The PC gaming progressive steel challenge, WASD, simply launched its second album, Escape, which incorporates chunky, proggy reimaginings of traditional tracks from hits like Deus Ex and Warcraft 2, but additionally some deeper cuts like Turrican and House Quest 3. We had an opportunity to sit down down with WASD mastermind Austin Green and chat concerning the album, in addition to its cheeky “Floppy Disc Thriller Single” version.
“I would messed round with the thought of attempting to suit each music onto a floppy,” Green informed us. Sadly the audio compression required rendered his songs “unlistenable.” A passable floppy launch of Escape most likely would have required a variety of discs like a ’90s game set up, so as a substitute Green minted a restricted run of fifty floppies, every with two random tracks from the album.
This’ll internet you a “not unhealthy” listening expertise, however you may most likely wish to stick to the included digital download of the album for listening in your $200 headphones. But it surely’s not about practicality with this form of factor, is it?
Similar to with the indie music scene’s obsession with cassette releases, it is concerning the audacity of retaining an outmoded format alive only for the hell of it, and I really like how Green made this occur by discovering a lot of previous floppies to write down over on Fb market. (Admittedly we’re biased—in 2020 we paid Austin Green to supply a free album celebrating a few of our favourite PC gaming music, The PC Gaming Show 2020 Album.)
I would evaluate WASD’s sound to progressive steel bands like Haken—you have received these chunky steel guitar riffs, but additionally a sure funkiness and playful virtuosity like a ’70s band of fellows with mustaches and wizards on all their album artwork.
The spotlight of Escape for me is Green’s Deus Ex observe: Nanotech Outlaw. It blends the exploration and fight variations of that game’s important UNATCO HQ theme, and I discovered that WASD’s model particularly gelled with Alexander Brandon, Michiel van den Bos, and Dan Gardopée’s authentic compositions.
Green primarily focuses on that formative, western, ’90s to early ’00s period of PC gaming in his work. “I believe the beauty of that period of PC gaming is that it is when PC video games have been PC video games,” Green explains.”It goes each methods, video games have been on their very own particular platforms with their very own really feel.”
There have been a couple of gems from this period that have been left on the slicing room ground for Escape, and Green could attempt to revisit them in future work. Myst, for instance, is true smack dab in the course of Green’s most popular period, however he is but to choose a mode that satisfyingly interprets that game’s dreamy OST. Equally, Green toyed with and in the end axed covers of music from StarCraft and Unreal Match (although the unique Unreal is represented right here), and had at one level thought-about a rendition of Portal’s finish credit music, “Nonetheless Alive.”
You may hearken to Escape in its entirety straight away on WASD’s Bandcamp web page, in addition to take a look at the challenge’s merch and bodily releases. WASD can be enjoying at MAGFest this January, so if you happen to’re wherever close to the Gaylord Conference Middle in Bar Harbor Maryland from January 5-8, you recognize where to discover a good time. It’s also possible to comply with WASD on Fb and Twitter.