The ZEN ALBATROSS is different from your average albatross. You see, the ancient mariner has nothin’ on him. Nor do invasive government spy agencies. Confused yet? You need to get to know ZEN ALBATROSS then. This bird is a master of cryptography, and he is also good at dodging the slings and arrows of would-be seafaring jerk wads.
My single favorite chip music album from 2010 was a double-single featuring “Mastada Gestalt” and “April 10,” both songs by ZEN ALBATROSS. Since then, we’ve heard precious little from him. Now he’s back with a new EP (almost 30 minutes long), which you can get digitally or on cassette tape via the artist’s Bandcamp page.
This new EP, “SIGINT,” is a head trip from start to finish. Interested in the finer details? Keep on reading… (more…)
It’s always interesting to hear a composer go outside of their established genre of music. This sometimes happens in order for a composer to flex their creative muscles, while other times it can be the result of pursuing a passion project. Ben Prunty is probably best known for his sci-fi genre music. In particular his work on the soundtracks for FTL, Gravity Ghost, and Star Crawler. While he has produced a few albums that aren’t related to games, they still maintained a similar tone and style to his game soundtrack work. So when I heard that one of Prunty’s latest solo projects was an experimental horror album, I had to take a listen.
The album, titled Dark Window, is an eleven track album that aims to capture the spirit of horror movies, urban legends, and just good old-fashioned ghost stories. Each track has a title meant to suggest the scene that the music is accompanying. Since this is at its core a concept album, this review will be focus on how well the tracks hit the mark for evoking an unsettling horror experience. (more…)
And by “The Outer Limits,” I’m talking about the outer limits of OSV’s scope of coverage.
Generally, we cover game music. We also, on occasion, cover other media score such as film, television and animation. How about a soundtrack for a fake/non-existent indie film that delves into topics including futurism, transhumanism and religion?
Yeah, I know, I’m stretching it. But this album is just that good. Learn more about SOLA-MI after the jump. And if you want to listen along with the review, grab the album here: it’s completely, and legally, free. (more…)
Yes, it was just two weeks ago that we mentioned that Hideko Sakamoto is traveling to St. Petersburg, Russia to conduct an orchestra in the performance of his music from echochrome and No Heroes Allowed!, but we’d been meaning to check out his score for echochrome ii for quite some time now.
We posted about the live streamed recording session for this soundtrack last year, where we noted that the game would feature a single track titled “prime # 4507” that would clock in at over 75 minutes in length and act as the soundtrack for the entire game.
Did Sakamoto’s experiment pay off? Find out in our review after the jump. (more…)
By now I’d hope you’re all familiar with Blip Festival, the mecca of chipmusic that rises each year in New York, Europe and now Japan. What you might not know is that the people who bring us Blip every year have another music festival that might pique your interests.
Bent Festival is New York City’s annual celebration of circuit-bending and DIY music culture. Each year, the Fest assembles the world’s top electronic tinkerers to give presentations, run workshops and perform on stage using circuitbent instruments. The Fest organizers recently announced full details for the event, including a list of circuitbending workshops, interactive art installations and a lineup of performers. It all goes down April 22nd – 24th, and OSV will be there to see it all and deliver the goods to you, our dear readers. If you live in or around New York City, definitely make an effort to get out to DUMBO (that’s ‘Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass’ for you out-of-towners) to check out everything the festival has to offer.
Hit the jump for a video that explains a bit about the practice of circuitbending and the community of artists that drive it forward. (more…)
It’s the most distressing thing when netlabels call it quits and slowly fade into the abyss. While it’s inevitable that many of the people who dedicate their time and energy to these musical ventures will eventually move on to new vistas, it’s always a shame to see them go. I suppose it can be viewed in the context of a larger cycle of life. However, it’s always preferable to receive a formal goodbye rather than be left wondering what ever happened as the site ceases to be updated and eventually goes offline without a word.
In that regard, while it’s sad to see Camomille and Apeginine Recordings go, at least they’re doing it the right way. Instead of dropping off the face of the Earth, the labels have released a joint album featuring well-known artists from the demoscene titled Hypocondriac. We are not only left with the fond memories if their amazing CD and digital releases over the past 7 years, but are able to form new ones with this final distinguished crossover electronic offering.
Read about this thoughtful goodbye after the jump. (more…)
Jaxson Payne is an UK musician who takes drumming to a completely new level. Well beyond what one could call the “beta” stage, Jaxson seems to be one of the few artists who reinvents what it means to actually play the drums in front of an audience. With a MIDI drumset and tons of samples that he improvises upon, he manages to blend various styles into something that is coherently dark and technoid. And this is without anything prerecorded to boot; quite a delicate task in itself. To actually get it to sound good and impress the folks who come to watch you is a different thing altogether.
Listen to the above video. It’s part of a live gig recorded in 2008. Reportedly the last gig Jaxson performed under his moniker Derehctub. It gives you enough to be able to catch a glimpse of what sets this artist apart from his peers.
I haven’t had the time to delve into his numerous album releases over the years, but I expect seeing him perform live is an entirely different experience. You can check out some of the mp3 samples on his website to get an idea of what to expect. After some searching, I actually found a three-inch CD and mp3 release titled Ehff from back in 2002. It’s an IDM-esque two-track oddity with soft lingering voices and the stuttering randomness that is very much part of the genré. Not totally unlike some of Aphex Twin’s work. It is straight up my alley and is highly recommended, even for those who normally avoid IDM. Another LP release, also from the Koept label, aptly reads: “Do not expect consistency.” With Jaxson Payne, I suppose we won’t. I am personally very much interested in listening to what he comes up with after leaving his Derehctub moniker behind.
Where will the final frontier of electronic music stand? And more importantly, will this place serve a decent cup of tea?
But it’s not what you’d expect. These tunes aren’t the holly jolly Christmas songs that are one of my favorite things about the holidays, but rather are more in line with Robert Halvarsson’s recent winter demoscene recommendations. This free download release from Apeginine Recordings is still an interesting offering, featuring some chilling winter atmospheres across 24 minutes of music.
The artists featured include Apeginine Reocrdings owner and founder Vincent “Muhr” Fugère, Emanuele Errante from Italy, and a friend of my own Mephtik Netlabel, ambient extraordinaire Shiftless. While this release may not brighten up your holiday, the music is amazingly well produced, so be sure to check out our impressions below.
Oh, and Merry Christmas!
Hit the jump for our thoughts on Pillow drifts from Apeginine Recordings. (more…)
I couldn’t be more pleased about this release. One of the greatest things about Media Molecule’s hit game LittleBigPlanet for PlayStation 3 is the strange feeling of cohesion between all its elements. The gameplay mechanics, the “build-your-own-world,” the visuals, and the audio all seem to blend and swirl in some sort of watered-down psychadelic trip that could only come from the minds of 21st century British artists and programmers. I had hoped that a separate soundtrack would be published for this title. Behold, it has!
After the jump, check out our “little big review” for the music to LittleBigPlanet! (more…)
Original Sound Version
Covering and promoting discussion of composers and music with a focus on video games and other contemporary media entertainment