- Japanese video game music meets footwork.
- In 2017, Kode9's Hyperdub released a compilation highlighting Japanese video game music from the '80s and 90s. Last year, Kode9, AKA Steve Goodman, toured a live set based on that music, with visuals from the animator Kōji Morimoto. For those live sets, Kode9 made his own versions of these video game soundtracks. These edits make up this new four-track EP, which underlines the creativity and novelty of the experiment while highlighting its limits.
Goodman's distinctive style of drum programming, which leaps between hip-hop tempo and frantic, footwork-style speeds, could make anything sound exciting. Yuzo Koshiro's "Temple," a nervy orchestral track from the game ActRaiser, is dynamite in Goodman's hands. His rattling percussion makes Koshiro's synths feel even more foreboding. The same goes for Koichi Ishibashi's "Bad Data," where athletic UK garage-style patterns come and go.
The results are less convincing elsewhere. Goodman's hi-hats sound out of place over the nervy strings of Soshi Hosoi's "Mister Diviner." And Tadahiro Nitta's "An-Un," from Ominous Clouds, an obscure but powerful highlight from the compilation, was stronger than Kode9's remix. That said, videos of Goodman's live set make these edits feel more powerful, especially accompanied by Morimoto's visuals. But without that context, this EP feels flat.
A1 Soshi Hosoi - Mister Diviner [The Mahjong Touhaiden] (Kode9 Remix)
A2 Koichi Ishibashi - Bad Data [Dezaemon] (Kode9 Remix)
B1 Yuzo Koshiro - Temple [Actraiser] (Kode9 Remix)
B2 Tadahiro Nitta - An-Un [Ominous Clouds] [Xak II] (Kode9 Remix)