FuturNari - Another Unlikely Hero EP release and mini review

There is a new denizen in Beep City, and he is quite the story teller. He came into town one day speaking of kidnapped princesses, a kingdom full of living mushrooms, and that he alone was the savior of such a world. The man called himself FuturNari, and the founders of Beep City have committed his strange tale to tape, and that tale can now be heard by the world as the album Another Unlikely Hero.

Immediately we are sucked into a high-pitched storm of perilous notes with Breaker of Bricks. The track has a fast paced yet ominous tone to it, with an interesting building and breaking down throughout the track, before fading away into the slower, almost melancholy mood in Devourer Of Mushrooms. This track takes on a similar tone to the first track, but with a more organized, almost marching like beat that creates a thumping, hard to resist rhythm.

Next up is my favorite track from the album, the epic,l over the top tones in Conjurer Of Fire. This track builds higher and higher and creates a lively, heroic theme, as if the visitor to this world has come to terms with it's nuances and can now harness the strange properties of this world to his own benefit. The final track in this sadly too short EP is, Saviour Of Toadstools, a track that layers sound effects and glitched out sounds over a serene foundation of music, creating a fluctuating, adventurous track, that somehow still remains just as ominous and foreboding as all the tracks preceding it.

It is very hard to quantify this album. It is like if you played Super Mario Bros during an alien invasion. As the music plays you can imagine the extra terrestrial's ships floating across the city, and individuals peering in your window with their inhuman glassy black eyes. It is a wholly unnerving experience, but a musically amazing one that has to be heard. All I can say, is this is a great album (which you can download here), but do not listen to it while on psychotropic drugs...such as mushrooms.

4 Years of GM4A With Moldilox of Beep City

I am glad to present our final guest post commemorating 4 years of GM4A related nonsense. This time I would like to introduce Joseph Luster, better known as Moldilox, Mayor of Beep City and chiptune extraordinaire.

Like all good loaves of bread, I lazily missed the period you humans call "June," during which Geno and the other fine folks of Game Music 4 All (heretofore referred to as GM4A for the sake of brevity and awesome acronyms) were celebrating their fabulous anniversary. Oddly enough, I find my tardiness appropriate, and not just because it's convenient and unapologetic for me to say so. GM4A should be celebrating its anniversary every month of every year as far as I'm concerned, because you won't find a more friendly and open example of a community that, for the most part, is known for being friendly and open.

GM4A has not only been instrumental in exposing me to artists and releases I may have otherwise missed out on, but the lengths to which Geno goes to help promote artists—myself and everyone else associated with Beep City included—are consistently above and beyond the call of duty.

In the duration I've spent following the site, I've seen it grow from news and reviews with the occasional release to a full-blown label, almost slyly. I say that because there's no supposition on GM4A's behalf that one is above the other, or that they've risen beyond being a cool blog posting about cool music. In reality, they have, but they've done so in a way that marries the acts of reporter, label, and even live show promoter.

Beyond the many facets of GM4A, what strikes me most about this site is the contagious enthusiasm. Read one of Geno's reviews, for instance; seriously, just pick one at random and give it a gander. That's real love for the subject matter. I remember when Djinnocide and I first kicked off Beep City with the idea of posting music through a portal of fabricated game concepts, and Geno totally got it right off the bat. Better yet, he played along with the idea, running with his own imaginative tangents that made his write-ups a joy to read.

So yes, there is actual writing here, not just links and pasted press releases. On the flipside of the site's reporting, you have projects like Iwadon, the Hiroyuki Iwatsuki tribute. Talk about a beast of work, and yet it was a heavy workload GM4A followed through with thanks to mad community cooperativeness and, of course, lots of passion.

That's what GM4A is about to me. Sweaty, flesh-slapping Cinemax passion for music.

So here's to my brother from another mother, Genoboost. If you're just now exposing yourself to the ever-exciting world of chip music and other game-related audio treats, you've got your peepers pointed at the right website.

Thanks again to Moldilox, and Beep City, and all the awesome folks that reside there for the constant support and this fantastic write up. Be sure to keep up with them for tons of chiptune albums and singles!

Week in Video Game Inspired Music 5/24 - 5/30

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This is an appropriate comic, seeing as how Capcom is sponsoring our show in Los Angeles. WEST COAST WIGOUT 2 with awesome swag. If you are in the area, then find out more through this link. In other appropriate comic news we will also be hearing from Random AKA Mega Ran with his newest album Forever Famicom, which comes out June 1st. Of course a write up on it will be up here on GM4A as well that day! Now on to all the news that's fit to...be news?

