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The 5 Greatest Video Game Soundtracks Ever

grand theft auto v

It occurred to me the other day while sitting down and playing video games on my xBox (One for the gamers) that video game soundtracks are more often than not, pretty badass. Be it blasting away noobs in Call of Duty or whacking zombies in Dead Rising you’ve got to have an appropriate soundtrack that just works with the action, be it the simple nature of the game or its open world environment in space, it just needs to work.

This seemed like a better time than ever to take a wider look at both classic and new games that have already used electronic sounds to create something special that has lasted or will last the years to come. If a young gamer can take something from the Tetris theme song or appreciate a Flying Lotus beat from Grand Theft Auto V and use it somehow in their lives, they must be doing something right.

Furthermore with the explosion of electronic dance music globally we think it’d be pretty great if some artists both old and new were more involved in the creation of game soundtracks, no doubt stars like Dash Berlin or Flume could paint a moving picture in a racing game or Flosstradamus or Dillon Francis in a badass beat ‘em up. It’s all there!

Who would you want to see create a video game soundtrack?

5. Super Mario Bros (1985)

Gotta start from the roots right? Although only 6 tracks long there aren’t many game theme songs that have had such a timeless nature, that is if you can stand the obnoxious dribble of Tetris. Composer and Nintendo employee Koji Kondo managed to knock two out of the park not only creating the iconic music for the side scroller but also for the legend of Zelda series – what a guy! Even without any training or dedication to music its somewhat a miracle he managed to create the most memorable of them all “Ground Theme” on an everyday piano. Check him slaying out the original tune live below.

4. Command & Conquer – Red Alert (1996)

Composer Frank Klepacki was only 17 when he started writing music for video games, although having scored a number it was the Command & Conquer series that really brought his talents to life. His knack for apocalyptic soundscapes that meld horrifying samples ie boots stomping and pulsating electronic rhythms led to the ‘Red Alert’ OST that sticks true to me from the countless hours I spent building Athena Tanks and attack dogs. Franks tools of the trade? An ASR-10 sampler, a Roland S760 sampler and a Roland JD-990 synth module.

3. Mortal Kombat (2011)

The biggest announcement for the 2011 leg of the Mortal Kombat series was the soundtrack with notable contributions from producers Run DMT, Bird Peterson, LA Riots and JFK of MSTRKRFT among others. With such a strong cast the game was somewhat overshadowed by the official soundtrack but did reveal some killer ideas, sort of like when Daft Punk tried their hand at the Tron OST. Goro’s them was one that really stood out for us and helped us tear apart victims for a final fatality.

2. Titanfall (2014)

The newest game on the list is Titatanfall, a futuristic first person shooter that phases between human and mech combat so obviously there was going to be electronic elements in this one. Feeling more like a grown up Command & Conquer the sounds are developed to meet the standards of modern consoles. Uplifting, big, bold and deep, game composer Stephen Barton who also wrote scores for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warefare (the best in the series) has worked a treat in adding suspense and meat to an already impressive game.

1. Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

What can’t be said about the Grand Theft Auto V game let alone the gigantic track selection via the internal radio with 17 stations and 240 tracks equating to something like 30 non-stop hours of music! Both Soulwax and Flying Lotus managed to nab their own freakin’ stations while Cashmere Cat, Hudson Mohawke, Shadow Child, Aphex Twin, Stardust, DJ Mehdi, Miami Horror and many many more earned spots through the jam packed game of the year.

Did we miss any? Pop them below but be sure they include some electronic elements and they could make the second part of the series. Those that want throwdown against us on xBox One add us, username: StoneyRoads

T.Williams On Rescuing J.Bashmore’s Set ‘The Promoter Paid For An Extra 2 Nights For Me To Stay!’

T.Williams

Having toured Australia back in 2012 alongside “Battle for Middle You” producer Julio Bashmore, T.Williams is on shores once again to kill it on an expansive club tour with a very special day party in Sydney this Saturday the 19th of April at a yet to be announced secret location.

Last Thursday night, we caught up for a chin wag while he was en route to his DJ residency at BBC Radio 1 HQ to talk about his last time in Australia saving Julio’s set, the new live show (and album), what place drugs has in the dance scene and much much more!

SR: Do do you have any plans once you have landed?

TW: Funnily enough it’s my birthday while i’m in Sydney. So I got to do something!! I got a lot of time in Sydney, I spend 4 days in Sydney during the week with my days off so maybe we can think of something that could be cool to do.

