Episode 1: Unplug

by Matt Clinks

Here’s the first episode of my new show about Independent videogame music, I’m calling it MetaVendetta.

Music is one of my biggest passions in life along with games. I think I’ve found away to take my pretentious thoughts about the music scene and focus them into a singular outlet: indie games. An area so rich with interesting and innovative music, I think it deserves a soapbox – a place of celebration! New episodes on the first Wednesday of every month, with new artists, tracks, stories and special guests.

So here goes my first episode of MetaVendetta, the show that combines 2 things I love –  Indie Games & Music

Episode 1 : Unplug | iTunes | RSS | MP3(rightclick & save)

MetaVendetta Episode 1: Unplug

Track Notes:

1. “Gameboy Tune” by Tomáš Dvořák
from the Machinarium soundtrack
Machinarium is something else. It’s exactly what I’ve come to expect from Amanita Design. I imagine this studio is made up of crazy artists that live deep in the woods and come up with this stuff. It’s bananas – but in the best way possible. This track is a bit different than the rest of the OST, but I love it. I guarantee, you’ll be seeing more of Amanita’s soundtracks showing up on this show down the line. Botanicula, I’m looking at you!

2. “To the Moon Main Theme” by Kan R. Gao, featuring Laura Shigihara
from the To the Moon original soundtrack.

To the Moon is a moving story set in a 16-bit world created by Kan R Gao. It reminded me of waking up early on a Saturday morning and playing Super Nintendo until the sun went down. It’s a very beautiful, slow-paced game. Not only was Kan R Gao the designer of To the Moon, he also composed most of the OST with Laura Shigihara.It should be also be noted, Shigihara, has also done sound for Plants vs. Zombies among other titles.

3. “Adventure” by Disasterpeace
from FEZ original soundtrack

This is, most likely, the reason I started this show. I’ve always loved music and games, but this soundtrack helps paint the world around you the longer you listen. It takes you to a different place, and it perfectly sets the mood for FEZ from the start. You couldn’t have asked for a better game experience + sound last year. I’m still listening to this soundtrack, and the recent addition of a remix album(FZ:Side F) extends the life of these songs even further. Disasterpeace, the mastermind behind the FEZ ost, created something truly special.

4. “Space Cruise” by Ben Prunty
from the FTL original soundtrack

F.T.L. –  The game everyone was talking about for the last year. One of the first end-to-end successes from Kickstarter backed game projects. It’s a killer strategy space-sim  that puts you in command of a starship. Think Star Trek meets Oregon Trail. The soundtrack has been on numerous award lists as well. This title track, composed by Ben Prunty, encompasses every little feeling of adventure, mystery, and the unknown  in one nice relaxing track. It’s nice too, because you’ll hear it a ton. I realize I suck at video games, but FTL was hard.

5. “The Moment” by Chris Remo
from the Thirty Flights of Loving original score

Blendo Games has been killing it in my book. They’re putting out some of the most interesting “First Person Experience” games out there. Thirty Flights of Loving is their most recent offering. The soundtrack, composed by Chris Remo of Idle Thumbs fame, is dripping with style and expertly arranged to set the tone for this thriller. This is a fun cut!

6. “Cider Time” by Lifeformed
from Fastfall – Dustforce original soundtrack

Dustforce is a solid game that is simply too hard for me. I recently threw a gamepad hooked into my PC out of sheer frustration with my inability. However, the soundtrack to the game is a stark contrast. Beautifully relaxing in the most chip-tuney way possible. It’s a cool dichotomy that more games could benefit from, almost encouraging you to keep cool under pressure. On a side note, I think Lifeformed is actually the first effort from a guy named Terrance. If so, major props! I think we can all get really excited about whatever this guy works on next.

7. “The Ballad of the Space Babies” by Jim Guthrie
from the Sword & Sworcery LP – The Ballad of the Space Babies

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery – the game that made me believe iPhone games can have depth, also has an incredible soundtrack. It’s all over the map. Sometimes it’s subtle and soft like “Ballad…” sometimes it’s aggressive and downright scary. Jim Guthrie does a great job mixing things up and utilizes some of the most interesting samples and sounds i’ve heard in a long time.

NOT INDIE 8. “L.A. Noire Main Theme” by Andrew Hale
from the L.A. Noire official soundtrack

Every episode I will pick one track off a big budget(or some related equivalent) game. For our inaugural episode I chose the title track from L.A. Noire, and  it’s about as jazzy as it gets. It’s a cold reminder of the moody game. Rather than focusing on the controversy around the studio that developed the game, I’m simply going to point out that this soundtrack was very well-crafted. I really enjoyed my time in L.A. Noire. Even today, I will occasionally pop in the first disc and drive around Hollywoodland and take in the sites. Overlooked game in my opinion.

***Intro – Outro – Background Tracks by Chemical Grove
Chemical Grove official Bandcamp

All MetaVendetta intro/outro/background music has been kindly provided by Chemical Grove. Check out their website, support them, and go to their shows!

Friends on this episode:

Gabriel Sandoval – website

Donovan Gentry – website

Matt Clinkscales – website(you’re on it), twitter

Stay posted for the next episode next month!