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Game Music

Mondo Records Announces Super Castlevania IV Release

Mondo Records Announces Super Castlevania IV Release

Email This Post Share on Facebook Mondo Records Announces Super Castlevania IV ReleaseTweet This Post Print This Post 06.20.17 | | 4 Comments

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Mondo has announced that they will be making available the fourth installment of their Castlevania vinyl series with the appropriate release of Super Castlevania IV.

Hi all – this week, in anticipation of the newly announced Netflix Original Series, we will be releasing the next chapter in our ongoing CASTLEVANIA soundtrack series! It’s one of our favorites of the series, and quite possibly one of our favorite video game soundtrack of all time: the Super Nintendo classic SUPER CASTLEVANIA IV.

Unlike the previous iterations of Castlevania music on the NES games, the soundtrack for Super Castlevania IV was able to utilize synthesized instrumentation to achieve a darker and more atmospheric soundtrack, as opposed to the punchier sounds of the NES sound chip. Released in 1991 and one of the first games released shortly after the launch of the SNES, Super Castlevania IV and it’s soundtrack are considered to be some of the franchise’s best work.

Video credited to scigamerfan07

Looking at this pre-release, I wish I could say I was excited for this album, but I’m really not. While I’ve been critical of Mondo’s artistic choices for the Castlevania albums in the past (I thought the Dracula’s Curse front cover was ridiculously hipster and trying too hard to be artsy rather than recognizable), this particular album art comes off looking lazy. For an officially-released and licensed video game soundtrack album, the artwork looks dull and cartoonish and does not at all mimic the dynamic design of the original game box art. The back cover might be a bit more detailed, but it doesn’t make up for the poor design choice of the front. It’s simply an opinion since the game features my favorite soundtrack of the whole franchise and this is an design critique, but I believe the art choice fails to do credit to the legacy that is Super Castlevania IV.

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It also makes me curious that the composers for Super Castlevania IV, Masanori Adachi and Taro Kudo (under pseudonyms Sotaro Tojima and Masanori Oodachi), are not credited properly. All of the Mondo albums simply list Konami Kukeiha Club with the music credits, which was Konami’s catch-all group listing for their sound team used at the time of SCV4 and other Konami games so that their musicians wouldn’t be poached by other game companies. However composer credits are widely available these days, even on Wikipedia, so why not give credit where it’s due? One wonders if this is dictation from Konami as part of the licensing agreement, or perhaps something else. Hopefully it holds no baring on the quality of the music itself, which has been (appropriately) criticized in the past.

Mondo will be releasing its Super Castlevania IV June 21st at noon (CST) on 2x 180 Gram Bronze and Gold Split Vinyl (Limited to 1,000 Copies) – or – 2x 180 Gram Silver with Red Splatter for $30. They’re also have copies of the Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse vinyl back in stock. Mondo boasts one more installment in their Castlevania line with Symphony of the Night to be likely announced later this year.

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Game Music

Lost Sphear's Western Pre-order Bonus includes two special tracks by Composer Tomoki Miyoshi!

Lost Sphear’s Western Pre-order Bonus includes two special tracks by Composer Tomoki Miyoshi!

Email This Post Share on Facebook Lost Sphear’s Western Pre-order Bonus includes two special tracks by Composer Tomoki Miyoshi!Tweet This Post Print This Post 06.19.17 | | Comment?

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Sqaure Enix and Tokyo RPG Factory recently shared more details on Lost Sphear, the next game from the studio that produced the wonderful I Am Setsuna. Lost Sphear‘s plot is about a young man who witnesses a strange reality altering phenomena who then has to use the power of memory to restore the world. The game will also feature a Chrono Trigger style battle system.  You can watch the first trailer for the game below which ends with the message that the “Limited Run Physical Edition with two special tracks by composer Tomoki Miyoshi.

