Blip, Bleep (Soundtracks to Imaginary Video Games)

Michael Heumann The Library Discography Haunted Ink Haunted Ink Review Archive The Inkbottle

Lucky Kitchen
Released: October 1998

This album has a great concept: take a bunch of talented, intelligent artists (including Jake Mandell, V/VM, Suetsu & Underwood, etc.) and get each artist to come up with a video game idea. The game could be based on anything that their warped minds could think of, from scoring with a Swedish model to killer photocopiers to time machines to Leonardo DiCaprio. Get the artists to come up with music for their imaginary game. The result is 18 songs that contain their share of CGD blips and bleeps (as the title suggests), but which go far beyond the 808/pong/Atari/Nintendo soundtracks by creating a true atmosphere for games that will only exist in our minds because they are too weird for big companies to put millions of dollars into developing. So when you hear a song called "Thula," which is for a game that simulates a war between Zulu warriors and British colonialists (you're the Zulu), you actually hear traditional African rhythms and chanting mingling with demented CGD fuzz and odd, computerized FX vocals and synth melodies. Most of the songs are like "Thula," in that they sound more like building block songs than soundtracks or background music for video games. Some songs, however, do play up the soundtrack angle by adding two layers of sound--one soundtrack, one simulated game sounds. The song that does this best is V/VM's "The Swedish Model with Big Bazommas and No Implants Bedding Game." In this song, the backing music is "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," performed with a simple, cheap synth. Along with this, however, are FX of passing cars, airplane crashes, bullets and bombs flying by, and other things that might be associated with a magical trip through the Autobahn. Both "Swedish Model" and "Thula" are amazing, yet diverse, songs. And these are only two of eighteen songs in this collection! This is a hard disk to find, but it is well worth it. Electronic music with this much imagination and this much fun is a rare thing indeed.

Descriptions of "Blip, Bleep" songs and instructions for playing each imaginary game

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