Nerd Music Releases: December 2017 Edition

It’s the end of 2017 folks and we have a special December edition of Nerd Music Releases for your aural pleasure. 2017 was quite a year. We had the launch of the Nintendo Switch, some fun movies including The Last Jedi, the rise of New Japan Pro Wrestling, and lots of good nerdy tunes. Once again, I have enjoyed another full year of writing this article as it has encouraged me to check out a lot of great artists that I would have not payed a whole lot of attention to. I hope you enjoyed many of this year’s releases.

Before we get on to December, I wanted to link back to all the other months of this year. I went back touched most of the articles up with some albums that slipped through the cracks, so now you can fully enjoy a 2017 of good video game tributes, nerdcore, chiptune, geek rock, and everything else that is nerdy!

January February March April May June
July August September October November

Alright, let’s put a bow on 2017 and see what December brought to us!

Dual CoreDowntime

Lately, nerdcore has been mostly raps about video games, cartoons, and pop culture, but there was a time where you would hear more raps that go deeper down the rabbit hole of the nerd life. Dual Core brings that back with Downtime, and album about programming, computers. and hacking, among other things. The digital gangster lifestyle sounds glamorous, but int eighty and c64 show the opposite of the perception throughout.

Downtime has a darker edge to it than most nerdcore released this year. The beats are fantastic, with dabs of cyberpunk influence, like hip hop Blade Runner. Lyrical content is top notch, with great stories told in just about each song. (I say just about because tracks like “ShowerCon” are more comedy than serious.) If you have not heard Dual Core before. you owe it to yourself to check the out as Downtime is one of the best nerdcore albums of 2017.

RozenSins of Hyrule

This year has been great for Legend of Zelda fans. Breath of the Wild is tremendous, winning multiple awards including Game of the Year. But there have been nearly a dozen significant musical releases that pay tribute to the iconic compositions the franchise has brought us. Sins of Hyrule from Rozen is a very epic take on the modern Zelda games, featuring orchestral arrangements with choir of Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time, and Breath of the Wild.

Sins of Hyrule is masterful, drawing inspiration from from the conflict of the goddesses of Hylia and the great evils that exist across the many dimensions and timelines and Zelda. If you enjoyed Hero of Time from Eric Buchholz, you will love this too. This is the kind of tribute album that shows that video game music is just as legitimate as any other kind of music there is, and as a Legend of Zelda fan, you will definitely feel a lot of emotions when you hear Sins of Hyrule. It’s simply beautiful.

Ben BriggsStill Turning

Many know Ben Briggs for his sick video game remixes and his work with OverClocked Remix, GameChops, and Tiny Waves. Many may not know that Ben has been growing as a producer, making original electronic music. Early on, you could hear the vgm influence in albums like Fearless Living, but Ben has gone beyond that in Still Turning.

This album is certainly Ben going to new frontiers musically, as much of his album doesn’t resemble anything he has composed previously. He’s upgraded his engineering tools and techniques, bringing out a new side of Ben’s creativity. Still Turning is more of a musical reflection of Ben’s life experiences, dealing with issues of loneliness, determination, the ups and downs of romance, and learning to be open with others. There are songs you can chill out on this, and even songs you can groove or dance to. This may not be the Ben Briggs longtime fans are used to, but it is worth checking out.

OverClocked RemixSecret of Mana: Resonance of the Pure Land

Friends, Secret of Mana is one of my favorite video games of all time. While I am not to hyped for next year’s remake, the original Super Nintendo version will always have a special place in my heart. There was nothing the like the multi-player adventure RPG when it came out, and the soundtrack is still phenomenal. So leave it to the homies at OverCloacked Remix to release a free three disc album of remixes of all the game’s music.

Secret of Mana: Resonance of the Pure Land does a great job of arranging Hiroki Kikuta’s iconic game soundtrack into many different genres. The discs are themed to each of the main characters of the game, with Randi/Boy being tracks about strength and courage, Primm/Girl being the more exciting and adventurous tracks, and Popoi/Sprite containing arrangements about spirit, magic, and life. It’s a tremendous release, and one that any Secret of Mana fan will love and take to back to the days taking down the Mana Fortress.

Theory of NNostalgia

Longtime OverClocked Remix fans know Theory of N for his video game remixes, but Nostalgia is his second album of original music, that definitely draws inspiration from his work with video game music. Using that theme of nostalgia, Theory of N uses chiptune, jazz, and electronic music to craft a personal reflection of who Theory of N is a person.

Nostalgia is a fun, relaxing listen that you can chill out to. It can get a little funky at times too. Theory of N grew up around Nintendo and Game Boy and that is a huge influence in this; however, I hear hints on Sonic the Hedgehog throughout as well. Personal life events of N’s past are also expressed musically. Every song was made in a way that a nostalgic feeling could be felt. This release is a great step forward for Theory of N and one to check out.

Manami MatsumaeThree Movements

So everyone by now knows that the Mega Man franchise is now 30 years old and Capcom is going to celebrate the next year of Mega Man in a big way with a brand new game and collection releases. Hell, there was even this really amazing Mega Mania event in Orlando that sold out The Geek Easy. But on the 30th birthday of the Blue Bomber, the composer of the original Mega Man, Manami Matsumae released her first solo album, celebrating 30 years as a game composer. (She had joined Capcom in 1987 after she graduated college.)

Three Movements is a fantastic album of original music that features Manami’s ventures works into chiptunes, trance, orchestral, and ambient soundscapes. Split into three sections, some of these tracks could very well appear in a modern Mega Man game. Regardless, they stand on their own quite well as the arrangements and melodies are well-made. Three Movements was a welcome surprise and I hope to hear more albums from Manami Matsumae.

December was a loaded month of releases and we only scratched the surface. Make sure you check out the rest of what this month had to offer and let me know what you think in the comments!

Ace Waters – Zelda Month
chibi-tech – Psycho Somatic Generation
Crab Sound – Memorias y movimientos EP
GameChops – Ultraball
Grizzly Cogs – Flocons
Harry Lodes – Reprisal
IDecade – Sinergy
Klirre – Krieg and Karies
Lex the Lexicon Artist – L.E.X. (Remixed)
Miracle of Sound – Level 8
Nintendocore Lives – Nintendocore Goes 90s
Petriform – Ultramarine
she – Chroma
Shinesparker – Harmony of a Champion (Music from Pokemon Red and Green)
Shiryu – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Chiptune
Sparky+ – Emotion
SonikBuster – Sleep Mode
String Player Gamer – Pluckhead (A Cuphead String Album)
Tetracase – Full Tilt
tsr – nanoloop minimalism
Ultraklystron – No Words Only Feels


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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