In a word, ‘Venture Kid’ is CLASSIC.
Matt Creamer AKA Norrin_Radd delivers on pouring a 15 year pursuit of recreating near-perfectly authentic NES sounds into the fantastic soundtrack for the Mega Man fan-service platformer ‘Venture Kid’ (the iOS/Android game is out now). Energetic control shifts with each chaotic transition in this retro game microcosm as the album pulls you through all of the tentpole moments of any typical original Nintendo Entertainment System title.
Hook into the album right now with ‘Title Screen’ below!
‘Venture Kid’ is a brilliant amalgamation of NES audio combined with contemporary compositional sensibilities. Norrin_Radd makes a point on his Bandcamp page of stating that this album was created with ModPlug, going so far as to call ‘Venture Kid’ his ModPlug swan song, and fully utilizing NES detuning to create his “subtle but luscious” square waves. The result is spectacularly nostalgic.
‘Venture Kid’ succeeds in a big way with bold-yet-classic arrangements that both contemporary audiences and nostalgia die-hards alike will respect and love. Norrin_Radd’s intricacy, devotion to the restraints of the original hardware, and musicality shine throughout ‘Venture Kid’; the love and passion is clearly present and will earworm into your brain during your very first listen.
This album is unapologetically influenced by the game it serves as full soundtrack for: “Venture Kid” which itself is unapologetically influenced by the NES Mega Man games. Norrin_Radd’s soundtrack is fuelled by the blue bomber’s iconic stage tracks, and feels right at home among them. Every one of ‘Venture Kid’s own stage tracks have that pulsing forward momentum push to them, urging you to keep scrolling right into parts unknown. As the majority of the album falls under the 2 min range as a collection of diverse, yet easily loopable in-game tracks, here are three of my picks that highlight Norrin_Radd’s devotion to his craft:
‘Stage 1 Forest’:
‘Venture Kid’s ‘Forest’ is Norrin_Radd’s love letter to the world’s beloved Blue Bomber. As the premier stage track, ‘Forest’ pulls strongly from iconic compositions throughout the NES Mega Man series. Norrin_Radd has a knack for atmospheric theming; hacking through the bush for treasure and glory with threats chasing close behind you is an easy image to conjure with a snare that’s easily mistaken for rustling leaves and an urgency that implies a desperate search (to the right) is afoot. The intricacy of Norrin_Radd’s transitions all but implore multiple listens, and ensure this album of loop able tunes don’t grow stale.
‘Stage 7 Factory’:
‘Factory’ sets the tone beautifully with hissing “steam” tones and blaring alarms over a chopping bass and percussion duo that refuses to let up as they drive intense beats with foreboding efficiency. A robotic melody instills a sense of sterile uniformity over the relentless drumming foundation, maintaining a conveyor-like progression, almost pulling the melody along over the heavy-duty drum beat. The track’s tone is instantly ominous and threatening, pulled off masterfully here by Norrin_Radd.
‘Stage 9 Space Fortress’:
‘Stage 9 Space Fortress’ plays with a subtle echo under its bubbly upbeat melody to explore an interstellar sound. One thing’s for sure, ‘Venture Kid’ has energy going for it in spades, and ‘Stage 9 Space Fortress’ is stocked to the brim with it. Norrin_Radd knocks the theme out of this world with skillful manipulation of his melody, giving ample breathing room for it to flit and float on its own with an isolation that spotlights his attention to detail. When the harmony kicks in, all systems are go, and ‘Stage 9 Space Fortress’ rockets to the top spot for me in the album.
If you can’t get enough of that sweet sweet 8 bit nostalgia, ‘Venture Kid’ by Norrin_Radd has your fix ready and waiting. If you’ve got a classic NES soundtrack itching at the back of your head but you can’t quite put your finger on it, ‘Venture Kid’ will convince you that it’s always been tucked inside your 80’s memory banks. Dedicated, dynamic, and reverential, ‘Venture Kid’ is a pure homage to times gone by that blends retro sound with contemporary sensibilities for an original soundtrack that can’t miss.
‘Venture Kid’ the Original Soundtrack by Norrin_Radd comes highly recommended and is available now on Bandcamp.com for “name-your-price”. (HINT: Support the artists you love!)
PixelRecall ~ (R. Morgan Slade) ~ Support the artists you love