Nerd Music Releases: September 2017 Edition

Welcome to the September edition of Nerd Music Releases. The weather is starting to cool down a little here in Florida but things are still hot in the world of nerd music. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma slowed down some planned releases for September, but a lot of great music was able to come out nonetheless. We hope you made it out okay, as it was an intense month, but now we got some great jams for your aural pleasure.

Mega Ran – Extra Credit

One of nerdcore’s greatest emcees, Mega Ran, is back with a follow-up of sorts to the critically acclaimed RNDM. Extra Credit, much like it’s prequel, is focused on introspective songs and social commentary on education, the music industry, aging in hip hop, and various real world topics as opposed to raps about video games and pop culture. (Though the final track is about The Defenders series.)

Mega Ran’s love for literature shows with a tribute to the classic book To Kill a Mockingbird, which may be my favorite song on the album due to the power of its message. There is also a tribute to fallen comrades Rustin Luther (from Urizen) and Phoenix rapper Thaahum (who also raps on The Defenders track) in Wouldn’t Miss it for the World and even a remix of  last year’s single Church that features backing vocal from SisQo. Yes, THAT SisQo. There is never a dull moment in the life of Mega Ran, as you can see on his social media.

If you loved RNDM, there are several dope remixes on this as well including Rushmore and Miss Communication. Overall, I prefer RNDM, but there is some really good stuff on Extra Credit to check out. Mega Ran assembled some very talented producers for this album, which results in a strong variety of some great beats that compliment his lyrical content that is constantly evolving.

RadioSEGA – Collision Theory

If you love music from Sega games, this one is for you. You don’t even need to keep reading this. Just get it. Collision Theory is a charity album that features mashups of Sega jams from various electronic artists under the RadioSEGA net label. The album opens up with a Streets of Rage 2’s Go Straight remixed with Ristar’s Crazy Kings so you know it is going to rule hard from the get-go.

Outrun vs Golden Axe, Altered Beast vs Vectorman, and NiGHTS into Dreams vs Panzer Dragoon are some of mashups to expect and there is quite a bit of Streets of Rage represented, which makes sense as the music of those games were inspired Japan’s early 90s dance club scene. All proceeds from the album sales go to Special Effect, a charity focused on helping people with disabilities to enjoy video games, which should give you even more incentive to get this.

Ro Panuganti – The Dark Hunter Music from the Metroid Series

Ro Panuganti, also known as SwigglesRP, is back with another progressive metal VGM tribute. Following up on his tremendous Breath of the Wild album, The Wild, Ro has set his sites on the Metroid franchise with The Dark Hunter: Music from the Metroid Series. Focusing on music from the original Metroid, Super Metroid, and Metroid Prime, Ro Panuganti and goes for a hard-hitting, atmospheric renditions of the classic music of Metroid that would fit perfectly with modern games of series.

With Metroid: Samus Returns also released in September and Metroid Prime 4 coming out in 2018, this is a timely release. Some of you are going to wonder how it compares to Metroid Metal’s version of these songs. In some ways, they are obviously similar, but Metroid Metal has original riffs and melodies that they lace into their covers while Ro goes for a more faithful, albeit darker arrangement. If you are looking for Metroid music that hits you right in the face like a melee counter, The Dark Hunter is going to do the job.

Marshall Art and Cory Johnson – Timeline EP

The chiptune rock duo Marshall Art teamed up with video game rocker Cory Johnson for a video game album that features chiptune rock epics from Legend of Zelda, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, and Undertale. NES hardware sounds and electric guitars with heavy effects make up the arrangement of Timeline EP, which makes for a very fresh take on these four games that have had their music covered heavily in the VGM community.

Instead of being a note-for-note cover album, Timeline EP takes more of a creative interpretation with these iconic melodies. Most of the album features some pretty trippy arrangements, but the track MGLV: The Easiest Enemy features a take on Meglovania opens up like Black Sabbath’s Iron Man, which may make it one of the best versions of that track yet. (Which says a lot, because I am sure there are at least 50 covers of Meglovania.)

Uraboroshi – Four Elements

Hailing from Japan, Uraboroshi unleashes Four Elements, a Game Boy-style chiptune album that has some complex and high-tempo chip compositions. The four elements of earth, wind, fire, water are the theme for this EP, but other than track titles, I don’t hear anything that would resemble that, but the layered melodies are pretty frantic in pace if you are looking for chiptune music that you can move around to. There is a fifth track that combines ideas from the four songs, because heart is not a real element.

Random Encounter – Lost Frequency

Earlier this year, Orlando video game band (with an accordion) Random Encounter announced that they we be going on an indefinite hiatus, which was and still is sad news. Throughout the existence of the band, they have been working on a concept album of original music that they promised to still release. Now that it is out, Lost Frequency may be the final album Random Encounter ever releases. If that is the case, they are going out on a very good note.

Originally, Lost Frequency was to tie into Careless’ Liberty comic book universe, but the direction has changed to an original sci-fi story of an parallel universe engaged in intergalactic war. While the music is all original, you can hear the influence of video games like Castlevania and Final Fantasy in some of the songs. Hell, the legendary Final Fantasy and Vampire hunter D illustrator Yoshitaka Amano drew the album art! Musically, this album differs from past Random Encounter albums, with the introduction of synth, more singing, and less accordion. There is some songs with piano and string instrumentation as well. It almost sounds like a completely different band that is playing the music.

Having talked with members of Random Encounter over the last couple years about this album, I can tell you that they worked really hard on composing, recording, and mixing Lost Frequency and that effort shows. From a production standpoint, it’s their best work. Some fans may prefer them to play video game covers, but these guys have proven to be capable of more. While Random Encounter is now over, some of the members have moved onto Careless Juja and Under Polaris, which both carry the spirit that RE fans have come to love.

September was a loaded month, with even more releases. Check them out and please let us know what you think in the comments.

Aethernaut – Summer Jamz
Bytedoll Records – Bytedoll Showcase
Chiptunes = WIN – DeskPOP & ChipWIN
Cojam – Quantum Suiccide
Foilverb – Nostalgic Portrait
Funk Fiction – Sonic BeATS
Materia Collective – Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor OST
ModTomIT – Sated by Galaxies
Nightmargin – Oneshot: Soltice Soundtrack
OverClocked Remix – Smash the Record: The Record
Rich Douglas – Another World Symphony
Rozen & Reven – NieR: Glory to Mankind
String Player Gamer – UNDERTALE: Strings of Determination (Complete Edition)
Tonight We Launch – 2NIGHT 2LAUNCH

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, video games, and all things geeky. You can follow him on twitter @FistoftheMFK.

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