The World is Square - No Phoenix Down Can Save You Now album release

Not since a noble pair known as Elfonso popped out of the UK have I heard some music that is so simultaneously catchy and strange. Much like video games, I have an affinity for novelty in music. I like new experiences and the eclectic sound of The World is Square definitely fits those parameters. I can just see myself listening to No Phoenix Down Can Save You Now at the millennial fair, and chugging down beers sodas. Listen to this album when preparing to finally settle a mystery once and for all, or when sitting around a campfire.

Elfonso self titled debut album

Those that know me, know that I can't stop talking about how amazing I find the band Elfonso. So you can rest assured that as soon as I received the new self titled full length album from the group I proceeded to set it to replay and absorb the CD for a good while.

The album contains tons of new songs, along with brand new recordings of tracks like the classic Master Quest. I hope to weigh in on this album in a lengthy review not too far from now, but would like to point out that some great stand out tracks are the upbeat Parody Us as well as the somber but heartfelt Zoe's Song. The entire album is a collection of amazing songs though if you were to ask me!

You can grab Elfonso's debut full length from iTunes as well as their brand new website elfonso.co.uk. There is definitely no band like elfonso in the VGM world, and are well worth checking out!

Video Game Inspired Music article on iuwii.com

Recently I had the chance to write a guest article for Nintendo news site iuwii.com. The article is called Sound Test. Th article is an introduction to three artists for folks who are new to VG inspired music. I cover the folk rock tunes of Elfonso, the gritty sounds of Temp Sound Solutions, and finally the classy jazz sounds of The OneUps.

The article takes a short paragraph long introduction to each group, and shows off some of their music via youtube. Head over there for a crash course through some new music or just to get reacquainted with some old favorites!

Interview with VG inspired folk pop punk band Elfonso

This Month I had the opportunity to ask a few questions from the amazing UK performers known as Elfonso (elfonso.co.uk). This band is one very close to my heart, as they have been great friends of GM4A's since almost the beginning of the site (and have been on many GM4A compilations no less). They are also the first VG inspired band I ran across that was impossible to categorize under older VG monikers like VGremixer, or VGrock, and led me to come up with the term "Video Game Inspired Music" which I know use as an all encompassing term for the music I cover here.

Elfonso is also a band I have great respect for and consider one of the most original, fun, and all around great bands around today in any genre. I myself am definitely a big fan of theirs and have no qualms mentioning it to anyone I meet. So I gladly present to you fine readers our February interview with the video game inspired folk pop punk band Elfonso.


How long have you been performing music as Elfonso?

Alex: Rory and I have been playing together for about 10 years but it wasn’t until 2004 that we released anything under the name of Elfonso.


When did you come up with the idea of performing original songs about video games?

Rory: playing video games was always something very communal that brought us together as friends, and as we were all musicians it was a natural progression.

You both seem to play multiple instruments. How many can you individually play, and what are your favourites to use live and create songs with?

Alex: no one in Elfonso has a defined roll, we all just mix and match whatever is lying around, my favourite to play is definitely the ukulele.

Rory: we never have a definite line up when we play live; whoever’s about joins in with whatever instrument suits the individual song.

Alex: basically I’ll play anything with strings, except the violin and the harp and the cello and the piano.... well not everything with strings.

Rory: bass is my first instrument but I mostly play the banjo, it’s much more enjoyable.

What games would you love to work on that you haven't had a chance to yet?

Alex: were currently recording our new album and we'd LOVE to do another song about Shining Force 3.

Rory: it’s a game we both grew up with, that and Guardian Heroes on the Saturn, that’s an awesome game!

Any new songs or projects you are working on? Any games you are covering that we can look forward to?

Rory: As mentioned before were recording a new album and it’ll have a whole host of new games across multiple platforms.

Any plans to possibly tour America? Any bands out here you would want to perform with?

Alex: Yes, most defiantly, were trying to sort something out at the moment hopefully for summer 2010, we seem to be better received in America.

Rory: we'd love to do a tour with the skull kid, he’s not videogame inspired but awesome none the less.

Alex: Were always up for playing with other videogame bands, it’s not something we get to do often

Rory: there’s always such a good atmosphere when game bands play together.

What are some musicians you are inspired by, both in game music, and in more mainstream music?

Rory: the sound track to ocarina of time was one of the biggest influences in forming Elfonso, that game pretty much has the best game music ever

Alex: also twilight princess. We’re all huge fans of the Zelda series!

Rory: outside of game music, our influences are vast; we listen to a lot of folk music and a lot of punk rock.

Alex: check our myspace for the full list of all our favourite bands.

How would you describe the music you play?

Alex: video game inspired folk pop punk!

Rory: were just a bunch of friends who get together and play music and what comes out comes out.

Alex: playing in Elfonso is just a huge amount of fun!

