søndag 27. februar 2011

The Borrowers (2010) - Original Soundtrack





















Genres: Celtic
Music Composed by: Cecile Corbel

Tracklist:
1. "The Neglected Garden" - (4:12)
2. "Our House Below - Movie Version" - (3:29)
3. "Our House Below - Instrumental Version" - (2:29)
4. "The Doll House - Instrumental Version" - (2:59)
5. "Sho's Lament - Instrumental Version 1" - (2:47)
6. "Arrietty's Song - Instrumental Version" -(3:31)
7. "Sho's Waltz" - (2:44)
8 "The Neglected Garden - Instrumental Version" - (1:14)
9. "Spiller - Instrumental Version" - (2:01)
10. "Rain - Instrumental Version" - (1:08)
11. "The Wild Waltz" - (3:03)
12. "Sho's Lament - Instrumental Version 2" - (3:13)
13. "An Uneasy Feeling" - (3:13)
14. "With You" - (2:38)
15. "The House is in Silence" - (1:28)
16. "Sho's Song - Instrumental Version" - (3:17)


For some reason I haven't really been wanting to blog lately, and I've just pretty much stayed away from the blogging site, and not even visiting the blogs that I have subscribed to. Now I feel like its time for a change of pace and get back into blogging. Its not like I don't have enough music to recommend, far from it sometimes its just, picking the right albums, and having the will power to do it.

First blog after the break will feature the soundtrack from the Japanese animation feature film The Borrower Arrietty, not yet released outside Japan.



Anyways on to the album itself, this is what inspired me to come back and write about music again on my blog. I've been listening to it religiously since friday, and believe me this one is truly a gem of musical soundtrack, worth every second of my time listening to.

My first impression when listening to this soundtrack wasn't all positive. The Borrowers is Ghibli movie and I had certainly expected that Joe Hisaishi would be the one to compose the music for this album so I was certainly surprised when I took a look at the playlist and saw the name Cecile Corbel. Cecile who? This isn't Joe Hisaishi, and I've never heard of her. Looking past that I gave it a listen, and for once I'm actually happy Hisaishi wasn't doing the soundtrack to this ghibli movie. Cecile's musical style fits like a glove to the environment and the setting itself the movie is set to.

I actually just skimmed past the few songs, and I loved it just like that, at some times you just know you like an album even just skimming past a few tracks, and this is one of them. What surprised me even more is that Cecile Corbel does all of the lyrics herself, and her voice is absolutely breathtaking. If you are into some cheerful celtic music, or just like movie music in general you cannot miss out on this release.

onsdag 16. februar 2011

The Tallest Man on Earth - Shallow Graves




















Genres:  Folk, Acoustic

Tracklist:
1. "I Won't be Found" - (2:47)
2. "Pistol Dreams" - (3:34)
3. "Shallow Graves" - (2:37)
4. "Honey Won't you let me in" - (2:56)
5. "Where do my Bluebird Fly" - (3:17)
6. "The Gardner" - (3:56)
7. "The Blizzard's Never Seen the Desert Sands" - (2:01)
8. "The Sparrow and the Medicine" - (3:06)
9. "Into The Stream" - (2:47)
10. "This Wind" - (3:24)


Normally this isn't quite my music, but The Tallest Man on Earth certainly has made me change my mindset. All this great Swede needs his guitar and his voice and out comes beautiful and catchy songs. People don't always appreciate his vocals, due to its somewhat rather odd nature and to me it sounds very American.



All of his songs are short, easy to listen and simple in nature. Even with its simplicity it really is great. As words say much less than music itself ill just give you some examples of his songs. All his albums are of pretty high quality, and Shallow Grave is his debut album and a good place to start. If you ever get the chance to watch this guy live don't miss out on as it might just be even better than his albums.

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Yasunori Mitsuda - Kirite



















Genres: Celtic, Japanese, Orchestral

Tracklist: 
1. "Is Kirite Burning Up?" - (4:25)
2. "The Market in Volfinor"  - (4:28)
3. "Promise with Winds - Petal's Whereabouts" - (4:51)
4. "The Forest of Lapis Lazuli" - (3:19)
5. "The Azure" - (5:27)
6. "Scorning Blade" - (3:53)
7. "Upon the Melodies of the Moon" - (2:02)
8. "Fated Encounters - The Fall of Darkness" - (2:58)
9. "Nocturne" - (2:33)
10. "As Autumn Passes Away" - (3:40)
11. "The Snow Howling" - (3:29)
12. "Prayer Tree" - (2:10)
13. "The Name of Our Hope" - (4:53)
14. "Circle of Eternity" - (1:32)


Last weeks has been quite hectic with little time for making new posts, checking other fellow bloggers blogs and such. Hopefully ill have more time for this now, and today will feature a double update to make up for lost time.

