Hey do you like music? I got some records back at my place. You want to come by and check them out? You do?
THIS NEVER HAPPENS WITH VIDEO GAME MUSIC.
First, a lot of music doesn’t even have physical form because its a tracker file or some arcane format meant to be played on an old sound chip.
Second, lots of video game music is pretty damn nerdy. It doesn’t have the deep vocals of Marvin Gaye to weaken knees.
BUT! Some of the best music EVER is video game music. And why not shine a light in this little musical corner and give some love to these hard working people who make this amazing work? So in no particular order here are some of my faves. Got a fave yourself? Let me know in the comments!
Probably one of the most amazing soundtracks period. I constantly come back to the warm fuzzy spaces it creates. The variety of melodies are evocative and constantly evolving. Each track shifts into the next effortlessly. An entrancing thing of beauty.
Additionally there are two remix albums available. FZ: Side F and FZ: Side Z. Both quality additions, but the original is still my favorite.
C418 : Minecraft Volume Beta
Probably my favorite remix of the Fez soundtrack is C418’s Kompass, which made me ask: What the heck is a C418?! Turns out this talented guy is responsible for the music in Minecraft. While I enjoy all C418’s work, Volume Beta is, similar to the Fez soundtrack, be an album I will never tire of.
Anamanaguchi: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (Original Video Game Soundtrack)
When you think game music, you might think demo scene. You might think SID, and most of all you’ll think CHIP TUNE! Anamanaguchi does not disappoint with their unique tracker shenanigans. While the movie soundtrack is pretty good, THIS is the soundtrack I wanted, and keeps me coding all day.
Amon Tobin: Chaos Theory
Ok, so I’ve played the above games, but this is a soundtrack for a game I’ve never even seen a screenshot of. Just googled it: its a stealthy Metal Gear Solid affair. Meh, not my thing. Amon Tobin is one of the original Ninja Tune crew and that’s all I need to know. The soundtrack has his signature sound: atmospheric, dense, and big.
Bonus: It is a testament to the album that years later it was remixed by some great artists:
Daniel Olsén : Ilomilo
OMG, this soundtrack’s whimsy is almost too much. I love its playfulness and it fits the game to a T. A hidden gem among game and soundtrack alike. My favorite is the lighthearted recorder(?) of ‘Uke In The Grass’ played with the hesitation of a child learning a new piece. The music doesn’t take itself seriously and it lifts my heart.
Well that wraps up some of my favorite game music. This was getting a bit long, so I’ll leave it at that! I’m always looking for more, give me any suggestions in the comments!