Monday, July 24, 2023

Cassette Review // SMoos Jazz "Turtles In Time / Sunsetriders"


https://moosehaus.bandcamp.com/


I was drawn to this cassette because I used to play a TMNT arcade game a lot as a kid and so seeing the Super Nintendo references on the cover art made me knew I had to listen to this.  The sounds on here do not disappoint as they have a video game nature about them but also feel triumphant.   At times, you'll hear sounds which feel like they're straight out of the games.  A sound like "Ugh" as if a bad guy is getting hit by a good guy.

Audio clips also come in, where you can hear characters say things like "You got me!" and it just takes me right back to the days of playing video games such as these.  Part of me is torn because I love the nostalgia of these video games and I know I can buy certain video game systems and play them again, but at the same time I feel like I might end up dedicating too much time to it and getting little else done.   So it's a very fine line between me playing video games and me getting nothing else done.

This audio clip really just said "Are you all right, man?" / "Don't worry about it" and that seems a little bit too serious and profound for a video game.   The way the sounds come through now remind me of the original NES and the way it would sound when you drove in Excite Bike.   A lot of these sounds can feel like fun on their own, but at times they also just all play at the same time and create a lot of chaos.  

I feel like the "Please! Please! Don't shoot my brother! He's just following orders" / "Okay, m'am, we won't shoot him" audio clip is from Sunsetriders.   While there is a whole genre out there of 8bit music (chiptune), the ideas on this cassette seem to be more about taking sounds and making them do what you don't expect.  Most of the time the fun and upbeat video game parts are extracted into fun and upbeat songs, but this has these loops and samples but also takes sounds which aren't really used in such ways and uses them exactly that way.

If you think about an existing song and how someone in chiptune can cover it using the sounds of video games, I'm not saying it's easy but I'm saying it's become standard.   But then you have to imagine that same song being covered by someone just manipulating the sound that a boss makes every time they're dealt a final blow.  I'm not saying that's what this cassette is, but it certainly feels closer to that approach than the standard of video game music. 









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