Merry Chipmas Chillout (and a thank you)

Thank you for your support (again!) in 2016. It is a wonderful thing to make music and get so many supportive comments.

This week I got a message from Spotify with a summary of 2016: totally unbelievable for someone who tends to get nervous performing for more than 100 people 🙂

I am very grateful for everything since my first album in 2010, thanks Quite a Bit!!

 

Please enjoy the holidays and download my Merry Chipmas Chillout (relaxing 8-bit style classics) MP3 album if you like.

Or if you’re feeling Loud ‘n Proud, download the Jingle Bells Bangers Remix over here (courtesy of my good olde’ friend Futureboy 5000 😉 ).

 

I hope to still be seeing you in 2017. I’m working on some nice new musical projects, varying from energetic EDM oriented remixes to relaxing Sunday morning lounge style albums. And a special album to honor a couple of your inspiring requests.

Let’s have some good times in the new year!

Cheers,

Nanne (The Greatest Bits)

Metal Gear (NES) Music

Listen to the Metal Gear NES music tribute on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music and Amazon MP3.

Metal Gear Music (NES)Before there were magical nanomachines and photosynthetic plant men, there were deadly poisonous Zanzibar hamsters. “Metal Gear Solid” may have popularized Hideo Kojima’s off-the-wall stealth series, but it all began in 1987 with the original “Metal Gear” on the MSX2, later tweaked and ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System in the following year. Both games had their own unique soundtracks, and while the music of the MSX2 version was popular enough to make appearances in later entries in the franchise, the music of the NES version has largely been forgotten. This is most unfortunate, as its soundtrack is one of its few consistent strengths.

While “Metal Gear’s” soundtrack is dramatically shorter than that of its contemporaries, it starts off strong with “Aerial Insertion” — perfect music to parachute to! “Jungle Infiltration” immediately follows, its echoing percussion and minor key melody calling to mind a stealthy shuffle through enemy-laden flora.

“Base Infiltration” is a more energetic and mysterious take on its predecessor, and no player has ever gone without hearing the largely similar “Intruder Detected” themes. They don’t quite have the same panic-stricken energy of later games’ “Encounter,” but the frantic beat and 8-bit alarms certainly heighten the tension.

Get your trip back to the NES version of Metal Gear at iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play Music and Amazon MP3 🙂

Mega Man 9 Music

Listen to the Mega Man 9 music tribute on iTunesSpotify, Google Play Music and Amazon MP3.

Mega Man 9 MusicMore than a decade after its last numbered predecessor, “Mega Man 9” was ushered into the gaming world on a sea of applause and fanboyish glee — and maybe more than a little fanboyish drool. Released for multiple platforms in 2008, MM9 was a loving callback to the 8-bit platformers adored by many a nerd back in the far-off time of the 1980s. The same could certainly be said for its soundtrack, which manages to create an unusual, but no less unique blend of bleeps and bloops old and new that were tailor-made for nostalgia.

The game opens, appropriately enough, with the track “Opening 1,” a soft, almost sweet melody that serves as a peaceful callback to the Mega Man of yesteryear. This immediately (and seamlessly) moves into “Opening 2,” an oddly reflective piece with a funky beat.

Of course, it’s not Mega Man without some memorable robot master themes. Of particular note is “Splash Blue,” a hypnotic accompaniment to the equally hypnotic Splash Woman. The heavy reverb, reminiscent of a surging tide, immediately calls to mind the beauty of the ocean blue. Galaxy Man’s theme, “Galaxy Fantasy,” is among the fastest-paced tracks in the game and always a blast to listen to.

But if I had to pick a favorite, it would be “We are the Robots”, which is the title for the Dr. Wily Stage 2 theme in this game. It has the absolute feeling of a doomy heavy metal track, performed with 8-bit machines. I tried to capture it’s vibe and make the most out of this beautiful composition over here.

“Mega Man 9’s” soundtrack manages to package the nostalgic charm of the NES classics with the hyper-polished presentation of modern triple-A platformers, maintaining its own identity even with sounds lovingly appropriated from another time in gaming history.

I hope you would like to give a listen to my tribute album on iTunesSpotify, Google Play Music and Amazon MP3.

Castlevania Music

Listen to the “Castlevania Classics” music album on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play Music and Amazon MP3.

Castlevania Music“Castlevania” quickly made a name for itself after its 1986 release for the Nintendo Entertainment System, spawning a decades-running series of action-platformers that helped perfect and popularize a hereto unheard of genre. Vampire hunting was certainly nothing new at the time, but “Castlevania” made it original again with the whip-wielding Simon Belmont as he braved Dracula’s castle to put an end to the infernal count’s life.

The music of “Castlevania” was composed by both Kinuyo Yamashita and Satoe Terashima, two veteran musicians who made a name for female video game composers in a time and place when such were rare, though the two worked independently of each other and never fully collaborated on their tracks.

Overall, Castlevania’s soundtrack is surprisingly funky and upbeat for an action game that pits you against the horrors of the undead. From beginning to end, the melodies and percussion will leave you humming even as the unforgiving onslaught of unholy aberrations will make you want to throw your controller in frustration.

Vampire Killer — the theme of the first stage — beautifully illustrates the excitement of the treacherous journey ahead. Another noteworthy track — stage sixteen’s “Out of Time” — managed to cram a lifetime’s worth of thrills into a thirty-second loop. And “Wicked Child” came to be one of the series all-time greatest hits. I hope I’ve honored the Konami Classics on this album. Please listen for yourself and I’d be happy to hear what you think!

The tribute album is out on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play Music and Amazon MP3.

Pokemon Gold and Silver music

Listen to the “Pokémon Gold & Silver Game Boy Classics” music tribute on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music and Amazon MP3.

