DREAMERS by Zebes System, a chiptune rock tribute to Koji Kondo & Nobuo Uematsu~

Chipped and chopped up video game covers that will make you want remakes of classics, demakes of new games and everything in between. Zebes System pays tribute to the illustrious musical careers of Koji Kondo and Nobuo Uematsu in his 2010 album DREAMERS.

Sometimes I dream,  I wonder how my life would be different if only I heard this album when it was first released. So many nights would have rocked just that much harder. Don't suffer the same fate as I.

Tribute Album of Koji Kondo and Nobuo Uematsu Works
— Zebes System

GRIMECRAFT drops hour long adventure mixtape dedicated to classic video game composers

Retro futurism 

As I type this, I'm slowly being murdered, in my own home by this unbearable desert heat. Alas, it's GRIMECRAFT to the rescue with an ice cold VG based mixtape to cool down to.

Lingering VGM,  a relaxed aesthetic, and bass heavy futurism. In the endless heat, being able to just hit play and let the music wash over you in ebbs and flows can be a soothing experience. 

I tend to refer to my live recordings as ‘Adventures’ as they are audible journeys through the soundscapes of different game worlds. This installment is a 63 minute entry celebrating the works of Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, David Wise and more. My style primarily focuses on the fusion of 64bit era video games and future music.
— GRIMECRAFT

Listen to Final Fantasy VII hip hop mashup 'Aerith's Airplanes' by Tovarisch!

Some mashups just fit the mood of both the original song and game so well, and much of the music from Tovarisch! is just that. Aerith's Airplanes is a mix of B.o.B.'s nostalgic track Airplanes along with the somber music of Aerith's Theme from Final Fantasy VII from the PSX.

Enter 2 Mello's 'The 3-6 Chambers' - Final Fantasy vs Wu-Tang mashup album

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Release day review of the free-to-download mashup adventure.

The 2 Mello mashup trilogy comes to a close with The 3-6 Chambers, available to download or stream now over at Scrub Club Records. Seems Mello saved the most intense for last, a 14 track collection of mashups featuring the music from Nobuo Uematsu's Final Fantasy VI soundtrack, remixed and remastered beneath the eclectic flows of classic Wu-Tang Clan.

2 Mello's story-based mashups (as well as other artists like Tovarisch) have forced me to find a new term for this combination of videogame based hip hop storytelling. Henceforth, albums of this caliber will be known as mashup adventure albums. This term means that the album not only collects a variety of catchy tunes and hot vocals, but that attention is also payed to the original meaning of the source material, and becomes remixed and mashed up to convey the heart and mind of the original artists.

Mello sums up the idea of a mashup adventure album well in his own liner notes

The Wu-Tang Clan, the legendary kings of rap, espers buried deep within their 36th chamber of skill, come forth into a land on the brink of destruction. The evil magic-abusing warlord Kefka holds legions of rappers and producers under his iron grip, using his Slave Crowns to make us work for him. The Wu-Tang are able to free me, but I still have to prove my skills in remixing if I am to join them in battle.

This attention to storytelling is something I love in video games and hip hop, and evidently I also crave in my video game hip hop, no matter the source material. 

As a hip hop head, living in Southern California put me at quite the disadvantage in hearing much Wu-Tang in my youth. This means I'm not nostalgic for classic Wu-Tang in quite the same way as when I heard Jay-Z and Nas, both of whom were featured in Mello's previous mashup collections. This means I not only get the chance to hear a brand new collection of head bobbing Mello mashups, but can also up my hip hop game by getting more familiar with the Wu. 

The album dropped this morning, and I am giving it my first listen as I type up these words, so instead of a full review, for now I'll give my initial impressions. On first play through, the album is surprisingly laid back, likely due to the beat choices, which juxtaposes the playful, endless grassy field imagery of classic RPGs with the big city New York rap style of Wu Tang.

On first play through, stand out tracks are currently the opening and closing tracks, "Magic Ruins Everything Around Me", and "The Crew is Back" respectively. Of course there is plenty of meat sandwiched in between.

I have to admit I didn't give the album a straight play through as planned, thanks to "Got Your Treasure" a mixture of ODB and The Veldt (Wild West). I had to hit rewind quite a few times, and really take in the mood of Final Fantasy within the lyrical context of Dirt McGirt. The song takes on the mood of a cocky adventurer busting into caves and dungeons and getting that money.

