I'm still working on the enormous backlog of music by MC Larny since discovering his work in early 2013, which can be difficult when the hits just keep coming. Take the new album Project Nightmare: Lost Levels II, what might appear to be forgotten and thrown away tracks have a true vibrancy to them. Perhaps it's the phenomenal and ever present drum work, or the glitched out incursions bleeding over the edges of this collection. Likely, much of it may be due to the funked up remix of Sonic Spinball that I like to imagine I played a part in.
The leaf shield takes a more metaphorical meaning in this instrumental album of video game inspired beats known as Nintendo and Kush.
Straight from Real Soul is this mixtape of laid back funk and soul mixed with spiraling electronic sounds and a hint of despair. Real Soul is also a guy once making awesome video game beats in Los Angeles who has also mysteriously vanished from posting music online. What an interesting non-coincidence I think.
Also don't do drugs. But if you are already doing drugs, do some to this album.
It takes a lot to step up the badassity of the name of Samus Aran. Well Sammus can call herself the intergalactic bounty hunter of rhymes, and she's already reached M'other Brain. I'm going to be nodding my head to this one for a while. Video game inspired beats, smart rhymes, and a strong woman.
Hmm, that cover art bears a striking resemblance to another great album. Some hard rocking, guitar grinding, double drum pedal pedalling metal in the tune of Earthbound, Pokemon, and (quote ridden, just how I like it) Starfox 64 in Ben Price's collection of video game covers Press Start. Now head bang like your hair ain't been cut!
Absolutely sick beat production, taking anime, video games, blending them together with some of the dirty bass and you have some dope beats by City of Thieves. Grab the album, and maybe you too will be Princes of the Universe.
Ambient chiptune fusion like floating over a sea of that type of water that kills you automatically if you fall in. Relaxing yet deep and somber. Rock along gently against these sixteen bit soundwaves in Continuum Kingdom's latest release Adventure Forever.
Make sure to stick around and here the incredible, drum-rich ending in my personal favorite track on the album, Skull Prince.
<a href="http://continuumkingdom.bandcamp.com/album/adventure-forever">Adventure Forever by Continuum Kingdom</a>
Some clappin' loops to get down to. ABCBeats brings the power of the polygon to his album Super Beats 64. Get down to a mix of remixed instrumentals of Super Mario 64 and Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time.
ALBUM CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FROM ARTIST
Hard rocking Earthbound rolling tunes from Through Self Indulgence. T.S.D. is one man, and he has come to rock some Earthbound covers (and F-Zero aw yeah!) in the EB EP. I hope that implies a future LP of all the Earthbound songs (and some Mother 3 also). Well I can dream.
The world's most active KORG DS-10 artist, HarleyLikesMusic has just released a new 10-track album through Pterodactyl Squad entitled The Sixth Extinction.
HarleyLikesMusic's debut on Pterodactyl Squad is an epic concept album: the soundtrack to various threats (zombies, aliens and dinosaurs) to the earth's human population. Using his Nintendo DS Harley creates industrial synth sounds and sets them to bouncy rhythms, but on The Sixth Extinction he gives his music a decidedly dark twist.
This guy is the world's premier KORG DS-10 musician for a reason - now you can find out why.
You can also hear Harley explain the whole concept behind the release through his Soundcloud page (with Joe of the Gamewave Podcast).
Square-Enix Composer Takeharu Ishimoto has been posting a variety of live remixes from his soundtrack to The World Ends With You. There are also a smattering of other songs spread through out.
I was a big fan of a lot of the things that The World Ends With You brought to the table. A fast-paced modern day RPG with a distinct look, and even more distinct sound. That sound is thanks to Ishimoto's uptempo fusion of rock and techno. This is even more distinct in a well-recorded live setting.
It's hard to believe that the game came out all the way back in 2008. Battle system wise, I don't think any RPG has matched it since. This game was very unique and made the most of the dual screen technology of the DS. Considering the layout of the 3DS, it's hard to believe that if this game does get a true sequel, the gameplay will look similar to the original. I do hope that the crew gets back together and does another game with a similar style, but let this title rest with it's incredible and unique style of gameplay. What happened to spiritual successors in video games?
