Get Even Original Soundtrack
Get Even Original Soundtrack
May 26, 2017
Purchase on Bandcamp
Earlier this year, Olivier Derivière released his latest soundtrack, Get Even. Developed by Farm 51 and published by BANDAI NAMCO, Get Even has seen a positive reception on Steam since its release. Derivière created a real-time generated interactive score that combines live and electronic instrumentation as well as in-game sounds, all rendered live in the game’s engine.
For those who are unfamiliar with Get Even, or even with the work of Derivière, I would suggest beginning with the first track: “Consequences,” which will give listeners “best of” introduction to the very unique style incorporated into this soundtrack. Derivière brings in strings from the Brussels Philharmonic in addition to a violinist and a pianist who contributed solo work. “Consequences” opens with a little bit of everything from the score: lavish string sections, solo work, heavy clockwork ticks, and a subtle array of electronic sounds.
The next few tracks on the album are a bit sparser in content. “Trauma” is essentially an exploration of the mechanical sounds used on the album, devoid of orchestral or melodic content, and “Wake Up” combines elements from both worlds for a piercing, dissonant opening and ending with a nearly inaudible series of notes. “Rehearsal” does a complete 180, bringing in the two soloists to perform a pleasant violin-and-piano duet. Although the direction of the album thus far is unclear, what binds these tracks together is Derivière’s delight in playing with sound. Whether it’s a violin section or a mechanical clock, each sound has a layer of authenticity that drastically affects the quality of the album – everything sounds so rich that there is no sense that any of the sounds don’t belong. Ticking clocks sound like the most natural instrument in the world – all while working effortlessly with the more organic string sections.
Even the more unusual sounds fit right in; “Homicide”, for example, opens with the sound of sirens, panning from one side to the other to emulate a police car – or an ambulance – speeding by. The siren becomes more distorted as it progresses, with several string instruments joining in the slow wailing sound. For percussion, of course, Derivière uses the signature ticking clock, cleverly melded with a cymbal for a drumset sound. “Tracking the Truth”, explores the natural rhythm of a train speeding over tracks, the rhythm becoming more pronounced and complex as it evolves into the centerpiece of the track.
“Visiting the Past” begins a strong finish to the album. Opening cautiously with a three-note pattern (executed by eerie synth sounds and an ominous organ), Derivière slowly adds layer after layer. “Visiting the Past” is also one of the longest tracks on the album at over five minutes, and ends as the swells of synth break into a soft piano solo. “For Her” combines the rhythmic buoyancy from “Tracking the Truth” with a bright, bombastic string section.
“Making Queries” is a lower-intensity electronic track that adds a buzzing bassline to a soft melodic sequence. As the piece continues, the melody develops in complexity while maintaining its calm presence. It’s followed by “Broken Promises,” a string-heavy piece that continues the pattern of juxtaposing rich, authentic strings to intricate electronic sections. Finally, the album ends with “Regrets,” a somber piano-and-string revisit of the opening theme on the album. Both parts are performed wonderfully, with Sebastien Surel on violin and Romain Descharmes on piano. We’ve heard them perform together on “Rehearsal,” but this time, instead of a light-hearted – almost flippant – little piece, we’re treated to a more melancholy closing piece for the album.
I have to admit that as much as I enjoyed this album, I am a relative newcomer to Derivière’s work. I’ve been discovering soundtracks like Remember Me and The Technomancer over the last few months; while I had heard snippets of them before, I had never sat down and listened to them closely until recently. One of the reasons I went back to listen to those soundtracks when writing this review was that a key aspect of Get Even is its sounds – the clockwork sounds, the intricate electronic sounds, the sounds of the Brussels Philharmonic. These sounds make for an incredibly unique soundtrack, and I wanted to go back and see if they were indicative of previous Derivière soundtracks before talking about freshness or originality in Get Even.
I was happy to find that each of his previous soundtracks brought some new, innovative technique to the game music table, but in ways that were very different from Get Even‘s mechanical approach. Olivier Derivière regularly pushes boundaries and incorporates new techniques on each score, refusing to be complacent with the sounds he is known for. For Get Even, all I can say is that Derivière is continuing the trend, and that it works incredibly well. Get Even is available on Bandcamp for 7 USD and 10 USD on iTunes.
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Posted on July 24, 2017 by Emily McMillan. Last modified on July 25, 2017.