Featured, Game Music, Music Production

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Check Out This 17 Minute Tribute to the History of Videogame Music

Email This Post Share on Facebook Check Out This 17 Minute Tribute to the History of Videogame MusicTweet This Post Print This Post 06.02.14 | | Comment?

If you frequently explore YouTube for videogame music covers, chances are that you’ve encountered the videogame rock arrangements by Jules Conroy, aka FamilyJules7X. If you haven’t, then today you are in for a treat. For the past three years Jules has been arranging and performing music from videogames and uploading videos of these arrangements to his YouTube channel. He’s covered games including Donkey Kong, Pokemon, Binding of Isaac, Final Fantasy, and Elder Scrolls to name just a few.

This year, to celebrate the three year anniversary of his videogame cover projects, Jules put together a seventeen minute long medley of game music. As the title suggests, “Replay: A Metal Tribute to the History of Video Games” is a guitar cover tribute to videogame music and covers the medium’s more than thirty year history. The medley starts off at the year 1972 with the original Pong, works it’s way through classic Nintendo and Sega games, and proceeds to go through every year up to 2014.

As if the size and scope of this medley alone wasn’t impressive enough, Jules completed this project, start to finish, in just eight days and during the same week as his college finals. According to his video description, he only had four days to record the guitars, one day to do the arranging, one day for the drums, one day to mix and master the music, and only one day to edit all of the video footage. He set it up as a challenge for himself and the results are quite amazing. It’s an impressive feat to get all of that done in such a limited time frame. If you’ve never seen or heard his arrangements before, definitely give the FamilyJules7X channel a look. Metal fans and videogame enthusiasts will not be disappointed.

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Featured, Game Music, Indie Music

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Extra Credits Has A New Show On VGM Remixers

Email This Post Share on Facebook Extra Credits Has A New Show On VGM RemixersTweet This Post Print This Post 05.30.14 | | Comment?

The people behind the web series Extra Credits have started a new weekly video series titled Extra Remix. For those of you unfamiliar with Extra Credits, it’s a weekly show, narrated by Dan Floyd and written by James Portnow, that covers topics on how videogames are designed and how they can be improved. Over the past several years they’ve covered a wide range of topics including Free to Play Games, Combining Game Genres, Graphics vs Aesthetics, and many others.

Starting back in April, the Extra Credits team has been adding new types of content to their weekly rotation, including Extra Remix, James Recommends, and the just recently announced Design Club. Extra Remix is focused on discussing and promoting the work of videogame remix artists. Host Dan Floyd introduces viewers to a new artist each week, giving some background information on the artist and playing some examples of their work. Each episode ends with a full remix track to showcase the artist’s abilities. So far they’ve dedicated episodes to artists like Big Giant Circles, Zircon, and CarboHydroM. They even dedicated an entire episode to the site Overclocked ReMix (seen below).

It’s an interesting web series that highlights the work of some very talented remix artists. This is a great way to get introduced to some new music remixers, or to become more familiar with the people behind some of your favorite VGM remixes. A new episode of Extra Remix goes up every Tuesday. Be sure to check this web series out.

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Game Music, Indie Music

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Minecraft – Volume Beta (Review)

Email This Post Share on Facebook Minecraft – Volume Beta (Review)Tweet This Post Print This Post 05.28.14 | | Comment?

If you have read my review of Minecraft – Volume Alpha, click here if you haven’t, then you will know that I liked it a lot. It’s an unusual soundtrack filled with quirky instrumentation, melodies, and harmonies that, I felt, was instrumental to the unique style of the game. Minecraft has had the same music for most of the game’s lifespan, and only recently has C418 (Daniel Rosenfeld) added more music to the game, to flesh out the somewhat limited array of tracks used before.

With my last review I had difficulty separating my affection for the game from the music. This time around I had difficulty accepting a new soundtrack into a game whose music made up such an integral part of my playing experience. Adding new tracks, in my mind, runs the risk of changing the style of the game, a game I have come to love as it is. True, the game is constantly updated and changed, but the visual essence and play style still remains. Having played the game with the new music, and listening to the new soundtrack, I’m not convinced that Minecraft – Volume Beta is a worthy addition. (more…)

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Game Music

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The Watch Dogs OST Has Been Released

Email This Post Share on Facebook The Watch Dogs OST Has Been ReleasedTweet This Post Print This Post 05.27.14 | | Comment?

Just in time for the launch of the long anticipated game Watch Dogs, the soundtrack for the game has received a digital release. The Watch Dogs OST was composed by Brian Reitzell, and features an original score with a heavy emphasis on electronic and ambient synth. The music on the album contains only the original music that Reitzell wrote for the game. You won’t be hearing any of the licensed music, the music heard in game on the car radios for example, on this album.

This is a great way for people to pick up the game’s soundtrack if they decided not to purchase one of the limited special editions of the Watch Dogs game. Currently, the Watch Dogs OST can be purchased digitally on iTunes.

