When I was really young, I absolutely loved playing Bomberman Hero, and that love especially extended to Jun Chiki Chikuma’s soundtrack. It was yet another example of video games foreshadowing and cultivating my love for electronic music—drum ‘n bass and jungle in this specific case—with one particular song maybe doing an exceptional amount of heavy lifting.

Bomberman Hero
“Tripod”
Jun Chiki Chikuma

This piece is the song that would always play when Bomberman dueled Nitros, the game’s resident recurring miniboss/rival. That bass croak, true to form, practically exudes the feeling of miniboss. You hear that, and you already know: Some real shit’s about to go down.

The complex drum shuffle just ramps up that tension even higher once it kicks in, sounding like it’s constantly restraining itself from exploding into a full-blown breakbeat freakout. That ended up being just as fitting a soundtrack to the moment as any, because Nitros—bomb-dodging bastard that he is—was tough as shit to beat for an eight-year-old Justin back in the day.

Listening to “Tripod” now, years upon years later, what’s most remarkable to me is how mercilessly minimal and spare it is. That no-bullshit approach works in crafting a song that stays as intense during a standalone listen as when it accompanies a live-wire duel.

(originally posted on Tumblr April 5, 2013)

RedStripe Loved Trax—originally from days of Tumblr past—is a series about the music Justin adores, with special emphasis on songs from (or introduced by) video games and anime.