Catchiest track award has to go to "Da Mystery of Shadow-Boxin'" for the beautiful fusion of the somber Shadow's theme with Da Mystery of Chessboxin.' Headbanger award definitely goes to "Battle Pit." which combines the hard hitting sounds of Gravel Pit with FFVI's main battle theme. It's the FFVI equivalent to Team Teamwork's classic FFVII mashup of M.O.P.

I hope to have a fuller collection of thoughts on the album sometime in the future. I now live in a world in which a mashup album could be one of the most layered and deep albums of the year for me. Isn't that something? Enter The 3-6 Chambers for free via the Scrub Club Records album page. You can also follow 2 Mello's Twitter

Some day, there will be an RPG in which the battles really will have rap music about fighting. That is my dream. A hip hop Persona, or urban Earthbound...

Watch the official teaser trailer for upcoming 2 Mello mashup project Final Fantasy: The 3/6 Chambers

Official teaser video and audio for my upcoming mashup, Final Fantasy: The 3/6 Chambers, featuring the lyrical talents of the Wu-Tang Clan and the beautiful music of Final Fantasy 6, composed by Nobuo Uematsu. I hope you enjoy it. Release date is October 20, 2014 on www.2mello.com.

This is as real as it gets! 

Hip Hop heads who hate that radio BS, and 16-Bit RPG die hards who wouldn't touch a polygon with a ten foot pole have had it coming for some time now. It's the grand finale of the 2 Mello trilogy, and it happens October 20th. This means that this album comes just in time to be my alternate soundtrack to the upcoming Mario Kart 8 updates in mid November.

Introducing game music contributor paxl13

nametag My name is Xavier LaRue and I would like to introduce myself. I'm a 28-year-old male programmer that hopes to share with you guys my love for music. I'm going to help genoboost write articles about music I love as well as many other subjects.

When I was young, I used to play a lot of video games on multiple platforms. I had an NES, a Game Boy, and games such as Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Chrono Trigger. The music in those games left their mark on me.

When I got around to listening to the intro song from the album Roots by Danimal Cannon, I literally fell in love within seconds. That was my chiptunes awakening shall I say. I couldn't believe that this was done using a single Game Boy and was totally impressed.

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Danimal's first album is absolutely phenomenal, but I'm digressing already. After this discovery, I started hunting the web for more of that chip goodness and found Joshua Morse's first Waveform album which has become one of my favorite albums of all time.

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Later on, I bought the first Indie Game Music Bundle and that was my VGM re-awakening. Since then, I've been listening almost exclusively to VGM and VGM related music.

My interest in music is pretty diverse, I enjoy pretty much everything related to VGM. To name a couple of things I absolutely love:

In conclusion, I'll try, through my words, to make you guys feel the passion I have for game music and help you discover more VGM.

Cheers, Xavier "paxl13" LaRue

[Concert Shots] Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy @ Chicago Symphony Center

If you're not yet familiar with the best touring group of composers and musicians, giving it their all to recreate some of the best scores from Final Fantasy games through the ages with orchestras around the world, well-- you are now! Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy returned to Chicago once again on their 2011 tour circuit, teaming up with the Chicago Pops Orchestra at the Symphony Center for not one, but two great shows. A photo account below, featuring guest singers Susan Calloway, and pianist Benyamin Yuss. [gallery]

[Concert Shots] Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy, Rehearsal!

Game Music 4 All was given a rare privilege not too long ago-- on the day of June 25th, I took up my invitation to shoot none other than the Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy rehearsal, just a day before their latest Chicago show took place. Below are some shots from the rehearsal. The crew combined with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra make for one charismatic bunch! [gallery order="ASC" orderby="ID"]

[Concert Shots] Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

The Final Fantasy series is one of great animation, storyline, and among more things, music. The scores of even the oldest games are filled with moving masterpieces, splendid solos, and dramatic ditties, and so when favoured tracks of the best games are orchestrated live on stage, it's something to celebrate. Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy does just that, and with a performance this past November 27th, their popularity has never been higher.

The show began with orchestrations from some late 90s classics, Final Fantasy VIII, followed by a first-time-in-North-America performance of the Final Fantasy I, II, and III re-arrangement medley. Throughout the concert, favourites were played to appeal to all the fans, like VII's "Aerith's Theme" and "Bombing Mission," and even X's "To Zanarkand."

