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Posts tagged music

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Here’s former Namco composer Junko Ozawa showing off her hand-drawn notebook of waveforms that she used when composing video game music in the ’80s.

This is from episode 1 of Diggin’ In The Carts, an in-progress documentary series by Red Bull Music Academy on video game music from Japan. The first episode covers Namco arcade games and Hirokazu Tanaka (Nintendo NES games), and the second covers Konami and Sunsoft NES games. There’s a lot of pretty good and actually accurate info in there and the photography’s real nice, I recommend it. Listen to bleeps and boops today!

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Today’s music selection: “Swing Star Part 2” by Todd Terje, off his album It’s Album Time. Not much to say about this one, aside from that I hadn’t heard of Terje until a few days ago and I thought this song was kind of neat. Sometimes it’s just a dance music kind of day.

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The Warp Zone, a gaming comedy YouTube channel I’ve never heard of before, has started covering video game music. Here’s “Chemical Plant Zone” from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, originally composed by Masato Nakamura and arranged by Paul Paramo.

Colin: Damn the part where the sax gets really wild at like 1:20 or so wasn’t nearly as epic as I was hoping

Colin: Pretty great though.

None of their other three covers are anywhere as good as this, unfortunately. :(

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On August 16, Janis Ian and Tommy Emmanuel performed “At Seventeen” and “Over the Rainbow” at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Tommy’s improv accompaniment is pretty good.

"At Seventeen" is a famous song so I knew the first couple of lines and general melody of it, but I didn’t really know the song until listening to it here. And I gotta say, the verse 4 lyrics are outstanding. The metaphor is so perfectly bitter and impersonal, and she slips “debentures” into a soft rock song for crying out loud.

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Here’s Bert Smorenburg demonstrating a piano with Yamaha’s new TransAcoustic technology. As I understand it, they’ve taken an acoustic piano and hooked up transducers to the sound board that can play digital samples through it. This means that it can play as a normal piano (no samples), an electric keyboard (only samples), or a hybrid of acoustic piano layered with samples, and in all three cases the sound comes out of the body of the instrument without speakers or anything like that.

I’m linking this half because I think this is cool tech, and half because the guy makes really funny faces while playing. Matt Peckham reviewed the U1TA model for TIME magazine.

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Today on Bizarre Music Video Tuesday, we’ve got “I Must Be Dreaming” by KNOWER. Cheap CGI is now an art form.

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I just cleared Shovel Night last night. It’s a pretty neat modern Mega Man, check it out.

Music’s mostly by virt (Jake Kaufman), who’s one of the best in the business, so the soundtrack’s pretty great. My favorite from the game is probably the Treasure Knight boss theme, which is based on the stage theme “A Thousand Leagues Below (Iron Whale)” by legend Manami Matsumae.

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It’s been a little while since I posted a Meine Meinung video here, but they arranged my favorite song from Dragon Quest IV, the main battle theme, so I’m kind of obligated to share this one.

In this medley we’ve got:

  1. "Interlude" (0:00–0:29)
  2. "Battle for the Glory ~ Deathfight" (0:29–2:54)
  3. "In a Town" (2:54–4:20)
  4. "Casino Rag" (4:20–7:05)
  5. "Medium Fanfare" (7:05–7:24)

I love how not only do they get the weird time switches at the battle theme’s climax correct (at 1:18 here, yes it’s like that on the NES and it rules), but afterward they stay in 7/8 and proceed to radically solo over that.

Original soundtrack by Koichi Sugiyama.