Spotify has offered a selection of video game soundtracks practically since it launched in 2008. At times I’d see a Halo OST float by or the Grand Theft Auto albums pop up with their tracklists of licensed pop songs. I always appreciated that they were offering anything at all but it was never the place I ran to for game music. Over the last few years, though, the streaming service has begun catering more and more to the gaming crowd.
Just last Spring Sony replaced their Music Unlimited service on PlayStation 4 with an exclusive Spotify app that hooks into the console beautifully. Now Spotify has launched a dedicated place for gamers and game music fans with Spotify Gaming. Of course, the focus remains on curated playlists of pop, rock, rap and electronic music but several of them come from today’s tech and game bloggers. Writers from GamesBeat, Mashable, Polygon, GamesRadar and Engadget have submitted some of their top tracks for the new category. Other featured playlists aim to set the mood with absurd titles like “Epic Gaming”, “Mellowed Out Gaming” and “Ultimate Pop Gaming”… whatever those even mean.
I like that they pulled in games journalists to make playlists but let’s be honest: what we’re really here for are the original soundtracks. Over the years Spotify’s catalog has grown to offer around 100 albums but most importantly, they’re all in one place. The Gaming category is available on all platforms (mobile, desktop and console) so you can finally stop rooting through the World or Soundtrack sections hunting for game music.
The selection isn’t all encompassing by any means but it’s a respectable mix of modern, mobile and indie titles. The latest offerings include 65daysofstatic’s soundtrack to No Man’s Sky (which Ryan just reviewed) and Tomoki Miyoshi’s score to I am Setsuna. There are mobile hits like Sword & Sworcery and Monument Valley and indie titles including Bastion, Fez, The Banner Saga and more. There’s even a random Mega Man album but, oh, it’s only Volume 2 of the gargantuan 10-disc 25th Anniversary collection. At least it’s a start.
Do you stream music from Spotify (game music or not) and what do you think of this new dedicated category? Is it enough to entice you to subscribe? Let us know in the comments.
It may look the part of a pixelart adventure game but Beat Cop from Pixel Crow bucks the gameplay of the genre. The game combines the time management aspects of titles like Cart Life and Papers, Please with the gritty stylings of an 80’s cop show. You play as hard boiled detective, Jack Kelly, who’s been framed for murder and busted down to a beat cop. As you balance writing parking tickets with off-the-books investigations time is running out to clear your name.
There isn’t a ton of music in the game itself — the bustling sounds of the city provide the ambiance instead — but developer Pixel Crow has done a fantastic job matching the sounds of the decade in the game’s trailers. The original announcement trailer from April was accompanied by the dark synthwave sounds of Piotr Musial whose video game work includes This War of Mine, the Anomaly series and the Blood and Wine DLC for The Witcher 3.
In a totally different yet completely fitting change of pace, Beat Cop’s latest trailer features a perfect parody of the Beastie Boys’ style with the song “It’s gonna change the game”. It is pretty amazing to hear and is included with the 5-track soundtrack available now to those who pre-order the Special Edition of the game ahead of its Q4 release window. Musial’s “Beat Cop Theme”, along with other contributions, is also included on the soundtrack.
The music to No Man’s Sky: Music for an Infinite Universe has been something I’ve been excited for since it made my Top 10 Most Anticipated Soundtracks Post E3 2015. 65daysofstatic has been teasing us leading up to the release of their album by sharing tracks “Supermoon” and “Red Parallax” fairly early on.
They have also provided insight into how they created the soundtrack in an article on Kill Screen “The Making of the No Man’s Sky Soundtrack” where they talked about using a variety of techniques including isolation, fancy microphones, a grand piano, and lots of wine. The result in my opinion is an exceptional video game soundtrack that can be enjoyed in your own universe outside of the video game. Read on to hear my thoughts on the album, and my suggestions on how to listen to it. (more…)
For all you Overwatch fans, the good people over at Gamechops have released a new remix of music from the game. The single “The World Could Always Use More Heroes“, created by Curly, mastered by Steven “bLiNd” Silo and master by DJ Cutman, also comes with a special extra music video with animations from PlayOverwatch.
As always you can find more remixes (including future Overwatch arrangements) over on the Gamechops Youtube page.
GERMANY, August 3rd 2016 (Black Screen Records) — Black Screen Records is releasing the official soundtrack to the celebrated and much praised video game Downwell on audiophile 180 gram vinyl. The pressing will be available limited edition, audiophile 180g red vinyl. The music was composed by Eirik Suhrke who also contributed his impressive work to the soundtracks of games like Spelunky, Ridiculous Fishing, Hotline Miami and Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom. The soundtrack also includes two additional tracks by Ilkae (Aaron Munson). The Downwell soundtrack comes with a free bandcamp code that enables the customer to download the complete soundtrack as mp3s for free and will feature a brand new artwork by Mushbuh known for his work on Burrito Galaxy 65. The ﬁrst pressing will also include an exclusive 12“ screen-printed artwork designed by nemk which will only be available with the pre-order.