Moldilox - Flamin' Hot Cheatcodes album release

The rowdy bunch of Beep City are back once again! This time for the release of Moldilox' debut album. Beep City presents to you, Flamin' Hot Cheatcodes. The album is 10 chiptune tracks of varying genres and styles. from the laid back intro Wistful Woods which create colorful images of cheery woodland views. This is a very good juxtaposition to the second track, the dark dangerous world of Mechanizer Metropolis.

My personal favorite track from this debut though, is the thoroughly catchy (in both name, and actual song) Action Vacation on Shuriken Island This upbeat tune creates an image of a vacationing ninja, with a ninja mask and swimming trunks who got trapped on an island filled with monsters, and has to fight his way out.

This is another great release from the group of folks over at Beep City, and well worth a download. Also don't forget to check out all their soundtrack singles releases as well! Particularly the catchy tune From Kingston to Deadwood.

This Week in VGM #004: Beep City Special

This Week in VGM You can check out, download, and subscribe to the podcast at Feedburner iTunes

Welcome to the fourth episode of This Week in VGM, a weekly podcast of news and music from the video game inspired music community. This episode is a very lengthy special in which we check out the sites, but most importantly the sounds of Beep City.

This entire podcast is all about the first release from Beep City, Love Songs From the Future Volume 1. You can download the album free at http://www.beepcity.com/music/beep-city-presents-love-songs-from-the-future. This episode clocks in at nearly an hours worth of music, talk, and more!

I go over all 12 tracks from the release. I also talk with Beep City founders Moldilox and Djinnocide, as well as many of the musicians from the album.

If you would like to get in touch with news, questions, or perhaps to be a guest host alongside me in a future episode, you can email me at gamemusic4all@gmail.com

Beep City Presents: Love Songs From The Future Vol. 1 album review

You may know Beep City from an earlier trek through the local 'burb. But if you haven't visited lately, you'll notice that things have changed quite a bit!

Beep City has released their first compilation to rousing success. The lovingly titled free download known as Beep City Presents: Love Songs From The Future Vol. 1. The album includes many heavy hitters as well as incredible surprises from up and comers from the scene. Let's hit the road to Beep City and find out what this "Love Beam" is all about then!

We drive up and down the streets to hear 12 incredible, brand new tracks from the town denizens. Starting off with it's smallest of creatures, the lowly but noble mouse, or Bit Rat as it were, and his show starter Warm Green Something. Things start off with a fuzzy step to it, as if heading into early traffic on the way downtown amidst the fog and noise. Things start to clear up though and a star like pulse infiltrates the song creating a more childlike atmosphere of beeping cars and breezy open roads. The song holds it's upbeat blips until the very catchy fading ending. This leads us right into a demon! No wait. Daemon. Daemon9623 no less, and his track Battle For Bifrost. Yes it seems we have stepped right into a climactic battle for the unclaimed souls of the city. A foreboding drum/lead riff quickly break into an over the top RPG like battle theme. With swirling highs and heavy lows all moving at an ever increasing pace. We hit a break of glitching riffs and double drum pedal badassery that builds into an ever escalating tension. This comes crashing down in the last 30 seconds of the track, as the music suddenly takes another turn. As if Daemon9623 has taken on another form, and makes his escape to battle another day.

The town slows down for a bit thanks to local highly respected citizen Alex Mauer playing the laid back Nicole Shippo. The song has a nostalgic windswept quality to it, reminding one of those hot summer days gone by in Beep City. Crunchy drums along with a relaxing lead and many small flourishes create a wonderful song to just purely enjoy. And now that you are nice and relaxed, let Nario tell you The Tale of A Pirate. The thumping bass/chip intro quickly throws you into the tale, with it's manly melodies and ship swaying rhythms. This song is certainly one of many highlights of the trip, especially as we get about a minute in and things get a bit fishy, and very funky for this band of pirates. This is one of the longer legs of our journey, but the song remains varied and entertaining through to the fantastic ending of this tale.