One of the highlights of this performance was hearing some previously unheard music from the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV, which easily gave the fans something to look forward to with both the game and its soundtrack.

A myriad of special guests appeared to help out with the performance, including a flamenco guitarist to help with a couple songs (Valla Alla Flamenco most notably), a vocalist to sing alongside the Kitchener-Waterloo Orchestra during some Final Fantasy XIII tracks, and a triad of singers to perform the "Opera: Maria and Draco." Why, Nobuo Uematsu himself, a regular guest of honour at these shows, joined the choir to sing the "One-Winged Angel" finale.

Following the show, a meet-and-greet was held to give the fans a chance to talk with Arnie Roth and Nobuo Uematsu, and even have some of their memorabilia signed. A great way to end a fantastic show, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's eagerly awaiting the next performance of theirs in the area.

[gallery order="ASC" orderby="title"]

"Distant Worlds" Tokyo/Toronto Ticket Sweepstakes!

That's right! Enter into this contest and possibly win 2 tickets to either the magnificent Final Fantasy concert in Toronto, Canada or Tokyo, Japan. In Toronto, you get 2 tickets and a meet n greet pass so you can meet both Arnie Roth and Nobuo Uematsu himself! For Tokyo, you just win 2 tickets to the concert...in Japan! So it's truly a win win situation. Don't pass it up! For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about you can check out my last year post on my personal experience on going and check out Kyle Mistry's photos he took when he went as well.

This contest is happening up until Sept. 30th.  The Toronto concert is on Nov. 27th, 2010 and Tokyo is on Nov. 6th and 7th, 2010.  It's an amazing concert filled with all your favorite pieces from one of the greatest video games of all time, the Final Fantasy series! Here's the contest, enter it and experience one of the best concerts you'll ever lay eyes on!

Distant Worlds II: more music from Final Fantasy (On Bandcamp!)

DWII album cover
For those of you who enjoyed the splendid orchestrated album filled with various songs from the Final Fantasy series all from an amazing symphony concert that is touring the world(Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy).   There is now a SECOND album with more songs add on in the past year or so. It's got JENOVA's theme, Terra's theme, Zanarkand, and Suteki Da Ne sung by Susan Calloway who was featured on the first album as well. Conducted once again by Arnie Roth and performed by the wonderful Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and sung by Elmhurst College Concert Choir, Distant Worlds II brings back the same powerful feeling the first album gave. It's hauntingly beautiful music will take you back in awe and remind us at how much music can effect video games. In appreciation of Nobuo Uematsu and Final Fantasy, go buy this now for only 10 bucks and refresh your nostalgia with songs that you didn't get to hear the first time around.

Team Teamwork-"Vinyl Fantasy 7"

The ones behind The Ocarina of Rhyme are at again, this time with the world filled with magic powered crystals, men in suits, and men with large-pointy hair. Remixing various hip-hop tracks with FFVII (Final Fantasy VII) tracks you get about 40 minutes of bad-ass mash-ups that you never thought of before.

Featuring Artists like Jay-Z, MF DOOM, Outkast, and Ghostface Killah, this album is clash of top of the line composed work (done by Nobuo Uematsu of course) and some of the most well known hip-hop artists out there. How well these tracks go together will just blow your mind. For example, hearing Outkast's(ft. Raekwon) "Royal Flush" match up to "Sailing from Junon" was, in my opinion, one of the gleaming gems off this album.  This album is nothing but, what I would call, magical!  Especially if you enjoy hip-hop and video game music.

Waking up to find this was indeed a good start of a day.  There is no minimum in donating but you really should anyway because Team Teamwork is awesome!  Download it now and check out what crazy mixes they have created this time!

Editors Note: Sadly the Bandcamp page for this album has been taken down, but you can find the album over at Team Teamwork's tumblr page.

Week in Video Game Inspired Music 1/11 - 1/17

I am finally back with the first This Week in VGIM of the new year, and decade, and millenium (depending on where you start counting). Up above we have some incredible artwork by zgul-osr1113 and goes by the name Like Jazz Zora band Indigogos. This piece definitely has video game music written...ahem...drawn all over it! Well in site related news I have to reiterate that we have our second release. This time it's some ambient space tunes courtesy of Doug Leinen and his new album Songs to Sing in Space (download here). I have been away for a bit due to unforeseen circumstances that were mentioned before, so there is a huge list of remixes this time around. Now let's get down to the nitty gritty of the news.

