April 16, 2008
Buy Used Copy
The Technicbeat Soundtrack consists of the music to the sequel to Technictix. Like its predecessor, it’s a rather strange musical game, as opposed to the ones released today; it required you to control a character on screen and moving it around while keeping the melody via the use of a ring system. It’s easier to just find on YouTube, rather than me trying to ineptly explain it. The soundtrack consists of arrangements of tunes from a variety of games, as opposed to the mostly original pieces heard in Technictix. They are handled by SuperSweep employees and associates Shinji Hosoe, Ayako Saso, Yosuke Yasui, Norihiro Furukawa, Hiroto Saito, and Takayuki Aihara. For the most part, the track titles correspond to their respective game. This review will also not be as comprehensive as its predecessor.
Out of all the composers featured, Takayuki Aihara only has a single contribution. “Ancient Zone,” from the Street Fighter EX series, features some Asian soundscapes fused together with some various synth leads. There is a nice driving rhythm and it features a very strong melody. It’s a shame he only arranged one piece for this album. Hiroto Saitoh also contributes a few pieces. “Sakura Mankai” is also from the Street Fighter EX series. This one features some beautiful woodwind work over some catchy synth beats and also portrays a very strong Asian sound. As the piece progresses, it moves from an Asian soundscape to a more futuristic one with the focus on synth melodies becoming more prominent. “Sky Kid” reminds me a lot of Kid Icarus. It’s a playful piece with a multitude of interesting synth sounds. The melody itself is pretty catchy and there is almost a marching like atmosphere. “Rolling Thunder” is a nice jazzy piece. There are some various sound effects used throughout, such as a phone ringing or some spoken dialogue, but the meat of the piece belongs to the brass and keyboard work. They alternate turns in the limelight and create a very catchy piece overall.
“Brisa Do Mar” is a nice lounge jazz piece from Yousuke Yasui. It boasts some interesting rhythms and combines it with some deep woodwind and keyboard work to create a very upbeat, yet relaxing, piece of music. It’s one of Yasui’s stronger contributions on the soundtrack. Another Yasui contribution, “The Return of Ishtar,” manages to sound like something out of Streets of Rage. It’s an upbeat jazzy sound with some interesting piano and synth work over top some insanely driving beat — well, as driving as a beat can be in lounge jazz. “Assault” opens up with some marching sound effects before moving into an almost trippy synth arrangement. The beat is very disjointed and maintains a slightly jazzy sound, which is only accentuated by the inclusion of some saxophone every now and then. For the most part, this piece is synth driven and features a strong melody. The last Yasui piece I’ll mention is “The Absolute”. While it starts out with a catchy synth lead and a German countdown, it moves into an industrial soundscape with some vocal work over top. It’s an interesting piece and helps add to the variety heard throughout the album.
Ayako Saso’s “Toy Pop” is an interesting fusion of jazz soundscapes with carnival soundscapes. It’s a very playful piece of music and the tuba and piano works well to create this feeling we are in a silent movie. The melody is incredibly catchy and the brass work only adds to the flair. It’s one of my favorite Saso contributions on the soundtrack. “New Rally-X” is another playful Saso contribution. It’s a nice combination of synth and brass work. It’s a bit quirky at times, mainly attributed to some of the interesting synth sounds she chooses to employ, but in the end, it’s definitely a nice romp in the sandbox. “L7-A2,” from Fighting Layer, is a nice driving tune if I’ve ever heard one. The combination of synth and rock make for an entertaining listen. Both the synth melody and the electric guitar melody each add their own little stamp on the overall piece. This is definitely another Saso contribution I can easily get behind. “Ridge Racer” definitely keeps the Ridge Race sound intact. It features a nice beat coupled with some nice synth and electric guitar accents. In addition, there are some vocal excerpts thrown in, something heard in the series a lot. It’s another delightful piece. Lastly, “Crowded Town,” another piece from the Street Fighter EX series, is a very club-like theme that fuses together some driving synth with some Asian instrumentation to create a nice unique dance theme. The melody is extremely strong and intoxicatingly catchy. The vocal excerpts give it a nice little “70’s” throwback too.
“Youkai Donchuki” is a bubbly original synth piece that also features some jazz influences and some Asian soundscapes. The melody is fairly interesting, but I find it to be one of Shinji Hosoe’s weaker contributions. However, another one of his arrangements, “The Tower of Druaga,” is more like the Hosoe I enjoy. By combining a nice driving industrial techno beat, some vocal work, and some electric guitar riffs, he manages to create an energetic piece. This is especially effective when some synth is included to give the piece more of a melody. This one definitely needs to be longer! “Thunder Cepter” also has a very industrial feel that combines a nice industrial beat with some synth and electric guitars. The synth melody is almost too upbeat at times and contrasts a bit with the foreboding nature of the accompaniment. It’s by no means a bad piece, but one that seems to struggle to find out how it should sound. Moving on, “Xevious” is an interesting piece. It features some industrial beats, as one might suspect coming from Hosoe, over some spacey synth work that manages to keep the sound of the original intact. The drum work towards the end of the piece is a nice addition as well. “Stronger,” another piece from the Street Fighter EX series, is a nice driving piece as wel; featuring a strong synth melody over top some industrial techno beats, it manages to be frenetic, but able to instill some beauty into the piece, due to the catchy shamisen line that makes its way into the piece eventually.
Overall, I find this album to be a bit weaker than Technictix. There is plenty of variety between the composers and the arrangement of classic game themes is also quite nice. Sometimes I wish the pieces were longer, but given the nature of the game, I can see why they are so short. Some of the contributions are a bit boring, but for the most part, they are entertaining. Hopefully we’ll be able to see a series of arranged albums, similar to the treatment Technictix received. If that ever comes to fruition, I think a lot of these pieces could easily be improved upon!
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.