This is the tale of how and why I started my music producing hobby back in 1999. You will learn just how much influence a video game and artist can have in a single persons life: My own.
The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Leftfield, Orbital, Underworld, Fluke, F.S.O.L., Photek. Do these artists names have a meaning to you? They all became big part of my life after I was introduced to Psygnosis 1995 "WipEout" Playstation exclusive, in fact the game that made me decide getting a PSX in the first place. But who was this CoLD StoRAGE fellow whose energetic music not only fit the game perfectly but also made me jump from listening to making music?
None other than Tim Wright, a name whose work I was well aware of due to my many Commodore Amiga formative years and many, many quality games from Psygnosis. So the influence was undeniable, but what would I do with it? I had no musical training besides self learning the piano while I was a kid (before my dad "ruined" everything by buying a ZX Spectrum...) but computer music production was really taking off in the 90's and there where many tools being introduced that extended functionalities to near infinite possibilities. Up to that time, I only messed around with sound trackers, legacy from those Commodore Amiga years. It was time to get my hands dirty and never look back. And so I did, the following albums are the end products of my "Thank you!" to Psygnosis and Tim.
The WipEout Legacy (2008, VGMdb)
After finishing college in 2006, I finally began full time employment January 2, 2008. I took that down time to learn everything I could about multimedia: video editing, codec compressions, etc. I was also always feeling my musical output was going down the drain mostly because of those five years in college thus it was also around this time I began reading Computer Music Magazine. From that point on, every month I learned little by little something new. After working seven months in a row, I took a three week vacation and it was on that very first week I made my very first WipEout tribute album. "The WipEout Legacy" a sixteen track LP that I made as an alternate soundtrack. This marked the début of "Shiryu Music v2" if you will. It was fun to work in, the end result gathered some positive feedback from both friends and people who didn't know who I was before that album. So, I carried on...
The WipE'ouT'' Legacy HD (2012, VGMdb)
Fast forward to 2012. The PS Vita was the hot new portable Sony was about to unleash in Europe and along with it came a brand new WipEout, a prequel to the whole series no less. I fail not to be impressed by this intro even nowadays. I was afraid my music making hobby had it's days numbered after I began full time employment but somehow I managed to make the exact opposite. I had released a ton of albums in those four years, even got myself into video game music covers and remixes from 2010 onwards (a tale for another day) so I decided to make a new tribute, this time focusing on WipEout HD for PS3, a game and system I still don't own up to this day. Taking everything I had learned in those years, I managed to produce a fourteen track album with twelve original tracks and a couple of bonus remix. By advent of Facebook, I had become friends with Tim Wright to whom I send an advance copy of the album. His kinds words will stay with me for as long as I live:
"Wow. Amazing. This album should not be free, it's just to good to be given away."
Note that at this point in time I still had no Bandcamp page and just like nowadays, all my music was free in the usual 192 Kbps MP3 encode downloads. Upon release the album was indeed a surprising success, there was a flood of new fans pouring into my Facebook page and it was praised by fellow WipEout fans alike. I was quite happy for making it happen. Choose your option to get the album from the links below while enjoying the release trailer:
That is all for part one of "The WipEout Legacy" chronicle. Join my next time for the conclusion of this tale of determination, stubbornness, fate, blind luck, flashing lights and pumping beats. A little teaser for next bit: I found out I was not alone out there...
OMAKE: My current "WipEout" collection. Show me yours!