Monday, 15 October 2012

Lost in the Music: Double Dragon Neon by Jake Kaufman

     Are you ready for some cheesy 80's goodness because I know I am.

     How to classify the new Double Dragon Neon soundtrack. It feels less like a typical game soundtrack and far more like an Eighties concept album. It almost seems that Jake Kaufman (of Shantae: Risky's Revenge and Dark Maze Studio's fame) designed the Double Dragon Neon Soundtrack as a way to travel back to the era of big hair, big muscles, big guns and big pixels.

     It is absolutely glorious.

     When I was younger I was never too fond of beat em ups that didn't have the words Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the title, so growing up I passed by quite a few games such as Final Fight and Double Dragon. However as I grew older and wiser, coupled with the advent of the internet, I discovered a lost treasure trove of games I should have been playing. Since then I have tried to play all sorts of different genres. My first real legitimate foray into the Beat em up genre was Scott Pilgrim (for my opinions on that soundtrack, feel free to read my old review here) and since then I fell in love with the genre.

     So what can I say about a soundtrack from a remade game from a series I never touched upon until recently? It's easy because I am going into this with no prior knowledge or expectations so I have nothing to lose, but alot to gain. From listening to the first few songs, it seems Mr. Kaufman captured the feel of a late 80's arcade game. It is loud, bombastic and very much in your face. From my research, it seems that Mr Kaufman did take some of the original tracks and remade them to fit the new style while other tracks like Space Dojo 2 and City Street 2 are very much like an 80's power ballads.

     One of the elements in the game is that fallen enemies will randomly drop cassette tapes and each tape will unlock a new offensive or passive ability for the player to use. The reason why I mention this is because each Mixtape as they are called contain a 30 to 45 second music clip. They range from Weapons Up which seems to channel LL Cool J and Beastie Boys to the Rick Astley-esque Bomb Toss. The amount of detail that Mr Kaufman put into this album is amazing and very much worth it.

     My dad has often said to me that I was born ten years too early given my penchant to prefer classic 80's to my generation of music, TV and games and I can't say I disagree with him. If you go into this album expecting a predictable update to the original soundtrack, you are sadly mistaken. This soundtrack embraces the 80's wholeheartedly. From power ballads that would make Stan Bush proud, to synth and techno. For those of you who miss that decade of indulgence, you will feel right at home. If you are interested in the album, visit Jake Kaufman's Bandcamp page and for up to date information of his upcoming projects, visit his site at Big Lion Music.

     On Tuesday's 5 Bucks to Burn I will be taking a listen to the soundtrack To The Moon by Revies of Freebird games. Until then, I am Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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