Altar Flowers

NYPC

Erasure

Lana Del Rey

Locean

Bombay Bicycle Club

Goldblade

ILL

John Foxx

The Happy Soul

Holly Johnson

English Heretic

Mountain Song

DENA

The Heartbreaks

Charlotte OC

East India Youth

The Lone Taxidermist

Ten Mouth Electron

Saint Etienne

MiSTOA POLTSA

The Yossarians

video game music

Blastian (iPhone game)

Small project, nice little iPhone shoot-em-up. They only required a theme tune and a repeated in-game tune.

My thinking n this one was that shoot-em-up games always use generic moody techno. To me, this doesn’t capture the feeling of a really great shoot em up, which is a lot more “HELL YEAH” than that. So I suggested going total rock / metal with it. It seemed to work out pretty well.

The theme tune is utterly shameless proggy rock. The in-game stuff is a fairly blatant stab at something like the more angular bits of Led Zeppelin’s oeuvre; like something off Presence, maybe. Makes me want to blow stuff up, anyway.

Go Go Rescue Squad (video game)

A really fun project this, everything had a really cartoony feel and I tried to reflect that in the music. Did all the music and sound effects for it, including the voices of the in-game characters, which are all wordless squeaks and grunts; the idea was to create voice effects that wouldn’t need translation. (Credit where it’s due, “Panic Room” and “Pimlico Heights” were co-written with the game’s brilliant animator Rob Noyce).

The squeaky toy style was achieved using the time-honoured cartoon method of speeding up recordings of my own voice to various degrees. Spent a couple of amusing evenings on my balcony confusing the neighbours above and below holding a mic and shouting WHHEEEEE, OWWWW, YAY and so on.

Lots of foley stuff in this one too. There’s a bouncing balloon sound that was actually achieved hitting a plastic Pepsi bottle with a wooden spoon; spent some time dropping various items into the bath; a hairy moment close miking the flame on a gas cooker. Foley is the most ridiculous and brilliant job in the world.

Musically, I made a concious choice to use lots of acoustic sounds; acoustic guitars, sitar, piano, banjo, steel drums, upright bass and so on. I think this is still unusual in games, which tend to go for either orchestral or techno, and gives the end result a really distinctive flavour.

One of my favourites is “Danger Room” which was for these super tricky bonus levels. Really pleased to have got something so atonal and abstract in there.

My one regret about this project was that I didn’t push to get a budget for recording real brass. The synth brass sounds are kind of okay in the cartoony context, but it would have been so much cooler with a real brass section.

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