Posts tagged Alexander Brandon

Hong Kong – Streets – Alexander Brandon [Deus Ex]

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I still so much respect for Alexander Blandon. And to make all of this in a module, Impulse Tracker format (.it)  if I remember right. Wooow! So much musical quality at such a low file size and low cpu consumption. Nowadays we take mp3 decoding for granted but i remember back then on my CPU there was a 5-10x difference in cpu usage between the two.

Unreal – Dusk Horizon – a planetary revelation

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Such a fantastic game moment, the first time you come out of the crashed prison ship to discover an amazing planet on the soundtrack of a brilliant song by Alexander Brandon.

Song of Da Day: Desolation (Hong Kong Canal) – Deus Ex

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Yet another brilliant song by Alexander Brandon, this time from the surprising cult classic Deus Ex (yep, there’s a new one close, let’s hope they make it more rpg like the first :P )… i wonder where this guy might be right now. He made great soundtracks for a bunch of games i liked.

Song of Da Day: Shared Dig – Unreal

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Another song by Alexander Brandon. I’ve fallen asleep countless times on this one as I would have it playing all night (among other similar ones) it to inspire my dreams and hoping that my subconscious or some voodoo like that would pick up on this style of music. Why? For the same reason I had awesome dreams on it: this is music with a story, and it also helps that in my mind it directly connects to visual memories of places in the game.

Song of Da Day: Laboratory level – Jazz the JackRabbit

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A hard to forget song if you’ve ever split screen deathmatched or raced on it with silly cute rabbit noises :D I’m so very happy I found the text: “Alexander Brandon”. I’m a huge fan of this guy. It’s one of those handful of people that I somehow felt had a big impact on my life and over the years I kept trying to track him down but he disappeared. So here’s what I know: he was part of Straylight productions, a group that made brilliant music for Unreal. I think they later split up and each probably became big in their way. I think i found some traces of them on last.fm. Other games in which you can get a taste of their brilliant work are Crusader: No Regret & Jazz (2?). I remember I was staring impressed in a time when under Marius’s tutelage i was learning about making music on trackers such as Fasttracker/Madtracker/Ittracker (modtracker?) … and i was amazed how he would use amazingly many challenge to simulate on low machines complex sound effects, make true stereo depth stuff, and generally manage to create out of looping simple stuff that took lil memory and cpu music that sounded original and non-repetitive.

Unreal Soundtrack

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I simply have no words enough or powerful enough to describe the impact this soundtrack (the original Unreal game soundtrack) has made on my life. I find it imensely powerful, and mixed with the moments when it appears in the game it simply makes my heart shiver.         First time you get out of the opressive wreck fearing for your life and you see the alien sun, the openness, the discovery, seeing the Spire climbing to the sky, walking through the cloud city large streets, traversing caverns with shimmering crystals… all are fixed strongly in my mind due to the powerful emotions expressed through this music. For years afterwards i listened to it day and night, for many lights i’d leave it on while i sleep hoping that somehow it would burn into my brain and I would be able to myself create a fraction of the beauty that the guys at Straylight Productions put in there.
Later on I realized that several other soundtracks that I liked were made by the same people (Crusader, Jazz the Jackrabbit, Unreal Tournament…). Alexander Brandon, Michiel van den Bos, Andrew Sega (Necros) and Dan Gardopée will forever remain my musical heroes, to me more precious than most of the big band/singer names which everybody has heard of. I wish I could tell everybody at the top of my lungs of them and see the recognition in their eyes like they do for some well known bands.
I was all the more impressed by their magic after Marius showed me how they were actually modules, how they had managed to create such amazing music, trully high quality, and yet put it in a restrictive format that managed to have a low CPU footprint and with songs taking a fraction of even compressed audio like mp3. Mindblowing. Seeing all the channels that they used to create panning shifts or echoes & reverbs, loops and audio gradients… aaaamazing!
I have just discovered you can actually listen to (part of?) the soundtracks online… trully amazing! Meeting any of these guys even through a email or message board is a lifelong dream of mine… maybe someday…
As I’m writing this the music is running and even after so many years and so many hundreds of listenings I’m amazed how my eyes tremble on the virge of tears of joy and how my mind is alive with visual imagery & emotional snapshots of the moments they described in the games… WOW! And the way they can so seamlessly transition from meditational and contemplative to the adrenaline that makes one feel so alive with the need to respond urgently… WOOOOW.
Some of my favorite songs (though it’s so hard to name) would have to be “All hallows sunset”, “Chizra”, “Dusk Horizon”, “Surfacing”, “Isotoxin”, “Vortex rikers”… sorry… i may find myself naming them all. The Unreal Tournament soundtrack I also found very fit for the adrenaline gameplay, though I can’t say it moved me quite so much. Still, it had some songs like “Razorback” which really rock my world and made me feel amazingly alive, and they were all pretty much what kept you going when you had reached the repetition and familiarity…
Big biiiig shout out for Straylight Productions and all their friends!!!
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