Game Music, Music Production, Reviews

Summer's Escape: Escape Goat OST + Powermouse Mix (Review)

Summer’s Escape: Escape Goat OST + Powermouse Mix (Review)

July 11, 2012 | | 2 Comments Share thison Facebook Summer’s Escape: Escape Goat OST + Powermouse Mix (Review)on Twitter

UPDATE (7/12/2012): Our plea has not fallen on deaf ears! MagicalTimeBean has released Escape Goat Powermouse Mix Collection on Bandcamp for free! Not even “pay-what-you-want” free, just super-duper free!

Last November, we highlighted the release of MagicalTimeBean’s latest game, Escape Goat, and its Falcom-inspired soundtrack.

Then, just last month, the game was featured in Indie Royale’s June Bug Bundle, which also had Auditorium, PixelJunk Eden and Noitu Love 2. It also included the Escape Goat Original Soundtrack (available on bandcamp) and the all-new arranged album Escape Goat Powermouse Mix Collection.

The latter album was made exclusively available as part of the June Bug Bundle, and is otherwise not being sold anywhere. After the jump, I’ll make my case as to why those who missed the bundle should still get a chance to hop on this fantastic arranged album. And, wouldn’t you know it, one of OSV’s own is featured on that arranged album!! To find out who, just keep on reading!

The Escape Goat Original Soundtrack is, as said above, “Falcom-esque.” But it’s not just inspired by Falcom. Ian Stocker, the single person behind MagicalTimeBean, lists all of the synths (VSTs) he used in the soundtrack, which was composed entirely in Renoise. These synth libraries manage to capture a variety of sound sources, all incredibly nostalgic. Yes, there’s some early Falcom (Ys, Sorcerian) in there, but some tracks also sound like Yuzo Koshiro’s soundtrack for ActRaiser. And then, at the start of track 3 “New Surroundings,” those first few chords sound exactly like the synths used in pre-Soule Elder Scrolls games (Arena and Daggerfall). But within 15 seconds, new synths are introduced, and the song goes on to sound like something out of Super Castlevania IV.

“Secret Gears,” noted by Jayson in his release article as his favorite track, really is a lovely piece of music. But, for my money, the best track comes right after it, in “Wishes and Truth.” Though track 2, “Machinery,” also fights for top billing. All three are excellent pieces of music, and I know Ian has it in him to make more and better.

Which brings me to the only thing I dislike about the OST — its length. I really, desperately want Ian to write more music in this exact style. The soundtrack consists of 9 tracks and clocks in at just under 20 minutes. Now, I’m not going to go on and on about this, because it’s rude to look a gifthorse in the mouth. And, considering the soundtrack is *free,* (pay-what-you-want Bandcamp), it truly is a gift. No room to argue.

The Powermouse Mix Collection, on the other hand, I got some beef. Because I have too many friends who missed the Indie Royale bundle and now don’t have this album. And it’s really good.

This remix album features five arrangers from within the indie VGM community. The first is a guy I’ve known, as an acquaintance, for many years. James McCawley is a guy who’s really “in the know” when it comes to VGM. He has a number or reviews, and a composer interview (Noriyuki Iwadare), up at RPGFan, during the years that Lucy (Chudah) was in charge. After I took over for Lucy at RPGFan, James continued to write for Chudah’s Corner and other venues. He loves oldschool Japanese VGM as much as any of us at OSV, and he’s also a big MagicalTimeBean supporter. For example, the fake obis that appear on each album art are designed by James, complete with Japanese katakana to make it look like the album came from Japan.

McCawley opens and closes the remix album, with “A Wild Goat Chase” (Machinery) on the frontend and “Fallen Sheep” (Slumbering Sheep) on the backend. The former is a lovely little jazz-rock medley, and the latter is a ballad-style piano and guitar track. These are both wonderful arrangements in their own right, and they do the source material justice.

“Wishes and Truth” gets remixed by Andrew “DJ Bouche” Lim. My favorite track undergoes an “Ys IV Perfect Collection” kind of transformation, melding discoteque electronica and catchy pop-rock beats. I really enjoy this track. After that, Bobby “kidkoexist” Arlauskas has a really cool remix track, “Thinking of Something To Say.” It’s a remix of “Distant Calling” from the OST, and it really does a good job stretching out the source material and bringing a lot of post-production-mix material to the forefront.

Next, probably the most notable name among the remixers, is Surasshu. I love this guy, especially since he and coda did that album Tree of Knowledge last year. Surasshu’s contribution to the Powermouse Mix is a super-dance-party remix of the opening track, “Entryway.” I think the remix subtitle, “New Shiny Remix,” really captures the spirit of the arrangement. It has a very SoulEye / VVVVVV feel to it.

And, finally, the guy I was hinting at at the very beginning of this article. OSV co-founder Jayson Napolitano, under his stage name “Arcubalis,” did an arrangement of his favorite track of the album. “Secret Gears” is now “Twilight Gears,” and Jayson’s slowed down the tempo and traded one bell/chime for another. If Escape Goat had a day/night cycle built into it as part of the gaming mechanism, it would be fitting to use Jayson’s remix as the night-time variant.

So, seriously, this remix album is too cool to be stuck behind the wall of an expired bundle. Let’s get this beast on Bandcamp! It’s actually longer than the OST, by about 5 minutes, and it’s a really nice companion to the OST.

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