This summer sees the worldwide digital release of Loose Canons 2.0, an epic soundtrack of original video game music and sounds performed on vintage 1970’s analog synthesizers.
The debut electronic music release by multi-instrumentalist/composer Steven Jaime Giacomelli, Loose Canons 2.0 is the official soundtrack to the the unrealized video game adaptation of the Loose Canons song suite, as composed and executed on Micromoog synthesizer and arranged into ten separate tableaux. In lieu of the imaginary video game representation, the listener is invited to use the music of Loose Canons 2.0 as a personal soundtrack to their favorite video game. In the event that no video game is available, the listener may perhaps use the enclosed music as an active listening pursuit, or alternately, as a soundtrack to real life.
ABOUT GIACOMELLI & LOOSE CANONS
Loose Canons 2.0 is an analog synthesizer and retro video game fan’s fantasy come to life, with monophonic Micromoog mandalas of vintage bleep bloops cascading through space and time like an 8-bit calliope of revolving sound. The album is the culmination of years of melodic electronic synthesizer experiments by multi-instrumentalist/composer Steven Jaime Giacomelli, whose dual abstract and hook-laden sensibilities were on display in multiple bands in the Gainesville FL underground scene in the early 2000’s. Chief among these was The Ohm, an instrumental four-piece with a varied m.o. of instant composition, epic noisepop psychfuzz and atmospheric environment enhancement.
A series of underground self-releases yielded new projects, new bands and new contexts, with Giacomelli stretching compositionally into classic American song forms, from doo-wop to metal to orchestral pop to country to surf rock to soul baroque pop to hip hop to americana to spoken word soundtrack to blues to ambient, all the while honing theoretical melodic approaches and atmosphere exploration that would ultimately express themselves after a chance re-discovery of the work of Californian minimalist composer Terry Riley and an embrace of a lifelong influence of Japanese video game music composer Koji Kondo.
Now making his home among analog synths in Silicon Valley, with Loose Canons 2.0 primed for placement, Giacomelli continues to work on his next opus.
Loose Canons 2.0 by Giacomelli is available now at iTunes, Tidal, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, CD Baby, and all other major digital outlets.
Rhythm RPG, The Metronomicon has quite the news to celebrate today but if you — like me until 15 minutes ago — had never heard of it, here’s a quick primer. The Metronomicon combines rhythm games and RPGs in the same way Puzzle Quest infused Match 3 gameplay with combat and quests. Similar in style to Guitar Hero and Rock Band, you’re hitting colored notes as they fall down the screen. Instead of racking up points though, you’re building up abilities and buffs across 8 different characters to whittle away the Hit Points of fantastically nonsensical enemies. Winning battles and completing quests rewards you with gear and experience points to customize your team.
All of this is set to an expanding soundtrack of licensed songs from DJ Cutman, Perturbator, J-Punch, YACHT, Shiny Toy Guns and as of today, Mega Ran, whose track “Miss Communication” will be joining the setlist. Developer Puuba also announced today that your existing Rock Band and Guitar Hero guitars will be compatible with the game as well as custom-built dance pads coming from Precision Dance Pads.
Take a look at the latest devlog above to see the shiny new dance pads in action and hear Mega Ran vibin’ along to the game. The Metronomicon is launching later in 2016 with the help of Kasedo Games and will be making its next appearance at GamesCom in Germany next month. Expect an update with some more musical announcements around the show.
The Unravel soundtrack has been out since June 24, 2016, and since that time I’ve listened to it a least half a dozen times. The soundtrack runs just short of two hours and listening to it that much has been easy. I’ve listened on my walks, while writing, and even on Sunday afternoons with the dog sleeping peacefully to it’s melodies.
The music was composed by Frida Johansson and Henrik Oja and recorded with a small group of musicians in a small Swedish studio called Second Home. Although I have not played Unravel, its soundtrack has a lot to offer. Read on to hear more of my thoughts of the music. (more…)
On Friday, composer of the music for Myst and Riven, Robyn C. Miller @tinselman on Twitter, tweeted that he had released his first track from the upcoming Obduction soundtrack. He also noted that the soundtrack will be out hopefully in early August after the game’s official release date of July 26, 2016.
He’s also tweeted that the soundtrack is in it’s final stages, and I can’t wait to hear it as I am still a huge fan of the Myst and Riven soundtracks. Obduction will be available on Steam July 26, 2016 and you can read all of the latest news about the game on the official site.
Is Obduction a soundtrack you’re looking forward to?
Here at Original Sound Version, we truly ask the burning questions that any true fan of video game music has discussed at one point in their lives or another. Michael started the question of what favorite versions of some of the most popular and heavily remixed tunes from iconic gaming franchises are your own, starting with Donkey Kong Country‘s “Aquatic Ambiance“. Now it’s my turn to pick your brain about arguably the most well-known and therefore remixed track from the Castlevania franchise – the original Castlevania‘s iconic stage 1 music, “Vampire Killer”.
