Category Archives: Music & Book News

LIFE IS STRANGE: TRUE COLORS REVEALS ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK BY ANGUS & JULIA STONE

SQUARE ENIX, Ltd. have today announced the release of the Life is Strange: True Colors™ soundtrack composed and performed by award-winning indie pop group, Angus & Julia Stone. The album titled ‘Life is Strange’,’ features 12 new songs, led by the track Love Song.

The emotional and thrilling story of the latest instalment in the award-winning Life is Strange franchise, Life is Strange: True Colors inspired the Australian artists to make an album dedicated to the complexity of love between siblings, families and communities – themes that players will also experience in-game.

Click to listen on SpotifyClick to listen on Spotify

Players take on the role of Alex Chen, a young woman navigating early adulthood in Haven Springs, a mountain town where she connects with her long-lost brother and becomes a part of a tight-knit community – her brother having moved there in search for their long-lost father. Amidst this backdrop, Alex struggles to accept a ‘curse” she’s dealt with all her life: having the psychic power of Empathy, a supernatural ability that allows her to experience, absorb and influence the strong emotions of others – which she sees as blazing, coloured auras.

When her brother dies in a suspicious accident, Alex must at last embrace her volatile power to find the truth and uncover the secrets that keep the truth at bay. Alex Chen’s journey, power and future are all fully under the player’s control.

This super-natural mystery is brought to life using full performance capture and VO by rising talent Erika Mori as Alex Chen, incredible music from Angus & Julia Stone’s soundtrack, as well as original tracks from mxmtoon and Novo Amor and licensed tracks from Gabrielle Aplin, Radiohead, Phoebe Bridgers and more.

Players can pre-order Life is Strange: True Colors now. Full details on each version of the game can be found at lifeisstrange.com.

Life is Strange: True Colors is slated for release on PlayStation 5®, PlayStation 4®, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC Steam, and Google Stadia on September 10, 2021, and Nintendo Switch later this year.

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‘TIKAL: NIGHT OF THE BLOOD MOON’ VR Soundtrack Out Now

Swiss composer and sound designer Jakob Eisenbach (Patient Zero, Temple of the Diamond Skull), in partnership with TRUEVR Systems, a world-leading developer of location-based virtual reality (LBVR) game experiences, releases the original soundtrack to TIKAL: NIGHT OF THE BLOOD MOON on August 19th. Now available at VR locations in North America and Europe, TIKAL: NIGHT OF THE BLOOD MOON is a full-body VR arcade experience utilizing motion capture, physical props and 4D effects to teleport players into an ancient Mayan temple where you and your team are dispatched to stop the awakening of evil in the shadow of the blood moon. TRUEVR’s most sophisticated experience to date and setting a new benchmark for the LBVR industry, Eisenbach’s original musical score was recorded with a full symphony orchestra and choir in Budapest, Hungary. Watch behind-the-scenes with composer Jakob Eisenbach and the Budapest Art Orchestra at https://bit.ly/3rBS4rh and download or stream the soundtrack album at https://bit.ly/36ZG6y4.

“TIKAL is a one-of-a-kind virtual reality experience that takes place during a long prophecised event in an ancient temple of the tikal,” explains Eisenbach. “The focus and aesthetics demanded huge dimensions: especially in the vertical dimension, since this can only be achieved in a VR environment. Musically we needed to tell this story with an epic-sized orchestra, which I pushed to have recorded live and TRUEVR felt the same way. Inspirations for this epic journey were the symphonies of Anton Bruckner, the orchestration finesse of Franz Schrecker, the massive power of Carl Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ and a very important touch of simplicity to not overwhelm players while immersed in the game.”

As composer and sound designer for TRUEVR Systems, Eisenbach has also created soundtracks for other best-in-class location-based VR experiences such as Patient Zero, The Cube, Biohazard, and Temple of the Diamond Skull. For more information, visit https://www.jakobeisenbach.com.

“TIKAL was always planned to become our flagship experience from the very beginning,” commented TRUEVR Systems CEO and Producer, Philip Lacoste. “Therefore, it was clear to us that in addition to creating a stunning level of visual detail, the music needed to be beyond the highest standards that any location-based VR experience has done before. The score was crafted accordingly by our composer and sound designer Jakob Eisenbach. To bring real emotions to this one-of-a-kind experience, we knew the score had to be recorded live with a full symphony orchestra and choir. The results that Jakob achieved with the Budapest Art Orchestra not only brought the heart and soul into the game, but we truly believe this level of quality is unparalleled in the LBVR industry.”

