New tunes, JAPAN, more tunes, and 2014 is freaking me out

I should update more often, eh?

THINGS ARE HAPPENING. I have some new songs up. Here is the rundown. More details on the discography page.

I’m heading to Japan in March! I’ll be out there for Bit Summit to hang with some super composers and Japanese indie game cats. I’m a little beside myself actually. It hasn’t sunk in yet.

On the upcoming IN FLUX album from Brave Wave, I have an original song that features Manami Matsumae (Mega Man composer) on piano. It turned out well. The album will be out next month. I was told the song sounds like “floating around in an angry ocean at dusk”, so I titled it “Putting the Beacons to Bed”.

I’m working with Alexander Brandon on his new album, Just Fun. The Kickstarter is live now. Just Fun is a collab album with musicians he’s worked with in the past. It is all original music and a heck of an album! Again, the Kickstarter is live now!

I’ve contributed a track to Big Giant Circles’ remix project for his new album, Glory Days. I teamed up with the mighty Zantilla for this one. If you haven’t heard his stuff, YOU MUST. Not sure when the track is hitting, but I’ll post about it.

I’M MASTERING THE NEW YEAR 200X ALBUM HOLY CRAP!

Funny thing, I’ve actually been recording a lot of local bluegrass! It’s fun! I’ve cut two albums for local groups, and I’m on my third right now. It’s a lovely change of pace.

This month is basically Metroid Metal month. Like… all month.

o.O

O.o

I probably missed something? I don’t even know. There’s other stuff too. Some things will likely hit even before the projects I listed above. 2014 looks to be big.

It means the world to me that you guys would read this far on my little ancient blog thing. Thanks as always, and here’s to moving the bar sideways instead of up.

LOVE YOU GUYS,

G

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Four new songs!

It feels good to get some of this stuff up. Links to all of these new songs can be found on my discography page.

1. I did a cover of Evil Dead: The Musical‘s “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons” with Cheryl Norfair, Kirby, and Travis Morgan. HAPPY LATE HALLOWEEN! You gotta hear this girl sing.

link: http://vikingguitar.bandcamp.com/album/danse-macabre-2

2. “Transylvania Sound Machine” is a super funky cover of “Picture of a Ghost Ship” from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. It appears on the Vampire Variations II album.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga4xGf627u0

3. My brother and I did a cover of some old DOS racers from the 90s – Stunts, Indianapolis 500, and Test Drive III. “386 Cylinder” is for you old guys out there. ;) We did this as a part of Dwelling of Duels’ 10th Anniversary month. Hurray!

links: Dwelling of Duels download - drum playthrough video

4. C-jeff just put out my favorite album this year, Big Steel Wheels. I played on a track called “Black Lock”. Seriously, Album of the Year.

link: http://c-jeff.com/track/black-lock

Thanks for listening! Some massively massive stuff in the works. More soon!

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Playing in two new bands at MAGfest : Spectrum of Mana : etc

Deluge engage:

So I joined a band with some vets in the VGM scene (norg, cubosh, ailsean, & finbeard)! We’re called LONELYROLLINGSTARS, and we will be at MAGfest with a new album. Here’s a little video of us playing a Katamari song. Head to www.lonelyrollingstars.com or www.facebook.com/lonelyrollingstars for updates.

The other news involves ANOTHER brand new band. You guys may know this already, but I’m a hired gun (alongside my brother and some other dudes) for the Viking Guitar Live project. We’ll be playing MAGfest this year. daaaaaammmmnn.

SPECTRUM OF MANA IS HERE! The long-awaited, 3-disc, Secret of Mana album is available for consumption. I did two arrangements of my own and contributed to many others. Apparently I touched 12 songs. I don’t remember most of that. It’s been a long time in the making. ;) You can check links on the discography page for individual songs and hit up www.spectrumofmana.com to DL the album for free. I highly recommend the physical version. It’s so damn cheap. Here’s a little walkthrough I did of one of my songs from the compilation.

Got to play even MORE Katamari with Random Encounter and Brentalfloss. You can check that out on Bandcamp here.

HALLOWEEN IS HERE! And you may just get some Halloween updates from me. :) OK you definitely will. Stay tuned! Here’s a little preview.

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TRON decompression, Ninja Gaiden composer collab, Secret of Mana monster album, LIVE VIKINGGUITAR, other notes

Anyone that puts music or art into the wild (lol internet) is familiar with a ‘particular’ kind of catharsis. Maybe it’s because you work so hard on something for so many days/weeks/years, and it only takes someone 40 minutes to ingest it all? Or they think they’ve ingested it all?

The kicker is that they will never ingest it all.

