March 16, 2001
Buy Used Copy
Technictix is a music based game released in 2001. It’s a rather strange musical game, as opposed to the ones released today, and 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 try to ineptly explain it. It was composed by four former Arika employees, Shinji Hosoe, Ayako Saso, Takayuki Aihara, and Yasuhisa Watanabe, and their two associates, Yosuke Yasui and Hiroto Saito, in a variety of styles. How does the soundtrack turn out? I’ve decided to do this review to complement the remix albums that came out later. I’m going to be starting with the composers who contributed the least amount of originals to the remix albums and work my way up to the person who contributed the most.
Hiroto Saito contributed three pieces to Technictix. The first, “Clip Click,” creates a nice jazzy soundscape by fusing the use of piano with funky electronica samples. Overall, there’s a good 70’s vibe going on and the string synth helps add much to this effect. “Bossa Antique” is another jazzy piece. It’s a bit more subdued than the first contribution, but I find it to be a better piece overall. The keyboard work combines quite well with the use of rhythmic percussion line while the melody is also quite catchy and really gives it a nice lounge vibe. The inclusion of the saxophone samples are also quite nice and help to accentuate the jazzy feel. The random vocals contrast to the overall piece, but in the end, they fit quite well. To quote portions of the piece, “Do you love me?” I must say that I do! “1970 Modern” also exhibits a pleasant jazz sound. The brass and woodwinds help lead the way into a funkier piece that has an extremely catchy bass line. It’s also a piece that includes vocals as a main highlight. I can’t quite say I’m particular fond of them, but they go well with the impressive xylophone and flute work elsewhere. I really enjoy Hiroto Saitoh and he seems to go back to his jazz roots with this one. It’s a shame he didn’t contribute more.
Current SuperSweep member Yousuke Yasui made a relatively small contribution of four pieces. His first, “Suicide Robot,” focuses a lot on interesting rhythms and a lot of electronic beeps. It also picks up the pace at times, adding to this strange sense of discord for the entire piece. It’s quite entertaining despite the disjointed feel. “Hypnotherapy” is a particularly trance-inspired piece. It features a futuristic synth lead, some vocal work, and a subtle jazz influence over a steady beat. It’s not one of Yasui’s strongest and can get fairly repetitive over time. “Segment4” is quite enjoyable to me. It’s one of the stranger pieces, featuring another heavy beat and a lot of unpredictable elements. There are times you’ll hear piano, while at others you’ll hear random vocal excerpts. The best part of the piece comes towards its inclusion. The electric guitar adds some nice industrial riffs to the piece and makes for a very nice listen. “Broken Shackles” is another electronica-heavy piece. Featuring some interesting percussion rhythms, it manages to keep a fairly entertaining beat. The melody line is very interesting; at times it features some jazzy piano sections while at others featuring some spacey synth work. In the end, I think this is one of the stronger Yasui contributions.
Yasuhisa Watanabe also contributed a handful of pieces to this soundtrack. “Mao’s Travel” right away showcases Yack’s strength in the jazz department. The piece features a beautiful combination of futuristic synth over a catchy rhythm and combines it with a fantastic use of saxophone to create a very neat soundscape. In contrast, “Spiral Life” is a haunting piano led piece with spacey synth accents. As the piece progresses, the layers of synth seem to keep adding up and manage to create a beautiful soundscape as the pace increases. Throw in some nice vocal work and you manage to create a laidback, yet highly entertaining, piece of music. “Marine Snow Dance” relies on an extremely intoxicating rhythm in order to drive the piece. It also manages to utilize some very crystalline synth sounds. The pace changes throughout the piece and, towards the end, it manages to include an interesting chiptune solo. I much prefer the arrangement of this one, but it still manages to impress in various sections. “E.H.M.Y.” features some nice brass and synth work over an interesting rhythm line. It also features some funky vocal work that adds to the overall atmosphere. It’s quite the catchy piece and another strong contribution from Yack.