First out is Yasunori Mitsuda's album Kirite. Mitsuda is most known for his works in the video game history providing the soundtracks of such games as Xenogears, Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger.What most do not know about him is that he has released a non-videogame album that actually holds quite high quality.

The album Kirite is based around the story The Five Seasons of Kirite written by Masato Kato where the story itself is set in a fantasy inspired world



While listening to this album you might notice that compared to Mitsudas video game soundtracks you can hear the melody has the same feel as his video game soundtracks. Other listeners might be put off at the Japanese Vocals that features in most of the tracks of this soundtrack.

While Kirite isn't Mitsuda's best work it is worth a listen to see what else he is capable of other than making video game music. Some of the tracks like Nocturne and Circle of Eternity is as well almost if not at par with some of his more memorable tracks from other albums like Time's Scar from Chrono Cross. Unfortunately the album is of some variable quality and not all songs are as good. But overall it is a solid album.


mandag 14. februar 2011

Carissa's Wierd - I Before E






















Genres: Indie, Shoegaze, Slowcore, Sadcore

Tracklist:
1. "Phantom Fireworks" - (5:32)
2. "Die" - (5:18)
3. "Blue Champagne Glass" - (4:48)
4. "Heather Rodes" - (2:53)
5. "One Night Stand" - (3:45)
6. "Drunk With The Only Saints I Know" - (3:28)
7. "Brooke Daniels' Tiny Broken Fingers" - (3:27)
8. "Bathtile Green" - (3:34)
9. "September" -(5:43)
10.  "Ignorant" - (3:19)
11. "Blankets Stare" - (4:06)
12. "Fluorescent Lights" - (4:59)

Carissa's Wierd is a dissolved band that lasted from the period 1995 to 2003. After that period 2 of the main members from the group spawned the vastly inferior group "Band of Horses".  Which is quite a shame because in that eight year period they didn't release a single bad album.

Their music is frankly quite depressing, the overall atmosphere and the lyrics itself are all rather depressing. You can even see it in song titles such as their top hit "Ignorant Piece of Shit".

Figured it could seem fitting for those who aren't the biggest fans of valentines and don't have anyone to share it with. With all the lovey-dovey there and there, lets have something depressive here. But seriously this band produced some pretty great music and its very much worth listening to.

lørdag 12. februar 2011

Pure Reason Revolution - Amor Vincit Omnia




















Genres: Prog Rock

Tracklist:
1. "Les Malheurs" - (5:02)
2. "Victorious Cupid" - (3:39)
3. "I) Keep me Sane/Insane" - (0:54)
4. "II) Apogee III) Requiem for the Lovers" - (5:22)
5. "Deus Ex Machina" - (5:40)
6. "Bloodless" - (4:55)
7. "Disconnect" - (5:54)
8. "The Gloaming" - (9:10)
9. "AVO" - (4:46)

Pure Reason Revolution brings a rather unique sound for being a prog rock band, and there isn't actually any band I can directly say sounds similar to them. This is particularly because they mix a lot of electro into it, and some songs might come of more similar to pop than prog rock actually.

I haven't had the chance to listen to their latest album as of yet, but Amor Vincit Omnia is a pure quality release, rivaling or maybe even beating their debut album The Dark Third.  For some this album might come of as a bit of grower and need a few listens, and maybe the debut album is actually a better place to start.

The highlight of their music is probably the vocals which fit very well into their style of music, and in particular the songs where both the woman and man sings it is very easy to fall in love with the vocals.

All in all this is one of the best records I've heard in the last 5 years and I can easily recommend it.