It was hard for me to choose which Castlevania track I wanted to use for this question, as “Vampire Killer”, Castlevania 2‘s “Bloody Tears, and Castlevania 3‘s “Beginning” (Or the “Big 3” as I call them.) are almost equally arranged in proportion across both the Castlevania franchise itself, as well as within the remixing community. However, it feels right to start at the very beginning (No pun intended) with “Vampire Killer”, which was composed by the duo of Kinuyo Yamashita and Satoe Terashima in 1986.
“Vampire Killer” – Castlevania
The tune is catchy and full of determination, which made it perfect for first-time players and veterans alike to start off their journey to Dracula with. It’s had several iterations within the Castlevania franchise over the years, showing up arranged in later games such as Dracula’s Curse (As castle track “Deja Vu”), Super Castlevania 4, Rondo of Blood, Legends, Dawn of Sorrow and more. It serves as that constant reminder of the series’s ties to one another and of that first faithful trek we took as Simon Belmont. If I had to choose my favorite iteration of the track from within the series, I’ve grown to truly love Castlevania: The Arcade‘s part-organ, part-rock synth version played during the first boss fight.
Video credit of Nyx Cyan
The track has also been remixed by the fan community in just about every style imaginable, from the jazzy swing of Nostalvania to the electric grooves of Zircon and everywhere in between, to the point of near-exhaustion. Yet “Vampire Killer” persists as one of the most recognized video game tracks in gaming history, and still manages to inspire creativity and energy from musical vampire hunters to this day.
So what is your favorite version or arrangement of “Vampire Killer”? Do you have several? Let us know in the comments!
The realm of orchestral video game performances has been dominated by headliners from Nintendo, Sega and Square for years. Video Games Live and Play! have cherry picked fan favorites in the past but now Bandai Namco has decided to get in on things with a concert tour of their own: Orchestral Memories.
Debuting on February 4th, 2017 in Paris, France, an orchestra of 80+ musicians will perform arrangements from Namco’s eclectic legacy including Dark Souls, Tales Of, Ace Combat, Tekken, Soulcalibur, God Eater, Pac-Man (that’ll be an interesting one) and more. For this first performance Namco is also bringing along God Eater and Tales Of composer Go Shiina for an exclusive meet and greet with fans.
Orchestral Memories is a production of Wild Faery who is currently touring with Piano Opera: Music from Final Fantasy and will also perform the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra later in 2017. More dates will be announced for Orchestral Memories in the future but as the series is being produced by Bandai Namco Europe it’s not likely it will see international venues for this inaugural tour.
For those in France or planning to attend, tickets are still available direct from Wild Faery. The rest of us will have to hold out for future dates and the inevitable CD album announcement that I’m already looking forward to hearing. What other Bandai Namco titles would you like to hear performed at Orchestral Memories?
Anew: The Distant Light is an upcoming indie game for PC and various consoles being developed by Resonator Games. Wilbert Roget II who was behind the wonderful anime inspired album Beyond Libra, will be composing the music.
We have the amazingly talented Wilbert Roget, II scoring the game (Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Dead Island 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Monkey Island Special Edition). Will is writing an amazing 20th century orchestral-inspired score for us, so if you are into Bela Bartok, John Adams, and Jerry Goldsmith – you’ll appreciate it. We recently won the Audience Choice Award at the Developer Showcase at Phoenix Comicon, and were also accepted into the Microsoft and Sony developer programs earlier in the year. The game is still in development and is planned for an initial launch on PC later next year.
Art, Animation, Sound, and Narrative Lead
Resonator Games has also posted an incredible Pre-Alpha Gameplay trailer that to me looks like Earthworm Jim, Super Metroid, and Image Comic’s Black Science had a baby.
What do you think of this first excerpt of the soundtrack? Is Anew: The Distant Light a game you’re looking forward to next year?
The 4th of July is not usually a holiday one would expect to find a lot of VGM or chiptune albums dedicated to it. However Christopher “Mazedude” Getman decided to get in on the untapped potential of such an idea and run with it with his American Pixels tribute album to all things American video game music.
I’ve been working on an album for 5+ years now, celebrating American video game music composers by way of remix and special guest performances. (I released a free album along the same theme back in ’05, which you can learn more about here: http://www.mazedude.com/aa/) – Mazedude
The album features arrangements of several video game OSTs with American composers, including Mass Effect 2, Maniac Mansion, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, DC Universe and more by several top-tier musicians within the VGM community such as David “Dhsu” Hsu (Bad Dudes), William Reyes (The OneUps), Sean “Ailsean” Stone (Bad Dudes, Smash Brothers) and a handful of other talented artists.
The album is currently seeking $5,000 in funding on Kickstarter to help produce the album, and has several previews of what you can expect to hear from the bevvy of tracks and musicians.
