Game People Calling: Videogames Used to Sound Unique

Game People | 25 Jul 2010 13:00
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Nestled amongst these orchestral pieces are some left-field modern tracks. It would have been easy for Remedy to reach for familiar or well known pieces to punctuate its game, but instead there has been considerable work tracking down these rare and underrated songs.

Young Men Dead from Black Angels is real neo-psychedelia with an energy that makes you want to reach for the controller again. We move from this back to Alanko's work, but not before being stopped off at the amiably droopy vocals of Anomie Belle's How Can I Be Sure.

By keeping the minor theme, both these tracks create a real sense of soulful blues. Where the grand motifs of Alanko touch on something disturbing, these modern songs keep that feeling rooted in reality.

Barry Adamson is case in point, with a gravely lyric and blues lick, his Beaten Side of Town's half-spoken half-sung narration brings to mind front-porch improvisation as much as anything intentional. This is a real rock-opus, story within a story, and in the game a happy break from Wake's concerns about the night.

The plucked melody of Dead Combo's Electrica Cadente stands out amongst this company. It made the hairs on my neck stand up as its staccato strumming and electric lead called me into a world of 70's James Bond mystery.

We are returned to Alanko's safe hands to finish. It left me impressed by the balance between well chosen original tracks and the commissioned material. It's a combination that feels much more alive and human than some more earnest videogames.

But as an album this mix still jars a little. I'd like to be given the space to journey into one or other of these musical camps. With the upcoming CD release of the score this will soon be possible, I only hope they also do right by their other musical choices and offer a CD of the modern music too.

With Petri Alanko's orchestrations now available on their own CD, Cat has been calling for a similar release for the modern tracks. I know what she means, for me it's these that really take me back to moments in the game, rather than the brooding classical backing.

Perhaps a way for videogames to honour the uniqueness of their synthetic musical beginnings is to be known for hunting down the best underground music and bringing it to a wider audience.

I'd love to hear the whimsical tones of Connor Oberst popup in Fallout: New Vegas, but what music would you tip for inclusion in this Holiday's big releases?

Game People is a rag tag bunch of artisans creating awesomely bizarre reviews from across the pond.

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