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torsdag 10. februar 2011

Heroes VS Villains
























HVV Official Page (Download for soundtrack here) 
 
Tracklist: 
1. "Big Giant Circles - Samus Aran (Metroid)" - The Bounty of a Brain (3:55)
2. "Mazedude - "Mother Brain (Metroid)" -Diesel Brainage - (3:55)
3. "audio fidelity feat. Eric Griffin, Derek Meler, Marcus Affeldt -Guybrush Threepwood (Monkey Island)" Pirate Shout - (3:32)
4. "Diggi Dis feat. Alex Jones - LeChuck (Monkey Island)" - Voodoo, Root's n Grog - (3:45)
5. "Brandon Strader - Kratos (God of War)" -Born of Ashes, Baptized in Blood (5:25)
6. "Kunal Majmudar - Zeus (God of War)" - Wrath Industrial  - (3:01)
7. "WillRock - Axel (Streets of Rage) - Bare Knuckle Blitz - (4:00)
8. "zyko - Mr X (Streets of Rage) - Mr.Z - (5:56)
9. "Mattias Häggström Gerdt - Mega Man (Mega Man) - Screw Wily, I'm taking a vacation (4:08)
10. "Joshua Morse - Dr. Wily (Mega Man) - Screw Mega Man, I'm taking over the world - (3:19)
11. "bLiNd - T.M.N.T (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) - Go Ninja, Go - (4:13)
12. "Danimal Cannon - Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) - Enter the Shredder - (4:09)
13. "José the Bronx Rican feat. zyko - Link (Legend of Zelda) - He Ain't a G - (4:22)
14. "zyko feat. José the Bronx Rican - Ganon (Legend of Zelda) - Bladewalker - (7:19)
15. "zircon, Joshua Morse - Ryu (Street Fighter) - Satsui no Koto - (2:57)
16. "posu yan, Joshua Morse feat. Stacy Morse - Sagat (Street Fighter) - Coconut Milk  - (3:39)
17. "Insert Rupee (Benjamin Briggs, halc) - Kirby (Kirby) - The Life and Death of Kirby - (3:54)
18. "Mazedude - King Dedede (Kirby) - Hot Air Penguin - (3:37)
19. "Mustin - Simon Belmont (Castlevania) - The Prodigal Son Returns (3:49)
20. "Ailsean - Dracula (Castlevania) - A Walk with Death - (4:16)

(Note the arrangers name are listed first, then song, then arranged song name)

So some of you might know of this little place called OCremix where they make musical arrangements of video game music. I frequent this site, and can say that much of the work is of very high quality and really shows off what you can do with video game music. It turns out there is another big release from some of their members this month with a soundtrack called "Heroes vs Villains"

Unlike many of the earlier projects I've listened to that has been compiled into albums, this album does not take music only from one or two games. Instead it has quite a big variety in terms of which videogames the music comes from, totaling into ten different games from Castlevania to Kirby. For each title, there is one song for the hero, and one for villain. Such as in the Monkey Island category you have one theme centered around Guybrush Threepwood and one for LeChuck the evil pirate.

Ill admit I haven't really got around to listening to much of it as of now as its not all that long ago since it has been released. I can say you can look forward to enjoy music from very much different genres, and that there probably is something for everyone there. Personally I fell in love with the Monkey Island tunes as this is a series very close to me, and it makes for some very interesting takes on two of the medleys.

Give it a go, after all its free made by fans for fans and these guys have done a fantastic job with this project.

Chrono Cross ~ Memory of Music




Music Composed by: Yasunori Mitsuda
Arranged by: Kou Ogata 

Tracklist:
1. "A Dream to Watch of Chrono" - (2:21) 
2. "Galdope Home" - (3:59)
3. "Telmina Another" - (3:38)
4. "Voyage Home" - (3:20)
5. "Telmina Home" - (2:45)
6. "Magical Dreamers" - With wind and a star and wavelet" - (3:07)
7. "The Girl Who Stole a Star" - (3:37)


Just some more video game music. Most are aware that Chrono Cross has a fantastic soundtrack, what many are not aware is of this little arranged album by Kou Ogata. The album is played in a rather celtic style. Disappointingly there is no Time's Scar on this album. What on earth where they thinking? That they possible couldn't perfect it anymore. Well I guess that could be it, it should be pretty damn hard to do that.

So yeah I've been listening a lot to Yasunori Mitsuda's work lately, and next one update is likely from the same person as well. It could prove slightly difficult in finding this CD, but its well worth it if you can.

tirsdag 8. februar 2011

Dredg - Catch Without Arms




















Genres: Alternative Rock, Prog Rock

Tracklist:
1. "Ode to the Sun" - (4:11)
2. "Bug Eyes" - (4:13)
3. "Catch Without Arms" - (4:12)
4. "Not That Simple" - (4:56)
5. "Zebra Skin" - (3:26)
6. "The Tanbark is Hot Lava" - (3:45)
7. "Sang Real" - (4:29)
8. "Planting Seeds" - (4:12)
9. "Spitshine" - (3:34)
10. "Jamais Vu" - (4:56)
11. "Hungover on a Tuesday" - (4:05)
12. "Mathroska" - (5:36)

Some fans of Dredg argue that Catch Without Arms is the album when they started going downhill and becoming mainstream. I disagree at least with the first statement. I've listened to all of their albums many times but I still don't think any of them can compare to Catch Without Arms or even get close to it. It certainly is much closer to more mainstream music than some of their older albums, but it certainly does not in any way make them any worse than they were before.