I reached out to Tomoki Miyoshi on twitter earlier this month about whether or not he was returning to score Lost Sphear. On June 1, 2017 he reported back to say that, “Yes, I am very thankful and happy to be working again with Tokyo RPG Factory on their next installment! I felt so moved by the incredible support of people, that I received for my involvement in ‘I Am Setsuna’, and so I made sure to pour even more energy and gratitude into every part of this next soundtrack.” During E3 the game was also previewed here and more details on the game’s soundtrack were revealed. Lost Sphear’s soundtrack will move beyond I Am Setsuna‘s focus on piano to be a more robust orchestral soundtrack. You can listen to these comments in the video below at around 3:20 into the video.

Lost Sphear is expected to be released on Playstation 4 and Steam in early 2018. You can pre-order the game directly from the game’s official website. The site also features some lovely music. Are you excited for Lost Sphear?

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Events, Game Music

The Golden State Pops Orchestra returns to Games on July 15th

The Golden State Pops Orchestra returns to Games on July 15th

Email This Post Share on Facebook The Golden State Pops Orchestra returns to Games on July 15thTweet This Post Print This Post 06.16.17 | | Comment?

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The Golden State Pops Orchestra is turning its focus back to games again with a third installment of their Video Game Soundtracks series, coming to Los Angeles on July 15th. We last covered the orchestra in 2009 when Jayson attended their second performance and in the intervening years they’ve polished up their setlist for the new show. The full list is still under wraps but some of the highlights announced so far include music from:

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
  • World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
  • Chime Sharp
  • Prince of Persia
  • Civilization IV & VI
  • Star Wars Battlefront
  • Halo
  • Afrika

Some of these are returning titles from past performances but I’m always happy to see AFRIKA getting a spotlight. Chime Sharp will also be an interesting one to see performed live. Speaking of spotlights, the show will feature some new visual presentations to accompany the music and a handful of special guests and performers that will also be announced as the show draws nearer.

The GSPO’s Video Game Soundtracks performance will be held at the Los Angeles Theatre on Saturday, July 15th. Tickets go on sale June 15h and can be purchased through the orchestra’s website here. We’ll be back with more details on the show as they roll out.

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Game Music, Japanese

Listen to Super Mario Odyssey's full-length Vocal Theme

Listen to Super Mario Odyssey’s full-length Vocal Theme

Email This Post Share on Facebook Listen to Super Mario Odyssey’s full-length Vocal ThemeTweet This Post Print This Post 06.15.17 | | Comment?

Listen to Super Mario Odyssey's full-length Vocal Theme

There was a whole lot to take in during Super Mario Odyssey’s spotlight on Nintendo’s E3 stream but what really grabbed me was that song. The vocal theme, presumably sung by Mario’s old flame, Pauline, amps up the action with Swing style and some outstanding lyrics. I haven’t been as energized or surprised by Mario music since the very first Super Mario Galaxy trailers.

Even better, the version that accompanies Odyssey’s trailer turned out to be a shortened edit which Nintendo played in full at the end of their Treehouse stream this week. YouTube user Trogdorbad was kind enough to clean it up and even transcribed the lyrics with the help of commenters so we can all sing along to lines like “put a comb through that ‘stache, now you’ve got panache!”

Take a listen above and if you haven’t already, check out Nintendo’s official trailer and showfloor demo of Super Mario Odyssey. It’s out on the Nintendo Switch on October 27th.

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Game Music, Japanese

Metroid: Samus Returns special edition will include Series Soundtrack

Metroid: Samus Returns special edition will include Series Soundtrack

Email This Post Share on Facebook Metroid: Samus Returns special edition will include Series SoundtrackTweet This Post Print This Post 06.14.17 | | 3 Comments

 

Metroid: Samus Returns special edition will include Series Soundtrack

Revealed today during Nintendo’s E3 Treehouse stream was Metroid: Samus Returns. It’s a 3DS remake of the Game Boy title Metroid II: Return of Samus (see what they did there with the title?) with some fairly major gameplay tweaks. Also revealed was the game’s September 15th release date and the announcement of a special edition package that includes the “Samus Archives Sound Selection” CD.

The album title reminds me of collections like the Nintendo Sound History series or the more recent 30th anniversary albums for Mario and Zelda. Details are scarce at the moment but the album will highlight music across the Metroid series. Check out the newly revealed Metroid: Samus Returns trailer above and get ready to pre-order from your retailer of choice!

