Happy Labor Day weekend folks! We hope you got some time off and are enjoying it. Some of my friends are nerding it up at Dragon*Con and PAX West, but I have chosen to do something this weekend I’ve longed to do for quite some time: absolutely nothing. This weekend for me has been all about catching up on video games, anime, and of course, the latest and greatest of nerd music releases.
So here we go! Let’s take a look at what August brought us. There are some good releases from this past month, including TWO album of the year contenders. (You know, if I did a year-end nerd music awards article.)
OverClocked Remix- Chronology: A Jazz Tribute to Chrono Trigger
The massive and longstanding video game music community that is OverClocked Remix has released their 60th album and their first ever all-jazz album, Chronology: A Jazz Tribute to Chrono Trigger. As you can tell by the title, it will be jazz renditions of Chrono Trigger music.
I’m listening to Chronology right now as I type this article, and it’s pretty fantastic music. I could drink martinis and scotch to this album in a classy piano bar. (Or my living room, which is more likely.) Each time period of the time-traveling JRPG is represented as its own medley, similar to what Richie Branson did with From Guardia with Love. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this album, and I hope to see more from The OC Jazz Collective.
SkyBlew – SkyBlew the Cowardly Boy
After releasing Destined: The Rebirth in June, SkyBlew is back with a new album that is about a young boy who has to overcome fear and a world filled with darkness to become the man he was destined to be.
Inspired by the cartoon Courage the Cowardly Dog, SkyBlew the Cowardly Boy features pretty sweet jazzy hip hop beats and lyrics that are both personal and relevant to what is going on in today’s society. By the way, am the only else who thinks SkyBlew sounds a little like PaRappa the Rapper? It can’t be just me?
Kamikaze Bitch – Arcade Buddha
When scouring the internet for the latest nerd music releases, the name of the album and the artist, Kamikaze Bitch, caught my attention. Out of San Francisco, Kamikaze Bitch is an experimental chiprock and electronic artist influenced by the otaku life. At least in his song titles for the album, Arcade Buddha, which include track titles about Space Cowboys, Tokyo-3, and the beach episode, as seen in most skippable anime.
As I listened to it, I could recognize the influence of anime soundtracks in this work. I don’t mean J-Pop openings, but original soundtrack music. It ranges from powerful guitar tracks to dance music and hardcore. There is a little bit of chiptune in there as well, but never at the forefront of the music. Arcade Buddha has a very upbeat tone and is very fun to listen to.
Triforce Quartet – Ultima Phantasia
For the uninitiated, Triforce Quartet is a traditional string quartet that creates and performs classical renditions of video game songs of the highest caliber. While they have never played in Florida (which needs to change soon), they have played at the likes of PAX, MAGFest, and Video Games Live.
While their first album focused on the medleys from Legend of Zelda, their latest album Ultima Phantasia has several medleys dedicated to the Final Fantasy series, along with other compositions from Mega Man X, Legend of Zelda: Skyword Sword, World of Warcraft, and more. Even if you are not familiar with the games, it’s still incredibly beautiful music and, along with Chronology, one of the best video game music releases of the year.
Slime Girls – don’t forget
To close out the Summer, shy not take some fun music to the beach? Slime Girls has you covered with their new EP, don’t forget. It’s tropical-flavored chiptune jams designed for listening while you go to the beach. It’s totally okay to go outside guys, even without Pokemon GO.
Actually, the music reminds me of the beach/resort towns of classic JRPGs and the Mario Kart beach stages. As always, Slime Girls delivers another fun and chill album for your listening pleasure.
Here are some more releases that came out in August. Check them out and tell me what you think!
Alone in the Universe – Watercolors
Beefy – Too Big To Fail, Part One
BType – Forever Ending
Drop Lockers – Beat Breakin’ Vol. 1
Joshua Morse – Waveform
Meganeko – Technokinesis
Nerdcore VPC4 – Round 3
Phonetic Hero – Sequence Breaker
RoBKTA – Wi-Fu
Professor Sakamoto – INSERT vol 3: NINJA OR DIE
The Adventures of Duane & BrandO – You’re Welcome, Son (instrumentals)
tiasu – Escape
Wreck the System – Rage Quit