Dredg established themselves back in 1998 with Leitmotif, and since then released 3 other major albums. With an additional being released this upcoming spring. Their last album The Pariah, the Parrot, the Illusion released in 2009 follows very much the same style of music as Catch without Arms. So if you enjoy this album you are likely to enjoy that one as well.





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mandag 7. februar 2011

Kvelertak - Kvelertak





















Genres: Black Metal, Hardcore, Punk, Rock

Tracklist:
1. "Ulvetid" (Wolftime) - (3:29)
2. "Mjød" (Mead) - (2:30)
3. "Fossegrim" (folklore creature) - (3:32)
4. "Blodtørst" (Blood Thirst) - (3:37)
5. "Offernatt" (Night of Sacrifice) - (4:29)
6. "Sjøhyenar (Havets herrer)" (Seahyenas (Lords of the Ocean)) - (4:50)
7. "Sultans of Satan"- (4:35)
8. "Nekroskop" (Necroscope) - (5:10)
9. "Liktorn" (Callus) - (5:35)
10. "Ordsmedar av rang" (Wordsmiths of rank) - (4:27)
11. "Utrydd dei svake" (Eradicate the weak) - (6:22)



































As one might have noticed looking at the playlist, Kvelertak certainly is not an English band. The six man band "Kvelertak" released their debut album last year, and became widely known over the whole country (especially considering its genre). They still are not very well known outside of Scandinavia as of yet, but when I am listening to this album I get the feeling that is not gonna be the case in a few years. At least they've reached enough popularity in Norway to even create a music video.



I am not really that much into the type of music Kvelertak makes, but this is an exception. You cannot really label their works as hardcore or black metal in my opinion. Their works are far too melodic for either genre. Themselves say they draw inspiration from every corner looking for what they consider good sounding "rock n roll", and that is pretty much the result they've ended up with. A bit of a mixed bag stretching over many genres.

Heck if it weren't for the vocalist I think people could be labeling them as hipsters. Anyways, when still on the subject of vocals. Not a single song is sung in English, everything is in Norwegian so it could be a bit difficult to understand the lyrics. Then again, this type of music is not really known for making the vocals being to comprehend.

If you are into this type of music, I'd easily recommend it. Its a great debut album and I'm sure there is more to come from them in the coming years.

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søndag 6. februar 2011

Anamanaguchi - Dawn Metropolis




















Genres: Chiptune, 8-bit, Electronic

Tracklist: 
1. "Blackout City" - (3:24)
2. "Jetpack Blues" - (3:28)
3. "Dawn Metropolis" - (2:57)
4. "Danger Mountain" - (2:11)
5. "Overarrow" - (2:40)
6. "Tempest, Teamwork, Triumph (At Sea)" - (3:37)
7. "Mermaid" - (2:40)

"Anamanaguchi" consists of four group members from New York City. Their music combines Guitars, with electric tones mostly coming from hacked Nintendos and gameboys (pretty cool isn't it?). Their debut album "Power Supply" was released in 2006, and since then they've slowly started rising up to fame. Most notably in recent years they are known for making the music of the "Scott Pilgrim vs the World" video game.

Their music style should be quite familiar to anyone who enjoys video game music from the late 80s and 90s as it resembles a bit more of a modern version of that.

It might be worth to take a look at their earlier release "Power Supply" as well if you do enjoy "Dawn Metropolis" as some might say its arguably a better. My personal preference leans over to "Dawn Metropolis" though.

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Final Fantasy 13 (Piano Collections)




Composed and Arranged by: Masashi Hamauzu
Performed by:  Aki Kuroda
Genres: Piano, Video Game Music

Tracklist: 
1.  "Lightning's Theme ~ Blinded by the Light" - (3:43)
2. "Final Fantasy XIII - The Promise ~ Sunleth Waterscape" - (4:46)
3. "March of the Dreadnoughts" - (3:18)
4. "The Gapra Whitewood" - (4:36)
5. "Nautilus" - (6:12)
6. "Vanille's Theme ~ Memories of Happier Days ~ The Road home" - (4:37)
7. "Nascent Requiem" - (4:03)
8. "Fang's Theme" - (3:53)
9. "Reminiscence - Sulya Springs Motif" - (5:16)
10. "Prelude to Final Fantasy XIII Full Version" - (4:45)

I never really liked Final Fantasy 13, there was something about it that was just completely off. Well there were a lot of things I didn't like about the game. I'm not gonna go into depth to that though, the point is one of the things I really did not like about this game was the music itself.

