Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kiopo - Victims

Hear The Track Here

Quite why I chose this track when Kiopo gave me a choice of what to review is pure serendipity because I had just finished reading something about Nelson Mandela only a couple of days before and this remarkable man was on my mind. Kiopo's choice was either something from his games music or from his band, why I chose this one God only knows because you know game soundtracks are not my specialty. Still maybe the man knows that which is why this track is but two and a half minutes long and a good twenty seconds of that is Mr Mandela gobbing off in that accent of his. More to the point, what kind of game would it be? On the surface of it, you may stop at that thought and not even bother to listen to the music. However, try not to imagine this as anything other than a peice of music that is either going to affect you or not.

For certain, the vocal samples do add much substance to the track which is - on initial hearing anyway - a bit tame, especially when it needs the power towards the end. I lay a bit of the blame for this on the sound samples used, to my ears they are a tad plasticky. Because the track relies heavily on its string and brass sounds it is even more important that they have the tone and body to cut through the mix sufficiently, and on this track it just misses the target. The brass, in particular sounds very 'factory' and I'm certain more could have been made of that especially as it is one of the key hooks of the track. Maybe mix a real trumpet or brass section sample in with the original, that should sharpen it up a bit.

Musically, Victims is pretty smart, especially if you give it the time to come home to roost. It does take more than a couple of plays to really see what the track actually does for you because initially I wasn't that impressed but the more I listened to the more I got from it. Obviously in a two and a bit minute track you are not gonna get overly complex but there is enough within the track that would sustain up for a while - especially if you like the whole soundtrack genre. Even though it's subject matter couldn't possibly be any kind of game, certainly the structure and tone of the peice is very game-y and pretty much what you would expect from the title and genre. What makes it happen for me are the interweaving of real world samples with the score - and I know that isn't going to be up most people's alley's but hey, what do I care? Very strange ending though. A bit abrupt even.

Excellently visual soundtrack (and it's not often I get to say that). Recommended.

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