It’s been just over a week since MAGFest 2017 and a great deal of decompressing was required to be able to properly sum up this year’s experience. I was fortunate enough to see more performances than I normally would (thanks to a willingness to be dragged around), and therefore think I have a pretty good account of just how well this year’s prime Music and Gaming Festival went.
From the main stage to the underground to the secret shows, this year’s MAGFest was a solid lineup and featured a bit of everything to tickle your fancy.
Back in July I reported on the Kickstarter for the tribute album to American-composed video game music, American Pixels. Produced by Christopher “Mazedude” Getman, the album made it’s required goals, and is now available to those who missed the Kickstarter.
“After 5+ years of development, American Pixels, my tribute to American game composers, is now officially released. If you backed the project on Kickstarter (or pre-ordered it from the original American Pixels website), you should have received your download codes by now. (If you didn’t, let me know and I will re-send.)
If you’ve ordered a physical CD and/or a poster, those should be in hand within the week and on their way to your mailboxes. ” – Mazedude, Producer
Featuring music from Dead Space 2, Maniac Mansion, Mass Effect 2 and more arranged by Getman and contributed to by several well-known community musicians and artists, the album is available for purchase on Bandcamp, (with Google Play, iTunes and Spotify soon to follow) in 14-tracks of star-spangled glory.
“14 American game composers honored. 9 guest soloists featured. 65 minutes of some of the best music I’ve ever put together. I’m immensely proud of the finished product, and I hope you enjoy it as well.” – Mazedude
Coming off of Patient Corgi’s mega collaboration, Tribute Album 64, Vancouver’s video game medley band, The Runaway Four, have announced the release of their first studio album on January 20th. Titled Chaos Theatre the 45 minute album offers five tracks of themed medleys with tunes from 31 different games mingling and mixing together.
In the opening track “This Game is Baroquen”, you’ll hear Final Fantasy, ActRaiser, Super Mario RPG, Columns and Katamari beautifully intertwined and played in a classical baroque style. The next three medleys are themed around the video game tropes of Ice Worlds, Fire Worlds and Battle Themes.
In “Borreal Bedlam” Earthbound flows into Donkey Kong Country into Kirby’s Dream Course among 8 other themes. On “Magma Mayhem” you’ll hear Diddy Kong Racing mingle into Super Mario RPG and charge into “Hot Damned” from Super Meat Boy. “Battle Royale” is a 17-minute track that melds 15 different battle themes from games including Chrono Cross, Bahamut Lagoon, Kirby Super Star, Pokemon R/B/Y and even Mega Man. Finally, there’s “Your Sanctuary”, a medley of themes from Earthbound which the band describes as “the warm hug at the end of the journey”.
Chaos Theatre will be released January 20th on The Runaway Four’s Bandcamp page and kicked off with a live show and listening party at Seven Dining Lounge in Vancouver. For those not on the continent or in the area they’ll also be streaming the event live on their Twitch channel. In the meantime, check out some of The Runaway Four’s past performances on YouTube and their previous release Live at Columbia Theatre on Bandcamp.
With our staff posts out on the site we wanted to turn to you, the OSV community, to hear your own personal Original Soundtrack Of The Year picks for 2016. Let us know in the comments your selections for Soundtrack of the Year, Arrangement Album of the Year and any other unique categories you can dream up. Favorite Physical Release maybe? What about Vocal Performance of the Year or… Best use of a Piccolo?
If you need some refreshing on 2016 releases or if you missed our posts the first time around here’s a few links to catch you up: Shawn’s Picks, Brenna’s Picks, Michael’s Picks, Ryan’s Picks. There wasn’t a bit of overlap between our picks this year so don’t worry about conformity, go wild, these picks are all about you.
In case you didn’t know, Brave Wave is wrapping up it’s Holiday Sale on January 8, 2017. Their sale includes the physical and digital releases on the Brave Wave label only. It does not include any of the releases under the Generation Series (Street Fighter II, Shovel Knight). Brave Wave has also commented that they only do one big sale a year.
So if you’ve been thinking about picking up one of these great albums, now is the time. Personally I ordered myself Heart Beat Circuit and Terra Magica to complete my physical Brave Wave collection. You can sample In Flux, one of my favorite albums below.
MAGFest 2017 is only two days away and we’re furiously prepping ourselves for the event festivities. For those also attending, full announcements and a guidebook for the event are now available. Beyond the music artist lineup we announced earlier, you can check out the list of guests, MCs and a whole lot more gaming music-related information. Highlights include:
Guest composers, including Alexander Brandon (Dues Ex), Davis Wise (Donkey Kong Country, Yooka-Laylee), Austin Wintory (Journey, The Banner Saga) and more.