That on the other hand changed after a while, I guess I just was not used to using a new composer, and his style is one could say a bit...arrogant maybe, with very over orchestrated songs. The soundtrack eventually grew on me, and I quite enjoy many of the tracks, maybe not as much as past games in the series but it is still good.

The piano collections released to Final Fantasy 13 is on the other hand marvelous, and perhaps actually the best piano collection in the series I've heard. Most of the tracks greatly improves over the orginal version as it would sound on piano. Luckily they decided to put most of the good tracks when putting together this album, and there's none I'm really missing. I could certainly do without Vanille's Theme though as I'm not a big fan of this. If I'd point out the biggest highlights it would definitely be "Lightning's Theme" and "The Promise / Sunleth Waterscape".

Anyways if you're a fan of the series, you better not ignore this album. Whether you loved or hated Final Fantasy 13. Also if you want to listen to the full versions, head over to youtube or something I suppose I'm not sure how much google likes me posting links of copyrighted music. For now enjoy this sort of "promo video".

lørdag 5. februar 2011

Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji (Original Soundtrack)





In celebrations for a second season being announced for Kaiji, I will be recommending the soundtrack to the first series. One of the best soundtracks in Japanese anime if you put it into the right context.

The Show:

 Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji, or Kaiji shortened follows the main character with the very same name. Kaiji is a frustrated individual that spends most of his time slashing car tires and stealing car emblems. Unfortunately for Kaiji he co-signed a loan years back together with a work mate. Unfortunately his work mate died, and the loan has reached a significant amount of interests. Thus Kaiji is looking at a debt of around 4million yen hardly anything he can afford to pay off. He then gets one chance to clear his debt, by participating in illegal gambling in a boat. Once on the boat every participant bets with further loaned money, some win, many lose and end up even further down in debt.

Kaiji is very much a psychological anime, as it looks at how people react to different situations during tight situations such as gambling. I can highly recommend this show to anyone interested in anime. 

Unfortunately it has proven very difficult to actually find footage of the anime itself, thus you will have to settle with footage from the live action movie. Regardless the live action movie follows the story almost the same way as the anime does, thus it should be enough to grasp the idea of the show.

Oh yeah..in some parts of the show they gamble participating against each other in "Rock, Paper, Scissors", how awesome isn't that?





The Soundtrack:
Genre: Soundtrack, anime, rock
Composed by: Hideki Taniuchi
Playlist: 

DISC 1:
1. "This World" - (3:30)
2. "Beam of Light" - (2:03)
3.  "Lot" - (1:47)
4. "Kaiji" - (2:31)
5. "Man Racetrack" - (2:15)
6. "Green" - (3:07)
7. "Wish" - (3:38)
8. "Line of Light" - (2:55)
9 . "String of Light" - (1:12)
10. "Memories" - (3:12)
11. "This World II" - (1:42)
12. "Kaiji Theme" - (2:04)
13. "Predicament" - (2:11)
14. "Espoir" - (3:05)
15. "Despair" - (2:52)
16. "Ship of Hope" - (1:55)
17. "Regret" - (1:50)
18. "Chest" - (2:15)
19. "Child's Mind" - (2:13)
20. "This World III" - (3:03)
21. "Beginning" - (1:58)
22. "Mirai wa bokura no te no naka" - (2:29)
23. "Makeinu-tachi no Requiem"
One of the best aspects of the anime Kaiji is the soundtrack itself. The soundtrack can be split into two different albums, personally I prefer the first one easily over the second one. Unfortunately I don't think this is the type of soundtrack many will enjoy from not having watched the series. With many soundtracks, you can jump into it and like it right away without knowing anything about the show. But in this case I'm not sure if I'm able to agree. Don't get me wrong, the soundtrack is great but for full enjoyment you need to hear the music while watching the show.

The first disc mainly concerns itself of the series "main tracks" while the second disc contains music where you can really feel the despair Kaiji is going through. The series has its depressing moments, and defeats for Kaiji and it is these tracks that are associated with these moments. So while the first disc is a bit more balanced, the second is pretty much associated with all the difficult moments Kaiji goes through.





