A backwards trip into game music in RETROGRESSION: VOL.1 by Stemage

A backwards trip into game music in RETROGRESSION: VOL.1 by Stemage

If there is something I love, it;s gimmicks! I have had the chance to hear various reversed and inverted game sounds in my decade or so of listening to VGM. Stemage is the latest of these wayward composers to take some beloved themes and twist them into semi recognizable bursts of sound. Listen to these awesome tracks, forwards and backwards!

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Fall in love with the space metal EP Narrowband by Stemage

Start listening, never stop.

t's difficult to put into words what makes Stemage so special, especially to my ears. All I really know is that when I start listening to his arrangements, I don't stop. 

Stemage lays down half an hour of his patented space rock anthems. There are no metroids in this galaxy, but Stemage still takes listeners on a journey through vast spaces and alien worlds. 

Narrowband is a 30-minute instrumental, color-themed journey slathered in heavy, riffy, space rock.

— Stemage

Check out the new album 'Retro-Active Pt. 1' by Keiji Yamagishi, composer of Ninja gaiden

After two years of work, musician Keiji Yamagishi and director Mohammed Taher are ready to unveil their year-long project titled THE RETRO-ACTIVE EXPERIENCE. Keiji Yamagishi is a Famicom-era pioneer and has composed music for some of the most beloved gaming franchises, notably Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Bowl, Captain Tsubasa and Gitaroo Man. Twenty-five years later and surer of his place in life, Keiji Yamagishi is stepping into the limelight once more to present his first-ever solo project, split into three parts to be released throughout 2015, beginning with Retro-Active Pt. 1 in February. Inspired from his Famicom days and fueled with more passion and directness, Keiji Yamagishi sends us all into a “futuristic emotional chiptunes world”, as he himself has described it.

For the Retro-Active project, Keiji Yamagishi infuses his early Famicom roots with modern sounds and production in collaboration with notable audio and visual artists, including Marco Guardia (of Flutlicht, DJ Tatana) as mixing engineer. Part 1 sees Yamagishi dabble in forward-thinking chiptunes and guitar-driven melodies, including collaborations with Mega Man’s legendary composer Manami Matsumae and eclectic guitarist Stemage (of Metroid Metal) on 4 tracks. The mini-album features remixes by Brave Wave’s Takahiro Izutani (of Bayonetta) and newcomer Smoke Thief, as well as Yamagishi’s friend Masatoshi Arai from back in their Famicom days.

With art by David Hellman (of Braid, Second Quest) and Cory Schmitz (of Below, PlayStation), director Mohammed Taher works to combine audio and visual into an explosive and exciting comeback.
— Keiji Yamagishi

New track 'Memories of T' by Keiji Yamagishi (Ninja Gaiden composer) feat. Stemage

Ninja Gaiden inspired chip rock awesomeness from Ninja Gaiden's Keiji Yamagishi and Metroid Metal founder Stemage from the album Retro-Active Pt. 1

How am I barely finding out about this!? 

New album by the composer of Ninja Gaiden! www.theverge.com/2015/2/5/7978743…r-new-solo-album

Memories of T is a melody-driven, Ninja Gaiden-like track from Keiji Yamagishi’s new album Retro-Active Pt. 1, and the precursor to the development of the album. The track features Metroid Metal’s founder Stemage on guitars!

Yamagishi is a Famicom legend and is famous for composing Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Super Bowl, Captain Tsubasa, Dynasty Warriors and more.

Buy it from:-
Bandcamp: store.bravewave.net/album/retro-active-pt-1

iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/album/retro-a…t.-1/id956657030

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Retro-Active-Pt-1…shi/dp/B00S0OSQOK
— Brave Wave

Various VGM artists remix the music of Big Giant Circles in 'The Glory Days Remixed'


An array of video game musicians congregate over 11 remixed tracks from Big Giant Circles' original The Glory Days album. Nearly every name on the list of remixers has been a favorite musician of mine at some point through this blogs history. Even with compilations and collaborations happening easier than ever thanks to easy internet file sharing, it's still amazing to me to see a gathering of musicians of this caliber for one purpose. 

This album also scribbles all over the blurry line that now exists between video game music, and video game remixes.

The songs themselves are as vibrant and varied as the contributors themselves. Stemage and Zantzilla go on a chip rock rendezvous in their remix of Snowcones. Mega Ran, who is clearly in the running for hardest working man in nerdcore, appears with a gritty flow on the track Vindicate Me. One of the stand out track on early listens has been the aggressively funky electronic keyboards of C-Jeff's 'No Party like a Mojang Party remix. Nothing says Glory Days like this arcade rocking dance track.

With musicians like these, you can't go wrong, grab the album starting from $10 on the Big Giant Circles bandcamp page.