If you are in love with making art, specifically music, there are windows in songs or melodies or notes that you have attached yourself – in a way that the listeners could never. Those moments are your little babies. In the case of the TRON album, I have so much attachment to those moments outside of what I did to them.

80% of the Christmas morning excitement is buildup. For something this close, more like 95%. I’ve realized that the majority of my excitement for releasing the TRON album had nothing to do with letting it go – it was making it. I consider it my greatest musical accomplishment, and no one could ever enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it. For those that picked up the TRON album, tyvm!

What do you do to get over said catharsis? You keep making.

Since TRON, I’ve stayed busy.

METROID METAL live in Durham, NC for Game Over (Oct 4)

Metroid Metal will be laying waste to Durham, NC this October with Danimal Cannon, Bit Brigade, D&D Sluggers, Eight Bit Disaster, and a Burlesque troop that will make weepy geeks. Come be there.

SPECTRUM OF MANA – The ‘Secret of Mana’ 3-disc album

FoxxDragon has been curating a Secret of Mana anniversary VGM-arrange album for the last many months. It’s a 3-disc, 60-musician, 6-artist, mega compilation of collaborations that bows to the wonderful Secret of Mana soundtrack. SOM just turned 25 btw.

I have 2 tracks of my own with many guests, and I “guest” on a ton of other tracks as well. I also mastered one of the discs. The compilation drops in September. You can hear one of my songs right now on Destructoid’s Soundcloud and download a 3-song sampler at http://spectrumofmana.com/

Collaboration with Keiji Yamagishi (Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Bowl)

Under the Koopa Soundworks label, Yamagishi-san is releasing a solo album. I am doing a small arrangement with him on one of his tracks, and I’ve added a small mountain of guitar to his otherwise chip-focused tune. It will be out on his album in the coming months. I’ve heard a recent mix and it slams. We’re finishing up the details now.

VikingGuitar LIVE

Need I say more?

C-jeff is a GOD

If you haven’t heard C-jeff’s Preschtale Variations, it’s in my top 3 chip albums – #1 some days. Well, C-jeff is working on a follow-up, and I worked with him on a collab for one of his tracks. It’s the best chip/prog/epic song I’ve ever heard. He put me to work. It’s hard. It rocks. You can sing along with it even though there are no vocals. It’s one of ‘those’. I have no idea on the release, but he only has a few songs left.

Recording OTHER people for a change

I recently recorded an entire album of my dad’s bluegrass band. The album made its way into the hands of another local bluegrass band that pitched a project. They’re in the mixing phase now. You see, online I play weird shit, but locally I’m just a good ‘ole boy. I won’t link the album here, but if you guys want to hear some local gospel bluegrass, contact me and I’ll send it over. It’s good listenin’. Yeehah.

Other bits: Super sweet track I worked on with Rekcahdam (Disasterpeace’s drummer), new Castlevania track in the works for Vampire Variations 2, The next Halloween album from VikingGuitar will have something special, new original stuff, etc etc.

OTHER STUFF… that I can’t talk about, but I’ve been putting too much time into. OMG soon.

HEY I BOUGHT A GUITAR!!!!

I bought a 7-string Ibanez with Bareknuckle pickups. It’s a monster. Here’s a little test tune I did one evening.

MORE SOON! Love you guys.

-G

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The “TRON choir” – 4 people, 36 voices

The last song on the TRON album needed a choir – period.”He Ends Small” is the big finale after all. Unfortunately I don’t have a choir handy.

Recently, I’ve heard examples of singers recording ten unisons of themselves in order to achieve a huge sound – not a bad idea! After transcribing the original choir by ear from the TRON ending music (0:50), I decided on three harmonies for the choir section. The idea was to have three voices perform three parts - three times each. That means nine voices from a single person.

I contacted Amanda Lepre, Cheryl Norfair, and Erin McQuisten for the tasks. All three have lovely but different voices, and I WANTED A GAGGLE OF ANGELS. They agreed.

I provided each of them with a care package – a Reaper session with everything marked out. The individual vocal parts were just sine waves for reference. This way, they could easily learn their parts, record in that same session, and send stems back to me. It also ensured that alignment of the voices weren’t going to be an issue.

While this was going on, I believe Kirby Pufocia got tired of waiting on Cheryl, so he went ahead and record his own version. I didn’t ask for it, but I’m so glad he did it. Under the “gaggle” is a male voice to sort of fill out that low space.

I did a lot of reading on how to mix this, and decided to lock the three unisons from a single person to a single pan control. I panned stuff out accordingly, did mild EQ and compression to each of those buses, and then “verbed” the final result.

>>HERE ARE THE RESULTS<<

I’m pleased and so is everyone involved. I’m not the best at gang vocals, but this was a great experiment. I hope to do more in the future. If you want to hear a snippet of the choir in action, check out PRIORITY ONE: The Music of TRON on Joypad Records and play “He is Small”.

