Danny Baranowksy is the Michael Jackson of chiptune music, dead serious. I’ve yet to find a guy who’s so easy on the scene and ready to rock and roll at the push of a button. The Super Meat Boy soundtrack is probably the best thing ever. It’s been a long, long while since I can actually recount music in my head, since most modern video-games just use orchestral and shizzle. Not that they aren’t memorable, they’re certainly powerful during the action, but for a game soundtrack to actually infect your mind while playing it is taking it to the next level.
All I can really say is that the music of Super Meat Boy is probably sitting right next to all of the crazy good design-ness and all of the charm. It sort of just sits on the same bench, and without it, the game would be a completely different experience for me. Sometimes you actually use the music to time tricky jumps or generally as a workout playlist. Honestly, hitting the later levels with this sort of music behind you is more than needed. Soon enough you find yourself humming and doodoodooing to it, and DannyB must be some sort of evil mastermind hiding in his castle of recording studios. Probably.
Yes, it’s chiptune, and you might not credit it with the same merit and say that it’s the cheapest you could go when it comes to video-games. Well you can go get a snow shovel and build yourself a sand castle (???) because you’re wrong on so many temperatures. The ye olde golden days of video-games are back, thanks to the indie scene of 2010, and people like DannyB are bringing a whole host of chiptune back to life. It’s nice to see retro fusing with the new ‘hey games can be more than entertainment’ shindig a la Minecraft. I think if every game soundtrack was composed by DannyB, then there would be no need for orchestras anymore. They can go back to the film business for all I care, chiptune is video-games through and through.
It feels empowering to sort of… relive a piece of childhood. You’re facing down probably the hardest, but best, platformer ever made which is taking you back to your jolly youth. Even further still is this delicious chiptune just seeping into your pores, turning you back into your ten year old self. There were some instances where I found these memories, faint ones, of playing titles beyond yonder and being faced with the same impossible odds. Not the odds of ‘shoot ten giys save the woman you love apparently’, but the ‘you gotta jump there, there and oh yeaaaah boy thereee’.
Against the soundtracks of Blops (Black Ops), Halo Reach, New Vegas and all of the other great booming orchestral OSTs, I think Super Meat Boy‘s OST shines out because it feels more… homely. It feels intimate and personal, that I can just listen to it by my leisure and that so many people can relate to my pleasure with it. I love it, I live it; I just leave it on while I’m writing anything and it seems to bring me through thick and thing. It’s probably just the audible drugs that Danny has hidden in it somehow. Nom nom nom, he be my dealer.
I think that’s all I have to say about that. You’d be happy to know that the runner up to this was also chiptune, and maybe I am dry humping the return of this genre, but I don’t really care. I enjoy gaming music a damn lot than most kids, because I’m a nerd, but the likes of Danny B make game music seem empowering and glorious. Chiptune is a piece of our history as both a culture and a movement and to see that die out but ultimately return is probably a powerful message in our changing world.