Enough dawdling though, time to get back to work! Who's work? Moldilox of course! What work? why he's a beekeeper at the Honey Hive! This song is quite fast paced, and upbeat, just like one of many buzzing bees zipping around. Perhaps my favorite track here as well. Things start smple enough with a catchy riff, that much like a hive, continues to gather layer upon layer to it's well made foundation. At about the 40 second mark, in comes a great wailing bit of chiptunery that that continues to build and wrap around itself as ever more layers are added throughout the song. Everything comes to a halt in the end though, save for that lovely little riff we started off with, but even that heads out too, and work is done for the day.

Looks like we aren't done with our labors yet though. We reach the longest part of our day with the lengthiest track on the album. This is Temp Sound Solutions, and it is time for Infernal Shell. Things start out glitched out and scratched up. an ominous cacophony of sounds that may catch you off guard at first listen, but as you descend further into this cave of sounds, you rely less on your eyes, and every one of the many complex sounds starts to find it's place among the others as we head further along the song's path. At about a minute and a half we reach a relaxing cave of crystals and open air, and are surrounded by a mellowing silence. This does not last for long though, because it's as if the cave wanted to give you a breath before the darkest depths are plunged. Two minutes in and things have taken on a deeper more sinister tone. The song ebbs in and out of it's foreboding moods until we make it to the other side of the caves.

Here we run into the intrepid explorer Norrin Radd to escape and Never To Return. Somehow evoking both a cosmic race through the stars and an old western shoot out and train heist, the track really blends an incredible amount of thoughts, ideas, and elements into one short, fast paced chase song.

Now that we escaped though, where are we? This is a part of Beep City I have never seen before. We need some help. We need Captain Tortilla. He'll help us escape with the power of Kludge. This track evokes the feelings of a classic NES side scrolling platformer taking place in an urban cityscape well past dark. Captain Tortilla takes us across roofs, through back alleys, and over chain link fences in this track. The low ends of the song, along with the meandering highs evoke a dark mood, as if seeing the seedier side of Beep City most folks try their best not to acknowledge. As the song continues things kick into a faster, more fearful tone. Like we have run into an end of stage boss in this alley's dead end, and judging by the track, we lost.

Now it's as if we are in a dream, brought to us courtesy of Prizmatic Spray. It appears to be the Flight of The Peacock Lords, and we are an observer to this rare spectacle. Starting with a droning buzz of sounds that quickly wrap around each other, shortening and taking form as more elements come together and create shapes and twists and tones. Things continue to build until the drums really kick in at about the one minute mark, and turn a dance like, dreamy atmosphere into a rocking out soundscape of bleeps and bloops battling it out. The song comes to close with an amazing breaking down of sounds, as if slowly stirring in and out of sleep.

We finally awaken, and take a look around. Appears we are once again in familiar territory. The dim atmosphere and glowing screens tell us we are at the ever popular Beep City arcade. We see a group surrounding one cabinet in particular. It appears that it's Zio and TEH LOLZ, and he is going for the world record in the classic game Air Raid The Ocean! He plunks a quarter in and we hear the familiar monotonous bass kick in, a woosh of jet fighters, the kick of drums, and we're off. The song hits home for fans of classic Shoot-em-ups with it's great use of sound effects, and driving, but continuously threatening sounds. Enter the final boss at about the two minute mark, and the song kicks into high gear for the maddening ending. HIGH SCORE! Enter Initials: Z I O

Stepping out into the now dark Beep City night, we take a longing look to the sky. THere is something you catch in the corner of your eye. A UFO? Nah, of course not. Beep CIty regulars notice your confused glance and assure you it is simply Wizwars launching another Sputnik. The launch starts with a scratchy lo fi beat that quickly kicks into a catchy soaring rhythm carrying a fast moving beat. Adventurous riffs define this ever changing track, like the sporadic movements of an alien craft, you never know quite where this song is heading. The song hits a very funky lead at about 2:15 which is impossible not to enjoy, before picking back up. As if the rocket just ran out of fuel and took a short slowing breather before making it's freefall towards earth.

It's almost midnight in Beep City. It's time to say goodbye to all the friends we have made today, and as the crowd gathers, who is here to see us off but one of Beep City's very founders, Djinnocide along with Jungle Jim's Jelly Bean Jamboree. Starting off a little somber as we wave goodbye, the song gets a kick in it's step as we set off towards the horizon. the soft upbeat tones and clapping drums create a fantastic, almost credit sequence like mood that create a perfect closer to this album, and to this fantastic day in Beep City. See you next time!