SR: Yeah man that would be cool! So, the word ‘versatile’ has become synonymous with your productions as you slip and slide between grime, general bass tracks and your more recent house output. How has this benefited you over the years?

TW: It’s benefited me because I have a real true understanding of where the genres have come from, so in terms of the roots of the music house, garage, bass itself and being young and being a raver, and being a real geek with buying records and all the rest of it! Retrospectively, people that are here now go back and look at Youtube clips and do digging like that, where as for me, i’ve had it since the day it came around, so that’s been a big benefit seeing genres grow.

SR: So based on that vibe, back in 2011 you were quoted as saying “You have to be an engineer these days because your tracks can’t be 50/50 when they’re played out in the club.” – Do you think that advice has become standard over the years?

TW: The techniques that young producers are learning from day one, just to make there music sound as good as someone else is basically engineering techniques. When I was coming into the game, you could go to the studio and have the engineer there. Now you have to be that person who does all of it and to be honest it’s becoming more and more true and more and more natural now!

SR: The last time we saw you in Australia, you were playing with Julio Bashmore and were securely behind the ones and twos. What ever came of your live show? Can we expect it in Australia for this tour?

TW: The live show will be something that comes around when the new album is ready!

SR: Do you have a timeline on when you would like to get the album out there?

TW: To be clear, I’m currently working on the new album now!

SR: Are you working closely with anyone closely, like Julio Bashmore on the album?

TW: No, to be fair, I’ve been working with the same people / singers that i’ve been working with already like Tendai, Tala, Himal, Alix, these are all people who have been working with and will feature on my album.

SR: What impact, direct or other have drugs had on the history of dance and electronic music and it’s place today?

TW: I s’pose it’s got a massive place in dance music to be fair, I mean i’ve never taken drugs in my life so I don’t know how it affects people in terms of how the enjoyment of music goes down, but if i’d play somewhere where there were no alcohol, drugs not nothing, the atmosphere is a little different, do you know what I mean? They receive the music a little differently, not that that is a bad thing!

SR: Do you feel like between sets that you play where you have drank and you haven’t, there is a difference to get the vibe of the room?

TW: If i’ve had a drink or two, like, I have a ritual where i have a shot of brandy and cognac and i’m good to go and I might not have a drink again the whole night. When I don’t drink, it’s not detrimental to my set.

I think even that set I played in Sydney in 2012, I don’t think i even had a drink that night because it was quite a stressful night to be fair until I actually came off the set, because i was meant to leave an hour after my set to fly to the UK. But because the night was so stressful, the promoter paid for an extra 2 nights for me to stay in Sydney.

SR: That’s pretty lucky! I remember Julio Bashmore was having issues with his set once you had finished?

TW: He was having issues with his set and I basically sorted it all out for him! (said jokingly) Saved his set for him!

SR: As a producer who lives off his work, what advice can you give aspiring music makers?

TW: Just don’t ever give up!!

SR: My biggest influence has been

TW: Garage

SR: My first ever tape i ever bought was

TW: CJ Lewis – Sweet for my sweet

SR: My guilty music pleasure is?

TW: Justin Bieber – confident. I’m actually probably going to get killed for this.. But it has Chance The Rapper on it!!

SR: No, no, honesty is much appreciated! (haha)

Catch T.Williams this long weekend at a secret day party feat Stoney Roads DJs - tickets here!

Razor N Tape Exclusive Vinyl Giveaway!

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In honor of the upcoming Record Store Day on April 19th, Brooklyn-based label Razor-N-Tape have geared up to release a special limited-edition cool blue vinyl! For the uninitiated, Record Store Day was started by Metallica back in 2008 and has continued on every third Saturday in April with many artists and labels offering up collector’s item releases.

Following in the tradition of releasing exclusive wax cuts on this mighty day, Razor-N-Tape feature three three 70′s discofied and jazzed out edits from Razor N Tape co-head JKriv on a sweet blue 10-inch. “So True” is pure dancefloor disco with strings and horns in full effect. “Put Your Money Down” holds it down with a funky cut of disco break edits. On the flipside, “Dee’s Keys” goes jazzy and laid back for a piece that’s great for dancing in the sunshine.

***Check out stream and the link below to enter for your chance to win some disco rarity!***
Enter contest here->
https://gimme.io/rsd14

video premiere: Throwing Shade – Sweet Tooth

London producer Throwing Shade‘s shimmery, Emily Bee-assisted “cosmic R&B” confection “Sweet Tooth” gets a quite literal visual interpretation, as a bunch of dudes get straight up sugar-faced, honey-lipped, and candy-eyed by some unknown assailant. “Sweet Tooth” is taken from Throwing Shade’s 19 Jewels EP, out May 19 on No Pain in Pop. Video + 12″ artwork by Rachel Noble.

