Fittest Original Soundtrack

Fittest Original Soundtrack Album Title:
Fittest Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Zircon Studios
Catalog No.:
N/A
Release Date:
June 10, 2012
Purchase:
Download at Bandcamp

Overview

I’ll be honest here. I had never heard of Fittest. Apparently it’s some sort of dual stick shooter available on the Xbox Live Indie Channel. There’s been extremely little coverage on this obscure indie game, so like almost everyone else, it slipped under my radar. However, when I heard that the soundtrack was handled by Andrew Aversa aka zircon, my expectations for the music immediately skyrocketed. I soon downloaded the release through Bandcamp. But were those high expectations satisfied in the end?

Body

Zircon has described the music to Fittest as “a tribute to classic video game music” citing games like Mega Man, Donkey Kong Country, and Contra as some examples. This is definitely noticeable throughout the album, as it has an excellent fusion of electronica, 8-bit retro sounds, ambient synths, high powered dance music, and other styles.

The first two tracks “Startup Screen” and “Main Menu,” though brief, contain dark and slightly brooding lines of ambient synth. This type of music doesn’t really represent the album that well, and it feels slightly out of place with the upbeat nature of what’s to come. “Dreams of Cobalt” is what really gets things started with its funky techno rhythms, electronic synths, and wavy piano bars. “Photosynthesis” continues this trend, but adds a more orchestral flavor in addition to a hint of dubstep. “Cellular” is an excellent combination of modern-day electronica and old-school 8-bit synth. The two styles of music really complement each other well and the melodic focus is very reminiscent of tunes found in Mega Man.

“Baroque Virus,” is exactly what the title implies: infectious Baroque-themed music spreading throughout like a virus. As one of the standouts of the album, Aversa perfectly meshes orchestra, harpsichord, tripping techno, and dubstep into one masterful composition oozing energy and flair. It’s outstandingly well-produced from composition through to implementation. “Glacial Reflection” is a track that I assume is used in an ice level. Either way, zircon creates an atmospheric and fitting piece that uses a wide mixture of musical styles previously mentioned. Being the longest track on the album, it’s flowing with composition and I honestly enjoyed every second of it.

There is plenty of other stylings on the release. “Fusion Master” changes theme a bit. Rather than atmospheric music, this track has a certain degree of funk and groove. The melody is delectably enjoyable and the piece is a great change of pace from what was previously established. Distant and mysterious, “Looking Glass” is a successful bout of pure electronica, while “Heavy Industry,” shifts into a more hard rock focus with its jamming guitars and synth. “Psychesphere” is an interesting combination of Middle Eastern inspired instruments and techno synth backing.

Out of all the tracks “Factor 5” is the most “video game music like,” with upbeat synth, jazzy piano chords, and fast-paced percussion. Perhaps the most accessible and melodic track on the album is “Morsecode.” The phenomenal piano work and funky synths make it my favorite track out of the whole album. To end things, we have a Contra-inspired rock piece called “Star Command.” If you know anything about that game’s soundtrack, you know what to exactly what to expect here: raging torrents of hard rock as you storm into the enemy fortress. Though the track is definitely owes its roots to Konami’s classic shoot em’ up, the piece stands out on its own. As the piece draws to its intense finale, I’d say mission accomplished.

Summary

While Fittest was released four years ago, it stands up as fresh and inspired even now. Combining a wide variety of musical styles and taking inspiration from old and new, Andrew Aversa has crafted a varied and stylized album that never gets repetitive or stale. Every track brims with creativity, and no two tracks sound alike. Even if you’ve never heard of the game, I can still recommend its killer soundtrack. With it only going for $4.99 on Bandcamp in crystal clear quality, you can’t go wrong. Aversa’s musical style has been mostly experimental, but I believe that it has been a rousing success.

Fittest Original Soundtrack Oliver Jia

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!

4.5


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Oliver Jia. Last modified on August 1, 2012.


About the Author

I am a university student based in Kobe, Japan majoring in Japanese and English writing. Having dual American-Canadian citizenship, as well a Chinese and Lebanese heritage, world culture and history are big passions of mine. My goal is to become a university educator specializing in Japanese culture and history, as well as hoping to do translation/interpretation on the side. Hobby-wise, I'm a huge cinema buff and enjoy everything from classic to contemporary film. I love playing all kinds of video games as well and having grown up in a musical household, video game soundtracks are a natural extension of that. At VGMO, I primarily cover Japanese and indie soundtracks, but will occasionally conduct interviews with composers. Some of my favorite VGM artists are Koichi Sugiyama, Nobuo Uematsu, Hideki Sakamoto, and Norihiko Hibino to name a few. As for non-VGM artists, I regularly listen to David Bowie, Japan, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Queen, and Chicago. I hope you will enjoy your time on VGMO!



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