Tuesday, February 21, 2017

23: Ys feat. Apricotsushi



Ys: The Ideal utopia.

That's how Falcom's famous role playing game began (at least the Book I & II PC-Engine remake). And since then, its reputation as being a game with memorable characters, settings, and extraordinary music have grown and grown.  Returning champion Apricotsushi of the Chic Pixel blog joins me in discussing how influential Ys, and its music has been on gaming as a whole.

Please note, the quality will sound off here and there, and I do apologize for these issues. But, I am confident that this will be the last time I make this apology.

Also! At the time this was recorded, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana was not announced for release anywhere outside of Japan. Now, it has recently been announced that it will be localized by NIS America for release sometime in the fall season.






Also available on Stitcher

Bonus Information:
YS ORIGIN NOW AVAILABLE ON PS4 AND VITA
Hardcore Gaming 101: Ys
Ys Music Spreadsheet (Written in Japanese)
Information on the Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys English fandub

Shuffle Tracks:
From Apricotsushi

From Nitro

Saturday, February 4, 2017

22: Super Shuffle - Hiroki Kikuta



You may recognize him for his work on Secret of Mana. But have you heard of games like Soukaigi? Koudelka? No? Well have I got the episode for you! This Super Shuffle is the first of its kind. The first to focus solely on composers, starting with Hiroki Kikuta. One of the most famous VGM composers, despite only a few of the games he's worked on actually being released outside of Japan. That should immediately tell you the kind of impact his music has on audiences across the globe.

(And I apologize to Shining fans for my lack of knowledge in the series)






Also available on Stitcher

Bonus Information:
Hiroki Kikuta's newest progressive rock album
Hiroki Kikuta's 2014 Reddit 

Super Shuffle Tracks:

Monday, December 26, 2016

State of 2017

So 2016 is almost at an end. As I complete another year of M Disk, I've learned some new things, and have realized some things that I hope will help improve this podcast.

First, I'm going to reduce the number of guest-centric episodes. What I mean by that is, while guest-centric episodes are lots of fun, it's becoming harder to produce them. I also feel like I hold back on producing more episodes simply because I can't find guests to discuss certain topics with. Like Koji Kondo, for example. So expect more "super shuffle" episodes in 2017. And expect some of those super shuffle episodes to focus on game composers. Because there are a lot of game composers I would still like to produce episodes on, but haven't been able to just because I couldn't find anyone else to talk to about said composers. Not anymore. Come 2017, I'm going to make the kind of episodes I want, with or without guests.

BUT WAIT.

I do already have plans for one guest-centric episode. So don't think I'm putting a hiatus on guest-centric episodes right away. Apricotsushi will be coming back on M Disk to discuss the music of the Ys series!



A fantastic series with a fantastic series. Red Book audio in the 90s never sounded better than they did in the Ys games. Apricotsushi and I briefly covered Ys in the Yuzo Koshiro episode. But we were only limited to his personal contributions. With this episode, we're going all over the Ys series. Not just Koshiro's works, but arrangements of his works, and later contributions to the Ys series from the Falcom Sound Team.

That's all I'm prepared to announce right now :) Sorry guys!

Another plan I have for next year, which doesn't really have anything to do with the podcast itself, is I will be keeping a log of the games I beat next year. That may seem kind of boring, but I want to do this because....well...I have A LOT of unfinished games. Check out my backloggery account, you'll see. So, I decided that for each game I beat, I will add $1 to a video game savings fund. If I want to buy a $20 game, I have to beat 20 games. If I want to buy a $60 game, I have to beat 60 games. If I want to buy the Switch, I have to beat at least 200 games. I am super serious about doing this. And for each game I do beat, I would like to write a short article about that games soundtrack, if possible. Now, I did say that I would like to do this (the article idea). Doesn't mean I actually will. But I'm determined.

That's all for now! Have a good rest of the year!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

21: Super Shuffle - Chill Out Music


Music can be encouraging, motivating, depressing, and they can also be relaxing. And that is the primary focus of this super shuffle episode. Relaxing music doesn't always have to be light, and soothing. It can be dark, and ominous. You'll hear the different methods of chill out music to serve one purpose; to put you in a more relaxed state.






Also available on Stitcher

Bonus Information:
Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro on Crunchyroll (which inspired the title of this episode)
RPG Maker PSone Memories Pack
Austin Wintory interview with Classic FM

Super Shuffle Tracks:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

20 Final Fantasy Mega Shuffle feat. Newtypelady



It's a Mega Shuffle episode! It's an episode featuring a guest! It's both! And just in time for episode number 2 to the 0! For this episode, the wonderful Newtypelady shares her favorite scores from the Final Fantasy series, her immense love for Final Fantasy VIII. In addition to that, we also take a look at what is considered to be the most popular pieces from each of the main Final Fantasy games, my personal favorites, and we share excitement for the upcoming Final Fantasy XV.

The technical issues that have plagued previous episodes haven't gone away completely, unfortunately. There will be a few spots where it sounds like our conversation is sped up. I apologize for this. And it may sound like we are trying to talk over each other. I can promise you that we weren't. We had a good conversation, and we had lots of fun bonding over Final Fantasy.






