Welcome to the final 2016 edition of the Nerd Music Releases here on FGS! Yeah, it’s 2017, but we have to close the book on a controversial year before we move forward. Despite how you feel about this past year, you can not deny that the nerd music community brought it all year long.
Don’t believe me? Check out all these other editions Nerd Music Releases from 2016 and bask in the glory. (And if you have been reading them, I retroactively added in releases I missed but found out about later.)
Regardless of what you like about nerd music, there was plenty for you to enjoy. Which brings us to December. There were plenty of album from favorites in the community, plus some nice surprises. Here’s what stuck out to me this past month
Twill Distilled – Distilled Screams
I can count the number of women in nerd music on two hands. Over the last decade, I’ve seen the rise of the female population at nerd events and conventions of all kinds so I feel that the gender is very under-served. Perhaps this will change in the future, but those like the emerging Twill Distilled are making a name for themselves.
In past releases, Twill Distilled has combined electronic pop and hip hop with raps about empowerment, as anime and other nerdy stuff. Her latest album, Distilled Screams, is less rapping and more singing and a much more personal release about heartbreak, moving forward, and having fun. It’s going to sound very different from everything else you hear from this month which is enough reason to check it out.
D&D Sluggers – [ why are you like this ]
For those unfamiliar with D&D Sluggers, he’s comparable to Professor Shyguy in that he combines chiptune and rock guitar, but with soulful vocals to create catchy nerd jams. [ why are you like this ] is his latest, and I listened to a few times to get a feel of what it is about. I couldn’t really tell you but it’s catchy and fun and at times. It sounds to me like D&D Sluggers is going for a radio single approach with many of his songs on this release, but he clearly has talent and while this album wasn’t my thing, you might like it.
K-Murdock – Hero Muzik Vol II
Most people know K-Murdock from his production work with Mega Ran. His beats and remixes are top notch and you can hear that in his latest album, Hero Muzik Vol II, a hip hop tribute to the beloved JRPG Chrono Trigger. K-Murdock lays down the tracks while his friends from the NPC Collective join in to provide songs from the perspective of the game’s characters, how the game inspired them, or even how it became an obsession that would lead to declining grades in college.
If you are looking for an album to work as a gateway for yourself or a friend into nerdcore, Hero Muzik Vol II is a super fun and easy to enjoy. Not only that, it’s a great representation of the new generation of nerdcore, featuring raps from Sammus, Kadeshflow, Tribe One, 1-Up, Doug Funnie, Sky Blew, and more. (And yes, Mega Ran is on here too.) This is easily one of my favorite nerdcore albums of 2016.
Trevor Gomes – Piano Collections: Chrono Trigger
There was a second Chrono Trigger album in December as well. I believe 4 or 5 came out in 2016. I am not sure why as there isn’t an milestome or anniversary. I’m not complaining as hearing it all inspired me to start a new game of Chrono Trigger, which is why this article is a little late. Oops! Materia Collective released Piano Collections: Chrono Trigger from Trevor Gomes.
Piano arrangements of Squaresoft RPGs is nothing new, and they even have their own official albums. Trevor, however, does a goof job of changing things up a little in terms of melodies and what keys you would expect to make it his own while staying faithful to the original composition of one of the greatest video game soundtracks ever.
Marc with a C – CARK
If you live in Orlando and are reading this, chances are very good that you know who Marc with a C is. He’s an institution in the nerd music community here and has garnered fans from all nerdoms with tons of catchy and relatable low-fi acoustic pop songs. While usually solo, sometimes he’ll perform his songs with a band and it rocks harder when he does.
CARK is 30 of Marc with a C’s songs throughout his entire musical career, played with his band of the album’s name and recorded live. This serves as both a great intro to new fans and even something for longtime fans to enjoy. This includes every song from Unicorns Get More Bacon plus many songs that have been dusted off and remade. Some songs are still acoustic, but Marc and CARK are not afraid to plug in sometimes and that is where I really enjoyed the album most.
Various Artists – Nerdcore Absolution Volume 3
Nerdcore Absolution is a compilation project for anime fans and those who grew up on old-school Toonami. Being an anime head myself, I love it when something comes out that is for us. Nerdcore Absolution Volume 3 features raps about One Piece, Ranma 1/2, Cowboy Bebop, Parasyte, and a sick One Punch Man track from JustHis League.
The original otaku emcee Karl “Ultraklystron” Olson is on here with an FLCL-inspired rap, but more of the new generation of nerdcore I mentioned before are also on here in the form of EyeQ, Shubzilla, Kadeshflow, Skyblew, TekForce, Wreck The System, and Ish1da, who provided a very emotional Fire Fist Ace song. Nerdcore Absolution Volume 3 is a fun compilation with some fun anime raps and I hope to hear more from these guys.
December was packed with even more awesome. Nerd music finished strong in 2016. Check out these other albums and let me know what you think in the comments!
Amplitude Problem – Coder’s Boot Sequence
Are You Afraid of the Dog – Afraid of the Kong
CG5 – Alola (A Pokemon Tribute)
coda – Grave Danger OST
Console Killer – Monsterwave
D&D SLUGGERS – [ why are you like this ]
Jacob Pernell – SNOW HORSE: Remixed
Jake “virt” Kaufman – Shantae: Half-Genie Hero OST
joshquery – Galaxy
Knight of the Round – Sin
Professor Shyguy – Merry Chipmas v.2
RoboRob – Pulse EP
Rozen – Keizaal: Journey to Skyrim
Sauraen – YIN / YANG: A One-Shot Concept Album
starshift – 1000 Years…
voia – futuresong
Zalza – Out of Memory
And for those wondering, I will indeed be at MAGFest this week. There will be a lot to check out and a lot of great friends to catch up with and I hope to see you there!