Nerd Music Releases: January 2017 Edition

Welcome friends, to the first Nerd Music Releases of 2017! 2016 was a pretty great year as far as releases from our community. How will 2017 shape up? Well it’s off to a great start with big compilation albums as well as amazing renditions of classic JRPG pieces.

Of course, this year started off with a bang with MAGFest, which took place in the Washington DC-area. There was music everywhere at MAGFest with 3 – 5 stages active throughout the weekend with nearly 100 acts performing. If you have any interest in advancing as a performer in nerd music, you need to be at MAGFest. Even if you aren’t accepted for main stage, there are plenty of ways to perform elsewhere at the event.

Oh, and while we are on shows, Orlando Overdrive has been announced. It’s a celebration and showcase of the best of the best of Orlando’s nerd music community and with will be a BackBooth on Saturday, April 22nd. The lineup will be determined by fan vote so get on that before February 13th.

Alright! Let’s see what came out in the month of January!


Arc Impulse – Arc Impulse

I saw these guys for the first time at MAGFest last month and I thought they did very well. My research shows that they were once called The Spoony Bards, but they are now named after a Chrono Trigger Triple Tech Attack. Arc Impulse is obviously a video game cover band, but with a violin and A KEYTAR. That alone won me over, but these instruments aren’t typically used with video game bands so you have tunes that sound different and in some cases better with  them. I highly recommend checking out the Metroid melody they have on their self-titled album for reference. This might be the first act to cover anything from Space Harrier for you old-school Sega fans.


The Travelers – The Travelers

This ended up being my favorite release of the month. The Travelers appears to be a new group of VGM veterans that have members also in Materia Collective, Triforce Quartet, Tetrimo. This self-titled album are European folk renditions of some of the greatest JRPG compositions ever. I don’t go out of my way to listen to celtic or nordic music, but this album sounds beautiful from start to finish. If you are a fan of arranged JRPG music – including the likes of Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Mana, Bravery Default, and others – it does not get much better than this.


Nintendocore Lives – Glitched

The Nintendocore Lives group is back at it with more chiptune metal with Glitchedwith the concept of what happens when those video game glitches come alive in the music? At least, I think that is what they were going for. This album hits hard and fast and goes dark in a few spots, and going with the “Glitched” theme, the music will just go to weird places out of nowhere. And there is plenty of unintelligible metal screaming. You either dig that or you don’t. There is also a performer on this compilation named “She Wants the D-Pad” which is now my favorite musician name ever.


OverClocked Remix – Super Mario RPG: Window to the Stars

I was there at Anime Weekend Atlanta in late-September when OverClocked Remix announced that they would releasing an album of Super Mario RPG OCRemixes. Being one of my favorite childhood games and a timeless classic, I have been eagerly awaiting, especially since OverClocked Remix has killed it with their album releases. It has been years in the making, but Super Mario RPG: Window to the Stars is finally out. It’s 34 tracks and over two hours of fun remixes of one of Yoko Shimomura’s most-beloved soundtracks, It’s broken up into themes on each disc: Exploration, Confrontation, and Celebration. I gravitated to the Confrontation disc the most as that is where all the battle and boss themes are. After listening to Window to the Stars a few times already, I say that OverClocked Remix has done it again.


OverClocked Records – Crypt of the NecroDancer: OverClocked

OverClocked Records is a spinoff of OverClocked Remix and seems to be more focused on original game soundtracks. (I think.) Crypt of the NecroDancer: OverClocked is an electronic remix album of the rhythm game from Brace Yourself Games, but the music of this album can also be heard in the game as DLC. I never played the game, but I had to listen to this album because it features the who’s who of VGM electronic remixers and DJs, including RoboRob, bLiNd, Ben Briggs, Phonetic Hero, RoBKTA, Prototype Raptor, DDRKirby, and more. This is a very polished album and now that I have just finished listening to it, I may want to check out the game. It’s on the WiiU, right?

January had even more good stuff. Here are more new releases that got 2017 off to a great start. Check them out and let me know what you think in the comments. (One of these days, you guys will do that.)

8-Bit Hero – A Heart of Empathy
azuria sky – This Is Goodbye (If You Need It To Be)
Big Giant Circles – Hive Jump
Dr. Awkward – Better Late Than Never
FamilyJules – Aria Awakened
GameChops – Smooth McGroove Remixed 2
KOOL SKULL – TEMPLE OF SLIME
little-scale – Sad Anime
Materia Collective – ZODIAC: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed
Nagareboshi – Y U M E
Nanode – Paradise
Nanode – Voyager
Wojciech Golczewski – Dark Souls
Yoann Turpin – Gothikon

Starting in February’s Nerd Music Releases, I am going set a cutoff for the 25th for releases to listen to and cover. I have would like to get these articles at the end of the month they are covering rather than the beginning of the next month. Anything after the 25th will be pushed to the next month. It might also help if acts could send me their music to listen to in advance at ongakuoverdrive@gmail.com. Feel free to take advantage of that and see you at the end of February.

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Kent Ward
Author: Kent Ward View all posts by

Kent Ward was created from the combination of anime, classic videogames, and pro wrestling. His obsession with crazy cartoons from Japan led to the founding of Propeller Anime, a prominent anime club in Orlando, FL. Kent also runs Ongaku Overdrive, a music festival dedicated to all sorts of music inspired by anime, videogames, and all things geeky. You can follow him on twitter @FistoftheMFK.

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