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Musicdisk is an album composed by Jonne Valtonen, under the pseudonym Purple Motion. Although prominently known as the arranger for the Symphonic Shades and Symphonic Fantasies concerts, he also put out an album for the demoscene, a place where people show off their artistic, programming, and musical skills. It contains nine new compositions and three arrangements from previous work, but I couldn’t tell you which is which. So, let’s take a dive in and see what we can find…
The album starts out with the stellar “In Certain Frequency,” a track that has a heavy focus on some catchy bass line rhythms with a melody line that has a very modulating effect to it. As it progresses, you’ll hear some crystalline synth samples and some percussion reminiscent of banging on a metal trashcan. Speaking of a catchy bass line rhythm, “Covering All the Bas(s)es” is another fantastic song, blending together a catchy rhythm, some awesome vocoder usage to lead the melody and some marvelous synth lines that serve as great accompaniment to the melody. “Excerpts from the Oceanic Suite,” is another superb addition to the album. The melody is so serene and peaceful, giving off a very futuristic vibe, and blends with the accompanying bass rhythm quite well.
“Yesterdays like Tomorrows like Todays” has a nice retro vibe to it. The bass line and accompanying synth lines have a very robotic feel to them and the female vocalist is pretty sweet. It gives the track a very dramatic flair to it, but manages to do so in a non-distracting way. “Glass Bone” is a very delicate piece of music. A beautiful crystalline synth melody leads the way with sporadic percussion usage. On occasion, some vocoder usage is introduced. It’s not the longest, or most developed, piece of music, but it does wonders at effectively creating a subtle atmosphere. One of my absolute favorites on the album is “Starshine”. Starting off on a serene footing, crystalline synth combines with a Genesis-like bass line synth and some electric guitar to create a very dramatic opening with some fantastic futuristic vibes. Eventually the pace of the track is kicked up a few times and from there, you’re taken on a gripping journey full of awesome melody lines, some fantastic piano accompaniment, and a spacey atmosphere.
“Bonus Malum” is a fantastic trance piece with some awesome bass lines, some fantastic melody lines, such as the piano and synth lines. The addition of some robotic vocals saying “What is right? and What is wrong?” gives it an interesting touch. It’s one of those tracks you just want to play in the car! “Looking into the Eyes of a Donkey,” strange title aside, features another fantastic retro-inspired atmosphere. The melody has a very futuristic and spacey sound to it, and the accompanying synth lines only help to accentuate this feeling, particularly the layering of said synth lines. “Satellite One” is another spacey piece that features some awesome melodies, some fantastic rhythms, and a bit of a retro vibe. It’s not the strongest song of the bunch, but it’s still very much an enjoyable one.
If there was a piece I had to choose as my second favorite, it would be “2nd Reality OST,” hands down. It has more energy than “Starshine,” some awesome progressions that feature some intense and darker sections, some with a more industrial vibe, and some vocal samples that give a nice robotic touch to the track. “The Wise and the Weak” takes a very mellow approach. There is a very atmospheric and ambient side to the music, but the star of the show is the beautiful vocal melody. It tells a sad story and one that I think is very touching. The album ends with “Planet Fuzz,” a very retro inspired piece. It’s got a fantastic chiptune melody that is sinister at times and playful at others. It really would fit quite well in some of these indie developed games released on XBLA or PSN.
Musicdisk is a fantastic album. It’s got a fantastic array of tracks with a ton of diversity between them. While most may know Jonne Valtonen for his exceptional arranging and orchestration skills, I think I’ll always remember him as Purple Motion. It is, sadly, out of print as of recently, so if you find a copy of it, make sure you grab it.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.