“For the Downwell soundtrack I set out to create somewhat sparse, exotic, dark little chiptune-centric jazz pieces. Inspired by the likes of Erik Satie, Ryoji Yoshitomi, Minako Hamano, Alex Mauer, Ilkae and Jun Ishikawa. Parts of the soundtrack were written on- and recorded oﬀ a Game Boy, other parts were written with the sample-based Impulse tracker. Myself, Joonas and Ojiro all worked closely to make sure music, sound design and gameplay all worked in tandem, with each element inﬂuencing each other throughout development. It’s also my personal favorite soundtrack I’ve written to date.“ – Eirik Suhrke
A “curious man” with guns for boots, who started out on mobile platforms and PC and due to overwhelming response made it to PS4 & PS Vita in May 2016. Downwell is a game that works as short pastime or for hours of madness, excitement and addiction. While developing and unlocking new features the player will ﬁnd himself rapidly spurred by the minimalistic and yet haunting music that contributes to this games joyful and unique style and makes it a experience you ﬁnd yourself returning to over and over again.
Japan Expo 2016 was held in Paris from July 7 to 10, 2016, and one of the highlights of the event was that Saori Kobayashi performed music from AZEL:Panzer Dragoon RPG (Panzer Dragoon Saga), Panzer Dragoon Orta, and Crimson Dragon.
She also performed music from her most recent album Terra Magica. Although the full performances are not available online, I was able to track down one video from the main performance of “Mother” from Terra Magica with the Japan Game Music Orchestra (JAGMO), and vocalist Eri Ito. The sound quality isn’t the best but it does offer a glimpse of what you would have seen if you had been in attendance.
I also noticed that Saori Kobayashi performed at the Paris Special Showcase (also part of Japan Expo 2016) on piano accompanied by solo soprano saxophonist, Jordi Asensio. In the above three videos you can listen to lovely renditions of “Sona mi areru ec sancitu” from Panzer Dragoon Saga, “Anu Orta Veniya” from Panzer Dragoon Orta, and the “Crimson Dragon Waltz” from Crimson Dragon.
As a Saori Kobayashi fan who couldn’t attend Japan Expo 2016 in Paris, I’m happy that these videos are available for the world to enjoy. Take some time to listen to these wonderful Dragoon tunes. Terra Magica, Saori Kobayashi’s latest album, is available now digitally for $13 and on CD for $16 plus shipping from Brave Wave Productions.
Did you attend Japan Expo 2016 and see Saori Kobayashi live? Let us know what you thought of the event!
MONDO has finally fully released their Castlevania Original Game Soundtrack LP that we’ve covered a few times here on OSV. The grey with black & white splatter 10′ version is currently on sale for $20.00 on the MONDO website.
With this official release of the first game’s soundtrack comes an additional teaser of things to come, via the MONDO Twitter account.
It looks and sounds like we may be seeing a quick announcement of a Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest LP in the near future as well. The release of subsequent Castlevania soundtracks to vinyl was talked about in the initial announcement of the first game’s release, though to have such a quick turnaround between releases is a pleasant surprise. Certainly, if MONDO has been working on multiple Castlevania soundtrack releases at once and we see the likes of not only Simon’s Quest, but possibly even Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse and Super Castlevania IV by the end of the year (or close to it), then they’ll definitely have endeared themselves to the fandom.
We’ll be sure to keep fixated on future CV release news like Peeping Eye on a Belmont.
The debut of Sonic Mania has revolved around the name of Christian Whitehead, the Australian developer whose loving ports and HD remakes of Sonic titles landed him as the driving force behind the new game. But beyond the screaming Sonic fans, the din of Internet pessimism and the critical discussions over “hands on impressions” there’s another name worth taking note of.
Tee Lopes is the composer for Sonic Mania and he’s giving the classic Sonic sound the same loving kick in the pants that Whitehead has seemingly done with the gameplay. Lopes has been putting his own spin (oh wow, not intentional) on Sonic’s themes for years by deconstructing and rebuilding them for piano, strings, horns and guitars. Some of his most well known remixes come from the ‘12 Series but his YouTube, Facebook and Soundcloud pages are full of quality remixes and original work.
As for Sonic Mania, GameXplain has uploaded a sampling of three tracks (sans sound effects or commentary) from the recently revealed playable build of the game. The Title Screen and Invincibility themes lead to the full length track from a totally new level: Studiopolis Zone. Lopes’ style here falls in line with Sonic CD’s Japanese score with piano and synth horns belting out a funky melody over samples and orchestral hits.
Check it out above and let us know what you think of Sonic Mania’s new sound or Tee Lopes’ collection of remixes in the comments below.
If you’re familiar with Alex “Roetaka” Roe, you’d know he’s been a artist in the arrangement scene for a while, dating back a good decade. Almost two years ago, he released an album inspired by the FromSoftware game Bloodborne, which at the time was not quite released but Roe loved the concept enough to create ‘Borne in Blood’ to celebrate it’s upcoming debut.
Evidently the game made such a lasting impact on Roe, he decided to make a second original album inspired by Bloodborne (Not that I blame him; Bloodborne’s music is some of my favorite of recent years and was my OSVOSTOTY pick for 2015).