NEWS

PODCASTS

REMIXES Latest Remix:ThaSauce releases

Latest OCReMix releases

Other singles and releases

VIDEO Video this week is pretty crazy, but hard not to enjoy, and comes our way via Nobuooo and Tiny Cartridge. The song is “Star Soldier - Soul of the 16 Shot” by Takahashi Meijin and IOSYS and Tiny Cartridge has this to say about it, "This wondrous music video comes from Takahashi Meijin Legend: Soul of the 16-Shot, an upcoming album remixing songs from classic Hudson titles like Lode Runner, Challenger, and Milon’s Secret Castle."

It definitely sounds like this should be one catchy, album of some of the more overlooked classic themes of the NES era. Enjoy, and don't get your mind blown too much.

Remember to leave a comment with awesome articles, songs, videos, art, etc. for next weeks round up as well!

Photoshoots of Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

Kyle Mistry, GM4A photographer and Rhymetorrent's Doctor MC Mystery, made an excellent decision on attending the "Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy" concert on December 12, 2009. He got to experience the almost same performance as I got to experience last summer. This show in particular added a few extra goodies for fans and new listeners to indulge in such as the lovely Susan Calloway who sang "Melodies of Life" and a sneak peek into the music of Final Fantasy XIV. This show was also performed by the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra and the Elmhurst College Concert ChoirHere I chose a few of the fantastic shots that Kyle took at the Rosemont Theatre.

Arnie Roth, conductor, and orchestra setting the mood.

Susan Calloway performing.

"Melodies of Life" from Final Fantasy IX

Nobuo Uematsu, the composer.

My personal favorite, "Suteki da Ne" from Final Fantasy X.

I'm a firm believer that these pictures will have you anxiously waiting to see if Distant Worlds will be performing near you.   Please go and see all the other wonderful photos here and comment on Kyle's much appreciated work.

Dissidia Soundtrack: Review


Yesterday, August 25th, a new game was relaeased from Square Enix for the PSP(Playstation Portable) called Dissidia. A fighting game consisting of all the main heroes from the series including the villains. And with it, came a fun impressive soundtrack.

Takehuru Ishimoto, Mitsuto Suzuki, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Your Favorite Enemies, Naoshi Mizuta, Hitoshi Sakimoto and Bill Xtillidiex Muir all were able to create new versions of all the original Final Fantasy songs. There were 2-3 songs from each game. Usually battle music or over world music. The are also a few brand new songs just for Dissidia.

Hearing Uematsu's songs re-done was interesting, enjoyable and even surprising. My personal favorites are "The Order that must be Protected" and "Those Who Fight Further" from FFVII. "The Order that must be Protected" has a melancholy and beautiful sound that sets the game perfectly and "Those Who Fight Further" makes good use of a synthesizer. The soundtrack overall will please any Final Fantasy fan. It's as if you are listening to a whole case of music in tribute to Final Fantasy. Then again, Dissidia is kind of like a tribute to Final Fantasy (in a way). So buy it and here's to cross-overs, victory fanfares, and music that will set you off into a Final Fantasy binge.

-Chibi Ma

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy


On the night of July 10th, 2009, Dreams came true. At the Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA the Seattle Symphony decided to hold a Distant Worlds concert. For those of you that don't know what Distant Worlds is, it's a concert performed by professional orchestras across the globe playing various pieces from the Final Fantasy series. They have gone to many places already including Singapore, Stockholm, Taipei and the upcoming San Francisco performance which is on July 18th, 2009 at the Davies Symphony Hall. For those of you who know me or have read my first blog on here know what a big Final Fantasy fan I am. I have also mentioned in my first blog about how Nobuo Uematsu, the composer of Final Fantasy, is my hero and I would love to meet him. Well, the chance came by after reading news of Nobuo Uematsu will be attending the Distant Worlds concert in Seattle. It was 2 weeks before the concert and I instantly needed to go. A good friend and I figured out our money, got gas, and on Friday started driving to the city.