Game Voice Actors, such as Ellen McLain (Portal), John Patrick Lowrie (Team Fortress 2), Matt Mercer (Resident Evil 6, Overwatch) and others.
The full guidebook for the event can be found here or on the main MAGFest website. Currently the Gaylord has a few extra rooms opened up, so if you are thinking of pulling a last minute attendance, you should jump on that now. Additional information can be found streaming regularly leading up to and during the event on the MAGFest Twitter and Facebook pages.
See you at the show! (Unless you sadly must miss it, in which case you can find the show streaming on Twitch!)
You may have caught some links to Luminist’s analog synth remake of the original Metroid soundtrack in October when he began releasing single tracks. I was also going to share the work-in-progress but decided to wait for it to be completed, and now it is. Capping off the year is the full 12-track album which you can listen to (and watch) on Luminist’s YouTube playlist or download for $5 on Loudr.
“My initial interest behind doing this was thinking that if the technology were available back then to put hi-fi recordings into a videogame, they might have done it this way with Metroid,” Luminist told Kill Screen. “I’m just interested in bringing out more of the inherent alone-in-space factor that the original gave us with bleeps and bloops.”
The entire album is just over 15 minutes in length but it’s definitely worthy of playing on repeat. Luminist nailed it on adding to the “alone-in-space factor” with the despondent synths and thrumming bass. Take a listen above and let us know what you think of this fresh new (and old) sound in the comments.
Although 2016 will be remembered as a year that the world lost so much, for me one positive thing that I can say about this year was that it was an incredible year for video game music. I did not play a lot of games in 2016, but I did listen to a lot of video game music, and arranged albums.
What I sincerely enjoy about Original Sound Version’s Ost of the year is that all the authors for this site have different choices. I am a huge film score fan, and love sweeping symphonic scores which led to my choice for Ost of the year. I also highlight some arranged and inspirational albums too.
With 2016 nearly over, it’s time for our tradition of highlighting our favorite game music of the year. For me, there was a lot of great material in this year’s releases. For whatever reason, I ended up listening to a lot more of the music coming from the indie game section of the industry. There were definitely soundtracks from bigger games that caught my curiosity, like Doom and Dark Souls III, but the music that I kept coming back to listen to were from this year’s smaller titles. (more…)
This year was not a very good one for me in terms of a whole lot of gaming. I couldn’t tell you if it was the drudgery of the year in general or what, but the cloud of 2016 hung over me a fair amount and as such I didn’t get too much under my belt in terms of playing anything. Fortunately I did get some exposure to awesome video game music overall; enough so to cast my votes on what I think stood out this year in terms of original game soundtracks and VGM arrangement albums.
It’s short and sweet, but I think they’re worthy of their titles.
If you didn’t win one of our copies of the Klang soundtrack back in October you’ve got another chance to get it, well, close to free. Both the game and the soundtrack are 50% off on Steam and Bandcamp (with coupon code klang50) now through January 2nd. If you need a refresher, just take a listen to the thumping soundtrack above from bLiNd and see how it sets the pace of the challenging rhythm-platforming in some gameplay footage.
Upcoming MAGFest 2017 Final Fantasy tribute band Knight of the Round is getting a leg up on their impending performing with the release of their new EP “SIN”.
Already having 3 full length albums under their belts, Final Fantasy metal titans Knight of the Round just released their new EP, “SIN”, containing 4 re-imagined tracks from Final Fantasy X. After “forming” the project in 2008, the band broke into the VGM scene in 2013 and features former members of See You Next Tuesday and Iscariot. Catch Knight of the Round live on their winter tour dates with Machinae Supremacy, Urizen, and Danimal Cannon as part of the “MAGFest: Expansion Pack Tour”
Following up the start of their tour at MAGFest 2017, you can catch the band on the following dates:
1/5-1/8 – Washington, D.C. – MAGFest
1/9 – Brooklyn, N.Y. – Saint Vitus
1/10 – Pittsburgh, PA. – Cattivo
1/11 – Warren, MI. – The Ritz
1/12 – Crest Hill, IL. – Bada Brew (with Psychostick)
1/13 – Valparaiso, IN. – Big Shots (with Psychostick)
1/14 – Dayton, OH – Rockstar Pro Arena
You can pick up the four-track EP “SIN” on the KotR Bandcamp for $5, and be sure to check them out at MAGFest performing on Saturday, January 7th.
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.
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