Happy Holidays, nerds! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. November is one of my favorite months of the year. Beautiful weather, lots of games, and plenty of fun. It’s come and gone, leaving us with some nerdy music jams to groove and dance to. It’s totally okay for nerds to dance. We need it these days! There’s a lot of video game music too. So let’s see what November brought us…
Benjamin Briggs – No Restraint
Ben Briggs created a fanbase with excellent, danceable video game remixes but he has not shyed away from making his own electronic music and experimenting in areas new to him. In the past, he released albums such as four.Songs and Fearless Living to emphasize that point. Ben’s latest, No Restraint, continues on some of the ideas he established in Fearless Living by creating house music with his brand of VGM influence.
While his familiar effects and flows can be heard hear throughout, this almost sounds like a darker release compared to Ben’s typical high-energy dance releases. But No Restraint is about letting go of inhibitions and trying new things without fear of failure. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Tiny Waves – YoshEP: A Musical Loveletter
In 2016, Tiny Waves established itself as a net label, similar to GameChops, which Tiny Waves founder Ben Briggs has been a part of. One of their latest releases is a tribute to Nintendo’s Yoshi series. YoshEP,: A Musical Loveletter brings in producers such as Ben Briggs, RoboRob, Steven Silo, arthur x medic, and others to remix Yoshi game music into upbeat dance jams. I’ve found it interesting that Nintendo’s most kid-friendly games like Yoshi and Kirby have been a farm for remixes over the years, but the music that comes from them ends up being very catchy.
LongBoxOfChocolate – The Lesser Dogs
What is cool about this one is that multiple genres of music are featured throughout, such as rock, jazz, and funk. No two songs on this sound the same. I have heard a bunch of Undertale tribute albums this year, and this one picks compositions that haven’t been remixed or covered dozens of times, which is very refreshing. The download even includes sheet music if you want to practice songs on your own time.
Materia – New Game+
Materia is a jazz fusion collective of 27 musicians that met at MAGfest and their debut album, New Game+, a soulful tribute to some of video game’s most beloved music. I have loved hearing more jazz renditions of video game music in 2016 and this album keeps the party going, with well-polished tributes to the Final Fantasy series, Mega Man Zero 4, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Jazz Jackrabbit, and an 11-minute Chrono Trigger suite. Jazz lovers and video game music fans will want to check this out.
Jackson Alexander Parodi – Accordion VGM #1
If you live in Orlando, you will know Jackson as the accordion player for the fantastic video game rock band, Random Encounter. He was discovered by them through his YouTube channel, which features tons of accordion covers of music from video games and pop culture. Now, he has released his first solo-album, Accordion VGM #1.
This album features tributes to Metal Gear Solid, Katamari Damacy, Civilization IV, Legend of Mana, and various Final Fantasy games. Video game music can be played and enjoyed in all sorts of ways, which is why it’s fantastic. And now you can enjoy it on accordion!
Here are more releases to groove to from November. I was also told by Marc with a C that he has a new live album on his Patreon for those who pledge $10 or higher, which I did, but I don’t know how to Patreon. Anyways, check these releases out too and let me know what you think in the comments!
Bitonal Landscape – Heavy Machine Gun
dicepticon – mayday ep
Emar – EP2 Live
Materia Collective: Song Cycle: The History of Video Games
MisfitChris – Romantic Breeze
NICKELPUNK – no recovery
Sparky+ – Universal Star
StarStorm – Rainbow Boba
Theophany: Time’s End II: Majora’s Mask Remixed
Tiny Waves – TOKUFU x TNYWVS
unexpected bowtie – TOKYO