Gamers, fans of video games, people who game — whatever dumb label you wanna slap on the group of people most likely reading this Blogtown entry — have long compiled hundreds of hours of their lives and whatever meager creative talents they might imagine they have to homage, enshrine and worship their favorite games.
No game, no matter how mind-rippingly bizarre it may be, is without a cult of devoted followers. As for beloved, decades-old series' that spawned entirely new genres and irrevocably changed the face of gaming overnight, well, let's just say they have quite a few devoted fans.
Some of which are actually good at things.
Early this morning Twitter delivered me a message from local radio/Internet/misleading nickname personality Fatboy Roberts directing me to the efforts of one such fan. Not only does the project stand gi and headband above the vast majority of its similar competition, it also focuses on one of my favorite series ever: Street Fighter.
(The only possible way Fatboy could have earned more love from Blogtown for sending in this tip would be had he also included a box of fresh Bieber Squeezins straight from the wild heart of the Yukon. Otherwise, well played Fatboy. Well played.)
Realizing he'd completed an entire header paragraph without actually mentioning what he was talking about with any sort of useful clarity, Nex rushes to explain this whole thing.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present ATD23: The Street Fighter Mixtape.
That much you could have gleaned from the album art seen above though. So what exactly is ATD23? Creator Akira The Don explains:
I had a ton of fun making this… this epic thing of wonder and glory. And to think how it began! It was supposed to be EASY… a simple, quick, fun thing I could do in a day and fulfil April’s mixtape quota. A mix of Street Fighter related music. There’s tons of it — Redman’s joint from back in the day, Ras Kass, Double, and so on — but quickly the project took off on its own crazy tangent when I found myself sampling the original SF joints wholesale and making new songs with them, rather than just arranging them all together. Then I discovered the newer themes (S4 has some mind blowing music on it) and the movies’ music… So the project took almost 3 weeks, instead of the intended day, and now we’re suddenly half-way through May and the rent’s mad late and there’s a lisping Tory dipstick in Number 10 (Twitter got it down to #ConDemNation, oh the lulz). DAMN! Where’d all that time go? I was supposed to be dropping an EP on May 16th to celebrate my birthday. That is so NOT going to happen!
But here we have this — almost an album in itself. Scrub the “almost”… what I’ve been doing here all this time is all that stuff you can’t do on albums. Sample outrageously! Force self into corners! Learn fast! Scream at the horror of self-imposed deadlines! Push the maximiser too far! Learn from mistakes! Make new ones!
And, most importantly, make a gang of dope music and give it to the world.
I won't lie, this isn't exactly my thing. I grasp the concept of a DJ and appreciate it in the abstract, but if forced to sit through a set of anything "performed" by some Ketamine-powered douchemobile wearing headphones larger than the head they're attached to, I (much like the mighty coyote) will gnaw my own leg off to get away.
That said, I like this album. It feels like the result of some Island of Dr. Moreau-esque science experiment that spliced Atmosphere, Capcom and Pantera, with a hint of Mike Skinner for that all-important, innately Anglo aural decadence.
Plus, it has enough classic Street Fighter style audio — Bassline consisting entirely of Chan-Li's grunts? Check! — to bring a tear of retro appreciation to my eye, yet also contains enough new and reworked material that it can comfortably stand on its own merits all by its lonesome.
Also, remember when Akira The Don mentioned his affection for the tunes from Street Fighter IV? That was not simple lip service to ingratiate fans. "Steal The Show," a song which includes remixed elements of the Street Fighter IV theme, is suddenly my new favorite piece of gaming-related music that doesn't vaguely rhyme with "Campfire Pillar."
All this, and I still haven't mentioned the best bit; The album is available for free.
A quick trip over to Akira's website will get you a copy of all the tracks on the album in 320kbps mp3 format. Alternately, you can stream portions of his work straight off of the site.
So what are you waiting for?
Now, even if it turns out that my taste in DJ action is total shit, the cost of said shit will be, at most, a few dozen megabytes and a couple of minutes. You can spare a couple minutes for a Welshman with a noggin covered in headphones, can't you? For less than the cost of a single cup of coffee each day, you too can help ...
(And if any of you know what the hell you're talking about when it comes to DJs and turntables and are incredibly angry at how ignorant I am on the subject, feel free to "harumph" loudly before explaining to the rest of us why the treble is too viscous, or how the tube amps are obviously bifurcated diagonalwise (and what exactly that means for the volumetric hoseflange penis wang explosive pterodactyls) ... or some such thing.)