Listen: Coachella ‘live’ Sets From Skrillex, Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, Calvin Harris and Fatboy Slim

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Didn’t get a ticket to Coachella? Worse yet, missed out on the live streaming rave from the comfort of your home? Worry not, sets from the first weekend of Coachella have found their way onto Soundcloud and we’ve rounded up five of the best from Skrillex, Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, Calvin Harris and the big geezer Fatboy Slim

Skrillex
With the explosion of ‘EDM’ in the states this was going to be a surefire hit with the 75,000 strong crowd and deliver it did. Kicking off with Breach’s breakthough “Jack” before swiftly kicking into gear with the heaviest dubstep we’ve heard in a while. The wubs stuck around for a good portion of the set and included new licks from ‘Recess’ as well as RL Grime and What So Nots banger “Tell Me” which led into one of our new favourite tracks “Hotplate” from Moody Good levelled things out before a cheeky play of MGMT’s “Kids” reminded people a DJ set can dance from different genres and still have you moving. During a full listen you’ll also catch stuff from Disclosure, new Jack U and even Tupacs “California Love”. With enough MC work from the OWSLA boss including the gem “I fucking love my life right now” meant this would have been a fun one to be at!

Flosstradamus
The Flossy guys certainly know how to get a crowd moving from the get go. This was evident at their recent stint in Australia for Big Day Out but more than ever when they managed to get people turnt at 6pm, during daylight hours on day 3 in the desert! With a non-stop arsenal of trap and club hits this was always going to be a big one for the obviously dance-friendly crowd. Bombs from DJ Funk, Missy Elliot, 2 Chainz, RL Grime & What So Not and more made this one of our favourite sets of Coachella and a proven example of a Dj and MC combination working oh so perfectly. That, and their attempt at kicking off the ‘biggest mosh at Coachella’ a welcome change of audience participation to the hands up business.

Calvin Harris
The planets aligned for Calvin Harris, who managed to nab the second biggest Coachella crowd in it’s history only behind behind the Tupac hologram, a huge feat. Kicking things off with “Close To You Right Now” and hearing the mostly female roar you can understand his perfect placement between ‘EDM’ and pop. Things did get a little slinkier later on with bigger drops and heavier bpms which the crowd undoubtedly would have enjoyed alongside the melodics of Icona Pop and his own “Bounce”.  Skip to 1:15 for the start of the set.

Dillon Francis
One word… BASS. Probably could have done without so much work on the mic but Dillon sure knows how to rile up a crowd.

Fatboy Slim
We can never pass up an opportunity to catch Fatboy Slim behind the decks, whether it’s in the flesh with smiles on our dials or sitting at home with headphones firmly in place and turned up loud. His Coachella set was no different to his usual antics of plainly put, fun music kicking things off with his own classic “Right Here, Right Now” before diving into another, his club anthem “Eat Sleep Rave Repeat” before quickly mixing into “Renegade Master” from Wild Child. The peak? A remix of Marvin Gayes “Grape Vine” before a devilishly bumper drop. Action kicks off at 0.49. 

The Story Behind The Dirtybird BBQ – As Told By Claude VonStroke

Claude VonStroke

The San Francisco based Dirtybird label have been spearheading a tech-house renaissance that hasn’t relied solely on a constant flow of satisfying music and instead, fostered a family of creatives that started with an urban legend of dance music… the first ever Dirtybird BBQ.

Who better to ask than the brains and head chef behind the now successful label, Claude VonStroke – who post announcing a remix album of his critical 2013 release ‘Urban Animals’ paints a vivid story of how it all began.

So tell us, whats the the story behind the inaugural Dirtybird BBQ?

‘We all met up in different ways but, we were all championing this new sound in San Francisco that no one really wanted to hear yet. Taking a lead from an older crew called Sunset and an even older crew called Moontribe, Christian Martin just decided he would buy a sound system to use outdoors. Did he have any money? no. But he did have a credit card. Yes, the American way!

We started showing up to Golden Gate park on Sunday mornings, it was extremely involved and took tons of work. Someone had to guard the park from 9am to make sure no families or other giant BBQ people were setting up shop there for the day. Chris and I had to go rent a large van and then drive it to our friend Addy’s house south of the city because he was the only one with a garage big enough to store the sound system. We would load up and then take it to the park. Right around then our man Chris Wilson (Grillson) would just show up out of nowhere and start prepping the grill. He showed up every time in the beginning with his own food and his own BBQ coals and everything. its just one of those magical things that happens like Field of Dreams we started doing this party and he just showed up and started grilling with us.

