Monday, 22 May 2017

Mech Hunting & Hunting Mechs

Remember how in a bunch of previous posts on Synthwave and the like I've said things sound like they could be a soundtrack to a Sega CD game? Well late last night I was treated to probably the most apt example of that yet. I don't have much from Mitch Murder in my library, my first exposure being Hollywood Heights, which embraces the clich├ęs of the retro aesthetic in full earnest (which a friend of mine lovingly described as 'Deliberately crap'). A far cry from the cyberpunk vibes of Perturbator, and even further from the likes of Carpenter Brut's occult laden pieces for sure.



The art was the first thing to catch my eye, that is certainly some co-opted Masamune Shirow art up there, which being a fan of all things Ghost In The Shell and Appleseed isn't a problem at all. Speaking of though, I was going to just jump right in and post some tunes I like from the thing, but I think it would do a disservice if I didn't point you to the teaser Mitch put up on soundcloud for the thing. Not only is it a solid preview of all the tracks, but it's full of lovely little touches from the word go, the little CRT noises splitting the tunes and the digitized "SE-GAAAAA" at the intro making clear this is a love letter to the style, and one Mitch is certainly having fun with.



Going against what I said in the opening paragraph here, we're going to start with Runners, just because you've probably heard the first couple tunes if you listened to the soundcloud player above. Runners is far and away what I call the least soundtrack-y tune on the EP, from the way it's structured it clearly has more in common with Mitch's usual synthwave output than strictly sticking to the 'OST' theme. That's not a bad thing at all however, and though it may stray in structure the sounds remain very Sega CD-esqe, my favourite being that bouncy bass which kicks the whole thing off.

Mitch Murder - Runners [click to download] |HTML5|


It should come as no surprise to longtime readers that I dig the latter half's more down-tempo tunes a whole bunch too, Sneakers sees a return to more thematically appropriate song structure, albeit with a few deviations here and there. After quite the foreboding intro, the tune becomes something more akin to some of the tunes I've posted from VA11 HALL-A in the past, and those little background flourishes definitely give me a little bit of a Snatcher vibe, so mission accomplished on the Sega CD front then.

Mitch Murder - Sneakers [click to download] |HTML5|


And finishing up fittingly enough with the End theme. Which if I was being pedantic sounds more like a N64 soundtrack, or even closer to something like an early PS1 JRPG but I digress. I think this style really has legs and would love to hear more of it, I fear I may have to wade through a sea of low effort vaporwave for that to happen though. If you're into the sounds on show in this post, I'd definitely recommend check out Mitch's catalogue in full, he's got quite a few releases over on his his Bandcamp, and some of them (like Mech Hunter OST) can be nabbed for free.

Mitch Murder - End [click to download] |HTML5|


Regardless, I really dig the idea of imaginary OSTs, it's something I've had a crack at before and think it' a good creative task for any musicians out there, anyone looking for a more high profile example might want to check out Passengers' Original Soundtracks 1, a collab between U2 and Brian Eno which consists of music for films that do't exist. Ironically some ended up being used in actual films, including One Minute Warning as the credits theme to the 1995 Ghost In The Shell movie to bring us full circle.

-Claude Van Foxbat

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