When we finally got to Seattle we parked the car and headed in to the big Benaroya Hall. As I walked in, people were everywhere in semi-formal clothing and the occasional someone with a moogle hat or an FF plushie of some sort. Final Fantasy was in the air and I was on cloud nine. The doors open and we went in to take our seats. The inside was 3 levels high (I was on the orchestra floor) and the room was instantly packed. Made me even more thankful I was able to get tickets in time. As we waited I could hear the orchestra tuning their instruments and getting prepared. Hearing glimpses of Aerith's Theme and To Zanarkand already had me at the edge of my seat. As the concert started, Nobuo Uematsu himself walked out on to the stage and bowed to the audience. Everyone stood and cheered in praise of him. I was taken back, I wasn't expecting to see him right away! After that pleasant surprise the conductor, Arnie Roth, came out to get things started. The spotlight was on the Choral and the Final Fantasy VIII logo flashed across the screen. A huge smile grew across my face for they were singing/playing Liberi Fatali. Images from the game played with Squall Leonhart and Seifer Almasy fighting added with scenes of Rinoa Heartilly and the antagonist Sorceress Edea. A great way to start off the concert! After, Roth said his welcomes and told us what we were in for tonight. The next song they played was To Zanarkand from Final Fantasy X. I have to say, this was probably the most beautiful version I have heard of this piece. Although I like this piece a lot and have always found it hauntingly beautiful it didn't really stand out to me. But this performance totally changed my view. I was literally brought to tears on this one. Scenes of Tidus and Yuna was just absolutely wonderful. The screen cleared and then we saw FFVIII game play! The whole crowd chuckled for we knew it was random battle time. Don't Be Afraid was epic! There was so much power behind it. I definitely felt the energy from the performance. What came afterwards is something very dear to my heart, Aerith's Theme. First, Aerith Gainsborough happens to be my favorite video game character ever so to hear her theme performed by a professional orchestra live is absolutely breathtaking. Combine that with scenes with Aerith and you have a moved Chibi Ma. Are you ready to get old school? Medley I-III was awesome! It had it all, town songs, battle, chocobo themes, etc. Definitely can bring up anyone's mood. For Final Fantasy V, you had acoustic with a mix of Amano art. Very well done! I do wish they showed some FFV game play but in the end, lovely. Vamo alla Flamenco was fun and lively! Good pick from Final Fantasy IX. FFIX also is my favorite Final Fantasy so I wish they had other song picks but this works.

Here's my favorite from the concert, Love Grows from Final Fantasy VIII. I'm a total hopeless romantic and a big fan of Squall and Rinoa so to hear the main love theme made a very content moogle here. Okay, not a big fan of Final Fantasy XI but great song none the less! Ronfaure gave you the big adventure feeling as it should! To end part one, they played the Final Fantasy Main Theme. Need I say more? This song is a staple to a FF concert. To not have it would be outrageous. Off into part 2 they had to make a few changes unfortunately. They went straight into FFVII: Opening-Bombing Mission, good pick to open the second half! Fisherman's Horizon from FFVIII afterwards was wonderful as always. Another FFXI, Memoro de la Stono was big, deep, and just enjoyable. The Man with the Machine Gun from FFVIII was great and Swing de Chocobo was hilarious. Now here’s the sad part for me, they had to cut out Theme of Love from FFIV. This song happens to be one of my most favorite FF songs so i was disappointed to not hear it. Opera-Maria and Draco from FFVI was gorgeous. It was sung by Angela Niederloh, Stephen Rumph and Michael Delos. To finish off the concert was Terra's Theme from FFVI. Another favorite, done wonderfully! As the credits for the concert played the crowd cheered and clapped (especially for Tetsuya Nomura, Yoshitaka Amano and of course Nobuo Uematsu).
In conclusion, this concert was something to remember. Listening and watching made me realize how Uematsu's work has brought so many different kinds of people together. That not only gamers but others outside are starting to appreciate it for it is. These masterpieces need to be known and acknowledge and it was!! The Meet and Greet with Nobuo Uematsu at the end was what really meant something to me. Nobuo has been a hero of mine since I was 13 years old. His music has inspired me, motivated me, and is the reason why I know the piano today. I never thought I would ever get to meet him. Yet there I was shaking his hand. Nobuo Uematsu is so nice and polite. He's down to earth and treats his fans so well. I am so thankful I got to meet him. Something I will remember for the rest of my life. Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this concert, fantastic music, spirited audience, and a legend to meet and memories to share. This is a chance that shouldn't be missed.