Ryan Stunkel's 'make-believe RPG' album Echoes of Adventure

Listen for adventure.

This stuff is so soothing. We all know that I love them funky rhythms and in your face hip hop jams, but growing up as a Square fanboy, and also a fan of lighthearted games like Kirby, Chibi Robo and Animal Crossing have given me a soft spot in my heart for the light and fluid melodies such as 'The Princess.' One of the opening tracks on Ryan Stunkel's latest, Echoes of Adventure. 

Stunkel is releasing music at a surprising clip, and I'm glad to hear it. The quantity hasn't affected the quality though, as EoA seems to be the fullest album to date. Ten tracks of wonderful RPG fare that would make a Square Enix fan of any era get sucked into the swelling horns and drums on the more epic tracks such as Kidnapped, and Beneath the Shadow.

Ever since I started ending SUBCON with OST ending themes, I've become far more attentive to ending themes in general. "Friends Forever" is the closing track to the album, and although I know nothing more about the protagonists of this story beyond the evocative artwork, the heart of the track seeps through, and helps conclude the album with some surprising poignancy. 

Can Stunkel keep up the frenetic pace he has been composing at? While he finally release a few more VG covers? Find out whenever I review another one of Ryan Stunkel's videogame inspired albums. That day is certainly sooner than I think.

Echoes of Adventure is an album portraying a make-believe RPG soundtrack. All of the tracks are 1-2 minute loops inspired by classic RPG’s on all consoles dating all the way back to the Nintendo Entertainment System.
— Ryan Stunkel

Watch The Bystanders play Super Mario Maker part 4: Anthony's bonus levels

The 100 Mario challenge may be over, but Frank still has to check out some of Anthony's first foray's into level making in this short bonus video!

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Voodoo Lion drops 'Beyond the Stars' hip hop remixes of space-themed VGM

Space jams. 

Another monster collection of beats from Voodoo Lion. I'm not sure how long his Press Start series will last, but as long as they keep coming out you'll get no complaints from me. 

This time, the songs take on a more new age approach to retro games with soon to be classics such as Mirror's Edge, Smash Bros Melee, Portal, StarCraft, and more! The set list definitely makes the most of Beyond the Stars' space theme. 

I'm posting this soon after the album has dropped, so I haven't gotten enough time to dig deep with a review the way i would have wanted. Perhaps in the near future, but until then, expect me to sing the praises of this album throughout upcoming episodes of the SUBCON podcast

The album features all the well timed samples, swaggering beats and surprising turns that Voodoo Lion has made his calling card. From the intense opening moments of First Contact the album seems to be pushing it's own narrative through the themes VL chose to tackle. The center of the album is well anchored by an unbelievable pair of Star Wars remixes that have single handedly gotten me excited for the upcoming Episode VII. the tracks, "I Am Your Father" and "Jimi Skykisser" have me super nostalgic about Star Wars Rogue Squadron as well, since Rogue Squadron was actually my true introduction to the Star Wars franchise.

The album closes on a far more upbeat tone than it opened with. Although, "Continue?" hides  an unsettling undercurrent, like being on the moon in Majora's Mask, or getting the 'The End?' credits in the original DKC. Is the ending theme's ambiguous title drawn from that indecisive feeling?

So the final question I have left is, does Voodoo Lion got another Press Start trilogy in him? Or perhaps a side project is in order? Whatever it is, I can't wait to hear more from VL, although I could use more time to ingest these albums, but I said I wasn't going to complain.

GM4A + SUBCON presents Black Shy Guy Fall 2015 Mixtape

The only podcast dedicated to video games & hip hop. 

Get hyped for Season 3 of the SUBCON podcast by bumping some of the best music from last season! New season begins next week! All new video game hip hop and rap coming soon! Until then, rock out to some of the best music from Season 2 of the SUBCON podcast!

Click here for show notes

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Watch The Bystanders play Elder Scrolls V Skyrim

The Bystanders tour Skyrim and it's many menu screens! This week Frank introduces Anthony to the strange world of Xbox 360 games starting with Elder Scrolls V Skyrim.

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Robobok's synthwave soundtrack Gamers

Fall into the abyss

I recently ran across a red hot musician out of Mexico, Robobok, so I'm highlighting his latest album. Aptly named, Gamer, this is the soundtrack to a show called Gamer TV, at least I assume as much. Considering that the show is also based out of Mexico, and is, therefore, in spanish, I won't be able to partake of what magic the show itself may hold. 

This album on the other hand, has everything I need to understand it. Space themed chiptune instrumentals are a personal weakness of mine, and I can hardly ever say no. Robobok makes it harder than ever though with ominous themes like the haunting Dragon Core, or cavernous Mystic Orb.

Watch The Bystanders Podcast 29: Nintendo Direct discussion

Nintendo Power! 

Anthony gives Frank the rundown on the latest Nintendo Direct and talks about all the best videogame and amiibo news from the event. Including discussion about Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Pokken Tournament, Fast Racing Neo, and of course, Cloud Strife in Super Smash Bros!

Check out thebystanderspodcast.com for the audio version, show notes and to find more episodes of The Bystanders Podcast.

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Race For Your Life, SkyBlew, the latest hip hip album from SkyBlew

No turning back. 

Skyblew is at it again.Whenever this guy isn't popping up on a variety of other folks tracks and albums, he's dropping his own!

The anticipation for this album has been building at a PHENOMENAL rate after SkyBlew’s recent accomplishments such as: receiving a MAJOR Rapzilla article, his powerful music video/short film “Running in Place” won BEST MUSIC VIDEO at the Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival and 3RD BEST VIDEO at the Bayou City Inspirational Film Festival! He will be performing on Hopscotch Music Festival! Also, he released an exclusive album in South Korea that made it to their TOP 10 CHARTS! This young man has definitely been Painting The Sky,Blew!!!

Race For Your Life, SkyBlew, touches on a few things including: The human race, the race for our lives, the race for time, and also SkyBlew shares some of his personal stories, which he has NEVER spoken on in his music..... Overall, he wants to INSPIRE with his message/story, to spread LOVE and PEACE! Most say, SkyBlew is a breath of fresh air! He uses his sincere, substantive lyrics & soulful sound to breathe life into a genre saturated with lies, darkness and gimmicks. RFYLS will encourage you to LIVE your life, and experience everything life has to offer! He put his ALL into this album and we are sure you will enjoy it!
— RandomBeats Music

Watch genoboost reconnect his PlayStation 2

Room for one more. 

I go on a surprisingly lengthy journey to reincorporate my PS2 into my game room set up. Witness the back of my TV, as well as random cut points as i accidentally drop my phone and knock things over. The PS2 will be reconnected!

BGM for this YouTube is by awesome beatmaker Rukunetsu.

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