If you’re not familiar with Maserati, they’re a band out of Athens, Georgia that has been producing albums for sometime and describe their music making as a process of marrying the past to the future. They’re retro futurists hellbent on forging Krautrock and classic rock into one motorik, monolithic vehicle, releasing their newest album; Rehumanizer this October.
Rehumanizer is the most accomplished product of that process to date, a marriage of man and machine that plays like a supergroup comprised of Gary Numan, Cluster, and Pink Floyd. Building songs up bit by bit — and breaking them back down to their barest elements — Maserati fully embraced technology as a songwriting tool. The band takes greater risks than ever, sonically experimenting on the fly and incorporating unprocessed vocals for the first time ever. For the past decade Maserati has built a career out of relentless forward momentum – a tight, sleek, chugging beast that drove towards the sun and rarely veered off course. Rehumanizer maintains that same ambition and sense of abandon, but is distinctly as much man as it is machine – a true alliance of the past and the future.
The new album will contain a total of six tracks, and you can sample the track titled “Rehumanizer II” below.
Rehumanizer can be pre-ordered for $9.00 on Maserati’s Bandcamp, and will be released on October 30th.
Multiplayer II: Co-Op, the follow-up to last summer’s video game remix album, is out now with all proceeds going to the Child’s Play Charity Network. The 26-track album collects the efforts of over 50 artists working together on unique collaborations to put new spins on classic video game themes.
There’s String Player Gamer working with Tera Catallo & xclassicalcatx to arrange “Metal Man’s Theme” from Mega Man 2 for orchestra and rock band. A ukulele and electric guitar rendition of the Crash Bandicoot Warped theme by Motion Ocean and Knife Mom. Josiah McDaniel & RichaadEB’s ultra-fast metal version of Gauntlet. An incredibly smooth acoustic and synth take on Streets of Rage from Mitchell Cairns & Songe. A metal rendition of “One Winged Angel” from Final Fantasy VII by LittleVMills complete with a choir of ten other collaborating composers.
Releasing for iOS and Android in the next for days in Australia and internationally soon thereafter, Beat Bop: Pop Star Clicker is a free-to-play game that combines the intense tapping gameplay of the clicker genre with economic micromanagement and funky fresh beats.
In Beat Bop, the player is a rising music star, starting from the streets and strumming towards superstardom. Tap to collect coins and jam with your band, use your newfound wealth to stock up on merchandise to sell to your adoring fans and earn money while you’re away from the game. It won’t all be smooth sailing though. Take risks in random events that may lead to big bonuses to give you an extra boost – or to unfortunate accidents that set you back.
– Fliptus Pty Ltd.
The game’s soundtrack is composed by Piotr Nowotnik (Rainbow Rumble) and features some catchy tunes to help compliment the furious clicking you’ll be doing throughout the game.
Beat Bop itself seems to be a cute game with the interesting mechanic of band management and gauging one’s rise to music fame. One wonders if the Clicker-genre of games is the correct one to experiment with such concepts, but for a mobile game it certainly seems slightly more realistic in that regard as opposed to games like Rock Band, in which management of your band is pretty much automatic in favor of focusing on playing skill.
For those interested, Beat Bop releases in Australia and New Zealand this Thursday and should be showing up everywhere else soon after. If you happen to pick up the game and give it a try, let us know how it plays and how in-depth the band management system they tote ends up being. Would you be interested in seeing fully-fledged games that deal with concepts like music production and management more?
Prismatica is a puzzle game that has gotten some positive attention in the gaming world and was just released on Steam this past July. It was nominated for the Best Upcoming Game at the 11th Annual International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) in San Francisco this year, and has been praised for its different take on puzzle games and its bright and cheerful style. The game features music written by award-winning indie folk musician Svavar Knutur, which in my mind is part of what helps it stand out from the crowd of puzzle games.
Brave Wave is now accepting pre-orders for their latest album titled Heart Beat Circut by Smoke Thief (George Arthur Baker). The album will be released on August 20, 2015. According to Brave Wave, the album has been a five year journey:
Heart Beat Circuit is an album five years in the making. After completing his Master’s degree in music performance in 2010, George “Smoke Thief” Baker began to conceptualize what would take shape into his first album. An image came to him of a futuristic female android who achieves sentience, which opens up a world of new experiences to her and the opportunity to forge a new life. This android, later named Krystal, serves as the main inspiration for the album, as well as appearing on the album cover.
