Monday 11 July 2022

Apes: Escaped (A VGM DJ Set Special)

I've talked before about Ape Escape, and more importantly its composer - Soichi Terada. Likewise, I've also mentioned Dedeco as well - thanks to my recent descent back into the world of the PS1. I don't mean to sound reductive, Terada has a long production history beyond just Ape Escape, with his own label Far East Recordings and plenty of House records under his belt (and his most recent release being this year). But that is how I and many others were first introduced to the man's works. His brand of D&B is lovely, different from what might come to mind when you think of the era's soundtracks but at the same time fitting right in. I seriously recommend the OSTs even if you're not into games at all as they stand alone very well, case in point here when Dedeco opens the mix with a snippet of the opening theme before diving right into Cryptic Relics, one of my all time favourites from the first OST. This mix is incredibly well thought out, Dedeco is obviously very familliar with the content and does a fantastic job of making them flow together - this ain't just some nostalgia bait.

That's not all either, as pointed out in the video before the mix starts, there's a commentary track of an interview with Terada himself (it's not by Dedeco however as he mentions in the YT description, I believe they are quoted from this interview with Nick Dwyer). It's kind of an odd way to present it I thought, but after a couple mins I settled right in, after all you can't have audio playing over audio in this format. If it wasn't obvious already, he really went above and beyond with this mix. I'm glad that Terada is open to talking about stuff like this for what is relatively a small-time act, especially as he mentions in the interview he's trying to take a more relaxed approach these days. Dedeco obviously impressed as well, with Terada tweeting out in both Japanese and English his praise for the mix not long after!

If you like what you hear above, the two Ape Escape OSTs that Terada worked on are readily available on streaming (I'll be linking to Spotify here but they are on others) - they are the punnily titled Ape Escape Originape Soundtracks and Ape Escape 3 - Originape Soundtracks. Of course I definitely recommend his solo work from there, a lot of it is not on streaming sites but if you're after more of the Ape Escape feel then seek out Sumo Jungle for more delicious D&B. There is also Terada's Omodaka alias, where he fuses the traditional and the technological in very interesting ways, check that out if you're in the mood for some chiptune Enka!

That'll be all for today, I'll be back soon enough with more but until then, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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