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Pegasus
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Postby Pegasus » Mon 22. Feb 2016, 04:09

Seeing as it's been awhile since my last VGM-themed spotlight post (more than a year, in fact, the logs show - damn!), and this is something I'd been meaning to share since last November, I think it's now finally time to talk Hotline Miami games, and specifically about Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number.

For those not familiar with them, both Hotline Miami games are essentially top-down, action-arcadey shooters drenched in an 8-bit aesthetic, borderline sociopathic stylized gun/melee violence and set to an 80s theme that's practically oozing out of their every pore, ranging from TV pop culture & related-era Hollywood references (seedy underworld, hard-boiled cops, trippy stoners motifs), contemporary tech, fashion sense, background music, you name it. They were both made by the neophyte, but brilliant, 2-man developer Dennaton Games and produced by niche-savvy Devolver Digital, the first in 2012 and the sequel last year, for a number of platforms, including PC. Both enjoyed a pretty favourable critical reception too, with the tinge of controversy surrounding their vivid depictions of 8-bit violence and their main creator's shrewd stance towards HM1 hitting the P2P/torrent "circulation" also helping boost the games' rep along.
While it's unsurprising that both games would share plenty of similarities - what with revolving around pretty much the same core gameplay formula - it's probably fair to say there's a curious "crossing of paths" in how their qualitative evolution has come to be perceived by the general gamer consciousness. By this I mean that most appear to agree that HM1's story seemed much more coherent and focused (following the path of a disturbed vigilante, and later on shifting to one other person), while its soundtrack could at best be characterized as experimental, ambient or inconsequential. Flip over to HM2 now, and most people will tell you that its plot was barely comprehensible at all, as this time the game attempted (and, predictably, failed) to juggle up to six thirteen different characters (thanks, Wikipedia), while jumping between protagonists, time periods and even points in each person's individual timeline (!) across its different chapters, and not even bothering to offer any kinda sensible resolution at the end either beyond a final, brief and hallucinatory-as-all-fuck vignette. On the other hand, if HM2's run-n-gun action can be considered to have improved upon its predecessor's performance, and I submit that it has, this is owed in no small part to the soundtrack and to the fact that its main creator took the accompanying music's role much more seriously this time 'round. The end result is a 45-(plus 4 remixed)-track, 30-plus contributor-strong score that would usually hover around the "okayish" bar, but can frequently spike up to impressive levels in terms of skillful production and mature composition, with specimens delivering pumping beats, dynamic synths and an overall "convincingly 80s" affect, while shifting the tone between 'em from bubbly, showbiz blissfulness to thrilling, empowering or action-driving fare, to downright dark n' evil where appropriate.

While it won't take long for anyone to figure out the roster of composers for HM2's OST isn't one of uniform caliber across its tracks, the highlights were still plenty and of great enough quality that, for me at least, they also helped put two of the more talented among them in my sights and gave me the opportunity to later peruse their other works with just as much appetite (and there's plenty there), namely the "dark 80s" synth/electronic composers Carpenter Brut and Perturbator, both brilliant and both frenchmen :)! To be clear though, I don't mean to imply here that those two were the only standouts in the OST, as others like, say, Mitch Murder, Magna, MegaDrive and Magic Sword also turned in great work that critically helped expand the set's tonal variety; it's just that the frenchies' brand of electronic, errr, grit seemed to resonate more with me, so among the 12 tracks I ended up keeping, those two feature in the lion's share of the lot.

Anywho, I hope the above piqued your curiosity enough to check out (some of) the following four, very characteristic tracks from Hotline Miami 2's OST, if energetic electronic music and/or "80s synths" are your jam. Even if not though, I'd still urge you to give at least one of 'em a try; they're pretty good tunes all the same :). Enjoy.

Roller Mobster (Carpenter Brut): the one I stumbled into and convinced me to dive into the HM2 OST rabbit hole; probably still my favourite track.


Le Perv (Carpenter Brut): mastering's a bit too heavy on the bass in a few spots, but damn if this isn't the most relentlessly menacing track I've heard in a while.


Remorse (Carpenter Brut remix): could easily picture this more uplifting piece as the closing score to a retro/80s-themed cop drama movie


Sexualizer (Perturbator): few faint moaning samples 'round the 3rd verse bring out the ingame "strip joint" chapter's sleaze, but IMO the slappy bass n' later guitar solo are the true sexy stars here



For those who liked what you heard and care to check out more good tracks from the HM2 OST, here's another 8 recommendations, which you can sample from its entire YT playlist:

- Future Club (feat. Noir Deco) (Perturbator)
- Technoir (Perturbator)
- Divide (Magna)
- Dust (M|O|O|N) (Carpenter Brut remix)
- Slum Lord (MegaDrive)
- In the Face of Evil (Magic Sword)
- Frantic Aerobics (Mitch Murder)
- The Way Home (Magic Sword)

Happy listening!
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-Nick-
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MusicBox

Postby -Nick- » Wed 24. Feb 2016, 19:54



Edit:
Pegasus wrote:and this is something I'd been meaning to share since last November


Unrelated and not primarly aimed at yourself but always share music when you first think about sharing music. Not to judge, but i'm sure there's many songs that people are anxious to share. 'John doe' is a Justin bieber fan, it's almost stereotype, but would i take the piss because someone likes Justin's music? Would i boot. Thats what this thread is about, an exploration into music. The misconception that a certain genre of music one person likes is a reflection of who they really are is something i find ridiculous.

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]M[
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Postby ]M[ » Thu 25. Feb 2016, 13:24



...just came across this, great track from my namesakes^

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Miauz55555
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Postby Miauz55555 » Fri 26. Feb 2016, 19:31

-Nick- wrote:[...] Thats what this thread is about, an exploration into music. The misconception that a certain genre of music one person likes is a reflection of who they really are is something i find ridiculous.

Well written.
Sabaton - Primo Victoria: With an AMV from Hellgate London.

Sabaton - Talvisota: With some cool fight scene from Star Wars.

Sabaton - Metal Machine:
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Cat1981England
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Postby Cat1981England » Fri 26. Feb 2016, 22:37

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

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-Nick-
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MusicBox

Postby -Nick- » Sun 28. Feb 2016, 18:13


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-Nick-
Posts: 495
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MusicBox

Postby -Nick- » Wed 2. Mar 2016, 20:21






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Cat1981England
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Postby Cat1981England » Mon 7. Mar 2016, 20:38

Very nice Nick :thumbup:



The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

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Cat1981England
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Postby Cat1981England » Thu 10. Mar 2016, 00:27

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

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smalltown
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Postby smalltown » Thu 10. Mar 2016, 12:32

:firedevil: :firedevil: STOMBOTOWN :firedevil: :firedevil: :machinegun: :cool2cool: :yoman:


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