Smoke Thief experiments with a variety of musical styles to explore Krystal’s world and experiences. He strives to contrast the mathematical, logical aspect of music with its more human qualities by mixing genres from ambient to jazz, and fusing electronic elements with instruments such as saxophone.
With contributions from renowned video game composers Manami Matsumae (Mega Man), Saori Kobayashi (Panzer Dragoon Saga), and Takahiro Izutani (Bayonetta), Heart Beat Circuit takes the listener on a futuristic journey through the mind of this groundbreaking composer and that of Krystal, his muse.
Brave Wave Productions
When you pre-order the album you’ll automatically receive a digital copy of the above audibly stunning track “Dusktone (ft. Manami Matsumae). The track reminds me of music composed by the electronic artist BT (Brian Transeau), but with a unique digital sound. The album is available for pre-order digitally for $10, or $16 for a gorgeous digi-pak which also includes the digital download.
Let me know what you think of the preview track, does it remind you of anything you’ve heard before?
Just released on Steam on July 17, 2015 Interstellaria is a real time space-exploration sim and crew management game where you can command a fleet of vessels wandering the galaxy for adventure and profit. “Every star and planet holds untold riches and dangers. Each encounter will require skills in trading, diplomacy, and combat. Allocate power to engines, charge all weapons, and take on the worst the galaxy has to handle.”
The music for the game was written by the very talented Niamh Houston, known as Chipzel and is available for purchase on bandcamp. Since its release many supporters have given it rave reviews:
This ost is a gem on its own. The varied musical themes take you on a roundtrip across the galaxy. Favorite track: Sakari. – Supporter, Niels VermeulenThe soundtrack for Interstellaria is, well, STELLAR. Seriously. It’s like FTL and Super Hexagon had a baby, and it is awesome. Also, it was ridiculously hard to choose between Xiwang and Annihilation as a “favorite track”, seriously. Favorite track: Xiwang. – Supporter, Blazing Glaceon
My only experience with Chipzel’s music was the track “Menacing Wonders” he provided for Brave Wave’s hit album In Flux.
I’m still listening to the album but so far my favorite track is the final track on the album “Somnolence” which has a scratching vinyl lullaby sound.
The album is available now on bandcamp for 5 pounds, just under $8.00 US. The soundtrack can also be purchased as a DLC with the game on Steam. Have you played Intersellaria and experienced Chipzel’s music in the game? Let us know what you think!
Having officially wrapped up their Kickstarter with 6.3 million dollars in funding, it is now assured that Shenmue 3 is going to happen. When and in what form it’s released will be closely watched and reported on over the next two years. But for today I’d like to take this time to celebrate the crowdfunding success, and the history of the series, with some great and peculiar tribute music.
The two North American version anime series that generated interest in the genre for a lot of us were Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z. One of the things that stood out about the series were their fantastic theme songs. Sailor Moon‘s theme was written by composer Bob Summers and wrote a series of memorable English lyrics for the Japanese theme song “Moonlight Densetsu”. For Dragon Ball Z, Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahehi (Haim Saban) delivered an entirely new theme song titled “Rock The Dragon” which in my opinion is the Dragon Ball Z theme to rule them all.
Often I search for covers of these great songs, and last week I stumbled onto two fantastic covers on the same album! The album is a stellar work by the hilariously named band Piss Lizard; Pizard? The album totals 11 tracks and is available as a Free Download on bandcamp.
What I love about their version of “Moonlight Densetsu” is that they use their passionate male vocals to give the theme an old timey sound in English, and Japanese .
As for the Dragon Ball Z cover “Pump Up The Draygen” the band has produced the best cover version to date adding their own matched sound effects of fighting from the original theme.
Check out the Free Album by the Piss Lizard; Pizard? on bandcamp for a good time. The rest of the album is just as good. Let me know what you think.
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?
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.
Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure is a single touch musical adventure game available on Steam, and additional mobile platforms . I finally had the opportunity to experience the game this past weekend and can say that the positive reviews for the game around the web are accurate.
The game’s creators Super Chop Games describe the game as follows: “Ephemerid is a rock fairy tale about a paper mayfly. Lean back, relax and enjoy it as a whole, as you would a favorite album. ”
In the review I look at the game’s use of music and how it guides the player through its story and delivers a series of emotional impacts. If you have not had a chance to experience Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure come read why you should.