To say Ubisoft’s extreme sports title, Steep, had a compressed PR cycle is quite the understatement. The game was revealed to the world at E3 2016 and released just six months later amid the madness of the holiday shopping season. If you weren’t paying close attention you could easily have missed the original soundtrack behind the din of it’s licensed playlist that featured in the trailers.
The original soundtrack from European post-rock collective, Zikali, has been out there for a while on the major streaming services but Sumthing Else Music Works has announced they’re once again teaming up with Ubisoft for a physical release. Available from Sumthing Else for $10 digital and $15 on disc, the 19-track album features a surprisingly emotional score to what looks, at first glance, to be an Xtreme Sportz title that fell out of 2002.
“The musical artistic direction consists of the encounter between a post-rock formation (drums, bass, guitars, synths), to which is added an orchestral dimension (strings, brass) and a set of original instruments (hang drum, duduk) that define the sound identity of the project,” explains Zikali. “The energy of the rider is represented by a modern and electric sound associated with the action; And the orchestra characterizes the different places (summits, narrow corridor or wide spaces) by the variety of its modes of play, bringing a strong emotional dimension.”
As described, the music is full of subtle sound combinations from airy and atmospheric twinkles to explosions of heavily effected guitars driven by a pounding percussion. It’s been a pleasant, if not totally cohesive, surprise as I’ve listened throughout the day. If you were looking for more from last year’s soundtrack to No Man’s Sky’s there’s definitely some of that vibe among the first half of the playlist.
Project Phoenix is upcoming Indie JRPG that ran a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2013. Since that time the developers have been posting regular updates on the progress of the game. On February 15, 2017 in the 140th update, a new music track composed by Tomoki Miyoshi was revealed. Tomoki Miyoshi received a lot of praise (mine included) for his work on the piano based soundtrack for I Am Setsuna which was released last year.
Since the update fell close to Valentine’s Day, Hiroaki Yura, Director/Producer shared music that is from one of the romantic moments from Project Phoenix. You can listen to the track by following the link to the Project Phoenix Update here (Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the music link). The track features some lovely high noted flute, soft piano and graceful strings.
In reading through the past updates I also noticed that another track by Tomoki Miyoshi was shared on Soundcloud this past October in Update #135. According to Hiroaki Yura, this music is planned to be used whilst traveling between towns, hopefully, on horseback. You can listen to that track “Plains of the Far Realm” below.
More details on Project Phoenix is available on their official site. Although the game won’t be released until 2018, I have a feeling the soundtrack will show up on my most anticipated list for 2018!
The music for the game is composed by Wilbert Roget II, who has done the music for for hit games like Lara Croft and Temple of Osiris, Dead Island 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Monkey Island Special Edition. He also released the excellent anime inspirational album Beyond Libra which OSV reviewed here (It’s awesome). You can listen to another lovely track from the score above called “Lullaby” that features some fantastic piano.
Pledge levels for the game start at $1, there’s 200 digital copies of the game available at $14 (109/200 left at time of writing), and $34 will get you a digital copy of Wilbert Roget II’s soundtrack, along with some other sweet extras. Physical CD fans like myself can snag a copy of the CD by pledging $89 for the Collector’s Edition of the game.
The campaign’s goal is $30,000, and they’re already more than a third of the way there! You can find the full details of the Kickstarter campaign here.
Check back with OSV soon for more on Anew: The Distant Light and composer Wilbert Roget II. Is this a Kickstarter campaign you’ll be backing?
Chime Sharp, the follow-up to the 2010 music puzzler, launched on Steam last July. Though they didn’t reach their original Kickstarter stretch goal for console ports the team has just announced that the game will finally be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next week; on the 21st and 24th, respectively. Chipzel is just one of the EDM and chiptune artists whose music is featured in the game.
“My track, ‘Psychonaut’, was created with [the Chime] gameplay style in mind, said Chipzel. “Through entwining multiple layers, which progressively build to compliment the final arrangement, I wanted to portray the intention of rewarding the player as they advance, through the use of evocative melodies and euphoric transitions.”
Did you check out Chime Sharp on Steam or are you planning on picking it up next week on consoles? Let us know in the comments.
If you were waiting for the release of the Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary Concert to come out to CD, wait no longer. Both the regular and limited edition of the tribute to 30 years of The Legend of Zelda releases today.
