As we continue into the new year, we at OSV have decided to take a look back at some of the albums that we missed from 2013. Starting today, we will be covering some of the albums we missed in addition to newer content. The first of these is the soundtrack to the indie title Desktop Dungeons. The game is a tactical dungeon crawler that focuses on exploring randomly generated maps, in rounds that take around 10 minutes to complete. The dungeon gameplay has complex tactical elements, but also works like a puzzle. Primarily, you have to figure out ways to maximize the efficiency of your abilities and limited resources in order to make it through the dungeon alive. It started out as a freeware game but received further development and was eventually released on Steam last year. Our two composers for this soundtrack are Danny Baranowsky and Grant Kirkhope. Now for anyone who is an avid videogame music lover, that may be all you need to hear in order to be sold on this album. Grant Kirkhope is the well known composer of games including Banjo-Kazoie, Goldeneye 64, and more recently Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Danny Baranowsky, another equally talented composer, has written for games include Super Meat Boy, Canabalt, and The Binding of Isaac.
It’s always interesting to see what happens when multiple composers come together on a single project. Both Kirkhope and Baranowsky have their own unique styles of music writing, so I was curious to see how their music would contrast against one another. Would they try to blend their styles of writing into a consistent whole or would they intentionally use their contrasting styles to create more variety in the game score? The soundtrack features pieces that are individually written by the composers and a fair number of pieces that they collaborate on. If you’re familiar with either composer, you’ll be able to pick out elements of their music writing in this album. You can hear Kirkhope’s catchy melody writing, much in the vein of his Banjo-Kazoie music, and Baranowsky’s driving rhythms and unique melody writing style can also be heard throughout the album. (more…)