The name Ben Prunty may call to mind the foreboding outer space sounds of FTL but for his latest release Prunty has ditched ALL synthesizers to capture the rural 1965 setting of Dead Secret. Out now on Steam and available for the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR (PlayStation VR coming soon), Dead Secret is — no surprise — a first-person virtual reality experience.
Though it can now be played on a 2D monitor thanks to the Steam release, the murder mystery is designed for VR. As the game begins you find yourself at the scene of a murder. With the sun quickly setting you explore the home and life of the victim to discover what happened but soon realize you may not be alone in this isolated house. The combination of the 1960’s setting, the lonely environment and the looming threat of madness and murder gives Prunty plenty of themes to explore with the soundtrack.
The title track, “Dead Secret” begins with a dusty and jazzy melody on guitar and piano that would work as the theme song for a Bogart era gumshoe detective. As the album unfolds things turn dark and ominous but avoid the typical shrill strings and pounding drums of many horror soundtracks. It reminds me a little of Carter Burwell’s score for Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, implementing organic sounds and non-traditional instruments.
“There are no synthesizers; even the things that sound like synthesizers are actually heavily modified samples,” says Prunty of the album. “There are lots of unusual sounds: light bulbs, a glass harmonica, wooden planks, and scraping metal, all to drive home the very analog feel of the […] setting.”
Thanks to the varied themes and atypical sounds Dead Secret is one of the more listenable horror game soundtracks I’ve heard in awhile. It’s a bit short with only ten tracks but if you’re in the mood for some spooky ambiance or cool detective accompaniment it’s worth checking out. The album is available now for $6 on Bandcamp and the game is currently on sale on Steam for 10% off its normal $14.99 price.
In honor of the release of the new film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, La-La Land Records is having a sale on some of the best Batman and Superman soundtracks ever released in the form of: Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, and Superman Returns. On March 29, 2016, La-La Land Records also released the soundtrack to the animated film Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman. Details of the sale are below.
The superhero titans’ big-screen fight has spilled over into La-La Land with pummeling sale prices on these BATMAN and SUPERMAN titles! BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES VOL. 1 (2-CD SET) and SUPERMAN RETURNS (2-CD SET) are only $20 each! BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES VOL 2 (4-CD SET), VOL 3 (4-CD SET) and SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (4-CD SET) are only $40 each! Sale runs through 4/11.
La-La Land Records
If you’re a fan of Batman or Superman music – you might want to check out this sale on La-La Land Records web site! During Wondercon this past weekend La-La Land Records also announced that a 4th volume of Batman: The Animated Series including something called The Arkham Archives will be released this summer.
That Dragon, Cancer is described by it’s creators as an immersive narrative video game that retells Joel Green’s 4-year fight against cancer through about two hours of poetic, imaginative gameplay that explores faith, hope and love.
I have not played the game but have read several reviews about the experience including a very detailed account of the game by Wired magazine in their article titled “A Father, a Dying Son, and the Quest to Make the Most Profound Videogame Ever” which you can read here. Since learning that the soundtrack was available I had to listen to it. Read on for my review of the game’s music.
The OneUps have just released their seventh studio album, appropriately titled “Part Seven”. The OneUps are a video game music cover band that performs arrangements of a wide variety of music, oftentimes in variations of jazz and rock styles. Their latest album, released just prior to this past MAGFest last month, continues this trend with new covers in a funk rock style. It includes a nice selection of songs, including some fairly familiar ones and some less so. Read on for the full review.
The Kirby series has seen its main character go on a wide variety of adventures. Outside the standard platforming titles he’s had his own pinball game, a handful of puzzle games, and even a mini-golf style game. One of my favorite deviations from the regular games is the GameCube title Kirby Air Ride, a unique racing game that featured the series characters riding around on various types of stars.
Like many of the Kirby games, the soundtrack is full of great music tracks for the various races and game events. For this week’s Arrangement of the Week, we’ll be looking at a solo piano arrangement of “Frozen Hillside” by artist jdaster64 titled “Frozen Fantasie.”
At first the arrangement is relatively calm and doesn’t feature much melodic variation from the original track. This ends up being a good thing, as it’s a clear and pleasantly light variation that sets the listener up for what’s to come. The piece soon builds a greater amount of contrast, switching quickly between sections of heavy chords across the piano’s entire pitch register to more delicate and quieter sections.