DISC 2:

Tracklist:
1. "Ko zawa zawa 1" - (1:57)
2. "Ko zawa zawa 2" - (2:08)
3. "Chuu zawa zawa 1" - (1:36)
4. "Dai zawa zawa" - (1:39)
5. "Dai zawa zawa 2" - (2:20)
 6. "Chuu zawa zawa 2" - (1:14)
7. "Dai zawa zawa 1" - (2:15)
8. "Bell" - (1:16)
9. "Brain Training" - (1:22)
10. "Strategy" - (1:45)
11. "Chaos" - (2:52)
12. "Confusion" - (1:39)
13. "Defeat" - (3:17)
14. "Shadow" - (1:52)
15. "Chorus" - (1:43)
16. "Rest" - (1:34)
17. "Stagnation" - (2:08)
18. "Ko zawa inst 1" - (1:56)
19. "Ko zawa inst 2" - (2:08)
 20. "Chuu zawa inst 1" - (1:36)
21. "Chuu zawa inst 2"  -(1:14)
22. "Dai zawa inst 1" - (2:15)
23. "Dai zawa inst 2" - (2:20)
24. "Dai dai zawa inst" - (1:39)
25. "Defeated Again" - (1:45)
26. "Chousou" - (0:19)
27. "Minamari kamo" - (0:46)
28. "Akuma no ikikake" - (0:34)
29. "Shinon no ichibyou ga karamu" - (0:20)
30. "Suiteki no zawameki" - (0:30)

As I earlier said I'm more fond of the first disc, but the "zawa zawa" albuma as it is called also has quite its moments as well.  Most noteably is the "dai zawa zawa" tracks.

You might be wondering just about now, what does zawa zawa mean? This quote is taken from Urban Dictionary and explains it the best:
 
"Zawa - ざわ‥ A japanese onomatopoeia meaning uneasy atmosphere. Used a lot by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, a japanese manga artist."




Artist: Ludovico Einaudi



Artist: Ludivco Einaudi
Genres: New Age, Piano, Classical, Minimalist

For once I'm not actually gonna be recommending an album. The reason for this is that, there is no particular album of his that I rate higher than the others. Another reason is that his discography is very huge and its hard to recommend a good starting spot. Thus a simple solution is ill be posting a few of my favorite works of Einaudi.

For many Einaudi might not be a in particular familiar name, but for piano enthusiasts I find it hard to think you haven't at least heard his name mentioned. He is a very talented piano player from Italia, and most of his music I would myself classify as Minimalist as he says himself:  

“In general I don’t like definitions, but ‘Minimalist’ is a term that means elegance and openness, so I would prefer to be called a Minimalist than something else.”, Einaudi 

I'm not gonna say much, as the sound of his works itself says more than a thousands words of a guy who's not all that great at writing. Needless to say, enjoy and I hope you enjoy his works as much as I do. 


Nuvole Bianche (Live)         
 

I Giorni (Live)

 
 
Oltremare (Live)
 
 
 
 

fredag 4. februar 2011

Nier - (Original Soundtrack), 15 Nightmares & Arranges Tracks



The Game:
 Genre: Japanese RPG, hack and slash
Developer: Cavia
Publisher: Square-enix

Nier was released last year on the ps3 and xbox 360.  The game follows Nier, a fairly ordinary person and a father who seeks to find a cure for the black scrawl disease which is infecting his daughter Yonah. Without revealing anything else that is the basics of the plot, but it certainly does go much deeper than this.

Its a game hardly any had much expectations before it was released. Neither did I really, but in the end it turned out to be one of the best games of the year for myself. The game might have some of the worst graphics on a next-gen game, and neither the gameplay or the world is spectacular in itself. It even has many tedious fetch quests you can do to pass time, which not necessarily are very fun.

So why would I regard the game as highly as I do? The game manages to create a very good story, spanning through 4 different endings, the writing/the dialogue is great and the characters are excellent and makes the game what it is. The gameplay also manages to be varying enough not to to bore you enough, and oh god the music is some of the best I've heard in a video game in the last 10 years, and ill come back to why exactly I'm off that opinion later on.

Its not an excellent game by any means, but it still is a very memorable game. I can only imagine how this game would be if Cavia actally had a higher budget to use to develop Nier.

