous sale. The details are below, but first a special plug: again, if you saw this post live, you’ll want to head to 8bitx.com and listen to the livestream, where Josh Whelchel and a host of other guests are just now revealing the bundle.
So here’s how it works. If you’re sheepish (or cheap-ish), pay the minimum of $1 and you get 320k mp3 versions of five absolutely fantastic albums:
Sword & Sorcery
To The Moon
Now look. For one dollar, that’s an incredible selection of music. Even if you have some of these already, any one of them is worth at least a dollar. Now, true to form to the previous bundle, there are all sorts of perks if you go above $10. At that point, all albums become available in FLAC and mp3. And the bonus albums are…
Yeah, that’s right. When certain sales milestones are reached, more albums become available to everybody who purchased. I can’t name names, but at least one of the albums in the “unlock” zone is an album recently reviewed here on OSV. And it’s good.
Oh, and here’s the best part. If you’re a real charitable person, or want to think of this as some sort of crazy auction, there are incredible bonus items waiting for the top donations. I won’t give you all the details here, but I do know that the top contributor will receive the Shatter OST on Vinyl, signed by Module, and everyone in the top 20 gets the physical 2CD release of Aquaria among other fabulous prizes. So, it will pay to give more.
Well, what are you waiting for? Go buy good music!
We’ve never talked about Troupe Gammage here on OSV, but we probably should have been. I’ve known him since we was a young kid back in the demoscene, and he’s constantly impressed me with his ability to craft ridiculously catchy melodies and for the contrast between his manly voice and boyish appearance. Well, I was recently surprised to see his name pop up on VGMdb with the Mutant Mudds OST which is simply incredible. It’s streamable and available for name-your-own-price on Bandcamp, so check it out.
Beyond that, I was recently turned on to Gammage’s indie synth rock band, SPEAK, and their amazing single, “Carrie.” As it turns out, Gammage prepared an 8-bit remix of “Carrie” while working on Mutant Mudds, and it’s equally worth your attention along with the band’s debut album, I Believe in Everything (also streamable).
Let us know what you think of Mutant Mudds, SPEAK, and the “Carrie” remix!
Earlier this month we mentioned the first single by a new group started by E.S. Posthumus’s Helmut Vonlichten called Les Friction. Now the group is offering a second downloadable song for free from their upcoming debut album, which we’ve now been told will be released less than a month from now on January 24, 2012. The new downloadable track is the title song for the album, Louder Than Words. But the news gets better, as the group will be releasing a third free song, “Here Comes The Reign,” about a week before the album drops.
“Louder Than Words” starts out with singing reminiscent of something you’d hear in a Queen or Styx piece, but the epic sound familiar to E.S. Posthumus fans soon joins in. At times, it feels a bit like “Unstoppable” from the E.S. Posthumus Makara album, but with an additional type of emotion on account of the vocals. As was written in our previous article about Les Friction, the lyrics really do add to the complexity and potential awesomeness of the sound created by E.S. Posthumus, and with this new song, we’re very amped to get this album in our hands.
To hear both of the downloadable Les Friction songs, visit their site, click the “Get it Now” button and enter your email address. This will get you the songs and also sign you up for news about their third single when it’s released.
Based on what you’ve heard from this new group, are you as excited as us for this album? Do you think the vocals add or detract from the now-classic ‘E.S. Posthumus sound?’
We are huge fans of E.S. Posthumus as evidenced by our coverage of their final album, Makara. We had a blast talking with the Vonlichten brothers about their work, and were devastated along with all of their fans earlier this year when it was announced that Franz Vonlichten had died unexpectedly. Out of the ashes, however, Helmut Vonlichten has started a new project called Les Friction with their first album, Louder Than Words, due out in 2012.
While you’re waiting, the group has made available for free their first single, “Torture,” giving fans a taste of what to expect from the album. You’ll feel right at home with the epic strings and percussion in the piece, but the addition of a powerful vocal performance is what’s key, and will, I believe, allow this group to reach a more mainstream audience. The single can be downloaded for free from the band’s website, and you can bet we’ll be keeping an eye on the group and their upcoming album.
What do you think of Les Friction and “Torture?” Are you looking forward to their debut album?
Yeah, see those 17 albums above? You can have all of them for only $10.
And if you don’t like the bottom seven (or you already own most of them), the first two rows (that’s 10 albums) you can get for a mere $1!!
Of course you can (and should, if at all possible) give more. But in the same format as the Humble Indie Bundle, the Indie Music Bundle site is giving you tons of content for an extremely small amount of money. Do not miss this sale. It’s one day only, that most unholy consumer’s holiday, Black Friday.
We’ve covered many of the albums above in previous reviews, and many of them reviewed favorably. There’s no reason not to grab this. We have Minecraft, Binding of Isaac, Ravenmark, Tree of Knowledge, and so much more in the sale. Crap, they even got Jimmy Hinson’s “Impostor Nostalgia” album. Get it. Get all the music. Now.