This type of variety makes the arrangement more interesting, while still keeping the original theme clear and recognizable. The decision to frequently switch between the different arrangement styles also gives the track a lighter and more playful vibe, which is a perfect match for the Kirby series. All in all, it’s a wonderful piano arrangement that effortlessly captures the spirit of its source material.
Have any favorite remixes, arrangements, or remixes of the Kirby Air Ride soundtrack? Let us know in the comments below. You can check out idaster64’s “Frozen Fantasie” on OCReMix.
Composer and arranger Josh Barron (MATERIA: Final Fantasy VII Remixed and SUCCESSOR: Final Fantasy VIII Remixed) and the ETHEReal String Orchestra, who recently contributed to the NIBEL: Ori and the Blind Forest Remixed album, have come together to release an orchestral game music album dubbed The ETHEReal String Project. Taking music from several RPG’s, including Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect 3 and more, the album features several contributions are made by the talented performers and arrangers on the album.
“The inspiration for this project stems from productions like Symphonic Fantasies and Final Symphony,” reflects Barron. “I was fascinated with their robust, colorful orchestrations and felt like the music brought nostalgia to life. With the ETHEReal String Project, I arranged pieces that have never been arranged before and in styles that not only depart from the source, but also pulls one into nostalgia.” – Press Release
“I Was Lost Without You” (For String Ensemble and Piano) [from Mass Effect 3]
The album is currently being sold digitally via LOUDr and iTunes and streaming through Spotify. Barron teases that if reception of the album is good, then the next will feature arrangements from Yasunori Mitsuda’s career including Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenogears and more.
Video Games Live! producer Tommy Tallarico and Video Game Orchestra’s Shota Nakama have teamed up to bring Capcom fans a US concert tour, CAPCOM LIVE!. Officially sanctioned by Capcom itself, the tour will take the concepts of VGL and apply them to a laundry list of some of the most famous Capcom titles in history, all done in a combination of hard rock and symphonic composition combined.
One of the most exciting features of the “CAPCOM LIVE!” concert series is the broad array of classic Capcom titles represented in the concert lineup. “This show will feature pretty much everything from the Capcom franchises,” said producer Shota Nakama. “We are very honored and thrilled at the same time to be chosen to produce the first ever Capcom greatest hits live concert. Capcom has always been known to create great hybrid soundtracks, and it will be a fun challenge to re-create those live!” – CAPCOM LIVE! website
The US tour kicks off on April 9th in VGO’s hometown of Boston, at the Berklee Performance Center. Additional tour stops have not yet been announced, but likely will be making a circuit similar to Video Games Live! We’ll keep you updated with tour dates as they become available. Tickets for the Boston show start at $20 and can be purchased at the Berklee Box Office. The set list includes Street Fighter, Ace Attorney, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Mega Man, Monster Hunter and likely several more from Capcom’s extensive array of franchise music.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Capcom fans around the world to celebrate some of the most endearing game franchises of all time!” says co-producer Tommy Tallarico. “And to have Capcom be such an important partner is such a fantastic element, huge honor and big boost for the show! We look forward to bringing this incredible music to the world!”
Truly exciting news for Capcom fans, though sadly I doubt we’ll be seeing a KONAMI LIVE! any time soon.
Shift by WASD is a metal album that is a solid tribute to early PC era video games. WASD is an obvious reference to keyboard shortcuts. For me listening to the album took me back to a time that I had long forgotten about, the age of 3 and 1/2 inch floppy bootdisks, and 4X to 8X CD-Rom drives. The band’s mantra is “Console games are dead. Long live the personal computer.” If you grew up with early PC games, this is an album you will appreciate.
So come take the trip down PC game memory lane with my review of the album. (more…)
Materia Collective is back with Nibel: Ori and the Blind Forest Remixed. They have previously released two massive collections SUCCESSOR: Final Fantasy VIII Remixed and MATERIA: Final Fantasy VII Remixed. Materia Collective is a video game music record label which pays homage to great video games in the form of collaborative music projects. They have released two sound samples for the album which you can preview below.