Also available on Stitcher

The Popular Final Fantasy pieces:

Newtypelady's favorite Final Fantasy pieces:

My favorite Final Fantasy pieces:

(Note if a FF game isn't listed under either mine, or Newtypelady's list, then our favorites are shared with the popular list)

Extra pieces highlighted:

Bonus Information:

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Chronology: A Jazz Tribute to Chrono Trigger Review



Sorry this took so long. It's been out for over two months. But at the time this came out, I got a new job. And well....yeah. You're here for the review. Well here it is.

http://chronology.ocremix.org/

Yasunori Mitsuda did things in the games he composed for that not a lot
of composers could do. He was certainly ahead of his time when he composed
for his first game, Chrono Trigger. So how do you rearrange the music of Chrono
Trigger in a way that exemplifies, and honors the unique composing style that
Yasunori Mitsuda brought to the game? Make a full-on jazz album.

Wiesty notes in the comments that this seemed like an impossible task. But in
all honestly, the jazz genre perfectly blends with the audio asthetics of Chrono
Trigger. So the only impossible tasks were time (no pun intended), and motivation.
And all the artists apart of this managed to bring jazz to the forefront of one
of the greatest soundtracks of all time.

1. Wiesty, The OC Jazz Collective - "Way Before the Day Before Yesterday"
Era: Prehistoric (65,000,000 B.C.)
Sources: "Burn! Bobonga! Burn!"; "Lavos's Theme," "Rhythm of Earth, Wind, and Sky" (cameo)

An excellent opener for Chronology. It sounds like an excellent warm-up session,
quickly transitioning into the opening number of a fine jazz concert. Right away,
you know what to expect. The Lavos touch was quite remarkable. As a jazz piece,
it adds more of an introductory "OMPH" than any other piece composed for the
prehistoric era.

2. Triplepoint Trio (Doug Perry, Sam Suggs, Jonny Allen) - "Triggernometry"
Source: "Chrono Trigger"

I don't know if this was intentional or not, but the transition between track
1 and track 2 is one of, if not, the best I have ever heard on an OCR album. It
is so seamless, almost as if both tracks were one in the same. As for the track
itself, it is a great interpretation of the main Chrono Trigger theme. It's just
as exciting as the original source material. The vibraphone, and violin work here
is especially phoenomenal.

3. Nostalvania, The OC Jazz Collective - "Time's Seal"
Era: Dark Ages (12,000 B.C.)
Source: "Sealed Door"

What makes this track interesting is how they turned a slow, haunting track into
something very reminiscant of a night stroll through New Orelans. It makes opening
that sealed door a lot more exciting and interesting than kind of depressed and
lonely.

4. Wiesty, The OC Jazz Collective - "Neuga, Ziena, Zieber, Zom..."
Era: Middle Ages (600 A.D.)
Source: "Magus Confronted"

In comparison to the last piece, this one feels like a night club lounge jazz
track. Pretty appropriate considering the source material, the battle theme of
someone who at first is viewed as a dark, foreboding individual. The flute is
a nice touch. A fine way to honor the original, while turning a dramatic battle
theme into something more subdued, and chilling (the relaxing kind, not the creepy
kind).

5. Wiesty, The OC Jazz Collective - "Dream of Green"
Era: Present (1000 A.D.)
Sources: "Secret of the Forest"; "Chrono Trigger" (cameo)

Both this arrangement, and the original source material give off a sense of
mystery and intrigue. Right off the bat, this arrangement does the forest portions
of the game justice. It doesn't sound like just an arrangement, it sounds like
something that would fit right in with the actual game.

6. Nostalvania, The OC Jazz Collective - "Fight or Flight"
Era: Apocalypse (1999 A.D.)
Source: "The Epoch - Wings of Time"

The Epoch theme was already jazz inspired to begin with, so I can imagine this
being a difficult piece to arrange for a jazz album. The time signature changes
really helped make this arrangement stand out from the original source material in
a way that honors the game, and Yasunori Mitsuda's work.

7. Wiesty, The OC Jazz Collective - "When Hell Freezes Over"
Era: Future (2300 A.D.)
Sources: "A Desolate World," "Yearnings of the Wind"

Very mysterious, and very intriguing. The original source material was more
ominous, and reflective of a defeated mood. This sounds like something you'd
hear in a noir film when the main protagonist is at a loss on what to do next.
It kind of makes me think of what Casablanca would sound like if it were
made in this day and age (HOLLYWOOD DO NOT REMAKE CASABLANCA).

8. Fratto, Wiesty, The OC Jazz Collective - "Driftwood"
Era: End of Time (∞)
Source: "At the End of Time"

And here we reach the end. The end of time that is. At first, you think this piece
will serve as something of a "wind down" sort of track. But no, it wants to go out
with the excitement and flair that helps define this album.

From beginning to end, this album is nothing but pure fun. Other albums serve to
wow and excite you with how classics can be arranged into different genres, and how
many different feelings you can get throughout the album. That is why I appreciate
the pure fun that this album brings. I am still in awe over how tracks one and two
sound back to back. But each track can still be listened to on its own, and appreciated
at the same time. If you don't like jazz, this album may not be for you, as this
is 100% jazz all around.

Sunday, October 30, 2016