Kaleidoscope Original Soundtrack
Kaleidoscope Original Soundtrack
February 12, 2010
Download at OverClocked ReMix
The Kaleidoscope Original Soundtrack is OverClocked ReMix’s first original soundtrack release, in a new movement by the website and prominent game music arranging community to act as publishers of original video game music. The fact that this is even possible is a testament to the dedication of fans and arrangers in video game music, and is certainly a welcomed initiative. However, note that Kaleidoscope is a little-known low budget indie game and not any major title. As you may have expected, the main composer Mattias Häggström Gerdt (aka Another Soundscape) and contributor David Lloyd (djpretzel) were each bred in the OCR environment, perhaps giving further reason to its release through the publishers. You will also be pleased to know that while the Kaleidoscope game has to be purchased through Xbox Live, the album itself is free of charge to game music fans, and can be download in torrent form at OCR.
This album can be seen as a landmark in OverClocked Remix’s history, but it’s sad to announce that the themes featured aren’t exactly the best things to come out of the community. Although Häggström Gerdt wished to give each theme a unique feel, each theme is mostly the same. I am informed the first track on the album, “Home (Main Theme of Kaleidoscope),” was created before he was asked to work on Kaleidoscope. Interestingly enough, it’s also his best theme on the album, featuring a quaint melody and really relaxing synth. Upon listening to the next track though, “Pretty Pleasantries (Greenwood Breach),” the album skydives with the theme featuring a simple ostinato and boring development. Of course, this can be taken either way, with the composer intending to compliment Sang Han’s in-game art and create a happy-go-lucky feel. In a sense, he does succeed, but perhaps he could have executed his approach differently.
Next up on the album is “Troublesome Travels (Windyridge Harvest),” which again is a simple and laidback theme. The instrumentation is mostly similar, but includes a rock organ which plays some of the melody. One good point about the track is its odd rhythm, which actually gives it a bit more personality alongside the other themes. As well as this, much of the same devices in this theme are used in “Variations on Navigation (Map)” which is also a bit quirky, yet ultimately pretty droll. At least “Malevolent Mysteries (Murkwood Creep)” and “Old Oddities (Nostalgic Heights)” stray away a little from this, being two fairly decent themes. “Malevolent Mysteries…” is the album’s sole mysterious theme, whereas “Old Oddities…” is a homage to 8-bit and 16-bit game consoles. The latter track is actually pretty enjoyable after you get used to it, though still inferior to what most trained or professional artists would create.
The most original contribution to the soundtrack actually comes from OCR owner djpretzel (David Lloyd) in the form of “Looking Glass (End Credits),” and with its addictive synth lines, it’s actually the best track on the album too. It’s nice to hear something a little different after hearing the hearing the same sound six times in a row. Funnily enough, it’s also the shortest theme on the album, and here’s me criticising the others for being underdeveloped…
With such a good background, one would assume that OCR’s first original game music release would be a decent album with solid, unique themes. The Kaleidoscope Original Soundtrack, though, falls short of the mark in this regard, being quite short and mostly repetitive. In the liner notes, the composer does explain that he wished to create a cohesive soundtrack (which he succeeds at doing) but also that he wished to give each world a unique identity. I don’t see the latter point so much reflected through what is offered on this album. The same superficial sound effects are used in each, the developments in each track are mostly unimpressive, and overall, each theme emanates a laid back atmosphere. The good news though is that it is free and readily downloadable, so don’t be afraid to give it a listen, but don’t expect anything outstanding.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Dave Valentine. Last modified on August 1, 2012.