Flying Fortress is riding through on vanilla chrome, again! Over the top rhymes and and epic beats await you when you meet the Gatekeepers 2.0. That's right, this shit has upgraded to a whole new level. The group combines underground Los Angeles rap with the largely internet based territory of nerdcore emcees. Flying Fortress is a hip hop group made up of video game playing, anime loving, nerd embracing emcees and producers, Nameless, LC, k!x, and Illgill. The group combines their powers like a mecha tank ready to take over Los Angeles. I've had the pleasure of seeing them perform on several occasions, and the same energy they bring to their live sets are certainly present on this album. Gatekeepers 2.0 is the groups sophomore album and was released December 2011 for download via bandcamp. The official liner notes read,
"The album "Gatekeepers 2.0" embodies influences from Los Angeles' eclectic Hip-Hop scenes and the Nerdcore phenomenon. The four emcees/producers fused their distinct styles to make this music project the entrance to their further works and histories. This album delivers a healthy dose of electro-funk with a "Party On!" attitude. Raise your drinks and prepare for take-off with Flying Fortress' "Gatekeepers 2.0"! "
I can tell you one thing. Kirby Superstar's The Great Cave Offensive theme has never sounded this intense or offensive until Flying Fortress' track Hungry. Beside the instant Kirby classic, I have a strong smattering of favorites from this album. Vanilla Chrome remains a modern nerd classic. The free to download bonus track Anime drops a ton of old school anime references. The album finishes off with Final Fantasy Finale, a track that quickly veers into a dirty but driving victory theme for Flying Fortress to ride out in style. The album is available to stream, or to download for $5. You can also download the aforementioned track Anime for free.
Positive Infinity is a collaborative group from Miami, Florida that was created by the brothers David and Jonathan Roberts in late 2005. They have been working on Serket for a little over seven years. One of their dream was to create a jazz album where live instruments would combine with chip sounds!
Upon listening to the first track, you'll realize that this is exactly what they have achieved. Each track is carefully designed to give the listener the impression that the live instruments share the same stage as the chip instruments.
Positive Infinity's album is very well recorded and mastered. It gives the listener the impression of a private concert in their home. This feeling is reinforced by the fact that they really took the time to humanize each chip instrument. Each one of them is filled with a lot of emotion and feels as if it were real.
This album will stay in my daily playlist for a long time and if I'd have to choose, I think my personal favorite would be the title track, Serket. I like the ambient - jazz mash-up and it really sounds lively.
I'd recommend everyone go grab Positive Infinity's album or at least stream it on bandcamp, it is awesome!
Perhaps it is because of the shadow of Michael Jackson that lives on in the Sega Genesis' FM chip. Maybe it's the pop sensibilities of Jun Senoue and Crush 40 from the Sonic The Hedgehog series. All I know is that the Genesis is custom built for the catchy synth sounds captured in The Flight Away's latest album, Sega Swing.
Pop music isn't always the most well-liked, especially in a genre as niche as VG inspired Genesis sampled chiptune music, but those pop sensibilities are necessary and very much appreciated as I continue to adventure through the vibrant depths of video game inspired music.
I have been listening to Team Teamwork and his summer mixtapes for the past several years, but with the release of Dude, Whatever, It's Summer 2013 (and that SMB3 intro) I can finally share with you the awesomeness of this odd but mood setting compilation of banging beats and classic jams.
Team Teamwork uses his mashing, clipping, and sampling prowess to create 45 minutes of pop hits like you've never heard them before. That SMB3 intro Yo La Tango is the first glimpse of what's to come. All of this creates the perfect set of tunes to blast while driving to the beach (or sitting inside writing). All I know is that, when that California sun is heaving down flaming heat balls upon me, it is time for some Team Teamwork!
Musician and remixer Joshua Morse has recently released Waveform 4. The album is a catchy, surreal journey through jazz and rock inspired chiptune arrangements.