All kidding aside, This album is simply fantastic. All the tracks are of the highest quality, and make for a fantastic listen when heard all the way through. Beep City has been a great site for not only top notch tunes, but also a method of chiptune creation that is very original and always interesting. Head over to Beep City and grab Beep City Presents: Love Songs From The Future Vol. 1 right now! Here's to looking forward to Vol. 2!

Beep City release: Temp Sound Solutions - Mastars of the Univarse & more

The new chiptune posse on the block, the bad asses of Beep City if you will, have released their first album. Before we get into that though, I would like to explain what the folks of Beep City are all about.

Beep City is an interesting blog style site with a smattering of classic chiptunes from decades past, they even go so far as to include cartridge art and game descriptions for the fictional classic games these songs are from. These folks are going the distance in bringing us the long lost soundtracks of yesteryear, and what has been released so far is definitely catchy and nostalgia inducing as all get out.

The songs and games include classic titles, such as the frightening 2D classic Terror Tower, the first in the series that spawned one of my favorite games, Terror Tower: Concerto of Darkness for PS1. Included is the stand out track You’ve Been Cordially Invited (To A Nightmare Waltz).

From there we hear the crashes and bangs of the song Cave Visitors from Very Quest II: Very Mystic. If you don't remember the game, that's okay, as it had a very limited release outside Japan, and due to poor sales forced American publisher Bigwig games out of business. That was especially terrible to fans of the game, which never saw a sequel in America because of this. Luckily some plucky young coders are translating Very Quest III: Really Very Quest as of this writing.

Now get ready to kick some villain faces in the face with Commandude IV Rock's Revenge, and do that face kicking to the hard rocking track The Infiltrator: Spoils of War. My personal favorite is, of course, Commandude II, so here is to hoping they dig up something from that soundtrack soon. I also want to say, this is from a time when all these titles were classic though, before we were inundated with 4 or so games a year on the GBA like Commandude: Internet Battles: Trolls vs Internet White Knights.

Now things get creepier with the bloody sideshow of a game, Carnival Carnage. The game boasts a catchy yet creepy funhouse atmosphere in the track The New Funhouse Warriors. I remember how disappointing that "360 degree" level was, which was plagued by so much slowdown and clipping that I couldn't even see what was going on. Who cares about this getting past the censors, how did this get past the debug team?! Good soundtrack though.

Had enough yet? Well too bad, because now I introduce you to Mountain of The Gods. The action packed puzzle game that has it all. Action, puzzles, you name it. If it's action you want, and puzzles you crave, this game is the one for you! And you will be listening to the amazing track Crucial Fight – Volcanic Peak for your troubles as well, you adventurous puzzle master.

The site has only been around for a very short while, but just recently they have gone from releasing fantastic singles, to uncovering and releasing their first full release. I introduce you to the classic unlicensed game from Temp Sound Solutions studios and Beep City's first full soundtrack release, Mastars of the Univarse.

Here is the official release info below.

Imported from the shores of Eternia and harnessed from the power of Castle Grayskull, Beep City has formed an alliance with one of chiptune’s eldest warriors, the renowned Shawn Phase of Temp Sound Solutions, to bring you a sampling of beats and bleeps from the history of his home land. The digital folk songs presented tell a tale of heroes and villains, locked in an eternal struggle for control in a world of colorful characters, fiendish beasts, and a big, gay, green cat.

The album is a collection of rough and tumble tracks. We kick off with the overtly glitched out opening track Battle Cat Causing A Muckus (which I hear may have been a demo track from when the sound team was first reverse engineering the 2a03 sound chip, which they then decided to keep in the game afterwards). Then we get the adventurous bleeps of the main theme Mastars of The Univarse. The soundtrack is a crazy fusion of rhythms and styles, possibly due to the fact that reverse engineering for this illegal game gave developers a different perspective in their music creation. Moving on, Teela's Shattered Feelings is a low ambient trek through ominously empty caverns, while Orko's Sick sounds like a glitchy version of soft item shop music. The final two songs are the funky, fast psychedelic shoot em up sounds of Mastars of The Univarse (reprise) which spans an amazing six minutes. This leads into Greyskull, the final foreboding theme to this games soundtrack.

So there you have it! Nostalgia and music combine to make an amazing site for fans of classic games. Be sure to keep an eye on the amazing Beep City for all sorts of forgotten classics and their soundtracks in the future!