It's weird where things lead you. I haven't been on a music kick in a while, but Fallout 4 jump-started my obscure-classics-lust, and some good things have come of that, as I sift through two classic music compilations, each with about sixty songs each. There's bound to be some gems in there, right?
Right. One of the things I love about old music is, oftentimes, these are songs you've heard a million times in commercials and movies and TV shows, but when you finally have a high-quality version of it, it kind of comes alive. To illustrate that, here's a very low-quality version of an Etta James classic.
And then, that invigoration of music excitement ends up pivoting into something wholly unexpected.
Last night, while putting together the post for Odin Sphere's latest trailers, I linked to the Japanese-only store where you can nab the soundtrack, which reminded me that I never actually ordered Dragon's Crown's soundtrack - so I took care of that (it's like ninety bucks after the exchange rates!).
Today, though, I still had the music on the brain, so I poked around the internet for tracks shared by folks who already have the album. That led me to checking out all the Okami remixes that came out. Did you know there's a whole album of Okami songs turned into lounge music? It's called Okami Henkyokushuu Vol 3: Lounge, and yes, there are two other albums of Okami tunes adapted into other genres. Here's one from Vol 2, the jazz album. I'm not saying it's anything that's going to wind up on my iPod - just that it's weird, is all. It is weird.
But reminding myself of the traditional instruments of the original Okami soundtrack put me in mind of this one scene from Tenchu: Kurenai (Fatal Shadows in the west - Tenchu was a long-running ninja stealth/action series, and Kurenai was the second title in the series to drop on the PS2 - I loved it). There's a boss scene where you fight a dude who's playing a shamisen (3-string guitar) the entire time, and the music was just gott-damned incredible.
Sigh. Now I want Tenchu: Fatal Shadows and Wrath of Heaven on my Vita, which'll never happen. Anyway, then I started poking around for shamisen music, and found a bunch of people on YouTube who want you to watch them play the thing. Then I found this old album from 1976 - a bunch of soloists from Ensemble Nippon, playing some supremely gorgeous music on traditional instruments. Here's the entire thing, in one convenient YouTube video.
But... it wasn't quite enough. There are people out there who care about Celtic music and country music and pan flutes, I'm sure - there must be some really awesome people out there playing the shamisen that I've just never heard of, from my lofty middle-class tower.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you the gift of two little words that you might wanna' remember.
And oh my fucking God listen to this...
Ahhhh... they've got like six albums. I'm gonna' have to clear some space on my iPod. Naturally.
This is gonna' take some time to go through.