The greatest soundtrack to the greatest game that doesn’t exist
If you were young in the 80’s and 90’s you probably played a lot of computer games. If you did play a lot of computer games, you might have played certain games for their soundtracks, rather than their game play. Keiji Yamagishi wrote some of the best computer game sores. Ninja Gaiden was a highlight. It wasn’t just background music. When you played it you wanted the midlevel tempo changes. Ultimately it drove you mental when the tempo did increased. Normally you were almost out of energy and trying to hold out until the end of the level, but you loved it all the same. For some reason Yamagishi’s beat seemed harder hitting and the basslines more epic.
25 years later, he has returned with a solo project. Retro Active Part 1 is the first part of a trilogy of releases set for 2015. In the intervening years it appears Yamagishi has lost none of his skill at creating tension and excitement. So far only two tracks have been released. First Contact takes the idea of 8-Bit computer game music, but uses modern instruments and production methods to create something that is impressive as a standalone track, but sounds like a game score. At times it is reminiscent of Coldcuts’ classic Space Journey being remixed by the Chemical Brothers. But you know, more psychotic.
Yamagishi always had a set sound and style, and now not being shackled to the movements of a scrolling action adventure, he is free to create the score he has always hinted at. Whether you are a gamer who likes vintage techniques, or an electronic fan that is bored by the lack of variety in dance music, this is for you!