Nintendo beats to chill by and Quarantinendo to

Through life, there is a constant of in video games with the style of music that Nintendo brings. So many games, beautiful soothing, mood setting tones that can be both epic yet peacefully soothing.

Anyone that’s ever played a Nintendo hit game from the original Super Mario Brothers to the new Animal Crossing, will probably have some tunes stuck in their head from time to time. The most frequent in mine is the Overworld Theme from Super Mario World for the SNES. I probably just put it in your head just now, if you played it as much as I have (a lot!).

There are so many great game track tunes, and variations of such remixed in later editions and by fans worldwide. Thanks to many internet resources, most are easily found. Some are waiting to be discovered. No game needed, just perfect for long moments of solitude, studying, organizing, creative development, and quarantine during a long pandemic.

Here is that time where all the above is relevant, and we could use some Nintendo tunes to sooth our minds. Below is some selections for you. Some you know, some you maybe forgot, some fans know and redid, some with additive flavor. Dig in, and enjoy this curated mix of long mixes!

Super Smash Bros Ultimate – Best Of Music Mix

Chosen because the Smash Brothers brand in its purity, has the best orchestral mix celebrating all that is majestic about the familiar tunes many will never forget.

Zelda and Chill

Lofi hip-hop beats produced by German beat-maker Mikel and mastered by Philadelphia based Dj CUTMAN. It’s a nice mixture, and something different for the series most dedicated fans to enjoy!

Relaxing and Calming Music From Super Mario Series

The Super Mario Brothers is the pinnacle of Nintendo musical poetry, always help setting the mood and giving the mushroom a surreal beautiful tone.

Poke and Chill

Got to catch them all! These are various compositions from past Pokemon games, remixed German beat-maker Mikel and mastered by Philadelphia based Dj CUTMAN (same who did Zelda and Chill). Amazing freakin stuff!

Relaxing Earthbound/Mother 2 Music

Earthbound (aka Mother 2) is one of those games that every video game fanatic should eventually play in life. Its beautiful and wondrous with a little bit of 90s experimental electronic beat thrown in. Some of those tracks have special secrets, giving a little extra dimension for deep listeners.

Ambient Relaxing Music From Metroid Series

Nintendo shows us that even a dark, dangerous world of aliens and space weaponry can be a place for haunting, yet soothing music pulling us deeper into other, stranger worlds.

Donkey Kong and LOFI

Whaaat?! Listen and add it to your favorites. That’s what! A masterful remix from a variety of artists. It’s a real treat for any Kong….bananas for your soul!

1 Hour of Relaxing Animal Crossing New Horizons Music + Rain Sounds

Personally, I never played any of the Animal Crossing crossing. But the music, I hear from gaming radio stations and curated playlists gives a calm, setting tone to which I think adds to the series success. Here’s some relaxing Animal Crossing New Horizons game tracks, but with some soothing rain added.

Enjoy, stay well, and be chill out there!

IDW, Burger Records set to release The Scooter Chronicles: A Southern California Modyssey

IDW Publishing and Burger Records, Southern California record label/store will publish The Scooter Chronicles: A Southern California Modyssey, Shahriar’s Fouladi’s upcoming novella exploring an unsung and oft-unexplored sliver of SoCal history.

Meet Tommy Daniels, a 1980s teen who comes from a poor family and lives in a bland, rich Southern California beach town, working part time as a delivery boy for a pharmacy. Though he doesn’t exactly fit in—particularly given his love of Mod culture—Tommy’s life is looking good: He is about to start college, is days away from going “all the way” with his girlfriend, and has almost enough money to buy the perfect scooter. But that’s when things go horribly awry.

Hunted by a reclusive old rock star, haunted by a menacing police officer, indoctrinated into a cult, and accompanied by swine while catching a ride in a pickup; Tommy’s epic, comic journey is filled with a cast of colorful characters, set to the soundtrack of Tommy’s Mod mixtape.

Feeding off the music from the Mod movement, extras for the collection include “It’s a Way of Life,” an essay about the Mod revival in 1980s Southern California by Bart Mendoza, lead singer of the band Manual Scan, noted music journalist, and a prime player in the San Diego Mod scene. Plus a selection of color images capturing prime Mod moments from 1980s California, as well as celebrated artist Ralph Cosentino’s cover for Dr. Harvey’s Victor the Vespa, the fictional book written by a character in the story.