I’ve been making arrangements of game music for 15 years, mostly for free and always at a quality I could achieve with my own gear. Just this once, I want to take a project all the way, with proper mastering, I want to license it so that it can arrive at iTunes and Amazon, and even though it’s more of a bucket-list thing, I really want to be able to have the official, physical CD done right.
You can learn more about the campaign on the American Pixels official Kickstarter page, which launched today. The digital album can be backers at the $9 tier, with other tiers including a physical album, requesting special remixes by Mazedude himself, and adding your voice to the choir of the Phantasmagoria track. You can also check out Mazedude’s other works on his Bandcamp.
Groupees’ Chiptune + Charity Bundle returns for the 10th time this Summer to spread music and money to benefit the Children’s Cancer Association’s MyMusic Rx program. For a minimum of $2 you’ll get ten chiptune albums and soundtracks featuring Jake “virt” Kaufman, tiasu, ToyCompany, DJ Cutman, Jamatar, coda, bignic, Please Lose Battle, BigGiantCircles and Kubbi.
Highlights this time around are the entire Retro City Rampage soundtrack from “virt”, “Norrin Radd” and “Freaky DNA” and an exclusive EP album from DJ Cutman featuring original music. Mystery albums are added as donations hit $1,000 levels so there’s more bonus music to come, the first of which will be the ToyCompany album Playroom Vol.2.
The chiptune-rock duo of Marshall Art are celebrating their 5th anniversary of their band formation, and passing the awesome onto you!
On July 1st, the compilation album Gallery will be released on digital retailers and will feature music from Marshall Art’s entire 2011-2016 discography, which includes covers of game music such as Undertale, Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong Country 3 and a whole lot more including more obscure game covers from Shura no Mon and non-vgm compositions. If you’re not familiar with Marshall Art, their work of NES-style chiptunes layer with guitar rock has included collaborations with several other artists and inclusion on tribute albums such as Danse Macabre and Chronicles of Time. They’ve also been a staple within the chiptune community and performed at several MAGFests as well as 8static Fest to high praise.
“Battle Theme 1” – Shura no Mon (Marshall Art)
The new release will also have 25 limited edition, hand-painted cassettes available to the most eager of fans to purchase for their collection.
“We wanted to give these songs a proper physical release. I’m a huge fan of unique, hand-crafted merch items. This compilation made for a good opportunity to make an album that is an art piece on its own.” – Jeffrey Roberts, Marshall Art
The 13-track Gallery album spans 60 minutes worth of game music covers and other works, and can be purchased digitally tomorrow July 1st on Loudr and Amazon MP3, while the limited edition cassette tapes will go on sale the same day at noon on Marshall Art’s music website.
A new Kickstarter campaign currently seeking funding might tickle the fancy of fans of classic arcade shooters, and tickle the ears of arcade music fans.
Xydonia, a throwback shmup game in the vein of Gradius and R-Type that styles itself as a “love letter to Japanese arcade classics of the ’90s” will be bringing in some veterans of Japanese arcade composing. Creators Breaking Bytes have partnered with Scarlet Moon Productions to bring in composers Shinji Hosoe (Dragon Spirit, Under Defeat, Otomedius) and Keishi Yonao (Mad Stalker, Strania) to assist their house sound designer Luca Della Regina to create Xydonia‘s soundtrack if funded.
Video credit of Klax0r
The music will be powered by the Yamaha YM2151+Sega PCM sound chip, which was the go-to arcade sound chip of the ’80s and ’90s. A digital copy of the game can be backed for €10, while the soundtrack will be included for backers of the €30 tier or higher. The game aims to release in fall of 2017. You can read more about Xydonia on their Kickstarter page.
Back in 2014 Atari started a push to reach “new audiences” that resulted in a bizarre crossover with Denny’s. The next step in the brand-broadening project has been a long time coming but this week Atari announced a collaboration with rapper, producer and composer, RZA. Basically, RZA has free reign to sample the iconic sounds of Atari’s legacy to create some new music. However, what that’s going to sound like, when it’ll be delivered and how much music he’s creating are currently unconfirmed.
“I’m so excited to work on these iconic games to deliver what I believe will be one of my best albums,” said RZA. “I am going to invite some of my friends to join me and it will be Game On with the first beat!”
He’s obviously not the first to fuse hip hop with video games — Mega Ran, Sammus and numerous other artists are not to be overlooked — but a mainstream album like this can only bring more people around to the idea of game music. As a fan of weird mashups of game music and sound effects I’ll keep my ears open for more on this project as it develops.
During last year’s PAX East I got to preview an action rhythm game from indie studio Drool called Thumper. Since then the game has made the rounds at many other expos, conventions, and festivals. Along ...
The ZEN ALBATROSS is different from your average albatross. You see, the ancient mariner has nothin' on him. Nor do invasive government spy agencies. Confused yet? You need to get to know ZEN ALBATROSS then. ...