By about noon to 1pm we would have all the tables, the tent over the booth, the turntables (yes, we only had turntables then!) and all the sound system set up. By then the grill would be going well too. Literally then we would just start Djing and hoping people would come. The first Dj was always open format and then it morphed more and more into the dirtybird sound as the day progressed. For the first few times we did this party it was really badly attended. We joke that the very first one was just us and whatever girls we were dating at the time and that’s it. This was about the middle of 2002 or 2003.

About 3 years later we had stillf never given up. Justin had established himself as a hot local DJ and the label had launched. Some of my records started coming out as well and the word was spreading around town. We had an amazing party going there in Golden Gate Park by then. Many many people had fun and enjoyed themselves at our BBQs, and Grillson is still showing up to all of them even today!!’

What’s the most important ingredient to a good bbq?

The people and the weather are always the most important. Of course you need the food and the booze and the DJs but the happiness comes from hanging out with your friends outside.

The meal and the music part of it is almost just the icing on a great day outside in the sunshine with all your buddies.

What does the Dirtybird BBQ compilation represent for the label?

Every year we release a compilation showcasing the old guard and the new talent coming up the ranks. Every year the compilation also takes on a personality of its own as I pick the songs out during the year – a theme starts to take shape.

In a way I think our first comp “Hatched” really broke a lot of that UK garage/house hybrid stuff that is basically mainstream pop radio now. 2 years later I feel like we are miles and miles away from that sound and we have gone back to a more core Dirtybird vibe with raunchy funk and jackin beats. The compilation represents a milestone every year as to what direction we are headed for that year but really good music is good music and there are no real rules to that.

So there you have it, grab your decks, head to the park, scare off the mums and kids and have yourself the best day of your life!

Even more giddying news is word that Claude VonStroke has expressed a strong interest in bringing the Dirtybord BBQ to Australia which only seems like a natural progression to head to the land of BBQs!

The new Dirtybird BBQ compilation is ‘eleven great tunes I have been collecting for over 6 months’ available on iTunes now with one of the tracks Shiba San ‘Okay’ hitting number one on Beatport’s House chart!

Step Into The Future With Waver Racer, Justin Martin, Nicole Millar and More!

Futurism

With the new wave of electronic music hitting critical mass comes a stellar compilation and digitally available delight from the godfathers of taste making in dance music, Ministry of Sound. This time they deliver the delectable FUT.UR.ISM 2.0 in which they forecast the direction of dance music over a whopping forty-five tracks.

The eclectic compilation contains a mix of brooding international talent blended with the creme de la creme of Australian dance music that includes Kilter – who is currently running remix competition on Track Sift, Nicole Millar - collaborated with Peking Duk on ‘High’, Basenji – performed on a Boiler Room set, Acaddamy – appeared on Stoney Roads: Volume Two, Wordlife who recently remixed The Presets and of course the iconic and globally recognisable wunderkind Flume.

If you’ve got a decent pair of party shoes and love a few pre-drinks or just a general quiet head jiggle in the office with your headphones, we totally recommend you get a copy. Try not smile while you listen to a perfect soundtrack to your night out!

>>> Grab It Here <<<

Futurism 2.0 Disc 1
Flume & Chet Faker – Drop The Game
Miami Horror – Real Slow (LDRU Remix)
What So Not – Jaguar
Panama – Always (Wave Racer Remix)
RÜFÜS –Tonight (Kilter Remix)
Danny Brown – Dip
Elizabeth Rose – Sensibility
Ginger & The Ghost – One Type of Dark (Ta-ku Remix)
Big Dope P – Southside Anthem (Kaytranada Remix)
Oscar Key Sung – All I Could Do
Basenji – Dawn
Thief – Broken Boy
Owl Eyes – Closure
Flight Facilities – Stand Still
Jungle – The Heat
Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home
Gesaffelstein – Hellifornia
MØ feat. Diplo – XXX 88
Yahtzel – Jungle Feels
Jagwar Ma – Uncertainty
CHVRCHES – Lies
Movement – US
Nicole Millar -Taken