“Burger is excited to delve deeper into the book publishing world with the release of The Scooter Chronicles!” said Sean Bohrman, co-founder of Burger Records. “Since we have such an affinity for the Paisley Underground musical movement of the early 80s and Mod culture in general, we thought this book would be a good fit for us and our audience. It’s a story about a scrapper named Tommy who is willing to do anything to take his life into his own hands and that’s something we can get behind, being the scrappers that we are!”

The Scooter Chronicles: A Southern California Modyssey will be available from IDW Publishing and Burger Records on March 20, 2018, at $19.99.

Image Comics rolls out Rock N Roll mystery ROCKSTARS tpb, this June

Rockstars

This June, Rockstars Volume 1: Nativity in Blacklight will release.

This new trade paperback is the first collection (issues 1-5) of the Rockstars comic series by writer Joe Harris (Snowfall, X-Files) and artist Megan Hutchison (An Aurora Grimeon Story: Will O’ the Wisp).

The story: When a pattern of unsolved groupie murders from the 1970s resumes in present-day Los Angeles, nobody makes the connection except Jackie Mayer, a rock nerd with a strange connection to music’s urban legends and a mysterious ability to “see” what most people miss. Together with a muckraking music writer named Dorothy Buell and his loyal cat Skydog, Jackie uncovers an underground conspiracy involving a legendary band, demonic possession, and sacrifices to the dark gods of rock.

“This is the first in what I hope will be multiple volumes of Rockstars as we explore rock ‘n’ roll mysteries and secrets over its many decades and genres,” said Harris. “While I love playing in this world between the colorful lines of music history, what I enjoy even more in digging out these urban legends and lost conspiracies is that they illuminate what’s timelessly common among bands and artists, and shared by different fandoms of whatever kinds of music they love and support.”

Rockstars Volume 1: Nativity in Blacklight (ISBN: 978-1-5343-0190-0) hits comic book stores on Wednesday, June 14th and bookstores Tuesday, June 20th.

HERO OF TIME: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Live Orchestral, coming soon

Hero of Time, an epic re-imagining of the soundtrack to Nintendo’s treasured adventure RPG classic,
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, is set to release on March 27th, 2017.

Presented by the Materia Collective, the Hero of Time is an arrangement and recording with a full 64-piece orchestra, featuring key moments of the classic game. The project was given life through successful funding on Kickstarter, by over 1,000 backers contributing over its $50,000 goal.

Preview:

Hero of Time will be available through digital and limited edition CD formats on March 27, 2017. Preorders are available now via Bandcamp for digital/LE CD), iam8bit for vinyl (!), and iTunes. Hero of Time will also be available on Spotify on March 27th.

“Orchestral recordings of music from The Legend of Zelda have become increasingly popular over the last several years,” notes arranger and project director Eric Buchholz. “With Hero of Time, we sought to create a single, cohesive experience that weaves all of the complex underlying themes of the game, like impermanence and mortality, with Koji Kondo’s timeless melodies that have become as iconic as the game itself. The orchestration takes an ‘east-meets-west’ approach, with the inclusion of taiko ensembles, eastern woodwinds, and harmonies found prevalent in Japanese film and game scores.”

The full track listing is as follows:

01. Hero of Time
02. The Man with Evil Eyes
03. Fateful Morning
04. Hyrule Field
05. Castle Town Market
06. Princess Zelda
07. Lon Lon Ranch
08. Dungeon Dwellers
09. The Legendary Blade
10. Seven Years
11. Sheik
12. Memories of the Forest
13. Feast for the Fire Dragon
14. Dark Waters
15. Village of the Shadows
16. Spirit of the Valley
17. Courage, Wisdom, and Light
18. Ganon’s Tower
19. Great King of Evil
20. The Desecration of Power
21. Epilogue ~ End Credits

For more info on the Hero of Time, visit the Materia Collective at www.materiacollective.com.

