Last year I wrote about my most anticipated video game soundtracks coming out in 2017, and Anew: The Distant Light was at the top of my list. On February 14, 2017 it launched a Kickstarter campaign to help get the game the additional funding it needs to be released.
The music for the game is composed by Wilbert Roget II, who has done the music for for hit games like Lara Croft and Temple of Osiris, Dead Island 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Monkey Island Special Edition. He also released the excellent anime inspirational album Beyond Libra which OSV reviewed here (It’s awesome). You can listen to another lovely track from the score above called “Lullaby” that features some fantastic piano.
Pledge levels for the game start at $1, there’s 200 digital copies of the game available at $14 (109/200 left at time of writing), and $34 will get you a digital copy of Wilbert Roget II’s soundtrack, along with some other sweet extras. Physical CD fans like myself can snag a copy of the CD by pledging $89 for the Collector’s Edition of the game.
The campaign’s goal is $30,000, and they’re already more than a third of the way there! You can find the full details of the Kickstarter campaign here.
Check back with OSV soon for more on Anew: The Distant Light and composer Wilbert Roget II. Is this a Kickstarter campaign you’ll be backing?
Escaping the horrors of Resident Evil by running to one of the impenetrable Save Rooms has always helped me cope with the survival horror gameplay. The songs that accompany these rooms aren’t upbeat by any means but they’ve always been some of my favorites, offering just a hint of hope in their despondent melodies.
Now artist Mono Memory has taken one of my favorites from Resident Evil 2 and given it an even more foreboding synthwave makeover. Dripping with sounds of faux 80’s synths, I’m suddenly realizing that a full rearrangement of the soundtrack is something I never knew I wanted.
That may never happen but Mono Memory has plenty of similarly synthy tracks to check out including “Outrun the World” which serves as a teaser for his debut album coming this Summer. He’s also given the Game of Thrones theme a similar overhaul on his YouTube channel and has some other tracks and EPs available on Bandcamp. And if this track has stirred your desire for more old game music done up in the style of their times, check out Metroid Resynthesized by Luminist.
Secret of Mana composer Hiroki Kikuta has released two original albums to fans in the form of ANGELICFORTRESS and ANGELICFORTRESS DOUBLE HELIX. ANGELICFORTRESS is an album series created to combine Kikuta’s love for progressive rock, jazz fusion, and game music as well as to say thank you to patrons of music in general.
“I was exposed to an endless catalog of awesome progressive rock and jazz fusion albums throughout high school. It had the biggest impact on the formulation of my view of the musical world. Now I want to mix up these genres with modern day videogame music.” – Hiroki Kikuta
You can also keep on top of Kikuta’s other upcoming works and news by following him on his official Twitter.
Coming soon from OCRemix: Super Mario RPG: Window to the Stars, a digital 3CD described by them as a tribute album to the music of one of the greatest RPG’s ever created. OC Remix has released a trailer for the album which you can watch below.
Do you think Super Mario RPG is one of the greatest RPG’s ever created? How about it’s soundtrack?
Niamh Houston, also known as Chipzel gave an excellent TEDtalk on chip tunes this past November 5, 2016. If you’ve ever wanted an explanation on how she creates her music, she gives a full demonstration as part of the talk. She also talks about the overall idea that we are all hackers, and the importance of being authentic in any creative pursuit.
The ‘hacker ethic’ is central to Niamh’s musical creativity as she takes us on a journey into the Chiptune genre, a subculture creating music from augmented hardware and software, and why such expression resonates with Millennials and others who are seeking to create raw and unfiltered music for an online generation.
She is a BAFTA nominated and award winning independent composer from Northern Ireland. In 2015, Houston received the Best Music award in XBLA Fans’ Game of the Year awards, as well as being named VGMO’s best independent composer.
She has scored the original sound tracks for six video games, including the critically acclaimed Super Hexagon. Houston continues to compose music for forthcoming video game projects while working on her next studio album and touring the world. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
The TEDtalk runs around 17 minutes, and it definitely worth your time. If you’ve had something on the creative back burner for a while, this might be the pep talk you need to hear. You can learn more about the TEDx event here, and check out chipzel’s music on her website.
What did you think of Chipzel’s TEDtalk?
Brave Wave’s first release in 2017 continues their goal to give the freedom to game music composers to create their dream projects. Lingua Franca is the life’s work of Dugo, the alias of composer Takahiro Izutani who has composed for the Metal Gear Solid and Bayonetta series since 2006.
After a decade in design, Lingua Franca is now available to pre-order for $10 on digital or $16 on CD through Bandcamp and will be released on January 27th. While we wait you can check out two tracks from the album and read a message from Izutani below.
“First of all, I appreciate the entire audience of Dugo for supporting me. Dugo is my life’s work. I think […] you can indeed find some affinity between my work for Dugo and my compositions for video games. I was always taking experimental approaches during the process of making Dugo’s songs, and then sophisticating, developing, and introducing them into video game work.
Actually, you can explore the headstream of all of the video game music that I have ever made through this album. I think it is fantastic that Brave Wave is contributing to the video game music industry and supporting composers in such a way.”
For some time now I have been meaning to write about the soundtrack to Titan Souls. The music was composed by David Fenn, who has also composed the music for the mobile game Telepaint! and the platformer Leaf Me Alone. If you’re not familiar with Titan Souls, it is a challenging game where the player must battle numerous large bosses armed solely with a bow and arrow while trying to avoid a one hit sudden death.
Visually it reminded me of The Legend of Zelda and Shadow of the Colossus and what really makes the game special is David Fenn’s musical score. Its use of instrumentation creates at times a sense of awe and mystery as you traverse it’s ancient environments. The music also can be adrenaline inducing with it’s excellent use of percussion and electric guitar.
Read on for our interview with David Fenn where he talks about scoring Titan Souls, and gives some insight into his musical method.
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.