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.

The Returners can't stop rocking in their debut album 'Immune to Silence'

VGMetal doesn't get classier than this. 

As I've mentioned before, The holidays present a cavalcade of new VGM into my ears and mind, so it pains me sorely to not get to dig into this album deeper at the moment. Perhaps The Returners would be kind enough to do an interview sometime next year...

The debut release by The Returners, Immune to Silence, is wonderful in it's entirety. Today I am going to key in on a block of songs placed in the center of the album. Tracks 4-6 are absolutely ripe, and have quickly dug themselves into my heart. The group of songs begins with a stirring Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past medley "The Master Sword Awaits." The Returners put on their pegasus boots and sprint through several classic themes from Link to the Past. The defining moment of the track for me, the first strains of the Kakariko Village theme that emerge on piano. As the other instruments drop in, the warmth of the music easily shines through. It's easy to imagine all the highlights of Link's journey through Hyrule and the dark world as each portion plays.

As evidenced by many of the things about me as a person, I love the Zelda series, so clearly this arrangement was exactly my jam. Shockingly though, my favorite track on Immune to Silence is not Zelda, but the a track I have no nostalgia for at all. I've never played the game that track five is based on. Despite that obvious handicap, Ecco The Tides of Time tribute "Songs of Strange Creatures in the Sea" is just so damn enthralling. The track opens with the darkness of the deep ocean, as a spiraling flute and crashing drum march over a deathly slow beat.

As an aside, it's about time I got a new Ecco II track to listen to, in a quick search, turns out This Place is Haunted's moody 13 minute ode to Ecco is over five years old at the time of The Returners' album release. I'm not sure if any other bands have performed music from Ecco II in the interim, but I would certainly like to know.

As for The Returners' Ecco The Tides of Time medley, the music shifts into some adventurous metal and synth work and funky riffs. This medley spans the darkest to the most fun (at least until some cartoons play) moments on the album in the span of five minutes.

The final piece of this juicy block of music, and perhaps the crown jewel of the album is "The Best is Yet to Come." Any Metal Gear Solid fans will be damn near moved to tears with this arrangement. 

The rest of the album contains a variety of other one of a kind arrangements and medleys paying tribute to Final Fantasy VI, StarCraft, Lufia, Phantasy Star, Star Ocean, and even a saturday morning cartoon medley. 

Though this is The Returners' first studio album, the group has been around the VGM scene for a few years now, and it is great to see their potential so fully realized in their debut.

Grab the debut album for $10 download, or go the classy physical CD route for $15 on the Immune to Silence Bandcamp page.