Pokémon Gold & Silver SoundtrackThe “Pokemon” series has bridged the generational gap since its introduction in the late ’90s, sporting some of the most subtly addictive gameplay this side of modern mobile titans and soundtracks that has resonated with adults and children alike. For the time, few games could contain such a raw sense of exploration or adventure, and we had the soundtracks to thank for building up such a strong atmosphere.

“Pokemon Gold” and “Pokemon Silver,” originally released in Japan for the Nintendo GameBoy in 1999, perfected the template laid out by their predecessors “Red,” “Yellow,” and “Blue.” More Pokémon, more areas to explore, new items to use or discover, and some new gameplay mechanics to smooth out the rough edges of the earlier titles — they had everything a good sequel should, including a phenomenal soundtrack collaboratively composed by Junichi Masuda and Go Ichinose.

Notable tracks include the New Bark Town theme, a soft, peaceful melody only hinting at the grand adventure to come; the Azalea Town theme with it’s soothing atmosphere; and the Goldenrod City theme, a uniquely “urban” track that meshed well with the town’s casino and hidden Team Rocket hideout.

Of course, one cannot mention an early “Pokémon” soundtrack without paying tribute to the Route 27 theme, a booming and triumphant track (by Gameboy standards) that firmly reminds the player they are indeed exploring the famed Kanto region. And with almost two hours of music packed onto one bulky brick cart.

I’ve tried to include the best songs from the game into one tribute album. I hope it will help you to re-live the raw spirit of adventure from Pokémon in the early Game Boy days!

Please check it out on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music and Amazon MP3.

Mega Man 2

Even 22 years after its release, the Mega Man 2 game is still the all-time bestseller of the Mega Man series. The NES game is critically acclaimed to have one of the best video game music soundtracks ever composed.

American magazine Game Informer listed the title theme of Mega Man 2 as “one of the five best video game openings of all time”. Gametrailers.com listed the Dr. Wily Stage 1 – 2 music as the “2nd best video game theme ever” (only second to the world famous Legend of Zelda theme). And Brandon Sheffield, Game Developer Magazine’s editor-in-chief,  states that the Mega Man 2 music should be an example to today’s game music developers because of its strong and recognizable melodies.

Mega Man 2On this album The Greatest Bits honours the Japanese composers by crafting full Mega Man remixes out of the (originally shorter) game loops. The Greatest Bits combines top class sound production with the unique sound and feel of the original “chipsounds” from the 80’s and early 90’s. The result is a retrogame crossover album that’s extremely suitable for today’s headphones and speakersets.

“The Greatest Bits releases finely mixed, loud and proud video game arrangements that knock harder than Takashi Tateishi could have ever imagined!” (DJ Cutman on videogamedj.com)

Check the Mega Man 2 music album out on iTunesAmazon MP3 or Spotify.

Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker

“In the late 80’s, I was Michael Jackson. I stepped into a darkend night club, flipped a coin into the jukebox, and suddenly a chiptune version of Smooth Criminal started playing…” 

After releasing the albums Thriller and Bad, Michael Jackson was not only the reigning King of Pop, but also a Prince of Videogames (with Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog as the untouchable supreme rulers).

In the SEGA Michael Jackson gameMoonwalker you could be MJ himself on a mission to save kidnapped kids from the evil “Mister Big”. The game was accompanied by chiptune versions of Michael Jackson’s most memorable hits.

After releasing the critically acclaimed albums Mega Man 2, Donkey Kong Country and Tetris, video game dj The Greatest Bits now releases a tribute album to Michael Jackson as a video game star. This Moonwalker music album contains the songs Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Another Part of Me, Billie Jean, Bad and Thriller. All restyled in retrogame sounds.

Check the 8-bit Michael Jackson music out on iTunesAmazon MP3 or Spotify.

Tetris

“The Greatest Bits’ Tetris EP is something of musical genius. Its quick, its catchy and its beyond clever.” (new-reviews.co.uk)

Nice quote from the trailer of Ecstasy of Order, an upcoming documentary on the Classic Tetris World Championships: “It’s the only video game that can be described as perfect, right? Because… well, how would you improve it?”

Tetris musicI played Tetris on many consoles and home computers. The “classic” one is of course the Game Boy version; portable and addictive. Many, many hours of gaming accompanied by the Tetris themes, must have awakened an interest in classical music and Russian folk music.

The original Tetris game compositions are from traditional Russian songs and classical works by Bach and Tchaikovsky. These musical geniuses  – in their times – probably never imagined their compositions being performed as Game Boy music by blipping 8-bit soundchips one day 🙂

Nor being remixed by a guy who happens to be a retrostyle video game music nerd that calls himself The Greatest Bits.

Check the Tetris EP out on iTunesAmazon MP3, or Spotify. Alternatively you can visit the download page, and get the Tetris EP for free by giving a simple like, tweet or “plus one”.

As an extra bonus track, I made a relaxing dub remix version of the Tetris Game Boy A theme. It’s an exclusive and free mp3 download if you sign up for The Greatest Bits Video Game Music Newsletter.

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

Well, what can I say. Two brand new retrogame remixes from the good old Punch-Out!! series

!!   🙂

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!The Punch-Out game has been released in many versions (Arcade, NES, Super Nintendo, Wii). These remixes are particularly inspired by Little Mac trying to beat Mike Tyson, 8-bit style in the late 80’s. Not an easy task, as we all know…

I tried to combine retrostyle chiptune melodies with punchy beats and ‘humanoid’ boxing sounds. I hope they’ll knock you out!!

And yes, pun…(ch) intended…

Check the music out on iTunesAmazon MP3 and Spotify.