Music and Gaming - Ghost in a Shell (PS1)

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.

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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

14 Thanato

15 Moonriver

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)

Music and Gaming - 'Grand Theft Auto' (PS1, 1997)

 

 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. 

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LONG, long before it was abbreviated to just 'GTA', the first release in the franchise was graphically a far-cry away from where it is now. The now infamous Rockstar Games were a practically unknown games developer before they smashed into people lives with this epic title. Sure, they were still  called DMA, based in Dundee,  when 'Grand Theft Auto' was released, but they became Rockstar. Not only was the game perfect for any teen of the 90's being rebellious in nature and rife in its reference to drugs, guns and gangs, the developers reputation was cemented as bad boys of the gaming world when they were faced with lawsuit, after lawsuit after lawsuit from all areas of the concerned mainstream world, from parents to priests. These mostly failed, but was a PR gold mine for Rockstar.

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Even to this day and throughout the series, there are similarities that remain from the genesis of the most successful gaming series in history. The gameplay, the violence, the sheer enjoyment are all aspects that have kept each title as spectacular as the ones that came before it. But it's the music that has always remained top notch and instrumental in adding to the ambience of each time and city you find yourself in. Young adults across the world will credit GTA and the series as introducing them to classic tracks from years gone by, and we will look at these in detail in future posts on the topic.

'Grand Theft Auto', however, wasn't embellished with the huge artist roster we are familiar with in the versions later than PS1. The soundtrack was written primarily by a relatively unknown composer and producer named Craig Connor, who is credited with the entire playlist.

For only 60 minutes of radio play this was by far the most advanced and captivating reality based soundtrack of any game that came before it. It was actual radio, that switched on when you got in the car! And was a different station in different cars! WTF! Very exciting stuff as a 10 year old playing a game rated as an 18.

Hip-hop, trance, acid, break beat and techno are all evident, along with a quirky country number that was always playing in the pick-up trucks.

Reminisce, people...

Music and Gaming - OctaMED (Commodore Amiga)

 

 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. 

Stepping outside of the standard agenda of this series, today we take a peek at an absolute revolution in the use of home gaming consoles and electronic music.

If you think Ableton looks confusing, the below image shows the equivalent back in the early 1990s.

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OctaMED was a music production suite designed for the Commodore Amiga console.

The distinguishing feature of MED and OctaMED in comparison to other music trackers on the Amiga was that MED and OctaMED were chiefly used by musicians to create stand-alone works, rather than by game or demo musicians to make tunes that play in the context of a computer game or demo.

In others words, the entire bedroom producer culture was born out of this software and its limited, yet brilliantly used capabilities.

It only had 4 Channels to work with, and graphically there was a rather daunting interface, making Ableton today seem like a dream.

Here is a video showing a track produced on the software playing by heavyweight Jungle/DnB legend Aphrodite. 
DJ Aphrodite who was also part of Urban Shakedown, used two Amiga 1200's running OctaMED to create a range of his early hits such as "Dub Moods", "Summer Breeze", "King Of The Beats", joint productions with Micky Finn such as "Bad Ass" and the remix of 'The Jungle Brothers'-"True Blue" and also including his first album, Aphrodite.

NOTE- The stereo field is pretty messed up. (For reasons we won't bore you with here)

Music and Gaming - WipeOut (PS1)

 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. 


Last time we posted about the 'G-Police’ soundtrack  from the Sony Playstation 1, but this week we feel we have to talk about the game series with the most pounding of soundtracks of all time which gave it classic status as the series that embraced the harder forms of electronic music, Wipeout.

The description for the title reads "Ballistic Antigravity Racing", and the soundtrack couldn't any more perfect. Fast, acidy, pounding, rolling, racing ballistic AF techno... it melted my tiny mind then and it does so even more now.

If you grew up as a kid in the 90s and now listen to techno, there is a good chance this is the reason why... with tracks by The Chemical BrothersLeftfield and Orbital it is absolutely no surprise. If you have never heard of WipeOut then I suggest you play it. But for now, enjoy the noises...

TRACKLIST:
00:00 Intro
01:16 Cairodrome
08:44 Cardinal Dancer
16:01 Cold Comfort
24:10 Doh T
32:27 Messij
40:16 Operatique
48:57 Tentative
57:06 Transvaal

Music and Gaming - 'G-Police' (PS1)

 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. 

For those who played the futurist 'G-Police' released in 1997 on the Playstation 1, they should remember the soundtrack that was comprised of jungle, DnB, trip-hop, acid and techno numbers that still would destroy any soundtrack of current games.

The game itself took place in 2097 on Jupiters Moon 'Callisto', where flying cars exist in cities encapsulated by giant domes to protect the citizens from the dark void of space beyond (and presumably to keep the player confined to a map). The gameplay as I remember was fun, and the graphics and the relative freedom you had to fly about it your jet propelled police helicopter was unique for the time. But it was the soundtrack that keeps me coming back to this game in moments of reminiscence.

As a 10 year old I recall loving these (to me) new sounds that I hadn't really heard on the commercial channels such as the Radio and 'Top of the Pops'.
An appreciated of the music through a big old boxy TV of yesteryear in mono was one thing, but listening now through an actual sound system gives a whole new level of appreciation for the soundtrack.

Enjoy.