MSX tunes by Naruto

by poke-1,170 on 15-08-2007, 19:19
Topic: Music

In december last year, at the Blip Festival in New York, the well-known chiptune composer Hally from VORC gave a musical performance, using the One Chip MSX for one song. The track he played using the OCM was from his friend, the Japanese composer Naruto. An insider at the IRC channel #8bitpeoples passed Naruto's original KSS and OPX files to poke-1,170 who managed to trace the website. The website contains several MSX tunes, featuring PSG and FM-PAC and is well worth a visit as the musical style is quite refreshing and interesting!

Relevant link: Naruto's music

Comments (5)

By poke-1,170

Paragon (1766)

poke-1,170's picture

15-08-2007, 19:40

oooh blue highlighted links Tongue tnx wolf_ ^_^

By nerlaska

Master (166)

nerlaska's picture

16-08-2007, 08:16

Naruto .. you are my god!!!! Incredible music .. thanks!!
If you want a game with your music .. i'm your man! Wink

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

16-08-2007, 08:38

Some of these songs really put me back 20 years. I was quite up to date with the latest synthesizers in the late 80's and early 90's and one thing that facinated me a lot was the demo songs that was pre programmed in the sequencers of early Yamaha and other manufacturers synthesizers. These songs would have been perfect demo songs back then.
I'm not sure what it is, but these songs are different from wolf_'s or Vincent's or other MSX composers and it brings out good memories. wolf_, Vincent, and others are doing great work but its more modern. This 80's style that had a biiig influence on my life as a composer and a programmer. I'm very happy to hear some new compositions in old style. I'm in no way saying that modern MSX music is less good (I actually like wolf_ and vincent's compositions better) but it doesn't give the retro feelings this music does. I think its something with the bass lines that makes it...

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9918)

wolf_'s picture

16-08-2007, 11:35

There's a number of interesting differences between 'us' and 'them' actually, which I discussed with poke some days ago.

First the technical differences:

We're used to tracking, therefor trackers like Soundtracker, Moonblaster etc. popped up. They work pretty fast but at the cost of 'details'. These details are for example grid resolution and multiple events per cell. On a larger scale one could say that FST/MB songs are pretty small in playing length, and if you *have* to use a higher resolution then your song length usually halves! Looking back on FST/MB one could say that these are fairly limited tools, emerging into limited songs. I'd say we've made tunes that would fit FST/MB, and so these trackers and their followers defined 'our' sound. So, why were these tools so limited? Perhaps the coders couldn't have done better technically? The original replayer of FST wasn't that fast, and if you only have like 5 octaves, no instrument changes etc. then it's truly a sign of lack of technical fantasy. Perhaps they were badly informed by their own composers? Usually coders know zip about composing music, then it's all about how experienced their composers are.
So, how about these tunes then? I really dunno what they're using, but it's either a super-advanced tracker we've never heard of, or it's -more likely- some MML system like Musica. And don't ask me, I couldn't work with it, ask snout for a tutorial some day.. Tongue Using such a non-grid way of composing allows for way more possibilities than we could do with our trackers. Perhaps it's even a converted MIDI file, in which case all speculations about the composing format become moot.

Style differences:

I dunno about you, but for some reason I can identify Japanese music in a splitsecond. Why? I dunno. Incidentally I listen to some J-Pop, and it's really odd to hear styles that originate *not* from Japan, but are now clearly Japanese. There's usually an element of fusion, jazz etc. involved, afaik western styles. So, why the Japanese adapt these styles, I dunno. Animated movies are equally odd. Stuff like Princess Mononoki, Spirited Away etc. usually have full orchestral scores. But again they sound a tiny bit different from what Hollywood produces (like what Alan Menken produced for Disney), yet you can still sense a bit o' western music in it. Even the composer of those features, Joe Hisaishi (Mamoru Fujisawa) picked his artist name from an American (Quincy Jones). So, you'd almost think the Japanese really try to mimic the western world as a key rule, it's just that the result will always sound Japanese.
Perhaps it's not unwise to assume that 'we' really rely on our heritage, we have centuries of various musical styles. Medieval, Classic, Baroque, Renaissance, Romantic, Impressionism, Modern. (could be wrong chronological order here and there Tongue), but how about Japan? I dunno about their musical history, but I wouldn't be surprised when their background is -by far- different from ours. More with pipes (Shakuachi), drums (Taiko), plucked instruments (Koto) etc. And just recently they adapt our musical legacy.. perhaps that's part of the difference as well.

Scene differences:

Unverified, but as far as I know, 'we' have a demoscene, in which we occasionally make demotunes (a unique category, usually). Do the Japanese have a demoscene, or did they skip that whole part, to move directly to the gaming scene?

So, concluding, these are mere theories to describe the possible differences. The technical issues are the most important I think. But other than that it's mere guesswork. It once again shows that Japan and Europe are worlds apart.

By poke-1,170

Paragon (1766)

poke-1,170's picture

16-08-2007, 14:52

It's not just an msx thing, if you listen to music of megadrive games from japan you notice the exact same thing.
Do take into account that till 1853 or so Japan was closed off to the western world, only the dutch were allowed
to trade there under strict rules (forgot the name of the island where they settled). But once Japan opened its
doors, they westernized in an amazing tempo. Someone stated that they did so to protect themselves, by updating
as fast as possible... just think of early japanese electronics, how they managed to copy american tv's, radio's and cars.
Specially in the beginning mimicking western stuff was quite apparent. I guess a similar thing happened to music,
suddenly all these new influences to adopt, pop music and all that. You hear it in the music of yellow magic orchestra,
and they have been of a very big influence to many japanese game composers as well.
But indeed, maybe it is because these western elements are magnified, as if people did their best to be as convincingly western (and thus, hip) as possible.
And I guess it has it's own place within japanese culture. And that culture never fails to amaze us in a very positive way Smile