Recorded live this past October at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Theater by The Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Taizo Takemoto (Press Start – Symphony of Games-), the 14-track album captures the musical essence of the Zelda games, featuring several classic tracks performed along with music from Wind Waker, Ocarina, Link Between Worlds, Skyward Sword, and Twilight Princess, with an encore of the Breath of the Wild theme.
The audio import of the album can now be purchased by several retailers in both the regular and limited edition (shown above), including Amazon and CDJapan.
Though neoGAF speculators had already guessed the composer’s name based on some livestreams, Sumo Digital has made it official by announcing David Wise as the man behind the music of their physics platformer, Snake Pass. Being inspired by classic Rare titles in design and visuals alike, it was a natural fit for David Wise given his history with the studio and longtime work on the Donkey Kong Country franchise. He even composed Snake, Rattle ‘N’ Roll on the NES which I can’t help draw a little comparison to given Snake Pass’ starring serpent.
“Once I played the game and saw the captivating world Sumo created, it set my mind on fire. I immediately began composing melodies, then worked with the team to develop these and nail down the feel of the soundtrack,” said David Wise. “We’ve ended up with something that not only pays tribute to the game’s classic inspirations, but also brings something new to the table, just as the game’s mechanics do!”
Check out two painfully brief snippets of Wise’s compositions above and then take a look at some of Sumo’s footage from the game. It looks delightfully Rare-ish with a vibrant world, cute critters and a really interesting gameplay mechanic. Snake Pass is due out in “early 2017” and will be hitting every major platform when it does including Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. A soundtrack release will hopefully not be far behind.
Escaping the horrors of Resident Evil by running to one of the impenetrable Save Rooms has always helped me cope with the survival horror gameplay. The songs that accompany these rooms aren’t upbeat by any means but they’ve always been some of my favorites, offering just a hint of hope in their despondent melodies.
Now artist Mono Memory has taken one of my favorites from Resident Evil 2 and given it an even more foreboding synthwave makeover. Dripping with sounds of faux 80’s synths, I’m suddenly realizing that a full rearrangement of the soundtrack is something I never knew I wanted.
That may never happen but Mono Memory has plenty of similarly synthy tracks to check out including “Outrun the World” which serves as a teaser for his debut album coming this Summer. He’s also given the Game of Thrones theme a similar overhaul on his YouTube channel and has some other tracks and EPs available on Bandcamp. And if this track has stirred your desire for more old game music done up in the style of their times, check out Metroid Resynthesized by Luminist.
Merregnon Studios, the group behind the Square Enix-focused Final Symphony and Symphonic Fantasies concerts have announced that their 2011 sell-out concert, Symphonic Odysseys, is coming to London this Summer. Unlike their previous shows, Symphonic Odysseys is focused solely on the music of Nobuo Uematsu — from Blue Dragon to Lost Odyssey and naturally, Final Fantasy — and was last performed nearly a year ago in Paris.
Those who couldn’t make it to France in 2016 have a chance to see the show again on June 20th, 2017 at the Barbican Centre. Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Eckehard Stier (with the London Symphony Chorus, acclaimed pianist Mischa Cheung and a full kazoo fanfare), the arrangements come from the same team behind Final Symphony, Jonne Valtonen and Roger Wanamo. Uematsu himself will also be at the venue for a special ticketed, pre-concert Q&A session.
“Nobuo Uematsu has been a musical hero of mine for many years and it’s both a delight and a pleasure that we can celebrate his work with such an amazing concert in London,” said Symphonic Odysseys London producer, Thomas Böcker. “It’s always great to be back at the Barbican Centre, but I’m particularly excited that Uematsu-san can join us for what will be our 10th concert with the London Symphony Orchestra. Fans will not want to miss hearing Uematsu’s classic compositions, along with some of his less well known, but equally wonderful works too.”
Tickets go on sale February 10th with prices between £30 ($38) to £65 ($82). Tickets for the pre-concert talk with Nobuo Uematsu will also go on sale at the same time, priced at £10 ($13) each. Those interested can buy their tickets through the Symphonic Odysseys site or directly from the Barbican Centre. Below is the announced set list:
The Final Fantasy Legend / Final Fantasy Legend 2
On Windy Meadows (from Final Fantasy XIV)
Waterside (from Blue Dragon)
Final Fantasy Concerto – For Piano and Orchestra
King’s Knight BGM – Pretty Day Out – (from King’s Knight)
Light of Silence (from Chrono Trigger)
Spreading Your Wings (from The Last Story)
Lost Odyssey Suite
If you can’t make the show or are just looking to relive Merregnon’s past performances check out Ryan’s recent article on the vinyl editions of both Final Symphony and Symphonic Fantasies from Laced Records.
