How ‘Elden Ring’ Sound Designer and ‘Metal Gear’ Composer Created the Best Gaming Soundtrack Since ‘Streets of Rage’

Hey! Listen is a bimonthly column that unearths music and obscure video game trivia. Today’s column dives into ChainDive, a side-scrolling game with the honor of being composed by Dark Souls composers Yuji Takenouchi and Hideyuki Eto.

Yese can’t talk about club music in video games without mentioning the music of Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima in streets of anger. With the Sega Mega Drive flying off the shelves of Western stores, streets of anger It was the first time that Koshiro composed a game to please a foreign audience, rather than a Japanese one. House and techno had yet to take off in Japan, so Koshiro sought out places such as the famed Club Yellow, partying to imported Chicago house, Detroit techno, dance and rock music. soulful music.

You can hear these inspirations throughout the music at the beginning streets of anger Games: Downtown, Black Box, Technotronics, Marshal Jefferson – it’s all there, a megamix of late ’80s and early ’90s club music crammed into a tiny cartridge, and a lesson in how to maximize the Mega Drive’s sound chip. Music this good should come with a warning sign.

When I watched Koshiro and Kawashima perform “Expander” (the elevator music from Streets of rage 2) during a DJ set in Paris in 2018, there were times when I thought my face was melting. Since then, I’ve kind of made it my personal mission to hunt down dangerously dirty game soundtracks that have struck me the same way. While it’s unlikely I’ll ever find anything that tops equal parts groove and punchy goodness in streets of angerI’m convinced I’ve found the next best thing.

Presentation : ChainDive, a 2.5D side-scrolling action shooter developed by Alvion, released exclusively in Japan on PS2. A Western release was planned but was eventually scrapped, so unless you’re one of the lucky few to have gotten your hands on the demo disc that came with Official PlayStation Magazinechances are you’ve never heard of the game. That means you’re missing something.

Composed by Yuji Takenouchi and Hideyuki Eto, not only ChainDiveThe music of reflects the co-writing approach that Koshiro and Kawashima took to Streets of rage 2 (the best), but also their gender preferences. Similar to how Kawashima’s music ended up being the heaviest of Streets of rage 2 thanks to his love of intense gabber and rave music, while Koshiro’s main influences were dance and house, Eto has a soft spot for techno music. At the same time, Takenouchi (also known as TECHNOuchi), prefers deeper ambient cuts.

Gaming audio geeks probably reading this might recognize these names. Takenouchi is best known for his work on metal gear and Circadia, the latter of which has a pumping soundtrack and was Takenouchi’s first collaboration with Edo. You may know Edo for his music in armored core, but both composers are sound designers. They have collaborated on many projects throughout their career, including FromSoftware games such as Demon’s Souls and dark souls. Takenouchi left the company after completing work on dark souls 2but Edo is still there today.

It’s not just a cool story, either. Their knowledge of sound design makes them very popular producers of electronic music. Edo in particular has a sense of sound. He has been releasing techno records since the late 90s under his own name as well as under the pseudonyms Glidelator and Dideyuki Izo. If you are a fan of techno music, I recommend you check out his single’Encode‘. It’s dirty.

Takenouchi’s music, on the other hand, is much more relaxed. ChainDiveThe soundtrack has this incredible flow where it jumps seamlessly between ambient house beats and pounding techno, yet it constantly stays on your feet. The music Takenouchi composed for the game first stage is full of 2000s house vibes, especially with the piano chords being exposed. It’s in stark contrast to the disarticulated and glitchy drum and synth parts that flow from Eto.

If you’re going to click on any of these links, however – and please do, because I link to things beyond SEO purposes in the hopes that you’ll vibe as much than me – so I recommend you check out what I think are the two best bits in the game. This boss theme by Takenouchi is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before, while this rhythm of Eto sounds like the last thing you’d hear before walking out of Warehouse Project at 5 a.m. as a sweaty, shaky mess.

If you listened to the ChainDive and want to check out more amazing tracks, you’ll be thrilled to hear that Takenouchi has released an album called “ChainDive Arrangements” under his alias TECHNOuchi. This could easily pass for one of the first “Ministry of Sound” compilations, with a decent and diverse mix of house, techno, D&B and even garage beats.

So this is it. If, like me, you’ve spent too many years looking for a game soundtrack that scratches that streets of anger itch, hope you finally found it.

If you enjoyed this deep dive into the world of game soundtracks, check out the rest of Hey! Listen here.

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