Tag Archives: progressive rock

Retronauts Micro returns with a double-length episode

Well, I say “double-length,” but Bob has been stretching the definition of “Retronauts Micro” for quite a while now, so I suppose you’re used to “Micro” episodes being nearly half the length of a full episode by now.

But, anyway! Because you demanded it, Retronauts Micro has indeed made its grand and glorious return. Not that it was gone all that long. Nevertheless, to mark the occasion I’ve put together what is by far the most involved and complicated Micro I’ve ever produced. It’s a follow-up to the FM synthesis episode from a few months back, which means it centers around music. And lots of it.

This episode offers a very loose overview of the use of sampling in video games, exploring a large number of permutations and tripping a bit over the ambiguity of some of the terminology used on the tech side. Before that, though, I’ve outlined the history of sampling as a concept as well, since the concept has a significant existence outside of gaming — though of course it has to a certain degree evolved and developed alongside video games. Eh, I’m making a mess of this. Just have a listen to the episode. It’s nearly half an hour in length and incorporates dozens of examples (and samples). And, of course, that one track that EarthBound blatantly just stole from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

(Incidentally, it seems like PodcastOne’s system has a habit of overwriting custom episode art with the generic show art, so if you’re into the individual covers we create, you can snag the one above and add it yourself. Sorry for the inconvenience.)

Episode description: Retronauts Micro returns on a biweekly schedule! Jeremy kicks things off with a follow-up to last year’s look at FM synthesis in games by exploring a flip side: A brief (and at all comprehensive) history of audio sampling vis-a-vis video games.

MP3, 12.7 MB | 25:31 | Direct download
Retronauts on iTunes | Retronauts at PodcastOne

Music in this episode comes from… oh boy, where do I even begin? There’s a ton — and by no means is this list a comprehensive breakdown of all the examples I could provide.

  • Revenge of Shinobi
  • SoulBlazer
  • EarthBound
  • Psycho Soldier
  • Summer Carnival ’92: Recca
  • Pierre Schaeffer “Apostrophe”
  • The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”
  • The Beach Boys “Caroline No”
  • Pink Floyd “Money”
  • King Crimson “In the Court of the Crimson King”
  • Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven”
  • David Bowie “Space Oddity”
  • Yes “Siberian Khatru”
  • King Crimson “Epitaph”
  • Genesis “Watcher of the Skies”
  • Gentle Giant “Free Hand”
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra “Computer Game”
  • Rick Wakeman “Catherine Parr”
  • Rally-X
  • King & Balloon
  • Ghostbusters (Commodore 64)
  • Wild Gunman
  • Ninja Gaiden (NES)
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
  • Otocky
  • Quadrun
  • Journey (Arcade)
  • Super Mario Kart
  • ActRaiser
  • Final Fantasy VI
  • Jet Grind Radio

Yeah, OK, I think that’s it. Whew, I’m fried. Enjoy the show, and there’ll be the usual full-length production on Monday… which also is about music. It’s like a theme or something.

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It’s… Retronauts Pocket Episode 1

Well, hello, there! Welcome back, my friend, to the show that never ends. Or at least won’t end for another year, anyway.

Retronauts Pocket 1 cover art

As you may recall from a few months back, the terms of our Kickstarter venture were thus: If we could hit a certain stretch goal, we would not only record 26 biweekly episodes of Retronauts over the next year, we’d also fill in the interstices between those shows with 26 “mini” episodes. Since we blew past most of our stretch goals in very little time, well, here we are. Our very first mini episode. We’re calling the smaller shows “Retronauts Pocket” to help distinguish them from the standard episodes (credit to Ray for coming up with the name), but don’t worry: They’ll all be on the same feed, and the ID3 tags will help keep the 52 total episodes nice and sequential in your music app of choice.

Retronauts Pocket differs from the standard episode template, somewhat. Or at least that’s my intention. I’ve been interested in exploring the things that influence games, from pinball machines to Star Wars, and so the Pocket episodes I put together (or at least the ones whose topic isn’t determined by a Kickstarter backer) will not be so much about games as about the media and other concepts that influence them.

Since we had a straight-up music expert on hand for this first episode — Chrontendo‘s Dr. Sparkle, whom you may recall from last week’s episode — I decided to talk about rock music’s influence on games. Specifically, progressive rock. What follows is a 45-minute conversation that sometimes touches on games, but is really more about the nature of something that was hugely influential on a lot of key game composers, with plenty of fair-use sound clips to provide context.

Retronauts Pocket Episode 1 (July 8, 2013): Gaming Roots – Progressive Rock

Libsyn (45:00 | MP3 | 36.0 MB) | Soundcloud | YouTube (coming soon)

Since music plays such a key role in this episode, here’s a breakdown of the tunes you hear. In case you want to look them up, or possibly burn every copy of the album in question.

  • 5:06 – Jon & Vangelis “The Friends of Mr. Cairo”
  • 6:00 – Rick Wakeman “Catherine of Aragon”
  • 8:06 – Pink Floyd “Money”
  • 8:55 – Pink Floyd “Astronomy Domine”
  • 11:29 – Can “Halleluwah”
  • 12:59 – Mike Oldfield “Tubular Bells”
  • 15:25 – King Crimson “Discipline”
  • 17:41 – Gentle Giant “Runaway”
  • 20:45 – David Bowie “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”
  • 22:45 – Dream Theater “Pull Me Under”
  • 27:13 – The Nice “America”
  • 31:04 – Norihiko Hibino “Metal Gear Solid 3 – Lady Luck Revisited”
  • 34:30 – Nobuo Uematsu “Final Fantasy VI – Dancing Mad”
  • 35:42 – Emerson Lake & Palmer “The Three Fates”
  • 39:10 – Genesis “Watcher of the Skies”
  • 42:35 – Yellow Magic Orchestra “Rydeen”
  • 44:25 – Gong “You Can’t Kill Me”

I realize this isn’t your typical episode of Retronauts, but that was kind of the point. If you hate it, please focus your fury on me as this is all my doing. And don’t worry, we’ll be back to the old-fashioned format next week when Bob takes the driver’s seat.

P.S. We’re still working on the iTunes thing. Apple moves at its own pace, because they’re richer than Croesus. But you can still goof around with the show’s RSS feed like you did last week.

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