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Indie Game: The Movie: The Soundtrack: The Review

Indie Game: The Movie: The Soundtrack: The Review

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After Brenna posted her timely review of the Scythian Steppes remix album for Sword & Sworcery, I did a quick investigation into the OSV archives to see what else we’d reviewed related to the game and to Jim Guthrie.

Turns out, this was it.

For the rest of the week, we’ll be rectifying that problem. It’s Jim Guthrie week, ladies and gentlemen! And we’re starting with a new release: the soundtrack for “Indie Game: The Movie,” a documentary which chronicles the development of a few high-profile indie games, including FEZ, Braid, and Super Meat Boy.

Did Guthrie do justice to these film-makers and their timely subject of indie games? All that, and more, after the jump.

There’s a power behind repetition, behind minimalist patterns that blend acoustic and electronic, that is easy to grasp but hard to master. I’ve seen it in the likes of Chris Schlarb and Mitsuto Suzuki, but in this soundtrack, Guthrie does minimalism with a level of mastery that really shakes me to my core.

I don’t know how best to describe it. I will say I’ve experienced this soundtrack in and out of the context of the film, and it’s great either way. It does, very much, fit my preferences. But even if it didn’t, I’d be impressed.

The best way for me to describe this, I think, is to give you little vignette impressions of individual tracks. So, here we go!

The simplicity of, and the applause at the end of, “Toy Computer” make me smile inside. That’s where my inner child hangs out. “A Glow You Know” makes 6/8 + 3/4 polyrhythm sound sweeter than I’ve ever heard it elsewhere. Imogen Heap’s “Closing In” comes in at a close second. Seriously, Guthrie knocks it out of the park with this track.

“The Other Castle” is haunting and whimsical. Great use of dynamic range and good, resonant instruments. Ditto for “Young Lungs” and many other tracks in the second half of the album.

“Trust” is an archetypal lo-fi indie track, reminiscent of older Sufjan Stevens, totally hip.

“Chips at Sea” is the closest Guthrie gets to a chiptunes track, and it’s really the most synthetic the soundtrack gets. Much of the soundtrack features real instruments, and I dig that.

This album is available on bandcamp in two forms: digital-only for $5 (Canadian), or a sweet double vinyl LP for $32 (again, Canadian). I’m personally afraid to start collecting vinyl, because I know what it’ll do to my budget. But I’m happy to add it to my digital collection. Care to join me?

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