Any chance of you guys providing the lyrics to your Tako wa chikyu o suku album (as well as your song Great Sword)?

Alex: no problem, ill post them up as a blog on our myspace page. Maybe some artists might like to cover a song...that'd be epic.

Rory: I feel slightly ashamed about great sword, it was only recorded as a joke at the end of the recording session.

Alex: great fun though, no one had learned that song when we recorded it we just all piled in the studio and had a laugh.

Rory: monster hunter is one of my favourite games of all time; undoubtedly well revisit it as material.

What are some of your favourite games? Anything you are currently hooked on or looking forward to?

Alex: the whole Zelda series! There are no finer games! everything about them is just perfect, the creators never disappoint!

Rory: we both grew up on Lucas arts adventure games and still love them today.

Alex: we also both own switched Sega Saturns, some of our favourite games ever are on the Saturn, guardian heroes for one. The sonic the hedgehog games were a huge favourite of mine, but the less said about sonic today the better.

Rory: retro games are our favourites. Whereas chip tune artists are influenced by retro titles, were more influenced by consoles of the 90's, hence why we tend to stay away from chip tune

Alex: also I tried creating chip tune once...it didn’t work out.

When you start on a new song, do you have a specific game in mind?

Rory: we normally have a specific theme in mind but usually the music comes first.

Are there any artists you would want to collaborate with?

Alex: we’ve already collaborated with the Casiokid, that was fun.

Rory: were always up for collaborations and covering peoples songs, music is about bringing people together.

Alex: I love hearing what other people do with our material, it's a little vein but I love to hear other peoples take on our songs.

Anything you would like to mention that I failed to bring up? Anything or anyone you would like to plug?

Alex: we’ve been a little quiet this last year due to us all living far apart owing to educational commitments but come this summer, we'll be back together for good.
We'll be recording our new album in July so if any bands/ artists want to play a show with us after that, we are happy to travel.

Rory: During our time apart we both started side projects, there not game related but check them out anyway.
myspace.com/historicalfiction
myspace.com/mrneedlemouse

Alex: we need more friends in the world of game music! We are currently really enjoying the music of Parry Gripp though; defiantly check out his solo stuff, its genius.

Any words you have for folks who are looking to create video game inspired music?

Rory: game music can seem quite daunting what with learning how to create chip tune, but game music can be anything game related really.
Alex: we need more game inspired artists in the UK; it’s really hard to play shows over here what with the lack of game artists.

Alex: thanks Anthony, if everyone would be so kind to check out our new website at www.elfonso.co.uk that'd be lovely.

-----

I would like to thank Alex and Rory of Elfonso for taking some time to answer my questions, and once again implore you to check out their music. I also want to mention I am really looking forward to that American tour!

I would also like to end with the awesome video for Elfonso's new song Retirement from Hyrule.

genoboost's unofficial valentines day mixtape UPDATE: album now offline


So I have hastily tossed together a quick mix of love songs for all the nerds and your significant others to enjoy! And I hope you do. If you decide to play this for them, definitely let me know how that went in the comments!

Also, since I don't really have permission to be releasing these tracks I will only be having this compilation available until the end of February, so grab the songs while you can! Most of the songs on this mix are free and in higher quality from each respective artist, so definitely check out each artists website!

Download
Sorry kids! The album is now offline! Check out the links below and dig up the songs yourself though! Most of them are free and all of them are amazing! If so compelled though shoot me an email and I might hook you up!

Track listing
1. My GF is... by Dual Core from the album Lost Reality - dualcoremusic.com
2. Erica by Joel Tetreault
3. Necrophilianomenon by ZeaLouS1 from the album Assimilation Process: Complete - zealous1.com
4. At The Arcade by Dan Plus Add from the album Matters of Great Importance - danplusadd.co.uk
5. Take My Hand, Take My Heart by Lumine Hall from This Album Stinks - myspace.com/luminehallmusic
6. Less Than Three by Shael Riley - shaelriley.com
7. Tecmo Bowl (in the style of T Rex) by XOC from the in progress album VGMITSO - xocmusic.com
8. Orange Crush by hiphopmcdougal from the EP Time Circuits On - myspace.com/hiphopmcdougal
9. I Love My Computer by Colon:P - myspace.com/colonpmusic
10. Aqua Soul (Robot Love) by Random from the album Mega Ran - megaran.com
11. Laura's Lullaby by Elfonso from the album Tako wa chikyu o suku - myspace.com/elfonsomusic
12. Bits and Pieces by Shael Riley from the album Toybox - shaelriley.com
13. Splash Woman (produced by Samik) by Random from the album Mega Ran 9 - megaran.com
14. Butterfly Kisses by The Depreciation Guild from the album In Her Gentle Jaws - inhergentlejaws.com
15. Rapgirl by MC Lars from the album The Graduate - mclars.com/
16. I Can't Run To You Fast Enough by Pixelh8 from the album The Boy With the Digital Heart - pixelh8.co.uk

Artwork
The artwork for the album is originally by Steffo from My Parent's Favorite Music.
myspace.com/myparentsfavoritemusic

Here Comes a New Challenger compilation announcement!