Let it not be said that the east coast gets all the good VGM events. This weekend in San Jose, Rockage has returned for three days of gaming, music and fun.
Rockage: San Jose is a celebration of indie music & retro gaming. Rockage is more than just an annual event- we support indie musicians and gaming culture on the West Coast year-round.
Much like MAGFest (and a nice precursor to MAGWest later this year), Rockage features tons of retro and indie gaming, but also local VGM bands, artists and composers to rock out to while you attend the event. This year’s lineup includes two performances by FTL: Faster Than Light composer Ben Prunty, who had a killer set at the MAGFest Jamspace at PAX South recently.
The event will be Friday through Sunday at the AFKgg Gamer Lounge in San Jose, with free admission for all. You can nab more ongoing information on their Facebook and Twitter.
The soundtrack to Ducktales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp has at long last been released on CD. Growing up it was one of my favorite Disney animated films, and the music was what made the film special. It is a large scale adventure score that has some nods to the theme from the TV series.
A favorite project of composer David Newman, who considered it, “Like a dream experience for me.” Newman was afforded considerable freedom to write what he felt was most appropriate without interference. “It was lovely.” Newman scores for a large orchestra, writes wall-to-wall music, including several lengthy sequences. Strong degree of musical architecture results. Music often twists and turns on a dime, racing forward, stopping suddenly for quick pauses then continuing onwards. Excitement is name of the game! Vibrant recording by Tim Boyle made at Evergreen Studios in Burbank over 6 days in June 1990. Entire album is presented in crisp stereo sound from complete digital 2-track scoring session masters with 3 additional cues derived from the 30 its Dolby SR-format analog mixes, all courtesy Walt Disney Records. John Takis provides descriptive liner notes, Kay Marshall fashions gorgeous, colorful “flipper” cover. Choose your favorite! David Newman composes, orchestrates, conducts. Intrada Special Collection CD available while quantities and interest remain!
The CD is available for purchase directly from Intrada Records’ website for $21.99. I’ve already ordered my copy. Here’s hoping we’ll see more music from Ducktales released in the future.
The feudal-Japan Dark Souls-like action game Nioh releases today for the Playstation 4, and you can also now order the game’s full soundtrack through import retailers.
Composed by Yugo Kanno (Rain, anime JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable), the game’s 15th century aesthetics as accented by Kanno in a blend of eastern and western traditional-style music to bring out the character of the game. Developed by Team Ninja, a demo of the game was release last year to mixed review though features stunning visuals and audio.
“Nue” – Nioh Original Soundtrack (Yugo Kanno)
The 45-track Nioh original soundtrack is currently available for pre-order through import retails such as Play Asia and CD Baby for around $29.99 USD and is marked as releasing for shipping between February 15-16th.
The fine folks of Materia Collective present The Travelers, a supergroup of some of the most passionate performers and arrangers seeking to bring a unique acoustic experience unlike anything before. The Travelers cover VGM favorites and obscure selections in European folk arrangements of various styles from Celtic, Nordic, and Slavic traditions. Their membership includes players of a broad variety of instruments from many different parts of the world, featuring members from the Materia Collective, Triforce Quartet, and Tetrimino.
Produced by Josh Barron and Masha Lepire with art by Val Choung, The Travelers album features arrangements from Final Fantasy X, Shadow Hearts 2, Romancing SaGa 2 and more. For those who love Yasunori Mitsuda’s “Millennial Fair” and his Xenogears CREID album you will be treated to something that embraces the source yet presents something fresh in a live acoustic setting.
Michael A. Levine recently took some time to talk to Original Sound Version about the theme song he composed for Resident Evil Biohazard 7. In the interview he shares details about his musical background, the ...
Despite treacherous weather, PAX East 2017 went off without much issue this past weekend in Boston, MA. The expo show featured the usual accoutrements; a huge expo floor for showing games, a console and gaming ...
MAGFest, the annual gathering for people who love video games, music, and video game music, took place at its usual spot in National Harbor earlier this year. Though the festival’s musical offerings tend toward electronic ...
Gather ‘round, video game music nerds—I’m not going to let you sleep on what I’m calling right now as my favorite video game score of the year: the Owlboy OST.
After a lengthy development process, D-Pad ...
The Beep Movie was officially released on September 30, 2016. I’ve watched the film, which is just short of two hours and a wonderful examination of the history of sound in video games. This includes ...