Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Dan Bruno
Music, games, music games, game music.
Music, games, music games, game music.

Dan's posts

Post has attachment

Post has attachment

Post has attachment



"'Hey Aziz, I got you a panini press off Amazon, but I shipped it to my friend Lisa instead of you. Is that a problem?'

"'Yeah it's a problem! That's not my address and I don't have Lisa's contact info! And now that you mentioned paninis...I really want one.'"

Post has shared content
Album Review: Missing Season

+Dan Bruno (he is a cool guy, works for Harmonix, blogs about video games and their music) made this album, Missing Season, for that RPM challenge thing back in February. You can download it here. You should just go ahead and download it, because while I have technically tried to write a review, it's not like I know anything about music. I mean I know about music, but not music criticism. I am not a music critic.

Dan invited people to tell him what they think though so here goes.

1. Frostbite

Right when I was downloading Missing Season I was thinking "man I hope this kind of music is the kind of music I like!" but the first seconds of the first track made me stop worrying immediately. This track is basically my favorite type of sound. It's a groovy organ piece similar to John Swihart's incidental music for Napoleon Dynamite, but with more complexity, as far as, chords, and that kind of thing.

I named a Minecraft map "Frostbite" after this song and it is turning out really nice. I have a big fortress complex in the middle of this giant desert, which is itself a peninsula in the middle of a huge ocean. Here, let me go on about Minecraft for several paragraphs.

2. Birdwatcher

"Sounds like Donkey Kong Country music" is high praise, obviously, but probably not what Bruno was going for. But I only have a very limited pool of musical comparisons to go with. So. Anyway, if this were the music for the level in DKC3 where you're jumping back and forth on those broken piers, then that game wouldn't have been so disappointing.

3. Blue-Black

This piece has some electrical guitars and they rock out, blues-style. I like it just fine but I have almost nothing to say about it. I feel like it could have easily gone overboard, but it doesn't; it is as smooth and cool as a cucumber.

4. Obstruction

An atmospheric number suitable for exploring some creepy caves. But you can't get all the way through the cave, because there's an Obstruction. Somebody might easily have a problem with the creepy ambient scratching throughout the second half of this number; they might consider that an Obstruction to their enjoyment of the tune, but I mean come on. Deal with it. Or go ahead and have your problem with this, I don't care. It sounds great.

5. On Water

The piano line in this piece has a rhythm, or something, that I recognize from a video game. I'm not sure what I'm remembering but I think it's an airship. It's definitely something where you travel from one place to another in a video game. I am getting that vibe.

I guess the title means it's a plain old ship? I have to disagree. This is clearly a song about flying through air.

6. Invention

This is one of those things where there's a theme and it gets developed! You can tell from the title! Also there is "counterpoint," which is hard to write, I think. So this is pretty impressive.

At some point I noticed an element to this composition that I thought was jarring, or felt out of place, but now I can't remember what it was. um

7. Leagues Away

This is a song with a definite but complex personality; in literary terms it is a "three-dimensional character." This is gonna sound dumb but I think this is a song about a guy taking off his sunglasses.

8. Mossy

I love the bass in this piece. It reminds me of a bassline in a video game, but I'm gonna save my one remaining video game music reference for the next song. I just love it when a song is basically happy, except the bassline reveals how sad it really is.

9. That Time

This is the best one! This is the best one but that doesn't mean you can skip to this song. This is the best one because it's the perfect ending.

You might think I'm only bringing up this comparison because the horns starting at 1:16 are such EarthBound horns, but I could totally see me misting up to this music during the credits of a Mother game. And not like the ending of [spoiler], where it's totally definitely sad, but an ending like the one in [spoiler], which is actually happy and only makes you cry because you're realizing that it's over.

10. Spectral Waltz

I just said that That Time is the perfect ending, but I understand how you put together an album. After the climax is the denouement, where you take everything down a notch and let the audience return to their normal existence.

I don't know I would pick Spectral Waltz for this, though? It's plenty nice, but as the last word from Missing Season it's kind of a downer, and not even the kind of downer that I was expecting. Hold on, I'm gonna listen to the last part of That Time and then follow it up with Mossy instead.

~~~~listening intermission~~~~

Hmm. I don't know. I really like Mossy, is the thing.

I guess Mossy fades out, which is a weak ending for an album. But Spectral Waltz ends without resolving the melody, which while highly ballsy is comparably unsatisfying. Hmm. HMMMM.

Final "Analysis"

Missing Season is really good, and I like it a lot, and it's free, and you will like it too. And it's free. I am not a music critic. Just get it.

"Before the development of 'gaydar', people had to determine gayness by the stars, using a same-sextant."

Post has attachment

So I did this thing last month called the RPM Challenge, which is basically National Novel Writing Month for music -- i.e., record an entire album in a month. You can listen to it! There are rock songs and jazz songs and a bluegrassy song and a song that's all synthesizer noises and even a couple of classical songs. GO CLICK THE THING

I feel like I need a long list of caveats here: I don't really know how to mix and/or master, I ran out of time on a bunch of things so there are some gussied some scratch tracks where I should have recorded new takes, I don't actually know how to play the mandolin, etc. HOWEVER, given the circumstances I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Let me know what you think, if you listen.

I apparently have the same taste in music as the Harmonix cofounders -- I saw one in November at a Flecktones show, and saw the other tonight at Berklee's George Clinton shindig. I will take that as a good sign!

in memory of garbage can
Wait while more posts are being loaded