Watch LONELYROLLINGSTARS perform a rock remix of "Royal Rainbow Road" from Mario Kart Double Dash


The fully capitalized LONELYROLLINGSTARS have recently published their first music video on their brand new, official Youtube channel.

Listen to the soaring sounds of niche classic Mario Kart Double Dash!! from the oft-forgotten Gamecube era. This song makes me continue to hold out hope that Co-op play will one day be reintroduced to the Mario Kart series.

"Alas, my children, the time has come for cosmic reconfiguration. The portion of my being known as Grant "Stemage" Henry has graduated to realms beyond my reach. May this prince soar for a fulfilling portion of eternity. But indeed the stars hath bestowed upon me a puzzle piece identical in shape to the gap left behind. I beseech you welcome into the fortress of our heart the newest Lonely Rolling Star: Ryan "MegaBeardo" Postlethwait.

Videogame Rock supergroup LONELYROLLINGSTARS debut album CARNIVORTEX


A group of VG Musicians have fallen into a black hole and reached the singularity. The result? Scientists can only describe it as a CARNIVORTEX. The debut album by LONELYROLLINGSTARS bursts with lively arrangements from the supergrouping of Ailsean, Cubosh, finbeard, norg, and Stemage. From the intricately rearranged cover of the Gamecube start screen, I knew this album was going to be something else entirely.

The group absolutely crushes it arena rock style in the stemage arranged "LONELYR~.BAT" an energy filled prog rock rendition of Lonely Rolling Star from Katamari Damacy. Like any great album, the ending song is both lengthy, soaring, and memorable. I may have listened to this grande finale as many times as every other song on the album combined. 

As the song, and album come to a close, the instruments appear to dwindle until a jarring break brings the song back to its raucous beginnings, sending the album out with a bang. Simultaneously blowing my mind, and making me hit replay on this album again.

All star VG musicians pay tribute to the Donkey Kong Country series in the DKC Mix't Ape '94

Nearly 3 Dozen tracks honor 20 years of superb video game music.

Over a dozen VGM musicians contribute to a celebration of a Gorilla, who once, along with a few sidekicks, beat up a bunch of reptiles. 35 tracks of music from the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy for SNES. Hours of high quality listening that I couldn't even begin to cover, so I'm not even going to try. The album speaks for itself, with the all star gathering of VGM talent, along with the source material by David Wise.

Grab the album completely free at the official Bandcamp page for the DKC Mix't Ape '94.

The full list of contributors, which I feel compelled to provide, are Cory Johnson, Grant "Stemage" Henry, Marshall Art, Super Guitar Bros, Droidekka, missingNO, James Moats, William Reyes, MegaBeardo, PokeMatt, Lucio Baldomero, Dave ReardonJosh EdgintonJoe CorbettWild GunmenThe World is RareEight Bit DisasterDJ SonikBusterJohn WeibleJer RoqueJoshua CorteseAdam HenryJustin Taylor, Codename Trigger Thumb, and The Nate Horsfall Experience.

Can't wait for the next oneThanks to Big Mat for curating the release, I am very excited for the next compilation in 2015, which will be curated by Nate Horsfall.

Black Ice by Mega Beardo, a black metal tribute to ice stages in video games


Ice cold guitar covers of classic video game music.

I'm a fan of the slipping and sliding of ice worlds in video games. Those precise frozen platforms that take both skill and knowledge to traverse. Mega Beardo pays tribute to these treacherous stages in his latest album Black Ice.

The album kicks off with one of my personal favorite ice worlds in all of gaming, that of Super Mario Bros. 3. The disturbingly titled World 666 begins with the same haunting vibe of the original before going full on metal for the next four minutes.

The rest of the album also includes black metal arrangements of music from Sonic and The Goonies II. Also, guest appearances by two other VGMetal rockers in Viking Guitar and the one and only Stemage.

The album is available now for any price, including free.

Stemage - Where Good Marbles Go to Die (Marble Madness) album release

After almost thirty years, doctors have yet to come up with a cure for Marble Madness. Stemage gathers his friends to lament spherical fever in this seven song album. Along with musical geniuses such as xoc, housethegrate, and more, it may truly be, that all great artists have some form of marble madness...

Metroid Metal - Expansion Pack EP release

Metroid Metal - Expansion Pack
Metroid Metal - Expansion Pack

I am not even sure where to begin with this post. As soon as I fired this album up I was blasted with such incredible energy and fantastic musicianship that it's been a challenge to simply write this article rather than just rock out and air guitar for the entirety of this album. Unfortunately there isn't an onomatopoeia for 'headbang' yet, so I actually have to write about this album with only the vocabulary at hand.

From their humble beginnings Metroid Metal has become an incredible live force to be reckoned with, having played to thousands of fans at the Penny Arcade Expo and MAGFest and releasing one of the best albums of last year. Looks like they aren't satisfied though, as they aim to have the greatest album of this year as well. The group has recently announced the release of six newly recorded tracks from the whole band, and called that release, Expansion Pack.

