Chip Music, Game Music

Top Gear Composer Returns for Horizon Chase, Out Now on Android

November 23, 2015 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Top Gear Composer Returns for Horizon Chase, Out Now on Androidon Twitter

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It only takes two to make a trend, right? If that phrase I just coined holds true then it’s been a trendy year for old school game composers making a return to form through the medium of Outrun-inspired mobile racing games. First it was Motohiro Kawashima — lead composer on Streets of Rage 3 — returning for the trippy PlayStation Mobile racer, Oh Deer! (also my first post on OSV). Most recently it’s Barry Leitch, composer of such classic racing games as Top Gear, Lotus Turbo Challenge 2, and the San Francisco Rush series.

Leitch has returned after years away from video game music to provide the soundtrack to — wait for it — a new Outrun-inspired mobile racing game. Horizon Chase has been out on iOS since August but it’s just come to Android which is where I discovered it and its fantastic music. Fans of Top Gear should be especially pleased both with the gameplay and soundtrack. Dodging competitors over undulating terrain and tearing through rolling corners, the music is perfect accompaniment. Leitch’s characteristic arpeggio melodies are updated with modern synths, tinny guitars and just a touch of dubstep. The pacing is perfect and the sound is both new and delightfully cracktro — err, retro.

Leitch sums it up in a recent Kill Screen article by saying, “the stuff I wrote now is the same as back then, but this is finally how I imagined it sounding in my head 20 years ago. Two decades later, you can finally get the music to sound like how you wanted it.”

It’s a bit of a shame that the races aren’t marathon length to give these songs more time to jam. Fortunately, there’s a soundtrack for that, created by Leitch himself and available in physical form from his site. With fifteen tracks and 59 minutes of music it’s one of the longest soundtracks I’ve seen for a mobile game and comes complete with full color liner notes and artwork for $20. I already picked up the game but I just might have to grab the CD as well to keep this fantastic music playing.

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