Miscellaneous, Reviews

Plug-In to your dreams: Hijack (Review)

July 5, 2012 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook Plug-In to your dreams: Hijack (Review)on Twitter

Imagine if you were a game music composer. Well, some of you reading actually are, but for those who aren’t, imagine it. You’re not writing for AAA games, but you’re satisfied with your job, and you eke out enough cash to get by.

Alright, so you write game music. But sometimes, you just wanna rock. Harder than you’ve ever rocked before. Now, imagine that slowly but surely, over the span of the last decade, you networked with a bunch of amazing rock/metal smiths across the world so that you could record your dream album.

Are you imagining it? I’m transcending time and space here to make sure you are. And I’m pretty sure you’re not. Try harder!! … nope, you’re still not there.

Well then, in lieu of your failed imagination, just join me after the jump we’re we’ll talk about Fred “Mobo” Motte and his band Plug-In. Their first full-length album, released 12 years after the band’s formation, will be found in the Bandcamp embed after the jump.

So, if your imagination had been working, you would’ve put yourself in the shoes of Fred Motte. Don’t recognize the name? He’s a French composer who first made waves by composing for the PS1 game Nightmare Creatures (developed by Kalisto, published by Activision). Between that soundtrack and everything up to the present, there are things that changed, and things that never change. For example, I dug up this old interview of Motte where he cites some of his favorite composers: Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway, and Tim Follin. Years later, in this very recent interview with Alpha Omega Radio, he mentions these same pillars of VGM.

And then there’s the timelessness of metal. Though it’s essentially an invention of the 1980s, and though new recording and performance techniques are invented with technological progress, there’s a “timeless” sound to it. At least, I feel that way about my favorite metal (everything from Metroid Metal and DragonForce to Zao and Sonata Arctica). Today, Plug-In’s 2011 album “Hijack” joins my personal roster.

I love the tempo-shuffling breaks found more than once on the album (3 minute mark on “Conkrete,” and all over the closing track “Sevilla”). I love the slap bass groove on “Texas Instruments” (fans of Iron Tager’s theme from BlazBlue should be nodding their heads in agreement). I love the transition from VGM to metal in the opening track.

But more than anything, I love that this band is a culmination of so many things in one composer’s life, and it’s clear that the guy is making his dreams come true with this album. And from France!! Call me a bigot (I probably deserve the insult in this case), I never would’ve expected this from France.

For those who want even more from the band Plug-In, the only other thing available is the free digital download of the band’s debut EP from 1999, #0.9 …

For what merits it has (I love the closer, “Ultimate Groove”), #0.9 is a very eclectic mix of music that just doesn’t hold the staying power that the new album “Hijack” wields.

Now, how about we see some European game devs license some tracks from “Hijack” in their next game? I, for one, would be in favor of this decision!

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