"Waveform 4 incorporates sounds from the Super Nintendo as well as FM Synthesis to form a blend of 5 original Jazz-Fusion arrangements." Joshua Morse says on the album's official bandcamp page.
It has been over a year since the release of Waveform III. This sequel to the 2012 precursor covers a lot of ground in five tracks. My personal favorite track opens the album. 'Turtle Dance 3' is an upbeat jazz that makes you want to have an elevator dance party. Another favorite is the closing track, 'It's Like Flying'. The closer starts out slow, but morphs into a soaring, over-the-top track that takes you high above the clouds. The fusion of FM synthesis mixed with samples from the SNES on this track create something akin to playing Pilotwings' skydiving stagein which you drop into 1940's Las Vegas at night.
Published August 2, the album is now available to download starting at $5.
Sometimes, for one reason or another, music by great artists goes largely unnoticed by the masses. In the eyes of many chiptune fans lpower is one of those artists. His "soundtrack of a soundtrack", Abinox dropped in November last year and gained cult status among certain sections of the chiptune community. Many fans were overjoyed to hear news of a sequel, and today that sequel hit the internet in the form of Abinox II. Little is known about lpower himself, but Telefuture and Pterodactyl Squad have teamed up to make sure that's not the case with his music. The digital version of Abinox II is available for free through Pterodactyl Squad, while Telefuture have produced a run of 50 cassettes which are now selling for $8 over at the Telefuture store. The cassettes are a sight to behold, professionally duplicated with orange shells, white imprinting, and green tinted cases.
Word is that lpower is already working on the third and final part of the Abinox trilogy. Don't miss out on experiencing what Pterodactyl Squad are calling a release that "pushes the boundaries of chiptune".
With Abinox I lpower explored what makes a video game soundtrack tick. On Abinox II he returns with a similar concept in mind. Once again, the basic components (sounds, structures and emotions) of his favourite soundtracks are used as building blocks, this time using a wider sound palette, including the Nintendo Entertainment System and DX7 Synthesizer, allowing space for more experimentation and resulting in a deeper, darker release. Moreover, the compositions are longer but refuse to repeat or loop, creating a strong narrative and constant progression. Telefuture and Pterodactyl Squad can safely say that this is one sequel that doesn't suck.
Rapper and super producer, 2Mello has dropped his latest mashup project, Nastlevania, a surreal trip into the most bumping house party ever held in Dracula's Mansion. More than just a simple mashup project, 2Mello has found himself in the midst of an increasingly complex series of mashups, announcing that this is the second of three albums planned in this vein.
In the official liner notes, 2mello describes the idea behind his latest production. He says, "This time around, we have rapper Nas fighting his way through Dracula's Castle. Turns out Nas is a Belmont by blood. He has been summoned in our modern-day to defeat Dracula, who has decided he wants to be a rapper and is using the more mindless rap consumers to feed him with their souls in his return to power. Nas must defeat this king of mediocrity and bring back good music to those who have lost their souls to evil."
I'm a huge fan of these types of mashups, and it seems like 2Mello is the first producer to really understand why. His added content encapsulates this alternate Nas reality, creating an almost radio musical type atmosphere. It is certainly an album that needs to be heard, even for those not familiar with the back catalogs for either Nas or Castlevania.
For folks wanting to find out more about 2Mello and his mashup related endeavors, I recently conducted an interview with 2mello. We discuss much of the work and ideals contained in his previous mashup album Chrono Jigga. You can read the article now on gamentrain.com.
From out of the blue comes Videogame Orchestra's latest project - an album of bossa nova chiptunes, each one dedicated to a beach in Brazil. The release is called Chiptune Verão and contains over an hour of chilled out summer-themed music.
In fact, the release is split into two discs; the first contains the original 8-bit renditions and the second has their 16-bit counterparts. I can't imagine anything better than lounging on the beach this summer with this playing in the background.
Recent release, Spacious Anxious, the latest album from Youngstown, Ohio-based chiptune composer sleepytimejesse seems to be summoning the spirit of Hip Tanaka if he had gone on to compose the music to all those incredible N64 games that never came out (Earthbound 64, Metroid 64...sigh).