dren mcdonald releases Soundtrack to Dangerous Dave in the Deserted Pirate's Hideout

It'll only get dangerouser from here. 


With a hybrid style best described as "chipbilly," this catchy soundtrack combines the twangy country/western swamp music of Dangerous Dave's redneck roots with nostalgic chip sounds reminiscent of the original game's electronic sound effects.

"I wanted to pay tribute to Dave's hillbilly nature, but also include the historical aspect of the game, and the iconic chip sound effects that it employed," says Dren McDonald of the music's chipbilly vibe. "I imagined a group of bluegrass musicians on a porch, jamming together with chip musicians on circuit-bent GameBoys and laptops. Game environments like the caves and the pirate hideouts also play a part in the composition, but the overall sense of blending these instruments together was the guiding principle."

"Dren's soundtrack for Dangerous Dave hit the target perfectly -- 80's chiptune references within a modern hillbilly sound that's bent toward the kind of diversity that games demand in their music," says John Romero. "The amazing violin on several tracks helps showcase the excellent musical framework Dren composed specially for this game."


Dren McDonald's passion for video game music dates all the way back to the Atari 2600 he found under a Christmas tree sometime during the 1970s. His game composition credits include the recently released Gathering Sky, the upcoming Gunman Taco Truck (also for Romero Games), Ghost Recon: Commander, Counterstrike: Global Offensive, and Ravenwood Fair, among many others. In 2014 he released The String Arcade (http://www.thestringarcade.com), a compilation of original string quartet arrangements of classic and modern video game themes, with all proceeds going to support a nonprofit music program for underprivileged elementary school children. Learn more on his website, http://www.nerdtracks.com.

Welcome to CHIPBILLY! Dangerous Dave in the Deserted Pirate’s Hideout first appeared as a computer game for the Apple II in 1990, created by John Romero, a well known game designer who was also instrumental in other influential games such as Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein 3D & Ravenwood Fair. John has recreated this game for play on iOS and Android devices, with the original graphics being a free download, and an HD version with new graphics and this music!

The character of DAVE is a bit of a hillbilly, and given the vintage of the original game’s sounds (the original game’s sound effects all had a recognizable video game ‘chip’ generated sound), I tried to create a hybrid of hillbilly mountain music with the chip sounds. I imagined a big group of musicians on a porch, some with banjos, dobro guitars and an upright bass, and some with old keyboards and circuit bent GameBoys, all jamming together. Then, of course, there are caves and a Pirate hideout to think about.
— dren mcdonald