Posts Tagged ‘Koji Hayama’

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Game Music is Dead (Koji Hayama)

December 7, 2010

When I started this project last October, I knew what was going to be the final song I would add. Fittingly enough, it is “Game Music is Dead” by none other than game music bad-boy Koji Hayama. Why? Because with a title like that…why not!? While the song isn’t game music, it’s taken from an album that includes game music arranges in it, Game Music is Dead ~ The Successive Kings. There’s a lot of Cho Aniki in there as well as some TwinBee arranges. And for some reason, “Game Music is Dead” is on the album twice… I suppose to prove the point! Now normally, when you buy two things, you can give one to your friend. Unfortunately, you can’t give your friend the second song because it’s on the same CD… So it’s like a Twix bar. Two for me, none for you. Then again, like a Twix bar, the album was affordable for a time. Back when GameMusic.com was an actual store and not an ad portal (GameMusic is dead!), you could buy this album in clearance for about $10. Now the gamemusic apocalypse (vgmpocalypse?) has come and game music is dead. Action, Shooting, Item, Simulation… It’s all gone, and we are left only to rave. Long live game music!

Game Music is Dead ~ The Successive Kings – “Game Music is Dead” (Koji Hayama)

And there you have it! This is the end of the project. Thanks for reading! Look forward to checking out some album reviews in what might be known as “VGM Weekly”. But we’ll see.

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Super Smash Bros. Brawl – “Underground Theme ~Easton Kingdom~ – Super Mario Land” (Koji Hayama)

May 18, 2010

More coverage of Super Mario Land means more insanity. With giant firebreathing sphinxes, flying Moai statues, airplanes, and more, Super Mario Land was quite a departure from the original games (though perhaps not so much so if we consider Super Mario Bros. 2). Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008) saw the reappearance of several classic Nintendo tunes, including music from this somewhat forgotten Game Boy game. Koji Hayama of Cho Aniki infamy put his skills to the test with “Underground Theme ~Easton Kingdom~”.

Super Smash Bros Brawl – “Underground Theme ~Easton Kingdom~ – Super Mario Land” (arr. Koji Hayama)

“Underground Theme ~Easton Kingdom~” is the Egyptian temple theme, in Brawl, used for the underground ruins. Hayama’s heavy guitar riffs strongly affect the mood of the piece with an exotic intensity. The track starts out quite strong, with drums that explode on to the stage, an organ supported by a synth bass line, and bells to add detail. Instant atmosphere. A relatively quiet intro, this section lasts only about 24 seconds before blasting into the guitars. From this, the theme loops with three more variations.

While the synth line makes for a very atmospheric piece, Hayama also throws in some Aniki-ized sampled voices for good measure (“HEY!”). These cheesy samples – along with the echoing guitar riffs – are trademark to his style and appear in nearly every kind of song he’s made – though the half-naked, grinning body builders are, of course, absent. For a type of music that can sometimes take itself a bit too seriously, I do enjoy Koji Hayama’s work – he always has excellent layering and the cheesy samples provide a healthy dosage of humor.

Hip Tanaka’s original is quite impressive as well, though it feels like it wandered out of Kid Icarus Read the rest of this entry ?

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Cho Aniki – Aniki no Subete – “German Jammin'” (Koji Hayama)

April 3, 2010

The Cho Aniki series is known as “that gay Japanese game.” This is an easy assumption to make, considering it blatantly features almost-naked grinning body builders and other references. a Cho Aniki – Aniki no Subete (1993), the soundtrack and remix album based on the original game in the series. This is also the only instance I’ve heard where the soundtrack actually sold more than the game itself.

Cho Aniki – Aniki no Subete – “German Jammin'” (Koji Hayama)

“German Jammin'” seems to be Hayama’s favorite song from this game. It’s essentially over-aggrandizement of martial masculinity and mockery of Nazism in particular. Primarily a joke track, it integrates marching and military brass for a kind of drinking song, chanting “DEUTSCH! DEUTSCH! DEUTSCH, DEUTSCH – GEEERRRMAN!” in the over-masculine voice that appears in most music in the series. “German Jammin” appears no less than three times on the album, the first as the BGM track, the second as a remix, and the third as a minute-long piece at the end of the album. InThe Ultimate, Invincible, Most Galactically Powerful Man (1996), the composers used Hayama’s style to great effect. Incidentally, track 1, “The Ultimate, Invincible, Most Powerful Man in the Galaxy” uses the exact same melody as “German Jammin'” (the guy is saying “The Ultimate, Invincible, Most Powerful Man in the Galaxy!!” before the crazy laughter).

The remix, “Aniki of the World“, makes fun of everybody. Read the rest of this entry ?