Big thanks to Kirbs, Ryn, Lepre, and Norfair for their lungs and love (and Hoodie for his engineering)!

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“PRIORITY ONE: The Music of TRON” available now!

For those that haven’t heard me harp about it yet, I’ve been working on a TRON (1982) album, featuring covers of Wendy Carlos’ amazing soundtrack. It’s done!

You can get the album from Joypad Records.

PRIORITY ONE clocks in at just under 30 minutes. I’m excited about this one. It’s a big step sideways, and a huge step forward for me personally. It’s quite different from my previous efforts, but it’s still a rock album – promise. But I definitely made it for me… and big TRON fans. <3

TRACKLISTING:
“PRIORITY ONE: The Music of TRON”
1. He Starts Small
2. The GRID
3. Hydrophilia
4. Religious Discussions
5. 299 792 458
6. Sea of Stimulation (feat. Inverse Phase on C64)
7. Divine Assistance
8. Video Warrior
9. He Ends Small (feat. Lepre, Kirby, Norfair, & Ryn)

>>HIGH RES ARTWORK LINK<<

Priority_One_005_800px

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Duke Nukem 3D arrangement with Hyperduck – and the Retro Game Music Bundle!

Hi!

First of all, The Retro Game Music Bundle ends on June 5! Go now! http://www.gamemusicbundle.com/

OK, let’s back up.

I had the pleasure of working on an arrangement with those crazy Irish kids at HyperDuck Soundworks. We went for the ULTIMATE GRABBAG REMIX from Duke Nukem 3D. For those who don’t know, Grabbag is this. Everyone knows Grabbag. The track worked out great! I played drums and an overly wanky solo.

The remix is a part of the Retro Game Music bundle. For almost NO MONEY, you can some the soundtracks from classics such as Myst and Jazz Jackrabbit! Donate a bit more and you’ll get a massive bundle of classic OSTs. Also included is a remix album of Duke Nukem 3D music from the likes of virt, Disasterpeace, Alexander Brandon, HyperDuck, Zircon, Strotchy, coda and more.

Our track also ended up on the official OST in the bundle, so we’re pleased about that.

Side note: The TRON ALBUM IS DONE. More info on the release here shortly.

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Ultra Violence on an 8-string : “CHIPTUNES=WTFLOL”

There is an ongoing discussion about whether chiptunes are a “genre” or an “instrument”. It’s obviously both, but people still fight about it.

I was more on the “instrument” side before, but I now live entirely in that camp. Recently, I was invited to do a cover of a chiptune track from the CHIPWIN releases, which I did. Later I was asked to master the EP. That EP is now available from chiptuneswin.com.

What blows my mind is the variety of styles on this single EP. All are covers of chip tracks right? However, you end up with rock folk, acoustic experiments, full on neo-classical, space rock, tech metal, and post rock all smashed together into this curiously cohesive tribute to some of the best chip stuff we know. If that doesn’t solidify the “instrument” argument… I don’t know what else there is.

Thank you Brandon Hood for pumping your enthusiasm and love for people and art into this little project. It was great mastering practice for me, and it was a great opportunity to channel some ultraviolence on my own track with Travis Morgan. We covered Bahamoot from Stern Fucking Zeit – a German chip experiment that should not be ignored.

ALSO, TRON IS 95% DONE. I saw the art yesterday and ’bout cried. June is looking solid.

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“World 1-2″ is out in the open. YOU CAN’T HANDLE THIS SANDWICH

World 1-2 features composers of the original Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man, Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill), Austin Wintory (Journey), Module (Shatter), the Video Game Orchestra, Danimal Cannon, and a whole bunch of other wonderful people.

I was lucky enough to score a slot on this, so I used it to cover one of my favorite pieces of VGM ever – Music 3 from Tetris (NES). And Cory Johnson helped with some wonderful texture, instrumentation, and sheen. I love that guy. Be sure to grab his post rock Zelda album – it’s amazing.

You can now acquire the World 1-2 album here.

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My baby (MM) is ten years old – also FEZ remix album

Ten years ago, Metroid Metal kicked into gear as a happy accident. It’s still going. The last 48 hours have been a surreal celebration of that project and where it has led me in life. Good times.

I did a cover of “Flow” from the FEZ soundtrack for Disasterpeace’s official FEZ remix album. There’s a mountain of talent on there. It feels good for my track to sit along side some masters. There is a load of talent on this album. It’s also fun to hear some guitar pop up in the middle of the collection. ;) You can get the remix album here.

One more track and the TRON album will be done. It should clock in around 28 minutes. Cheers to being on schedule!

Two more new songs should drop over the next two weeks. FINALLY! lol

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