In this series we take a look at computer game soundtracks from the past that influenced a generation of people to become fans of electronic and underground music. It is no secret that for the youth of the 80s and 90s, computer games played an integral roll in influencing and forming musical tastes. From techno to hip-hop, video games exposed the youth to music that was outside of commercial radio at the time, and long before the internet. Join us on our journey in rediscovering the best of the bunch.
When I was a younger self I used to look forward to the release of Official Playstation Magazine like it was Christmas each and every month. Why? Because of the DEMO DISC that came with every issue. I used to rinse the one or two level games on them in times where buying the full game might not have been possible. It was a little taster of games I wanted until I had saved enough pocket money to go buy the full thing. And in Official UK Playstation Magazine 18 vol. 2 I was exposed to ‘Ghost in a Shell’ for the very first time along with its soundtrack.
Ghost In A Shell’ started as the Japanese manga series illustrated by Masamune Shirow. The manga, first serialised in 1989 under the subtitle of The Ghost in the Shell, told the story of the fictional counter-cyberterrorist organisation Public Security Section 9, led by protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi, in the mid-21st century of Japan. There has since been a number of films released along with TV Series, however it is the game released for the PS1 which we are interested in today.
Ghost in the Shell the game was developed by Exact and released for the PlayStation on July 17, 1997, in Japan by Sony Computer Entertainment and later in the rest of the world. It is a third-person shooter featuring an original storyline where the character plays a rookie member of Section 9. The game was alright however the soundtrack Megatech Body was an absolute monster that I still listen to on regular occasions.
Although at the time of first playing the game the soundtrack, although appreciated, probably at the time not given the full appreciation it deserved. Several years after this I began clubbing and partaking in all that goes with it and I soon began to find myself listening to this at after parties along with similar appreciative pals.
With the likes of Joey Beltram, The Advent and Derrick May providing the tracks the theme is obviously Grade-A techno throughout the first half of the OST. Some of it serious, industrial and pounding, whilst others are more Detroit and Chicago influenced with bigger chords and groovier drums, like with Dave Angels ‘Can You Dig It’ and Derrick May’s ‘To Be Or Not To Be (Off The Cuff Mix)’. The second hour is a more eclectic collection of electronic music spanning electro, house and acid. A personal favourite from this half is a lovely detroit-ey house banger called ‘So High’.
I would love to pick out a more favourites but to be honest every one of the tracks is amazing and something I would happily play out in a club today. We really were spoilt for choice in the 90s when it came to gaming soundtracks and this epitomises that in every way.
If you’ve heard it before then reminisce. If not, enjoy.
1 – Takkyu Ishino - Ghost In The Shell
2 – Mijk Van Dijk - Firecracker
3 – Brother From Another Planet - Ishikawa Surfs The System
4 - Hardfloor - Spook & Spell (Fast Version)
5 - WestBam - Featherhall
6 - Joey Beltram - The Vertical
7 - Scan X - Blinding Waves
8 - The Advent - The Searcher Part II
9 - BCJ - Spectre
10 - Dave Angel - Can U Dig It
11 - Derrick May - To Be Or Not To Be (Off The Cuff Mix)
12 Fuchi Koma
13 Down Loader
16 Brain Dive
17 Spook & Spell (Slow Version)
18 Die Dunkelsequenz
9 Section 9 Theme
20 So High
21 Mysterious Traveller (The Mix Of A Mix Mix)