To say Ubisoft’s extreme sports title, Steep, had a compressed PR cycle is quite the understatement. The game was revealed to the world at E3 2016 and released just six months later amid the madness of the holiday shopping season. If you weren’t paying close attention you could easily have missed the original soundtrack behind the din of it’s licensed playlist that featured in the trailers.
The original soundtrack from European post-rock collective, Zikali, has been out there for a while on the major streaming services but Sumthing Else Music Works has announced they’re once again teaming up with Ubisoft for a physical release. Available from Sumthing Else for $10 digital and $15 on disc, the 19-track album features a surprisingly emotional score to what looks, at first glance, to be an Xtreme Sportz title that fell out of 2002.
“The musical artistic direction consists of the encounter between a post-rock formation (drums, bass, guitars, synths), to which is added an orchestral dimension (strings, brass) and a set of original instruments (hang drum, duduk) that define the sound identity of the project,” explains Zikali. “The energy of the rider is represented by a modern and electric sound associated with the action; And the orchestra characterizes the different places (summits, narrow corridor or wide spaces) by the variety of its modes of play, bringing a strong emotional dimension.”
As described, the music is full of subtle sound combinations from airy and atmospheric twinkles to explosions of heavily effected guitars driven by a pounding percussion. It’s been a pleasant, if not totally cohesive, surprise as I’ve listened throughout the day. If you were looking for more from last year’s soundtrack to No Man’s Sky’s there’s definitely some of that vibe among the first half of the playlist.