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Game Music, Miscellaneous

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DWELLING OF DUELS – APRIL 2014 FREE MONTH REVIEW

Email This Post Share on Facebook DWELLING OF DUELS – APRIL 2014 FREE MONTH REVIEWTweet This Post Print This Post 05.26.14 | | Comment?

What is a free month?

Nothing but a miserable pile of AWESOME MUSIC, THAT’S WHAT.

The April 2014 edition of Dwelling of Duels failed to disappoint.  Failed miserably at disappointing.  Except for maybe the order in which the songs were placed.

Then again.

Placements in Dwelling of Duels are like points in Who’s Line Is It Anyway?.  The points don’t matter and the placements are hilarious.  Do you know the money I would pay to see the kind of music John Sessions or Mike McShane might be able to come up with if they suddenly decided they wanted to rearrange old video game music?  Yes, I’m that hipster who remembers how much more he enjoyed Clive Anderson than he did Drew Carey.

Alright enough of that.  Onto the songs!

(more…)

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Game Music

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Fill Up on Your Prescription for Sleep (Review)

Email This Post Share on Facebook Fill Up on Your Prescription for Sleep (Review)Tweet This Post Print This Post 05.23.14 | | Comment?

As reported on back last month, Prescription for Sleep: Video Game Lullabies has been released from Scarlet Moon Productions for public consumption. The duo of Norihiko Hibino (Metal Gear Solid) on saxophone and AYAKI tickling the ivories have by their powers combined into GENTLE LOVE to produce an arrangement album that is equal parts soothing and simplistic in execution and make for a delightful ensemble. Utilizing music from both old classics like Donkey Kong Country and newer acclaimed scores like Nier, the album features a good assortment that should be enjoyable to a wide variety of fans.

Although I will say, the album probably should have a warning label about listening while driving at night or operating heavy machinery. It’s not lying in its title at all.

(more…)

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Featured, Game Music

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Piano Opera: Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX (Review)

Email This Post Share on Facebook Piano Opera: Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX (Review)Tweet This Post Print This Post 05.20.14 | | 1 Comment

Final Fantasy is a series that has always had a special place in my heart. Part of this is due to the memorable moments of gameplay that I’ve experienced throughout the years, but a big part of what has kept me coming back to the games is the excellent music. Nobuo Uematsu’s music in particular is some of the most memorable music in the franchise. When I first started getting into game music, his tunes were some of the first pieces that I attempted to learn at the piano. The creation of the Piano Collections albums and the later Piano Opera albums were something that I could enjoy both as a gamer and a pianist. After an almost two year hiatus, a brand new Piano Opera album has finally emerged.

Piano Opera: Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX is the third album in the Piano Opera series. Despite the name, there is no opera involved in these arrangements. The Piano Opera series focuses on arranging the music of the Final Fantasy games for solo piano. The previous two entries focused on the music from Final Fantasy I through VI. The first album featured music from Final Fantasy I, II, and III, while the second covered the music of Final Fantasy IV, V, and VI. For this third installment, Hiroyuki Nakayama returns as piano arranger and performer for the music of Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX. The pieces for this collection where selected by Uematsu himself, choosing only four entries from each game. What pieces made the final cut and how did Nakayama approach arranging these pieces for piano? Read on to find out. (more…)

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Chip Music, Miscellaneous

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CarboHydroM’s Prime Legacy Releases Today!

Email This Post Share on Facebook CarboHydroM’s Prime Legacy Releases Today!Tweet This Post Print This Post 05.19.14 | | Comment?

The Amazing Frenchman Cometh! Longtime arrangement artist and fantastic musician Christophe “CarboHydroM” Blondel has just released his newest album “Prime Legacy” for all to soak up in it’s glory!

Prime Legacy is the soundtrack to a fictional STG, in the glory of those games, my favorite genre ever. The story it tells is very ambiguous, as one can tell from the song titles, and embeds possible deeper meaning. It is left open to interpretation on purpose. It’s up to you to let your imagination go wild while listening to it!

The album features 12 tracks of blaring guitars and amazing melody that just drips nostalgic appeal to fans of the old-school SHMUPs of yesteryear. If you haven’t been able to grab it during it’s pre-sale period, it’s now live and ready to download for a few bucks on Bandcamp and Overclocked Records. (Also  a brand-new update to Blondel’s 2005 Link to the Past arrangement “Unsealed” will soon be available for auditory consumption, so keep up on Blondel’s Facebook for updates!).

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Game Music, Indie Music

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Luftrausers OST (Review)

Email This Post Share on Facebook Luftrausers OST (Review)Tweet This Post Print This Post 05.15.14 | | Comment?