To book tickets for TIKAL: NIGHT OF THE BLOOD MOON in North America, visit TRUEVR Systems centers and licensed partners Virtualis VR (Las Vegas) and Hyper Gate VR (Los Angeles). For additional information and locations in Europe, visit TrueVR Systems.

Bloober Team Details PS5 DualSense Features and Announces Vinyl Soundtrack for The Medium

Bloober Team today released a new video explaining in detail how the PlayStation®5 version of The Medium, the dual-reality horror game, increases immersion through PlayStation’s haptic DualSense controller.

The Medium is coming to the PlayStation 5 on September 3, 2021. Following a successful global launch on PC and Xbox Series X|S on January 28, 2021, Bloober Team is excited to bring The Medium to PS5 and take advantage of the console hardware as well as the DualSense controller, offering players the experience of exploring two worlds simultaneously.

“On PlayStation 5, we are taking full advantage of the console’s DualSense controller to immerse players even deeper into the mystery of the Niwa Hotel,” said Szymon Erdmański, producer at Bloober Team. “Our goal is to let you feel Marianne’s reactions to what is happening as she explores and interacts with the game world.”

The Medium is a third-person psychological horror game that features innovative dual-reality gameplay. Players assume the role of Marianne, a medium gifted with several psychic abilities. Follow along as she explores the real and spirit world both alternatively and simultaneously to uncover a dark mystery masked by disturbing secrets, sinister spirits, and devious puzzles only a medium can solve.

Players can head to the PlayStation Store to pre-order the game at the price of $49.99 with a 10% off discount for PS Plus members before launch. Players who pre-order the game will receive the digital Original Soundtrack (by Akira Yamaoka and Arkadiusz Reikowski) and “The Art of The Medium” (digital artbook).

Furthermore, Bloober Team and Black Screen Records are happy to announce that “The Medium Original Soundtrack” will be published on vinyl and CD, with a release expected in October. Pre-orders are available now for the price of 34€.

Bloober Team and global retail publishing partner Koch Media are thrilled to bring The Medium to retail stores worldwide. The game will be published and available in retail on September 3 for PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PS5.

For more information on The Medium, please visit www.themediumgame.com.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Celebrates Main Theme Release with Cinematic Trailer

Today, Ubisoft celebrated the release of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s main theme with a new version of its announcement cinematic trailer. Featuring a remix of the main theme, the trailer follows Eivor, a fierce Viking raider, as she battles her way through King Aelfred’s Saxon army.

Composed by Sarah Schachner and Jesper Kyd featuring Einar Selvik, the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla main theme will be the opening track to the “The Ravens Saga” EP, released digitally today by Lakeshore Records.

“The Ravens Saga” is the second seven-track EP taken from the official Assassin’s Creed Valhalla soundtrack. Featuring original compositions from Jesper Kyd, Sarah Schachner, and two original tracks by Einar Selvik, the EP is now available to stream on Spotify and purchase on iTunes.

The full “The Ravens Saga” EP tracklist includes:

  1. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Main Theme (feat. Einar Selvik) – Sarah Schachner and Jesper Kyd
  2. Son of Fjord – Jesper Kyd
  3. Asgard – Hall of the Aesir (feat. Einar Selvik) – Sarah Schachner
  4. Hausbrjótr – Skullcrusher – Einar Selvik
  5. Odin’s Plunder – Sarah Schachner
  6. The Well of Wyrd – Jesper Kyd
  7. Vígahugr – Lust for Battle (Skaldic Version) – Einar Selvik

On composing the main theme, Sarah Schachner said that, “We wanted the atmosphere of the theme to instantly transport the listener to another time and place, filled with mystery and uncertainty. There are Norse instruments, but they are used in a more modern way. The theme represents Eivor’s journey as well as the Vikings’ hope for a better life as they move further south into the Anglo-Saxon regions.”

Jesper Kyd added, “We wanted to evoke Eivor’s journey, what drives them and the bond they have with their family. Eivor is searching for something and this longing to find it and resolve it is a key element reflected in the melody and mood.”

With development led by Ubisoft Montreal*, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla follows the epic saga of Eivor, a fierce Viking raider raised on tales of battle and glory. Offering a captivating Viking experience, the game brings players to a beautiful and mysterious open world set against the brutal backdrop of England’s Dark Ages. Players can take advantage of new features including raids, settlement customization, and an upgraded combat system in a quest to earn a place among the gods in Valhalla. Assassin’s Creed® Valhalla, will release worldwide on November 17, 2020 on Xbox One, PlayStation®4, Stadia, and for Windows PC exclusively on both the Epic Games Store and the Ubisoft Store. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will release on Xbox Series X and PlayStation®5 upon the launch of the consoles.

AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER INON ZUR SCORES ‘OUTRIDERS’

SQUARE ENIX® today revealed EMMY Award winner and three-time BAFTA nominated composer Inon Zur is scoring the music for OUTRIDERS™, the highly anticipated upcoming RPG-Shooter from People Can Fly, the developers of Gears of War: Judgment and BULLETSTORM, and Square Enix External Studios, the minds behind SLEEPING DOGS® and JUST CAUSE®.

“As a composer it’s always extremely exciting to be involved in building new worlds and telling new stories, so I’m thrilled to reveal that I have composed the score for People Can Fly and Square Enix’s epic sci-fi action game ‘OUTRIDERS’. It was a lot of fun blending heavy orchestral soundscapes and futuristic musical sound design for this rollercoaster sci-fi adventure and I can’t wait to share the music with you,” said Inon Zur.

“We were really excited to have Inon on board to do the soundtrack for the game. He’s a legend in the industry and the team were big fans of his work already,” said Bartek Kmita, Creative Director of OUTRIDERS at People Can Fly. “He worked closely with us to develop a sound that fit with the story and world that we’re creating, and he composed truly dynamic and powerful tracks for us that added so much depth to the tone and feel of the game.”

OUTRIDERS is a massive experience, not just in terms of the amount of hours of gameplay it will offer, but in how far you travel in the course of the game’s dark sci-fi story. The campaign will take you on an epic journey across Enoch, a savage world where everything has mysteriously hyper-evolved to wipe Humanity from the face of the planet. From the mud and dirt of the desperate Human colony, to the wild and mysterious jungles and stark, unforgiving deserts, you will explore the far reaches of the frontiers, gain incredible powers, and make discoveries that change everything.

OUTRIDERS will release on PlayStation 5®, PlayStation 4®, Xbox Series X, the Xbox One family of devices, and PC in Holiday 2020.

Beyond Blue Game Soundtrack release announced

The Flaming LipsThe MaríasTOKiMONSTACass McCombsMaisey Rika, award-winning composer Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper, and newcomer Sophie Gibson, are among 14 artists featured on the original soundtrack to E-Line Media’s Beyond Blue, an exciting new science-driven, ocean adventure game inspired by the BBC’s critically-acclaimed, award-winning documentary series Blue Planet II.

Beyond Blue Original Soundtrack, which is executive produced by legendary music supervisor Karyn Rachtman and her son Otis Rachtman, will be released digitally on July 2 by Mind Your Music/Universal Music New Zealand (https://umusicnz.lnk.to/BeyondBlue). Mind Your Music/Vinyl Me, Please will release a limited-edition of the soundtrack on 180 gram Aqua Blue and Silver Galaxy vinyl, with pre-orders on July 5 at 10 am EDT. Vinyl Me, Please Club members can exclusively pre-order it 48 hours in advance beginning July 3 at 10 am EDT. at https://www.vinylmeplease.com/products/various-artists-beyond-blue-original-soundtrack.

TRACK LISTING 

* On download and physical album only

  1. Beyond Blue Original Theme (4:55) – Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper 
  2. Something In The Water (Mickey P Mix) (3:12) – Sophie Gibson & Amitė 
  3. Love That Never (3:35) – TOKiMONSTA 
  4. *All We Have Is Now (3:54) – The Flaming Lips 
  5. We Don’t Have Much Time (3:05) – LIPS
  6. On The Shore (3:55) – Slow Skies
  7. Renunciation (4:21) – Rachelle Eve 
  8. Brighter! (feat. Karen Black) (3:51) – Cass McCombs
  9. Tangaroa Whakamautai (4:10) – Maisey Rika
  10. Last Castaways (3:05) – doubleVee
  11. Suzie Noma (3:04) – Muthoni Drummer Queen
  12. Escaping by the Moment (3:40) – The Edisons
  13. Driftwood (4:57) – Vanderocker

With an eclectic mix of psychedelic indie-pop, electronic, alt rock, and world music by established artists and indie darlings, the soundtrack alsoincludes songs by Muthoni Drummer QueenLIPS, doubleVeeSlow SkiesRachelle EveThe EdisonsVanderockerSophie Gibson and Amitė. The Rachtmans curated the soundtrack to complement the unique narrative and environment of the game, where players are explorers experiencing the awesome wonder, mysteries, and creatures under the sea.