For those who have not had the chance to see them live at PAX or MAGFest, you have been missing out. I had the good fortune of getting to see them perform earlier this year at PAX East and was simply blown away. It can be difficult for a group without a lead singer to gain traction with folks, but Metroid Metal had a stage presence all their own. You would be hard pressed to turn your attention away from them at any part of their live set. Luckily for the folks who could not travel out to Metroid Metal sanctioned events, the group has taken several songs that they have been performing live, and gone into the studio to create Expansion Pack. This EP is freely available to download via Metroid Metal's bandcamp page. Now don't consider this a mere extra to their amazing debut album though, as we have half an hour of incredible arrangements starting with the highly memorable theme to Metroid Prime to kick this album right into high gear.

This album is definitely more than a simple expansion, boasting six songs and clocking in at half an hour. Leading from the amazing opener, we also hear incredible music from one of my personal favorite games, Super Metroid, with the themes to Brinstar and Criteria. Brinstar's ominous beeps are transformed into full on guitar and the effect is incredible. It's hard to imagine that these songs were ever written any other way. In the same vein, Crateria's fiery depths are also recreated brilliantly by the group. Keeping the same dangerous atmosphere of the original while still creating a head banging wall of music to rock out to.

Expansion Pack also boasts two songs from the NES days with Norfair, a driving, intense, track that builds into an epic boss fighting and destroying end. Then we have the incredible rendition of Tourian/Mother Brain, which pushes forward just as hard as the other tracks. With stomping guitar riffs and spiraling out of control solos. The group took another amazingly ambient Metroid piece and made it feel like it was only ever intended to be an immense metal song.

To close out this amazing EP is a medley of Prime 3 Theme/Bryyo. This track starts out hard, but slowly morphs into an atmospheric rock anthem. This final track alone is incredible and varied enough to leave any Metroid fan happy, not to mention exhausted from all the headbanging that will be done. So grow your hair out and get ready to head bang by downloading Expansion Pack right now.

Josh Whelchel announces Songs for the Cure '10 - charity album for cancer research

Songs for the Cure '10 from Josh Whelchel on Vimeo.

Like the past couple years, Josh Whelchel has been hard at work organizing compilations among the video game composer, chiptune, and VG remix communities and more for a noble cause. That cause is the Songs for the Cure 2010 compilation. The goal of the album is to raise money for the Relay for Life event held specifically at the University of Cincinnati and the American Cancer Society through music. The goal is to raise 10,000 dollars for cancer research by April 23rd, 2010. As of the time of this writing they are at exactly $3,194...No wait. $3,198 dollars. With your help the goal of 10,000 can be reached, and hopefully even surpassed over the next two months!

RIght now until March 1st (which is only a few days away!) the album is available with a donation right now. Head over to cancerdrive.org and send $10 to this great cause and you will receive a digital copy of the album in both MP3 and FLAC audio formats. If you want to really help though, a donation of $25 will net you a fancy free hard copy (and no S&H either). These prices only last until March 1st though, so be sure to place your orders right away!

What do you get on this album you might be asking though. Well you will be getting amazing music from the following list of performers, which include some of the best and brightest from VG Rock, VG Remixes, chiptunes, VGM, and independent music.

Two Seconds Away, Stemage, David DiMuzio, Alec & Eileen Holowka, Josh Whelchel, Jay Tholen, Big Giant Circles, Jessi Bair, Inez S. deDeugd-McComas, Morgen La Civita, Michael Huang, David Saulesco, Renee Winter, Tara Morrow, Helen Austin, Chiwawa, Inverse Phase, Michael Tanenbaum, Average Joe Crane, Roth Herrlinger, Melinda Hershey, Rich Brilli, Midnight Prophet, Bradley Burr, Rob Westwood, Terry Whitehead, Fever Pitch, FFMusicDJ & Postgoodism, Battlecake, Craig Stern, Danny Clay, T.R. Beery, Martha Mingle, Zen Albatross, 5 of 6, Barry van Oudtshoorn, J.W. Hendricks, 12 Followers/Meteo Xavier, Poolside, Gonçalo Lourenço, and more!

And to give you a taste of some of these amazing tracks, Josh Whelchel has sent me a demo for you to check out or download below. And remember, donate now at cancerdrive.org! [gplayer href="http://gamemusic4all.com/audio/Songs%20for%20the%20Cure%20%2710%20Preview.mp3"]Songs for the Cure 2010 preview featuring Stemage - The Challenger; Tara Morrow - Your Name; Battlecake - Time Scar (Chrono Cross Arr.); and Josh Whelchel - Sing Gloria (feat. Tara Morrow, Melinda Hershey, Rich Brilli)[/gplayer] Download Songs for the Cure 2010 Preview