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Game Music, Indie Music

Hover: Revolt of Gamers summons Jet Set Radio, OST out now

Hover: Revolt of Gamers summons Jet Set Radio, OST out now

Email This Post Share on Facebook Hover: Revolt of Gamers summons Jet Set Radio, OST out nowTweet This Post Print This Post 06.13.17 | | 2 Comments

Hover: Revolt of Gamers summons Jet Set Radio, OST out now

Touted as a spiritual successor or indie revival of Sega’s beloved Jet Set Radio, Hover: Revolt of Gamers just launched on Steam at the end of May and the soundtrack release has followed closely behind. Just as the visuals and gameplay are inspired by the vivid cel-shading and skate-grinding of Jet Set, the music calls to mind the funky electronic jams of the original games.

In fact, Midgar Studio was able to enlist the help of one of Jet Set’s key composers for Hover, Hideki Naganuma. He provides the first two tracks on the album with the remaining 14 songs composed by Cédric Menendez. It isn’t immediately as flashy as Jet Set’s mish-mash of genres but the breakbeats and jams are quite enjoyable as I’ve been listening this morning. Check it out for yourself above and grab the album on Bandcamp for €5 if it gets your toe tapping.

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Events, Game Music

Gareth Coker Returns for Ori and the Will of the Wisps!

Gareth Coker Returns for Ori and the Will of the Wisps!

Email This Post Share on Facebook Gareth Coker Returns for Ori and the Will of the Wisps!Tweet This Post Print This Post 06.12.17 | | Comment?

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On June 11, 2017, during E3, XBOX announced the sequel to the critically acclaimed Ori and the Blind Forest. The new game will be called Ori and The Will of the Wisps, and the best part is that Gareth Coker is returning to score the game. Gareth Coker was on hand for the presentation to play the piano accompaniment for the trailer too! You can watch the teaser trailer featuring his music below:

Gareth Coker has already made the teaser music available on his bandcamp site. You can listen to it here, and you can hear that both the Nashville Music Scoring Orchestra, and Aeralie Brighton whose vocals graced the first score have also returned.

The game itself looks absolutely stunning but I’m not gonna lie, I’m more excited about the music. Are you excited for Ori and the Will of the Wisps?

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Featured, Game Music, Indie Music, Music Production

INTERVIEW: Composer Jon Everist talks to us about BattleTech, and scoring for video games

INTERVIEW: Composer Jon Everist talks to us about BattleTech, and scoring for video games

Email This Post Share on Facebook INTERVIEW: Composer Jon Everist talks to us about BattleTech, and scoring for video gamesTweet This Post Print This Post 06.08.17 | | Comment?

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With the late summer release date quickly approaching for the upcoming Harebrained Schemes BattleTech, we took some time to talk to composer Jon Everist his work on the music for the game. He has also composed music for the games Shadowrun: Dragonfall, Shadowrun: Hong Kong, Necropolis and Planetstorm: Fallen Horizon which recently came to Android. In the interview the composer shares details about his musical background, how he approached scoring Battletech, working with the Budapest Scoring Symphony and more. Read on for our full interview:

(more…)

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Doujin

Listen To: Chrono Trigger's 'Secret of the Forest' by Reuben Gingrich

Listen To: Chrono Trigger’s ‘Secret of the Forest’ by Reuben Gingrich

Email This Post Share on Facebook Listen To: Chrono Trigger’s ‘Secret of the Forest’ by Reuben GingrichTweet This Post Print This Post 06.07.17 | | 1 Comment

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It’s always a fun little treat when you come across a band or musician who normally does their own thing with original music in their own style, but then suddenly breaks out a video game cover. (I’m looking at you, Mutoid Man) It’s like getting a neat little surprise in your cereal box.

Jazz musician Reuben Gingrich recently released his first album, Blue Island, which features 11 tracks of what his Bandcamp describes as “Space Funk to the Dome”. It’s all enjoyable stuff to listen to for some chill tunes so you should check it out on its own merits, but nestled in the middle of the album is delightful tribute to Chrono Trigger‘s “Secret of the Forest”.