“Otis and I would constantly sit around trying to imagine what sounds, vibe, and lyrics would be on the world’s coolest underwater playlist compiled by scientists in a futuristic submarine. The soundtrack is truly international, reflecting the diversity of the characters and the discovery, awe, and impermanence of the oceans,” said Karyn Rachtman, the legendary executive soundtrack producer and music supervisor of several of the most critically acclaimed and best-selling soundtracks of all time, such as Pulp Fiction, Boogie Nights, Reality Bites, CluelessTheSpongebob SquarePants MovieMoulin Rouge!, Office Space, Laurel Canyon, and Reservoir Dogsamong many others.

“Besides complementing the visual splendor and action on screen, the music of Beyond Blue plays several roles, serving the story as well as the interactive and listening experience of the game. You can unlock access to certain songs at various levels and express yourself by your selections,” said Otis Rachtman.

With offices in both Los Angeles and Auckland, NZ, Karyn Rachtman is a fan of New Zealand music, and connected the dots to bring into the project several Kiwi artists, as well as award-winning New Zealand composer, arranger, and producer Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper. Bridgman-Cooper, who composed the Beyond Blue score and “Beyond Blue Original Theme,” previously worked with The Rachtmans on Netflix’s Moving Art series. His credits include director Lee Tamahori’s film Mahana, the hit indie film Housebound, the award-winning documentary Ken Dewey: This Is A Test, among many others. He also produced New Zealand singer/songwriter Maisey Rika’s 2012 hit single, “Tangaroa Whakamautai,” which is prominently featured in the Beyond Blue game, soundtrack, and promotional trailer.

“I fell in love with the beautiful ballad “Tangaroa Whakamautai” that Maisey Rika sang in Te Reo Māori, which is an indigenous language central to New Zealand’s culture, identity, and heritage. Like Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper’s score, the song is dreamy and fitting for Beyond Blue, with lyrics about TANGAROA, the mythical God of the ocean. The song has really resonated with the gamers, and we’re seeing a lot of great comments posted,” said Karyn Rachtman.

Other New Zealand artists include LIPS (“We Don’t Have Much Time”) and newcomer Sophie Gibson. Gibsona 20-year-old singer/songwriter discovered by Rachtman, co-wrote and recorded “Something In The Water (Mickey Petralia Mix)” with American artists Amitė (Jorgen Baertsch and Christopher Gerber). Two versions of the song were produced by Grammy award-winning American producer/mixer Mickey Petralia (Flight of the Conchords, Beck, Eels, Peaches). A full version of the song is used as the end title over the credits. A separate, stripped down version of “Something in the Water” is also heard in the game when two characters discuss a demo song by a fictitious character named “Sophie.”

The focus on incorporating music into the game in such a creative way stemmed from E-Line Media’s development process working with leading international ocean scientists. Michael Angst, E-Line Media Creative Director and CEO, said: “We learned from scientists how music was such a huge part of their expeditions, from listening on the ships to finding a playlist as they traveled to the bottom of the ocean in submarines. So we knew the music had to be special, interactive and an emotional experience for players.”

Since release Beyond Blue has received positive critical press from major gaming news outlets across the world. The game is already hugely popular with influencers who have streamed the game to a global audience of over 2 million viewers. Beyond Blue is currently available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Apple Arcade. To purchase the game, visit http://www.beyondbluegame.com/.

Maneater Official Soundtrack Emerges from the Depths

Maneater developer and publisher Tripwire Interactive announced today that the official soundtrack for the award-winning action-RPG where you play as a shark (ShARkPG) is out now. Available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and Deezer with direct-from-artist purchase on Bandcamp, the official soundtrack for Maneater will take players on an audio journey from the shallow swampy waters of Fawtick Bayou to the depths of the deep blue sea in The Gulf.

In addition, Tripwire Interactive is proud to break ties with traditional official soundtrack sales models, and have adopted a more collaborative perspective to the soundtrack release. That deeper creative partnership bore an agreement where the soundtrack’s creator, Metal Gear Solid V composer Daniel James, will retain full, exclusive rights to sell the official soundtrack after launch and will keep 100% of direct sales revenue, while Tripwire Interactive maintains the rights to use that music in current and further Maneater content and marketing. This invested, collaborative approach to working with artists of all mediums mirrors the driving philosophy behind Tripwire Interactive’s publishing division, Tripwire Presents, and their commitment to supporting independent creatives, offering contract artists, who are normally part of the gig economy, a more vested stake in the projects they take on.