Last year, Moon Studios treated the gaming community with a stunning visual and aural experience: Ori and the Blind Forest. The vibrancy embedded in the story, landscape, and music makes the gameplay a stunning and captivating experience. There’s no subtlety in the game’s approach to conveying emotion. The artistic team embraced saturation, resulting in the lush and rich environments of Ori. In turn, Gareth Coker’s score matches the artistic appeal: it’s a breathtaking work with uniqueness in both texture and melodic approach.
Artists of the Materia Collective have performed a new feat. In just three days, more than 50 composers, arrangers, instrumentalists, vocalists, and all-around artists have created a musical homage to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the 2015 indie favorite Ori and the Blind Forest.
The Materia Collective is excited and honored to present the culmination of passion, dedication, and talent. NIBEL: Ori and the Blind Forest Remixed is a licensed 37-track album, presented as a tribute to the art, beauty, and magic of Ori and the Blind Forest. We hope you will enjoy it!
The album is available for digital purchase for $9.99 on Loudr and iTunes and it also available on Spotify here. What do you think of Materia Collective’s take on the music of Ori and the Blind Forest?
A lot of the electronic remixes on this series have been either of the ambient chill variety or lean towards the more energetic dance genre. So this week I’ll be switching it up a bit and be taking a look at a remix that embraces the world of chiptune music.
For this week, we’re looking at a remix of one of my favorite Katamari Damacy tracks, “Lonely Rolling Star.” This chiptune arrangement “Love Everlasting” comes to us from artist DDRKirby, who has been a regular contributor to OC ReMix and is known for morphing classic game tunes into 8-bit inspired goodness.
Much like DDRKirby’s other pieces, the music is heavily influenced by the Game Boy’s sound and the music of the Kirby series. There’s plenty of nods to the sound design of Kirby’s Dreamland, such the iconic star sound effects, and it all adds to the cheerful tone of the remix. While certainly not limiting himself to the constraints of the handheld, DDRKirby’s Katamari remix perfectly celebrates the classic Game Boy sounds and tones.
The piece maintains a fair amount of complexity throughout its run. While the lead synth takes a majority of the spotlight as the instrumental place holder for the “Lonely Rolling Star” lyrics, there’s plenty of variation in the accompaniment instrument patterns. The accompaniment changes up frequently, but always maintains a bubbly and upbeat vibe. The chiptune and Kirby influences end being a perfect match for the music of Katamari, both thematically and in terms of the track’s tone, making for an excellent and memorable remix.
Have any favorite remixes, covers, or arrangements of the Katamari Damacy music? Let us know about them in the comments below. You can check out DDRKirby’s “Love Everlasting” on OC ReMix.
If you attended MAGFest 2016, or if you missed it (like I did) you can re-live or watch some of the best performances of the event on MAGFest’s YouTube Channel. You can read Brenna’s MAGFest 2016 Breakdown where she noted that its impossible to see everything at the massive event. I have already taken the opportunity to watch several of the videos the organizers have uploaded.
I found out about MAGFest’s channel reading Video Game Music Online’s report on MAGFest 2016 by one of their journalists, Emily McMillan which you can find here.
As I am writing this article there are a total of 44 videos available from the event including 27 Concerts, 9 Panels, 5 Highlight Reels, and 1 Jam Clinic. I have included the playlist for the panels above and concerts below for your viewing pleasure.
Ubisoft Massive’s Tom Clancy’s The Division will be seeing it’s soundtrack dropping in just a week, thanks to the good people at Sumthing Else Music Works. The digital release has actually already been released for download from www.sumthing.com and a physical CD release will be available in stores on March 22.
Composer Ola Strandh (World In Conflict, Ground Control II) has created the soundtrack for the pandemic-ravaged streets of a mid-crisis New York City. Immerse yourself in a moody mixture of synthesizers, percussion and acoustic instruments designed to complement the diverse locations and factions you’ll encounter while exploring what’s left of Manhattan. – Sumthing Else Press Release
“Precinct Siege” (Preview) – Ola Strandh (Tom Clancy’s The Division)
The soundtrack spans over 18 tracks and clocks in at an hour and eighteen minutes of intense music. Tom Clancy’s The Division is currently out for PC, Xbox One and PS4 and deals with the fall of civilization and the struggle to keep the post-pandemic society from being torn apart while investigating the source of the outbreak. You can keep tabs on the release of the game’s physical soundtrack and more on Sumthing Else’s Facebook and Twitter.