The Best Music Tracks of Sunsoft’s 8-Bit Composer, Naoki Kodaka

Screenshot 2016-01-27 22.11.04

For a time past of very limited music and sound effects in video gaming, the Sunsoft game development company was truly ahead of its days.

During the late 80s and early 90s, Sunsoft produced some memorable greats for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. Though the company did not last as long as Konami, Capcom, Namco, players will never forget some hits, Blaster Master, Batman, Journey to Silius. The games of Sunsoft brought a distinct, wonderful flair to the label, setting their games apart in style and appeal.

Their sound in particular was Sunsoft’s special signature, through its musical tracks and sound effects. To play their games was to experience a setting of mood and involvement to the worlds they presented (also well done in visuals). Their scores emitted experimental tones, mixed in with new-age electronica, a genre still in its pioneering stage to the mainstream pop. The use of digitized bass samples, noise waves, triangle waves, and other bits and beats used to heighten the mood of gameplay; either as sound effects or mixed with deep melodies. If you listen carefully in many of the Sunsoft games, you can hear multiple effects and samples recycled, a signature proudly represented.

Much of Sunsoft’s musical scores are credit to its master composer, Naoki Kodaka.

Naoki_Kodaka

Little is known online about the young Japanese musician, other than his dedication to Sunsoft and teamwork with sound programmers, Nobuyuki Hara and Shinichi Seya. He produced game music for Sunsoft from 1985 to 1997. His tracks would live on through classic gamer nostalgia fandom, and various remixes of his work.

Here below are my personal favorite tracks composed by Naoki Kodoka, presented in their original game track format (with special thanks to the YouTube posters of each). Have a listen …

Blaster Master Area 1 –  An instant classic mood-setter for the long adventure ahead. Also, my current phone ringtone…

Blaster Master Area 4 – Great stalking theme and buildup to this stage’s giant boss battle. Hint to what that may be: listen carefully at the end of the build-up..

Blaster Master Area 5 – Peaceful and chill, furthering out the water and diving themes of this stage.

Journey to Silius: Title theme – The kind of theme that you should take your time and listen to before pressing Start.

Journey to Silius Level 4 – One of the hardest game levels of my NES days, but the music does push the player to meet the challenge..

Batman Area 1 – Not as memorable as the Danny Elfman movie theme, but the opening stage score sets the tone of Batman’s 8-bit crime-fighting skills.

Batman Boss Battle – Fantastic digital drum beats going on, with multiple tempo layers to get the plumped for the tough boss battles…

Gremlins 2:  the New Batch Office Theme – This tune well plays off the comedic, anarchic mischief of those Gremlin creatures.

Gremlins 2: the New Batch Gremlin theme – Great buildup and variance, all because you ignored the rules. Also reminds me of the main theme of the original movie score.

Fester’s Quest Title Theme – A strange licensed game featuring Uncle Fester of The Addams Family. Sunsoft’s take on the theme was quite creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky, altogether ooky…

Fester’s Quest Boss Battlethe game as a whole, not as fantastic as the Blaster Master or Batman, but the boss theme was quite kick-ass and pushed the limits of the NES sound chip capabilities.

Super Spy Hunter Stage 06 Plane FightA cross mix of the classic Sunsoft style, with the James Bond inspirational of the franchise…

Ufouria: the Saga: Hebe in the Cold Area – From a game not released in the US, with a complex theme that almost feels like a story in itself..

Batman:  Return of the Joker Ending Theme –  Naoki Kodaka’s final NES game, and an end to an era for Sunsoft. it feels fitting, as a goodbye to all the best we got out of the NES, thanks to Sunsoft and many other games pushing the limitations of its console.

– Orion T

MUSIC: Ghost in the Shell – Inner Universe, by Origa

WARNING: Features graphic violence and nudity.

  • Title: Inner Universe
  • Composer: Origa
  • Length: 4:54

Notes: Expanded version, regular version used in the first season of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex anime series.  Footage is from the original Ghost in the Shell movie produced by Youtube user “fenman01.”

Lyrics (English Translation):

Angels and demons circle above my head
cleaving through thorns and Milky Ways
He who does not perceive his calling,
does not know true happiness…

Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!
Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!