A bullet hell arcade shooter set in a fictional post-WWII era world. There’s not one part of Luftrausers, as a game and a concept, that doesn’t make me smile. The game has an old-school Game Boy aesthetic, it can be played in brief sessions, and is both enjoyably fast paced and difficult. In this game, you play as a lone pilot fighting and destroying as many enemy combatants as possible. As you play, you unlock more parts that you can use to customize your vehicle. Each part has its special attributes that drastically change how you play. It’s the very type of game that we’ve come to expect from a developer like Vlambeer. Anyone familiar with their previous games, like Ridiculous Fishing and Super Crate Box, knows that they have a knack for making some excellent arcade style games. Luftrausers is no exception.

The soundtrack for Luftrausers was composed by electro-house artist KOZILEK, aka Jukio Kallio. Luftrausers is actually a sequel to the original Luftrauser game, a smaller scale version of the game that Rami Ismail ended up releasing for free. Luftrausers is a sequel in much the same way that Team Meat’s Super Meat Boy is a sequel to the original Meat Boy. The same basic concepts, but with the production value and complexity cranked up to eleven. KOZILEK wrote the soundtrack for the original Luftrauser, so he returns to bring his composing talents to this newer game. (more…)

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Featured, Game Music

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Piano Opera: Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX Has Been Released!

Email This Post Share on Facebook Piano Opera: Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX Has Been Released!Tweet This Post Print This Post 05.13.14 | | Comment?

It’s finally here! The third and long awaited installment of the Piano Opera: Final Fantasy albums has been unleashed to the world. As we reported a few months back, this newest album from Square Enix features piano arrangements by Hiroyuki Nakayama of the Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX soundtracks. Pieces featured on this arrange album include “Liberi Fatali,” from Final Fantasy VIII; “Rose of May,” from Final Fantasy IX; and “Those Who Fight Further,” from Final Fantasy VII.

Each album in this series has covered selections of music from three Final Fantasy games. The first of this album series focused on Final Fantasy I, II, and III, while the second entry contained selections from Final Fantasy IV, V, and VI. It should be noted that these piano arrangements are different from the previously released Piano Collections albums. Nakayama’s interpretations of Nobuo Uematsu’s music on these arrange albums are all completely new.

The Piano Opera: Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX album is currently available on iTunes. For those of you looking for a physical copy of the album, it is currently available on CD Japan. However, it appears that the first press versions of the physical disc, a version that usually comes with a special sleeve case, has already sold out. We will have a review for Piano Opera: Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX on Original Sound Version in the coming days. Be sure to check back for our full coverage of the album.

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Game Music

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Child of Light OST (Review)

Email This Post Share on Facebook Child of Light OST (Review)Tweet This Post Print This Post 05.09.14 | | Comment?

A soundtrack for a fantasy game that features the piano as the primary instrument? Alright, this soundtrack definitely has my attention. Child of Light is a new fantasy RPG developed by Ubisoft. The game centers around the young Austrian princess Aurora, who wakes up in a strange fantasy world called Lemuria. A force of darkness controlled by a being known as the Black Queen has caused havoc in the world. It’s up to you, and the allies you meet along the way, to recover the sun, moon, and stars to restore order and light to the world. A good portion of the game has you exploring the world of Lemuria and solving the problems of its inhabitants. The game also features an active time battle system, similar to the ones found in the early Final Fantasy games, and an art style that is inspired by the movies of Studio Ghibli and the artwork of Yoshitaka Amano. The game’s atmosphere is similar to that of a fantasy story book, which is appropriate given the story’s subject matter. While it’s presenting you with a typical RPG fantasy story, Child of Light will likely be appreciated by many fans of the genre.

The music for Child of Light was written by Canadian musician Beatrice Martin, aka Coeur de Pirate. She’s known primarily for her talents as a vocalist and pianist, releasing her first solo album Coeur de Pirate back in 2008. Over the past five years she’s received several nominations and a handful of awards for her music. She’s an interesting choice for a videogame music project, being known mostly for her singer-songwriter style of pop music. The Child of Light OST is Martin’s first step into the world of videogame music. So how does this newcomer to the videogame world tackle creating the music for Child of Light? Read on to find out. (more…)

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Miscellaneous

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Help Pixel Noir Push To Its Kickstarter Goal

Email This Post Share on Facebook Help Pixel Noir Push To Its Kickstarter GoalTweet This Post Print This Post 05.06.14 | | Comment?

There is only 5 more days left in the Kickstarter for Pixel Noir from SWDTech, so if you have seen the project’s crowdfunding campaign and were waiting for a good time to pledge, now would be the time.

If you haven’t been privy to Pixel Noir, it’s a JRPG-esque mystery novella under the direction of Kunal Mamudar (The OneUps, The Smash Bros) and with a diverse team of managers and other talent to help support the project. Kunal also provides the soundtrack to the game, with several samples out already to help frame the atmosphere of the prospective game.

The campaign goal is still quite a ways from being met, but the pledge rewards should make it worth it to anyone who loves a good noir story in classic NES/SNES style. Go check out Pixel Noir and help get them in the green!

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