I was so excited when I received a notification from Bandcamp, informing me of a new soundtrack by 4mat. From the UK, he claims a unique style that makes him one of my FAVORITE artists ever, across all genres of music. His ability to be not only technically innovative in a sense where he literally creates his own space sonically, but also with his storytelling compositions, creates the perfect balance. I knew he created audio for games, so knowing that his style would be melded to suit visuals for a soundtrack was enough for me to drop what I was doing and put everything else on the back burner.
There are only good things to say about the ‘I Know This!’ OST.
My only complaint is that I wanted to hear more. The soundtrack spans roughly 7 minutes, and you can tell that 4mat puts as much love and personality into this release as he did with my favorite release, ‘Nadir‘.
The theme for ‘I Know This!’ begins with beautiful delayed bells, followed by a bass that reminded me of his previously released track, ‘Daisies‘. I’m a huge fan of drum machines and the emulation of them, hence why I really enjoyed Roland’s TR-8 when it was released. It sounds like 4mat had a really distinct way of perfectly letting his percussion set well in a mix, and he continuously perfects it by keeping his beats interesting, alongside his melodies and eerie basslines in ‘Tension’. 4mat has been creating computer music since the late 80s, and his experience with retro chips and working with the C64 and the Amiga, along with other electronic elements like FM synthesis, create a dramatic story that is perfect for scoring. The soundtrack is beautiful, and dark.
I think there’s a lot of good to be said about an artist when you can recognize their production staples while they continuously create music that sounds different. It’s really rare for me to listen in on a record and hear something that is both interesting and original in the composition, but also something that makes me want to work on my own production and mixing techniques in the studio. I spend so much time online, and in record shops, trying to find something I love to listen to. I constantly need to find artists who bring something different to the table, who will unknowingly work as inspiration for myself so I’ll work harder to achieve my own personal sets of goals. 4mat’s work does that for me, hands down.
‘I see the spoils’ and ‘I hear the sirens’ follows this trend and reminds me so much of the 16bit Sega days with perfect automation control of his melody. As
I’ve mentioned before, sound design plays a huge roll in the music that I love, so adding sound effects and samples in a track that will always get my attention. I know the OST is short, and both these short tracks are, of course, part of it, but I was just really happy that they were included. I’ve seen movie and game soundtrack release that don’t add in short cues like these two, and I’ve had to dig to director’s cut versions to find them. Obviously this is a personal release with a smaller game team, but every sound matters in any sort of visual media.
For all the gamers in the wide ChipWIN community (and I know there are a lot), you can download the game here.
So, if you love FM synthesis, if you miss the days of 16bit soundtracks, and if you admire an artist who can draw you into his own world with composition and sound design, then this is the perfect OST for you. ~The Unicorn Princess