Release Date: 17/11/2017
Hyperdub are proud to present Diggin In The Carts - A Collection Of Rare And Pioneering Japanese Video Game Music. This release builds on the critically acclaimed Red Bull Music Academy radio documentary series of the same name that chronicles the history and global influence of this exciting early strain of electronic music.
Researched and curated by Diggin In The Carts writer / co-director Nick Dwyer and Hyperdub label head Kode9, the collection plunges deep into the rare archives of the chip era of Japanese video game music.
Available on CD and digital, with a vinyl run to follow early in 2018, the collection features artwork by renowned Japanese anime artist Koji Morimoto, whose distinctive style has featured in films like Memories and The Animatrix. The music in this collection was made for globally renowned systems, from Famicom, Super Famicom and the PC-Engine through to popular Japanese home computer platforms like the MSX, MSXturboR and the PC-8801.
Diggin In The Carts showcases these works not just as ‘music for video games,’ but as incredible pieces of electronically produced Japanese music that stand on their own. Some of the greatest art is created within limitations, and often the most pioneering and influential periods in electronic music have resulted from artists pushing existing technology to its limits.
The 8-bit and 16-bit era of video game music in the 1980s and early 1990s saw composers squeezing the most technicolour array of sounds, tones and melodies from the limited chips and channels they had at their disposal. With every new system came a new sound chip, and every chip brought its own personality, with Japanese games companies adopting all kinds of methods to give their games the sonic edge, from customizing their chips to boost the console's capabilities to composers developing bespoke computer programs to generate their own unique sound palette.
From Soshi Hosoi’s Steve Reich inspired minimalist masterpiece ‘Mister Diviner’ from The Mahjong Touhaiden, to the dazzling high-tech chip soul of Toshiharu Yamanishi’s ‘Shooting Stars’ from legendary Mega Drive shooter Thunder Force IV, and not forgetting the saw tooth heavy darkness of the Konami Kukeiha Club on titles like ‘Mouryou Senki Madara’ and ‘Esper Dream II’, Diggin In The Carts aims to bring the pleasure and depth of this music to an audience inside and outside the gaming world.
The release of the compilation coincides with Red Bull Music Academy’s Diggin In The Carts event series, which brings Japan's leading composers of video game music together with a new generation of artists in London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and beyond, starting in October.
1. Konami Kukeiha Club - Opening (Cosmic Wars)
02. Konami Kukeiha Club - Mazed Music (Nemesis)
03. Norio Nakagata - Big Mode (Genpei Touma Den)
04. Michiharu Hasuya - Hidden Level (Solomon's Key)
05. Konami Kukeiha Club - A Planet Of Plants (Nemesis 2)
06. Manabu Saito - Telepathy (Chatty)
07. Konami Kukeiha Club - Equipment (Nemesis 3 The Eve Of Destruction)
08. Konami Kukeiha Club - Bgm 3 (Motocross Maniacs)
09. Toshiya Yamanaka - Visual Scene 1&2 (Wer Dragon)
10. Goblin Sound - Opening (Hisou Kihei X-Serd)
11. Tadahiro Nitta - An-Un 'Ominous Clouds' (Xak Ii)
12. Yuzo Koshiro - Temple (Actraiser)
13. Konami Kukeiha Club - Road To Agartha (Mouryou Senki Madara)
14. Hiroyuki Kawada - King Erekiman (The Legend Of Valkyrie)
15. Katsuro Tajima - Exercise (Mega Panel)
16. Goblin Sound - Game Over (Hisou Kihei X-Serd)
17. Konami Kukeiha Club - Beyond The Terminus (Block Hole)
18. Kazuko Umino (Zuntata) - Waltz Of Water And Bubbles (Liquid Kids)
19. Hiroto Saitou - Main Stage Bgm 1 (Time Cruise Ii)
20. Yasuhisa Watanabe (Zuntata) - Area 26-10 (Metal Black)
21. Hiroto Saitou - Site 3-1 Torrid City (Metal Stoker)
22. Tadahiro Nitta - Metal Area (Illusion City)
23. Hiroto Saitou - Site 6-2 (Metal Stoker)
24. Masumi Itou - Tactics 4 (Super Royal Blood)
25. Goblin Sound - My Phase 'State 12/14 (Vixen 357)
26. Hiroaki Yoshida - Kyoushin 'Lunatic Forest' (Dragon Gun)
27. Konami Kukeiha Club - Underwater Dungeon (Esper Dream 2)
28. Technosoft - Shooting Stars (Thunder Force Iv)
29. Soshi Hosoi - Mister Diviner (The Majhong Touhhaiden)
30. Jun Ishikawa - Main Theme (Alchahest)
31. Kazuhiko Nagai - Keel (Golden Axe Ii - The Duel)
32. Koichi Ishibashi - Bad Data (Dezaemon)
33. Yasuaki Fujita - What Is Your Birthday? (Tarot Mystery)
34. Kazuo Hanzawa - Oblivious Past (Alien Soldier)