Futurism 2.0 Disc 2
London Grammar – Hey Now
Jonas Rathsman – Feel What I Feel
MK feat. Alana – Always (Route94 Remix)
Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones – I Got U
Dusky – Careless
Huxley – Inkwell
The Presets – Goodbye Future (Wordlife Remix)
Breach – Everything You Never Had (We Had It All)
Monkey Safari – Coming Down
Ninetoes – Finder (The Path) (Radio Edit)
Cassian – Survivor
Motez – Take Off
Eats Everything & Justin Martin – The Gettup
Lxury – J.A.W.S.
Friend Within -The Renegade
Justin Martin – Buggin’
Gotsome feat. The Get Along Gang – Bassline
Green Velvet – Bigger Than Prince (Hot Since 82 Remix)
Jamie Jones feat. Digitaria – Planets, Spaceships
Tube & Berger feat. Juliet Sikora – Come On Now (Set It Off)
GodWolf – Alone (Acaddamy Remix)
Maya Jane Coles feat. Karin Park – Everything

Watch: OutKast’s Coachella Reunion Set

On Friday night at 11:30PM PST, OutKast made their glorious return on the big Coachella stage. Well, at least the first half was glorious.

After grabbing our necks with opener “B.O.B.,” the nostalgic first act was flawless, energy was high and the setlist incredible – “Gasoline Dreams,” “ATLiens” “Rosa Parks” “Storytellin’,” “Aquemini” and “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” all made appearances. Then came Big Boi’s triumphant mini-solo set, which boasted “Shutterbugg,” “Ghetto Musick,” a show-stopping cameo by Janelle Monae and a taxidermic polar bear wearing pearls.

Next up was André’s mini-solo set, which showed off some of the most brilliant light design we’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, 3000 checked out by that point (14 songs into a 27-song set, mind you), and the excited, rousing performer wasn’t seen for the rest of the night. Blame obvious sound issues or a basic bitch crowd, but the latter half of what should have been OutKast’s grand return was underwhelming.

André’s muted enthusiasm proved to be infectious. On paper, the set’s closing stretch was fantastic – “Ms. Jackson,” “So Fresh, So Clean,” “The Way You Move” and “Hey Ya!” – but André wasn’t selling it. He didn’t look like he wanted to be there. He looked embarrassed. In fact, he closes the set with an apology.

OutKast’s reunion show was a textbook definition of a mixed bag. Big Boi was in top form, proving once again that he is one of the most dexterous and technically gifted rappers to ever pick up a mic. The set and light design was something to behold. Yeezus himself is probably jealous. But plaguing sound issues and André 3000′s absent enthusiasm sunk it back down to earth. It wasn’t at all fitting of the legend status often (and rightfully) attributed to OutKast.

Score: C

Watch more sets from Coachella on our #Coachella tag.

Setlist:
B.O.B.
Gasoline Dreams
ATLiens
Skew It on the Bar-B
Rosa Parks
Da Art of Storytellin’, Part 1
Aquemini
SpottieOttieDopaliscious (with Sleepy Brown)
Bowtie (with Sleepy Brown)
Shutterbugg
Ghetto Musick
Tightrope (with Janelle Monáe)
Kryptonite (I’m on It) (Purple Ribbon All-Stars cover)
Vibrate
She Lives in My Lap
Prototype
Behold a Lady
Roses
Same Damn Time (with Future)
Ain’t No Way Around It (with Future)
Benz Friends (Whatchutola) (with Future)
Hootie Hoo
Elevators (Me & You)
Ms. Jackson
So Fresh, So Clean (with Sleepy Brown)
The Way You Move (with Sleepy Brown)
Hey Ya!


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Best Songs of 2014: January-March

artwork by topher edwards

Welcome to our quarterly round-up of the best (read: our favorite) songs of the first three months of year! We spend all year long tracking down our favorites and we thought it would be useful to clearly outline the songs we enjoy the most at the beginning of every new quarter. Below we have our top 25 tracks ranked in order of our fervent obsession (the #1 pick should not be a surprise, whatsoever), but you’ll find a much longer list of songs on our playlist – streamable above via Rdio. Spotify users click here. These playlists are updated throughout the year, so you should probably subscribe.

Let us know what we missed: @pmablog

Review our favorites of 2013: ALBUMS | SONGS | EPS | MIXTAPES


01 Future Islands, “Seasons (Waiting On You)”


02 ScHoolboy Q, “Man of the Year”


03 Wild Beasts, “Wanderlust”


04 Beyoncé, “Partition”


05 Perfect Pussy, “Interference Fits”


06 Against Me!, “Transgender Dysmorphia Blues”


07 St. Vincent, “Digital Witness”


08 Cloud Nothings, “I’m Not A Part Of Me”


09 Beck, “Country Down”


10 Beyoncé, “Drunk In Love”

Best Songs of 2014: January March Best Songs of 2014: January March


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