“This arrangement gave Daniel a sense of real ownership for the Maneater soundtrack project,” explains Mark Muraski, Audio Director at Tripwire Interactive. “The level of commitment from Daniel throughout this collaboration far outweighed any revenue Tripwire Interactive would “lose” from sales with a standard sales model. Our company has always paid royalties to composers, but we believe this new model offers an even greater step towards providing contract artists a vested stake in the projects they take on.”

“One of the joys of working with Tripwire is their unfaltering support in the vision of artists and this agreement further proved that point to me,” noted Maneater soundtrack composer Daniel James. ‘We support our artist’ is an easy thing to say, but allowing me to publish my own work and exclusively profit from it goes beyond a generous gesture to a genuine support for me as an artist.”

Maneater is a single player, open-world action-RPG (ShARkPG) where YOU are the shark. Starting as a small bull shark pup you are tasked with surviving the harsh world while eating your way up the ecosystem. To do this, you will explore a large and varied open world encountering diverse enemies — both human and wildlife. Find the right resources and you can grow and evolve far beyond what nature intended, allowing the player to tailor the shark to their play style. This is fortunate, because to get revenge on the cruel fisherman that dismembered you will take evolving into a massive shark, an apex predator of legends. Eat. Explore. Evolve.

With a truly unique premise and never-before-seen approach to the action-RPG genre, Tripwire Interactive looks forward to taking players on a journey through uncharted waters with Maneater.

Maneater is out now for $39.99 / €39.99 / £34.99 MSRP with an ESRB rating of M for Mature, PEGI 18 rating, and USK 16 rating. For more details on Maneater, please visit the official website – and follow the developers at Tripwire Interactive on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch.tv, and Instagram.

God of War unleashed on a new medium

Crafted after Kratos’s Leviathan Axe and Atreus’ in-game journal, these limited-edition, official God of War notebooks have been made by art gallery and publisher Cook and Becker in conjunction with Sony Santa Monica Studio, the creators of God of War. They are available to order from Cook and Becker’s store from today: http://bit.ly/GodofWarNotebook (worldwide shipping)

The notebooks come in a luxury collector box and have subtly lined paper, interspersed with pages of rare God of War concept art and in-game drawings. The Collector’s Edition of these notebooks also includes a small giclee art print and fun accessories like copper Kratos and Atreus paper clips, stickers, a stamp and pencils.

This God of War notebook set is the third release in the exclusive Cook and Becker high-end notebook line, following very successful notebook releases for The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and Horizon Zero Dawn earlier this year.

The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2: Original Score Out Now

The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2: Original Score is now available on all major digital music platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify.

Presented in collaboration with Lakeshore Records, The Music Of Red Dead Redemption 2: Original Score was composed by longtime Rockstar collaborator Woody Jackson and features contributions from a wide range of artists and musicians from around the world, including Arca, Colin Stetson, Senyawa, David Ferguson, Jon Theodore and more.

Describing the score as “Full of haunting strings and atmospheric guitar,” the Los Angeles Times said, “Jackson’s score for ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ shares more with the film music of Ennio Morricone and the spooky desert rock of ‘Kiko’-era Los Lobos; it’s an immersive experience — finely detailed but somehow also defined by negative space.”

Track List:

1. By 1899, The Age Of Outlaws And Gunslingers Was At An End – Jeff Silverman, Woody Jackson & Luke O’Malley
2. Outlaws From The West – Woody Jackson
3. Blessed Are The Peacemakers – Woody Jackson
4. Mrs. Sadie Adler, Widow – Woody Jackson
5. Revenge Is A Dish Best Eaten – Mario Batkovic & Woody Jackson
6. It All Makes Sense Now – Woody Jackson
7. The Fine Art Of Conversation – Woody Jackson
8. Banking, The Old American Art – Michael Leonhart & Woody Jackson
9. There She Is…A Real City, The Future – Mario Batkovic
10. Everybody Wake Up – Woody Jackson
11. Welcome To The New World – Senyawa & Colin Stetson
12. Paradise Mercifully Departed – Senyawa, Woody Jackson & Colin Stetson
13. Doctor’s Opinion – Colin Stetson
14. Fleeting Joy – Colin Stetson & Woody Jackson
15. Icarus And Friends – Colin Stetson, David Ralicke & Jeff Silverman
16. Country Pursuits – Arca & Woody Jackson
17. An American Pastoral Scene – Woody Jackson
18. Blood Feuds, Ancient And Modern – Woody Jackson
19. Red Dead Redemption – Woody Jackson
20. The Wheel – Woody Jackson
21. American Venom – Woody Jackson
22. American Reprise – Woody Jackson
 

Also available:
The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2: Original Soundtrack