Nier - The Original Soundtrack
 Genre: Video game music
Composed by:  Keiichi Okabe, Kakeru Ishihama, Keigo Hoashi, Takafumi Nishimura 
Lyrics and Vocals:  Emi Evans

DISC 1:
 1. "Snow in Summer" -  (4:59)
 2. "Hills of Radiant Winds" - (2:53)
3. "The Incomplete Stone" - (3:26)
4. "Blu-Bird" - (4:41)
5. "Cold-Steel Coffin" - (2:40)
6. "Grandma" - (3:40)
7. Song of the Ancients (Devola)" - (3:04)
8. "The Wretched Automatons"  - (4:48)
9. "City of Commerce" - (2:17)
10. "Song of the Ancients (Popola)" - (3:04)
11. "The Prestigious Mask" - (2:25)
12. "Temple of Drifting Sands" - (4:02)
13. "Gods Bound by Rules" - (4:37)
14. "The Ultimate Weapon" - (4:54)
15. "Deep Crimson Foe" - (2:20)
16. "Dispossession (Piano Version)" - (2:39)
17. "Dispossession (Strings Version)" - (2:13)
18. "Dispossession (Pluck Version)" - (2:57)
19. "Dispossession (Music Box Version) - (1:33)
20. "Yonah (Piano Version)" - (2:53)
21. "Yonah (Strings Version)" - (3:06)
22. "Yonah (Pluck Version 1)" - (2:38)
23. "Yonah (Pluck Version 2)" - (1:57)

First some general information about the soundtrack itself. As I've said earlier I highly rate this soundtrack, as it is a soundtrack with many memorable songs. The most unique about this soundtrack is that, almost all of the tracks have some form of vocals which isn't very often to see in an RPG. Only about 10 songs out of the 43 in total has no vocals at all, that means over 30 songs have vocals. 

All songs are performed by Emi Evans, and she has a really beautiful voice that fits the atmosphere of the Nier universe. As you might take notice, her lyrics is not a real language. It is a made up language based upon several languages.  These include Gaelic, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, English and Japanese.

It is also the vocal tracks that stands the most out in the soundtrack itself. On the first (and second as well), the most noticeable songs are the variations of "Songs of the Ancients". "Hills of Radiant Winds" is also a very nice field track, while "Grandma" is another solid song that has a more depressive atmosphere.




DISC 2:
 1. "The Dark Colossus Destroys All" - (3:02)
2. "Song of the Ancients (Hollow Dreams)" - (2:41)
3. "Kainé (Salvation" - (3:03)
4. "Kainé (Escape)" - (3:06)
5. "His Dream" - (1:57)
6. "This Dream" - (1:56)
7. "Repose" - (2:39)
8. "The Lost Forest" - (2:58)
9 . "Songs of the Ancients (Fate)" - (5:17)
10. "Shadowlord's Castle (Memory) - (2:50)
11. "Dance of the Evancescent" - (0:54)
12. "Shadowlord's Castle (Roar)" - (4:14)
13. "Emil (Karma)" - (3:21)
14. "Emil (Sacrifice)" - (3:27)
15. "Shadowlord" - (5:24)
16. "Ashes of Dreams (New)" - (6:17)
17. "Ashes of Dreams (Nouveau)" - (5:47)
18. "Ashes of Dreams (Nuadhaich)" - (5:46)
19. "Ashes of Dreams (Aratanaru)" - (6:28)
20. "Shadowlord - White (Note Remix)" - (4:55)

The second disc provides some of the best tracks in the game. Especially the character themes stands strong, both versions of "Emil" and "Kaine"  are among the very best tracks of the soundtrack.  The second also has the best "Songs of the Ancients (Fate)" on the whole soundtrack. "Ashes of Dreams" is also a really pretty songs, having 4 different versions for each ending.

I never intended on buying Nier, at least not until price was reduced heavily. Then I heard the soundtrack, and put an order into the game straight away. Even if the game was terrible, I know it would still be worth it due to the music. I'm very glad I decided to take a listen to this, and buying the game. For me this soundtrack stands as one of the greatest works within video game music, many may disagree with me and I understand that. I'd still recommend anyone to at least give either / both the game and music a chance.