I am Calling Calling out!
Spirits, I am calling!!!
To remain myself longer…
Calling Calling, in the depths of longing!
To remain myself longer!

Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!
Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!

Stand alone… Where was life when it had a meaning…
Stand alone… Nothing’s real anymore and…

…Endless running…
While I am alive, I can try not to fall while flying,
nor to forget how to dream…to love…
…Endless running…

Calling Calling out! For The Place of Knowing!
There’s more that what can be linked!
Calling Calling, Never will I look away!
From what life has left for me.
Yearning Yearning, for what’s left of loving!

To remain myself longer…
Calling Calling, in the depths of longing!
To remain myself longer!

Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!
Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!

Personal Thoughts:

I post this today in response to the recent announcement of the Dreamworks backed Ghost in the Shell live-action movie, starring Scarlett Johannson.  I can’t really care. I know what Scarlett Johannson looks like shooting guns and acting badass in some sexy outfit. If they want to add a cyberpunk setting and put some familiar situations to GITS fans using a shit ton of CGI FX, than whatever. Of course, there is the whitewashing..off to a good start with its star. I’m sure the removing of Japanese elements will not stop there.

But what matter in the end, is original content can not be ruined.. The original movies and the follow-up animated series of series will always be out there in some obtainable form. I will go deeper into what makes GITS so great, another time. For now, I just really like this opening to the follow-up animated series (with choice visuals from the classic). And, I will always best remember the GITS movies and series as fantastic animated science-fiction drama.

– Orion T

MUSIC: A Tiny Spaceship’s Final Mission (FantomenK)

Synopsis (from site):

“A song about a ship which was the earth’s only hope.”

Personal thoughts:

Listen to this tune; reminiscent of the classic 8-bit/16-bit sci-fi shooter era of video gaming, especially of personal favorites – Gradius, R-Type, Forgotten Worlds, Darius Twin. I played these much to the end, for their atmospheric combination of fantastic gameplay, challenge, artistic style, and atmospheric music. For the “Final Mission,” this score brings to mind the constant theme of a sole hero setting out in some speedy spaceship. Ahead, is some threatening adversary for the peace of the universe; probably surrounded by ridiculous overwhelming numbers. The best friends of our hero will be incredible skill, wit, and the occasional power-up (maybe a cheat code if the hero sucks at previous attributes). The best reward will be the mass destruction of enemies and obstacles leading to the cosmic overthreat (is it a giant face or some brain thing?). Then do it again, in “hard” or “expert” mode. Some of this satisfaction will involve insane firepower-ups and a meaningless score of at least ten digits. The sound here, is probably the open stage for our hero. Don’t worry, the first boss will be easy..eventually.

– Orion T

 

MUSIC: Battle Against A Machine

 

 

    • Title: Battle Against A  Machine
    • Game composers: Keiichi Suzuki, Hirokazu Tanaka, Hiroshi Kanazu
    • Source: Earthbound, soundtrack to the Super Nintendo Game

Music, to fight the evil Starmen. The Starmen are a race of evil robot aliens with strange powers led by Giygas, AKA the Universal Cosmic Destroyer and Embodiment of Evil;  in an effort to lead all futures into infinite darkness. Eventually, a small town boy from Onett and friends may stop them.

The music meanwhile, is a fantastic piece of underrated electronica; from the epic role playing adventure, Earthbound (or Mother 2, to those in Japan and hardcore purists). It’s soundtrack represents the best of the Super Nintendo’s musical power to heighten game mechanics and mood beyond its own gameplay. But this particular favorite, is groovy and coool.

Earthbound is a magnificent game, essential for all mixed media story lovers. Currently, it’s available on the Wii through Nintendo’s eShop.

 

 

MUSIC: This Is The Future

Title: This Is The Future
Artist: Epic North Music
Composer: Peter Roe
Album: Viking Warrior From Outer Space
Official Website: http://www.epicnorthmusic.com

Trailer music so epic is does not need a movie. Or perhaps, you can imagine your own story..

The producers are Epic North Music, a Finland based group specializing in modern music with a sci-fi/fantasy edge; for motion picture, TV and new media adverts. They have three albums out now, available for direct purchase on iTunes and Amazon. Check out their official page at http://www.epicnorthmusic.com for more.