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Old 10-31-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
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[Music] Worth Mentioning - Oct. 31st

Monday means Mr. Murphy's mentioning music!

Battlefield 3 hit store shelves this week, with original music by two fellows from the Swedish label Mitek.

These guys have a bit of a discography, but they haven't seen a lot of "big name" attention before now. Jukka Rintamaki and Johan Skugge have put together an electronic/industrial soundtrack that is full of fuzzy thick freakness and buzzy techno ambience. It's not going to make you an electronica fan if you aren't already, but if you enjoy loud, dirty sounds and synthesizer tones, this stuff will scratch an itch. Much of the music has an atmosphere of tension, but none of the songs really go anywhere, so while I didn't dislike any of the tracks I came away from the whole thing thinking it was fairly forgettable. Still, I've certainly heard worse electronic music at least these guys have great production value and aren't ashamed to use every cheesy synthesizer sound that they own. Compare it to instrumental albums by more established industrial or electronica artists and it will fall short, but it's better than 95% of the amateur techno you can find on the internet.

Listen to the soundtrack on Spotify.



Back to the Future, featuring the complete five episodes of the game, is available on disc and the audio work on this game stands out as a highlight. You've probably heard that the voice actors are amazing (they are), but so is the all-new music by veteran Sam and Max composer Jared Emerson-Johnson.

This guy is good. Real good. The original Back to the Future theme by Alan Silvestri is probably stuck in your head right now, just because you read the words Back to the Future.

If it isn't, I can wait while you... yeah, there it is.

Emerson-Johnson obviously uses this musical callback when it is needed, but instead of just retreading the Silvestri's chord progression over and over, he chose to create quite a bit of new score to go with it. The music captures the emotional impact of the movies while being something entirely original, often using familiar instruments and 'stings' in newly constructed pieces. The game itself has been hit-or-miss with the critics, but the music is definitely a ten all throughout, for accomplishing the incredible feat of being new and old at the same time and supporting the nostalgic nature of the game without boring you with familiarity. No easy task. Unfortunately the OST is not available in any licensed capacity yet, but when the official soundtrack goes on sale I'll make note of it in another edition and here in the archives if you've ever listened to the original movie scores for pleasure, this will be a nice addition to your playlist.



Rhythm Releases


Dance Central 2 comes with forty-four songs on the disc, and the ability to import Dance Central tracks from the original over to the sequel. You got your Gaga, your Bruno Mars, your Missy Elliot, and only one or two of those terrible covers we're forced to endure in rhythm games sometimes. This is bumping club music, so if that's your genre, there's plenty here to enjoy.



Just Dance Kids 2 is sitting on Wii shelves with a forty song playlist of pop covers and grade school favorites. The tracks on this playlist are going to be popular with the below-ten crowd, maybe even a little younger than that, but if you like watching your little'un dance around the living room to a mix of tunes that include both childrens' songs and top 40 radio interpretations, you really can't go wrong with a title like this especially since it comes 10$ cheaper than its adult sibling at around $40.



Country Dance 2 features a fifteen track setlist made up of entirely what my new-country loving parents called 'shit-kickers'. If you're a fan of the modern country stations, you'll recognize a couple of significant hits, including Billy Currington's "People Are Crazy", one of Gwyneth Paltrow's debut tracks "Shake that Thing" and the surprisingly intense Miranda Lambert song "Gun Powder and Lead". Every track on here is a two-step town-hall get-down, so if you're into the style this pile of plastic is advertising, don't think twice. This is, to quote my mother, "a boot-scoot boogy waiting to happen."

I'm serious, she really said that.



Maybe You Missed It


It's Halloween, and that means Silent Hill. Akira Yamaoka's work on the first Silent Hill game for the PlayStation was some of the loudest, scariest music I had ever heard in a video game and he's kept it up throughout the series run to date. Chances are you've heard this stuff before, but I wanted to mention it today for a few reasons: first off, if you're a writer who writes to music (I know we have a few on the site, and NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow), this guy can be an amazing source of tension and inspiration. Put on some Yamaoka while you're trying to construct a scary or intense scene and I guarantee your brain will go to a darker place. Throwing a Halloween party? Throw on some Silent Hill soundtrack between the party songs and give your guests a little thrill. I've walked through homemade haunted houses that have utilized these tracks incredibly effectively. If you like dark ambience and instrumental industrial, there are some really excellent pieces on these CDs, with the awesome funk of the Blue Man Group trapped in a junkyard crusher.

You can find the complete soundtracks and quite a few fan remixes over at silenthillmemories.net.

Check out a classic below.



Click on over to rainwave for more video game music and remixes, including quite a bit of remixed Silent Hill music, and I'll see you all next week. Happy Halloween!
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:52 PM   #2
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Ah, Yamaoka. Because Silent Hill wasn't disturbing enough

Here's my favorite from Silent Hill 2. And it's a damn travesty that the HD collection didn't come out before Halloween. It's like they're trying to piss people off. "Hey, we have some scary games coming up, should we release them near Halloween?" "NOPE! FEBRUARY LOLOL!!"

Bah.

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Old 10-31-2011, 06:53 PM   #3
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I love Yamaoka's work. It's so awesome.
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Spigot View Post
I love Yamaoka's work. It's so awesome.
He's so well known as "the Silent Hill guy" that a lot of people don't know he did musical work on Contra: Hard Corpse, Gradius III + IV and No More Heroes 2 (after saying in an interview that No More Heros waws his favorite game and Suda 51 his favorite game maker).
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:51 AM   #5
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His music in Shadows Of The Damned was awesome too.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:31 AM   #6
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Please thank your mother Mr. Murphy, for making me smile.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:37 AM   #7
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Solid article. God I love music games. When will more good ones come out?
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