The original song, composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, is the theme of the Guardia Forest from the Chrono Trigger Original Soundtrack. The song and video production done by Gingrich are both top notch and worth the attention. You can check out the entire Blue Island album on Bandcamp and Spotify.

What hidden gems of video game music have you found buried within seemingly innocuous original music albums before? Share them with us in the comments!

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Events, Game Music

'Metal Gear in Concert' coming to Japan, then the World

‘Metal Gear in Concert’ coming to Japan, then the World

Email This Post Share on Facebook ‘Metal Gear in Concert’ coming to Japan, then the WorldTweet This Post Print This Post 06.06.17 | | Comment?

'Metal Gear in Concert' coming to Japan, then the World

Seemingly just to keep the Metal Gear name kicking around, Konami has nonetheless announced a tantalizing concert performance for fans of Hideo Kojima’s long-running series. Metal Gear in Concert will be performed twice this Summer in Japan, first at the Orix Theatre in Osaka on July 30th and again at the Tokyo International Forum on August 2nd.

Each will be performed by the city’s resident orchestra (the Tokyo Philharmonic and the Osaka Symphony Orchestra) and will be conducted by Nicholas Buc. Singer/songwriter Donna Burke will also be performing which means her vocal themes from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Metal Gear Solid V will most surely be played. The full setlist hasn’t been announced yet but Burke recently recorded new versions of all the Metal Gear Solid vocal tracks so it’s possible she’ll feature heavily throughout the evening. Like most video game concerts, Metal Gear in Concert will also feature a synchronized video presentation above the players with footage from the series.

Don’t fret, Western fans! While the show is debuting exclusively in Japan, Konami mentions that plans are in the works to bring the show on tour to North America and Europe but presumably not until 2018. For those interested in attending there are more details on Konami’s site. The rest of us will just have to dig out our old albums or involuntarily start humming the “MGS Main Theme” as I’ve been doing while writing this post.

Sources: Metal Gear Informer | Konami

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Game Music

Sumthing Else Music Works Releases For Honor Original Game Soundtrack

Sumthing Else Music Works Releases For Honor Original Game Soundtrack

Email This Post Share on Facebook Sumthing Else Music Works Releases For Honor Original Game SoundtrackTweet This Post Print This Post 06.05.17 | | Comment?

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Sumthing Else Music Works has gone ahead and released the soundtrack for the Ubisoft melee-action game For Honor, for sale on their website. The soundtrack, composed by Saunder Jurriaans and Danny Bensi (The Autopsy of Jane Doe, The Gift) features heavy ethnic tones to highlight the three factions that you have the option of playing through the game.

Developed by Ubisoft Montreal in collaboration with other Ubisoft studios*, For Honor offers an engaging campaign and thrilling multiplayer modes. Players embody warriors of the three Great Factions – the bold Knights, the brutal Vikings and the deadly Samurai – fighting to the death on intense and believable melee battlefields. The Art of Battle, the game’s innovative combat system that puts players in total control of their warriors, allows them to utilize the unique skills and combat style of each hero to vanquish all enemies who stand in their way.  – Press Release

The digital album for the For Honor Original Soundtrack is currently available for purchase for $9.99 on their Sumthing Else page. You can also check out more about For Honor on the game’s official website.

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Game Music, Japanese

Sample Yasunori Mitsuda's Valkyria Revolution Soundtrack

Sample Yasunori Mitsuda’s Valkyria Revolution Soundtrack

Email This Post Share on Facebook Sample Yasunori Mitsuda’s Valkyria Revolution SoundtrackTweet This Post Print This Post 06.02.17 | | Comment?

Sample Yasunori Mitsuda's Valkyria Revolution Soundtrack

Leading up to the June 27th launch of Valkyria Revolution, Sega has published a video featuring the game’s music by composer Yasunori Mitsuda. Well known for his work on Square franchises going all the way back to Chrono Trigger, Mitsuda is still taking on new challenges today.

In the video he talks a bit about his “new and interesting experiment” with dynamic music that rises and falls based on the combat. Check out the video below to see and hear the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and singer Sarah Àlainn during a recording session and a bit more from Mitsuda. If you like the music you can get the 12-song soundtrack CD in the Vanargand Edition of the game, coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at the end of the month.

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