Takayuki Aihara also manages to add some nice things to this soundtrack. “Dynamite Egoist” is one of the crazier pieces on the album. It features a plethora of elements, from jazzy keyboard work, to insanely catchy electronica accents. In addition, the vocals add a certain charm to the piece. All the elements combine quite well to create a funky and entertaining piece. Easily one of Aihara’s best, if you ask me. “TE-20” is another fantastic contribution from him. Featuring a driving beat, it manages to keep the listener highly engaged. Combine that with excellent synth leads — with tons of variety no less — in the melody line and you have one of the most addicting pieces on the soundtrack. The Aihara powerhouse doesn’t end there. “Sasia” is an excellent club song that features engaging synth accents and remixed vocal sections that make the listener just want to dance. While the melody may be a bit less focused than in other contributions, it’s easily forgivable due to the highly addicting nature of the piece. His last contribution, “Arabesque,” is taken from the Street Fighter EX series. Having heard this so many times in the Street Fighter EX series, I wasn’t sure if he could do anything new with it. He manages to impress with the sudden changes in pace and fantastic Arabian sounds. As I’ve said plenty of times to myself, Takayuki Aihara is an extremely talented composer and arranger.
The core of the soundtrack, however, is composed by Shinji Hosoe and Ayako Saso, both contributing the most to the soundtrack. Shinji Hosoe manages to impress with quite a few compositions. The first contribution, “Diamond Troll,” features an Arabian soundscape combined with interesting choral work and some catchy electronica samples. It’s a driving yet exotic work. “Roteen da Moon” is crazy incarnate; Hosoe manages to impress once again through his use of driving industrial electronica and the random “Techno” shouts add to the chaos. He manages to outdo himself in the crazy department with the remix, but you’ll hear about that in another review! Hosoe’s shortest contribution, “Let’s Select,” is a short jazzy piece with some interesting electronica samples. Sadly, it’s not nearly long enough, but it has potential to be greater. Moving on, “Sweet Patch” is an extremely varied piece from Hosoe. The beginning features some interesting synth work and some catchy rhythms while the melody is very bubbly throughout most of the piece. Towards the end, it gains a bit more of an industrial sound that makes it all the more pleasing. “Hard Head” maintains an energetic atmosphere with a driving electronica beat underneath some electric guitar work while “62-1” is an interesting work that integrates exotic synth samples and crazy vocorder usage.
Last, but not least, is Ayako Saso who integrates some unusual sounds into her works. “Earth Will”, for instance, combines some futuristic synth work with some fascinating tribal chanting while “Visited Alone” blends exotic sounds and funky vocals. On the other hand, “Phone Dead Room” is an especially catchy blend of piano and vocal work with sound phone sound effects and dialling tones to add to quirkiness. “Night Life” is another one of those club compositions. Another fantastic contribution, it manages to deliver an extremely engaging rhythm and melody. Every time I hear it, it makes me want to dance. It’s really hard to describe, but it’s quite sexy. The vocal work says it all, “I found love!” Something I always like to hear from Saso is some jazz work and “Days Dreamer” manages to deliver. It features some nice electronica sounds over some jazzy vocal and saxophone work. Overall, it’s quite the bubbly piece and boasts a fantastic melody to boot! “Rambler” features a subdued pace compared to some of her other contributions, but the synth work is fantastic and the piece seems to have some subtle jazz influences. The Rastafarian vocal contributions add a sense of worldliness to the piece and manage to go well with the overall rhythm. It’s a strange contribution, but fun nonetheless.
It’s worth mentioning that Hosoe and Saso also offer a few remixes from other Arika titles to complement the one from Aihara. “Fake World -maniax-” is another arrangement of a Street Fighter EX theme. This theme manages to create an engaging rhythm and combine it with some vocal work and some exotic sounds. The melody is the best part and manages to get a bit club-like towards the end. The arrangement on Technictix Remix Vol. 3 is vastly superior, however. “TGM in the Bottle” is the last contribution I’ll mention from Hosoe. From Tetris The Grand Master, it’s a theme that features a variety of sections. At times, it’s bubbly, while during others it features some interesting vocal work. Overall, it sounds a bit spacey and it manages to include some of the sound effects from it as well. Lastly, “Happy Happy” is another piece from TGM and it’s just that — happy! It features some bubbly synth work over an intoxicating rhythm. It boasts an ultimately catchy melody. While not my favorite Saso contribution on the album, it manages to rank up there.
At the end of the day, this album manages to fuse a lot of different styles together. Every composer manages to impress, yet at the same time, disappoint. The good news is that there are many more good things than bad things on the soundtrack. The guest composers did a fantastic job, especially Takayuki Aihara, while SuperSweep regulars Saso and Hosoe were outstanding as usual. If you like electronica with a variety of styles and vocal samples, it might be worth tracking down. I much prefer the arrangement albums to the original, but this is still quite impressive.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.