‘Night of the Hunt’ is my new original album inspired by Bloodborne. When I made ‘Borne in Blood’, I was writing it not knowing a lot about what the game actually was or what its music was quite going to be like. Now that I’ve played the game a ton and my skills have increased so much since that album, I was quite excited at the prospect of returning to the world of Bloodborne and writing something which is both fitting and quintessentially me. – Alex Roe
‘Night of the Hunt’ will be released on August 15th on Roe’s Bandcamp, as well as Spotify, iTunes and Amazon.
Special thanks to Shnabubula for the heads-up on this album. From what I’ve heard in the trailer, it sounds exactly what you’d hope for some a Bloodborne-inspired album – gothic, orchestral goodness.
Fans of the King of Fighters series music will have two opportunities to pick up the King of Fighters XIV soundtrack with the release of the game right around the corner.
As announced earlier this year, the 3-disc soundtrack will first be released with the premium edition “Burn to Fight” release for the PS4 on August 23rd, along with the game and artbook. However those who don’t want to shell out for the top-shelf game will also have the opportunity to purchase the soundtrack separately. The game’s original soundtrack will release in Japan on September 21st to the tune of 3780 yen for those who can’t wait.
Although the composers for the game’s music have yet to be released, previous series composers include Tetsuhiro Ogawa, Iku Mizutani, Toshihiko Hiraguchi and more that very well may make reappearances on the the soundtrack for KoF 14.
You can pre-order King of Fighters XIV: Burn to Fight Edition on Amazon for $79.99.
If you’re a fan of older science fiction/adventure films such as E.T. and The Goonies with a horror twist of Stephen King thrown in and you’re not yet watching Netflix’s series Stranger Things, then you probably should be. The show focuses on a early ’80s era “mad science in suburbia gone wrong” theme that really drives home the nostalgia. I’m only two episodes in and I’m hooked with the suspense and questions that float around the small town it’s centered in.
One of the great things about the series is it’s original music. Each episode is peppered with classic tunes from the ’70s and ’80s that you’d typically hear in that decade. However the show’s score, purported to be composed by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of the band S U R V I V E, drips of eerie synths and creepy vibes not unlike a John Carpenter score. The show’s opener alone has flavors of Halloween about it. Now, it sounds like those of us hooked on said music will be able to purchase it via soundtrack.
Great news for series fans and those of us who love a good ’80s horror cinema score. We’ll keep you posted on when a release date is announced and where to find the Stranger Things soundtrack when it goes live.
What do you think of Stranger Things’ soundtrack? Does it fall in line with other scores of the era it represents? What are your favorite scores that you think helped inspire it? Let us know!
On August 2, 2016, Austin Wintory will be releasing the Original Soundtrack to ABZÛ. On the album’s bandcamp page Austin Wintory provides some insight into the soundtrack’s creation.
On the heels of JOURNEY’s release in 2012, thatgamecompany’s Art Director Matt Nava showed me some concept art he’d been making for a new game he was dreaming up: Gorgeous underwater landscapes that straddled the line between being realism and fantasy. Not long after, the studio Giant Squid was founded and he invited me to join him in the creation of ABZÛ.
The overall progression was not unlike our prior collaboration on JOURNEY. I started with a theme (“To Know, Water”) very early in the process and then spent the next 3 years developing that material in tandem with the game. Both game and music went through many iterations and conceptual shapes before arriving in what you hear and see now. As always, that process of discovery was challenging and often filled with self-doubt.
The resulting score is one I can definitely say pushed me into territory I’d never been. The odd combination of large harp ensemble, semi-traditional orchestra and chamber choir, led by a slew of delicate oboe solos by Kristin Naigus, gave me ingredients for experimentation that were simultaneously great fun and deeply intimidating. All the performers brought incredible magic and I’m eternally grateful for their artistry.
Austin Wintory, Composer
You can listen to the first official track “To Know, Water” which you will receive early if you pre-order the album. This track has been available previously and was used for the original E3 trailer in 2014, which we previously reported on following E3 2016. Although there have not been any announcements about a physical release yet I’m hoping to see a CD and Vinyl release. Stay tuned to Original Sound Version for a full soundtrack review and details on physical releases ‘if’ they are announced. You can pre-order the digital version for $7 on Austin Wintory’s Bandcamp page.
Will you be pre-ordering the ABZÛ Original Soundtrack? What do you think of the first track?
Last week we reported on the release of the soundtrack to Obduction a new game from Cyan Worlds, the creators of the original classic games Myst and Riven. Robyn Miller composed the music for Obduction and he graciously took ...
On August 4, 2016, Video Games Live released their fifth album Video Games Live: Level 5 to its Kickstarter backers. The album is the result of another successful Kickstarter campaign where stretch goals resulted in a ...
The music to No Man’s Sky: Music for an Infinite Universe has been something I’ve been excited for since it made my Top 10 Most Anticipated Soundtracks Post E3 2015. 65daysofstatic has been teasing us ...