So you know about our Super Mario RPG compilation known as Heavy Troopa is Ready to Launch! but DID YOU KNOW we are also coming out with another compilation very very soon!?

That's right, that compilation is titled Here Comes a New Challenger. First I'll hit you with some teaser art from the amazing Doctor Octoroc.


Now that the art has sufficiently blown your mind, let me explain further. This compilation was created to open up different sections of video game inspired music to more folks. We have musicians, producers, singers, rappers, DJ’s, and more all collaborating together for their love of video games and music! All the songs on here are collaborations between different musicians! This album has been a long time in the making, and all the bands are trying something new by working with these different individuals, so this should be a really amazing compilation to hear! We have some great and unheard of collaborations going down for this compilation! Groups like the above mentioned Dual Core VS Videogame Orchestra, Random VS Doctor Octoroc, Elfonso VS CasioKid and way way more!

If that's not enough, you can even listen to a preview teaser for the compilation!

CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE TEASER MP3!

Hex continues list for 2007's Biggest Nerd Artists

Looks like Hex has gotten through 70-41 of his year ending top 100 list. I found a lot of my favorite bands in the list this time, along with many a fellow I had never heard of before, but shall be checking out now.

Needless to say there are some folks who's placement don't sit well with me. Hex knows EXACTLY who I'm talking about, and actually mentions this in the person's placement blurb. I am actually ecstatic to see Elfonso and the Spamtron getting the recognition they deserve. Anyway, enough of my complaints. Go see who has made the list over at HexWarrior's blog and make your own complaints!

We also still have the next pieces of the top 100 to look forward to in the near future!

December 23, 2007: Nerds 11 - 40.

December 30, 2007: Top 10 Nerds

5 Bands to Check Out This Week

I've decided to make a semi-regular article in where every couple weeks I'll give you a quick list of bands, artists or albums I have been listening to lately. It's pretty self explanatory. I list five bands, then I demand you check out those bands as well!

Thanks to Jephso, I have been listening to plenty of The Depreciation Guild lately. They have the brand new album In Her Gentle Jaws up for free download at inhergentlejaws.com

Shawn Phase AKA Temp Sound Solutions has released plenty of new songs on his myspace page. I am definitely in love with his cover of UN Squadron, especially that little "chat" in the middle of the song. Head over to his myspace to hear all the great new stuff he's been working on!

Elfonso has released a new album (as stated earlier). I'm still giving that plenty of my time. If you haven't downloaded their new album Tako Wa Chikyu O Suku, then you have to stop dawdling and get it!

I have recently ran across an amazing band on Myspace going by the moniker 8-bit Duane and The Amazing BrandO (or The Adventures of Duane and Brand0, they can't be confined to one name). Once you hear their two song Mega Man epic, you'll definitely be hooked.

Finally, I have been hooked on one new song recently posted on OCRemix entitled Last Night a DJ Kidnapped Mallow by Skrypnyk. The song is a cover of Mallow's Sad Song from Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Stars. Anyone who knows me knows that I consider Super Mario RPG the greatest game EVER made. You can download this amazing song at this link.

Elfonso - Tako Wa Chikyu O Suku release

Fantastic and ever innovative band Elfonso has released a new four track EP entitled Tako Wa Chikyu O Suku. I've been listening to it quite a bit and it is amazing. The four songs are as follows...

1.The Geomancer
2.Labyrinth Zone
3.Trail of Ribbon
4.Laura's Lullaby

Three tracks are new, and with a brand new recording of a personal favorite song of mine Trail of Ribbon. The album is up for free download at Elfonso's myspace page, so you have absolutely no excuse not to listen to it and love it!

Music EXP Compilation Update 1

I would like to reveal unto the world two more bands which we are proud to be featuring on the compilation! The first band is the UK band Elfonso of whom I am particularly fond of. The second being the amazing orchestrated sounds of Select Start. You can check out more info on these two bands at their respective websites. Glad to have you folks on board!

Band count so far:
8 Bit Bandit
Alex Mauer
Elfonso
Select Start
Spheres of Chaos
Super Nintechno
Temp Sound Solutions

There are plenty more bands to come, keep checking out GM4A as we reveal even more!

Also read the compilation announcement post.

Anamanaguchi UK tour

New York Nintendo powerpop gang Anamanaguchi begin their UK tour on March 9th in Aberdeen. They'll also be hitting Glasgow, Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham, Farnham, Guildford and Oxford along with acts such as Firebrand Boy, Sabrepulse, Spheres of Chaos and Elfonso. If you're in the UK be sure to witness Anamanaguchi and their trademark awesomeness. Find out more from their MySpace page.