The Castlevania composer details the 32-bit era – plus, some key acts influencing video game music, and the Hyperdub boss’ top five.
It’s more than likely that if you grew up with a PlayStation in the ‘90s, you fell under the spell of Michiru Yamane’s incredible Castlevania: Symphony of the Night soundtrack. Full of baroque Transylvania-tech masterpieces, it was a soundtrack that back in 1997 cemented the Konami composer as one of Japan’s most technically proficient in the video game sphere. On this episode, Diggin’ in the Carts host Nick Dwyer spends an afternoon in her studio to talk about the new possibilities that arrived once the 32-bit CD era was ushered in. Another incredible female composer, Tamayo Kawamoto, is the subject of the composer focus on this episode, and Nick presents her early pioneering work from when she was one of the founding members of the Capcom Sound Team. Expect classics from the dominating Capcom arcade era, to the cyborg soul of her later Taito works. Also on this episode: we take a look at the homegrown artists and bands that inspired Japanese video game music, including legendary Japanese fusion acts like Casiopeia and T-Square, the early synth-fueled anime work of Joe Hisaishi and soundtrack offerings from Yellow Magic Orchestra legends Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono; and Hyperdub boss Kode9 picks a selection of favorites from the Diggin’ in the Carts compilation out now on the label.
Japanese video game composer and pianist Michiru Yamane demonstrates her chops during this live 2014 performance of her Castlevania score.
City pop is one of the most recognizable genres associated with Japan’s post-war “economic miracle.”
Hyperdub label head Kode9 chooses favorites from the new compilation Diggin’ In The Carts, A Collection Of Pioneering Japanese Video Game Music.
Here’s a glimpse at Kode9 and Koji Morimoto’s audiovisual live set.
This week’s composer focus is Tamaya Kawamoto, the Japanese video game composer who moonlights as TAMAYO, one half of pop group BETTA FLASH.