Nier - 15 Nightmares & Arrange Tracks
Composed by:  Keiichi Okabe, Kakeru Ishihama, Keigo Hoashi, Takafumi Nishimura 
Lyrics and Vocals:  Emi Evans
Tracklist:
1. "Lost Androids Mixuxux" - (5:35)
2. "Blu Bird - Hansel und Gretel" - (5:05)
3. "Shadowlord's Castle - Iron Fist mix feat DJ-BKO" - (5:04)
4. "Emil - Ultimate Weapon No. 7" - (5:34)
5. "Shadowlord - Crying Yonah Version" - (5:38)
6. "Emil / Piano Ver." - (4:02)
7. "Kainé / Duet Ver."  - (4:17)
8. "The Wretched Automatons / a cappella" - (3:31)
9. "Song of the Ancients / Piano Ver." - (5:00)
10. "Shadowlord / Musix Box Ver." - (2:14)
11. "The Legend of Nier: 8-bit Heroes" - (8:38)

This soundtrack consists of arrangements and remixes of songs from the original soundtrack and can be essentially be split into two parts. The first part consists of electronic arrangements that personally aren't up to my taste, but if you enjoy the genres each song represent you might take a liking to it. The songs from 1-5 consists of this genre. Second part concerns itself more about the lighter elements.  Piano music, a string duet, a cappella and even an 8-bit version containing several different songs in one. The second half of it is very much to my taste, and makes it well worth to check out this release.

Now how about a Piano Collection next Cavia?


Hammock - Chasing After Shadows....Living with the Ghosts





















Genres: Ambient, Post-rock, Instrumental (some vocal tracks, mostly instrumental)
Hammock Myspace 

Tracklist:
1. "The Backward Step" - (4:58)
2. "Tristia" - (5:46)
3. "Little Fly/Mouchette" - (5:52)
4. "Breathturn" - (6:00)
5. "In the Nothing of the Light" - (8:48)
6. "Andalusia" - (7:42)
7. "The Whole Catastrophe" - (3:52)
8. "The World we Knew as Children" - (5:39)
9. "Dust in the Devil's Snow" - (6:43)
10. "How can I make you Remember me?" - (4:55)
11"You Lost the Starlight in Your Eyes" - (9:14)
12. "Something Other Than Remaining" - (3:10)


I don't have a hard time to admit that Hammock is easily one of my favorite bands. Their music could be categorized as a mixture of ambient and post-rock and I'd say it is quite similar to the works of Explosions in the Sky. The American duet Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson has released quite a handful of albums and EPs.Still it is not hard to imagine that these works never would see the light of the day as they never really had any intention of releasing their studio efforts. But I and many others are very glad they ended up doing it. Hammock is pretty much essential for any listeners of the genre.

Chasing After Shadows...Living with the Ghosts is their latest full length album, released in 2010. While I think it is a slight step down from Raising your voice....Trying to Stop an Echo, this is still very much a good album and among their best releases. (It also gives me a reason to post a really nice music video)

Watch and listen to this official video, a beautiful song and a touching video. I simply quote one of the youtube posters ReDDy1988 "they say, if you fold 1.000 paper cranes, you'll be granted a wish. probably the concept of the video. the kid folds 1.000 paper cranes and wishes the bird can fly again."

torsdag 3. februar 2011

E.S Posthumus - Makara





















Genres: New age, symphonic, orchestral
Unofficial E.S Posthumus Myspace 

Tracklist:
1. "Kalki" - (3:05)
2. "Varna" - (4:17)
3. "Unstoppable - (3:04)
4. "Durga" - (3:41)
5. "Manju" - (4:18)
6. "Kuvera" - (4:05)
7. "Ushas" - (3:55)
8. "Lavanya" - (3:57)
9. "Vishnu" - (3:38)
10. "Indra" - (4:18)
11. "Arise" - (4:12)
12. "Saint Matthew Passion" - (3:38)
13: "Krosah - (4:50)
14. "Anumati" - (3:39)
15. "Moonlight Sonata" - (5:30)


Today's been a busy day, so there will only be one short update today. Bringing you some orchestral music, very similar to what you see in films. E.S Posthumus (Experimental Sounds "All Things Past") is a music group formed by the 2 brothers Helmutz and Franz who worked on together for almost 10 years. Creating 3 albums, and another few singles. Their music has featured on several different occasions such as a song feautring as the MLB Tonight Theme.

I personally like every of their albums, and there really is no specific reason why I choose Makara. All 3 of them are solid releases. And I could easily recommend all 3 of them. If you're an avid fan of film music in general, E.S Posthumus is very much similar in their style and could be worth giving a go.


Since I already mentioned the MLB song, here it is. It is quite representative of their music in general so its a good way to understand what they sound like.







Unfortunately one of the two members Franz died last year, and so it is unlikely there will ever be anymore releases by E.S Posthumus anymore. With exception of maybe one or two songs. May he rest in peace, and thanks for the music that he and his brother created.