Neon White wouldn’t be ‘freaky’ without Machine Girl’s music

A rugged character in Neon White stands in front of an ominous clock tower.

Screenshot: angel matrix

neon whitefast laser first person shooterunfolds in heaven where angels threaten to blow your face and the experimental music group Machine Girl spears your wrong moves. with rich breakbeats.

The game inspires you with its lightning-fast graphics – turquoise water, cold-blooded girls with rainbow hair, buildings cast in pure porcelain – to make you move quickly through the levels as if you are in a beautiful nightmare, but Machine Girl’s brilliant puke music keeps you moving. . I’m obsessed with the soundtrack so I asked Ben Esposito neon whitedeveloper and Matt Stevenson, producer of Machine Girl, on how they did it.

It started in 2020 with modern life collapsing and Esposito sent an email to Stevenson that he never got in touch with.

“I’m working on an unannounced PC game right now,” Esposito said, “and I think your music has the perfect energy for that (it’s a sharp 2000s Deviantart anime first-person shooter… think it’s a lost PS2 game for overall tone and style). Was fan ever since Twins but I heard ‘blue hardcore‘I was like…. that’s it.’

Album 2015 Twins and the track “Cyan Hardcore” from the album 2020 Reborn fantasies both are laced with iconic Machine Girl sounds such as crushing, glassy synth samples and sprays and breaks. “Cyan Hardcore” in particular has the same “I’m in the game, underwater” quality as many of the tracks on neon whitesoundtrack in two parts, Evil heart as well as Burn that heals, have. The cyclical melody sounds through the steel drum plug-ins and gurgles through the low pass filters; it’s very watery, but remains tinny and bright, like the sound you hear when you unlock a PS3 achievement.

Because of this sonic parallel (and perhaps emotional parallel), Machine Girl’s songs are full of the same growing energy that you get from playing games like Rock), Machine Girl fans have been juxtaposing Stephenson’s music with games for years. In 2020, an independent development team released Nightmarestatic first person shooter he said he was “strongly inspired” based on the 2017 album …Because I’m young and arrogant and I hate everything you stand forwhich fully relies on the aesthetics of a bloody shooter.

Elsewhere online, Machine Girl fans are making extended versions of songs using video game samplesand you can also find Stephenson’s 2014 remix at action game sega Jet Set Radio soundtrack.

The video games and discography of Machine Girl are best friends and their relationship is treasured. Eli Shoop, author of experimental musictold me that “Machine Girl is sick because they take breakbeats and MIDI instrumentals from early PS1s and [Sega Saturn] games and fill them with hardcore and rave like few do.”

“I think it’s probably true of anyone who at the same time enjoying digital hardcore and games to synthesize these loosely intertwined subcultures,” Shoup continued. “[Stephenson] definitely a real fan [of both]so it feels sincere and cool.”

Stevenson himself acknowledges his influence and the strength of his fandom, telling me, “I think it’s pretty clear from all of my music that it’s been heavily influenced by video games.”

“Growing up I loved video games and some of the soundtracks (especially on the Sega Dreamcast) were very informative for me. But I didn’t start consciously thinking about video games while making music until I started working on neon white soundtrack,” he said.

“I think anyone who grew up with video games develops an emotional attachment to the video game soundtracks of our youth,” he continued. “If I can provide it to someone, that’s the most important thing for me.”

Returning to 2020, Stevenson accepted Esposito’s offer via email after determining he was not “just some kid in his bedroom making a video game” and they began collaborating on a soundtrack. The process was difficult, but ultimately fruitful (obviously… did you hear?)

“When we started working on the music, Matt sent an extremely intimidating Dropbox folder with unfinished music,” Esposito said. “Must have at least 50 tracks with filenames like ‘mg2019 alpha 16 2020 D.mp3′”

After sorting through the filenames, they came up with several unfinished pieces of music, fireworks waiting to be launched.

“By the end, probably about 50% of the soundtrack was created from pre-existing material, and the other 50% was created from scratch for the game,” Esposito said.

But molding and modifying this material specifically for neon white introduced Stevenson to a unique set of obstacles. He’s never composed music for a video game before, and doesn’t currently have plans for any additional soundtracks (although he’d love to change that), so working under someone else’s creative vision required some tweaking.

“At times it felt like you were trying to solve a puzzle, trying to find the right vibe for certain songs,” Stevenson said. “Every song in the game had a clue as to where it should be, so I had to focus and try to create songs for certain levels, cues or menus. I usually make things much more stream-of-consciousness, so it takes more discipline and concentration.”

Esposito’s cues were sometimes difficult to follow, and tracks were cut because they “just didn’t feel right,” Stephenson said. But his fresh attention was directed to the final soundtrack, which he and Esposito were happy with.

Stevenson calls the end product “colorful, juicy, energetic, spastic, whip-inducing, fast-paced, over the top, maximalist, progressive, danceable, and low in fat.” The description matches how you feel playing it – giggling angels flying through the air, shooting skinny monsters until you get to the end, all under the guidance of Machine Girl. You feel like you’re riding something strange and aggressive, monstrous but cheerful.

Music is also very practical. Esposito notes that the songs that accompany actual gameplay that requires speed, precision, and flight sound particularly “strong, maybe harder than you might expect at first, but that’s how it was meant to be,” he said. You don’t want to be lethargic as you break through demons and crave absolution, which is the premise of the game. Like heaven itself, Esposito says the soundtrack should be “uplifting”.

“If the music seems too fast, then you’re not playing fast enough,” he said.

Salvation, demons and jungle Music. Put together, they sound like one broken subreddit. But like the careful planning of the soundtrack, this too is by design. After all, according to Neon White marketingthe whole game is born with the idea of ​​”freaks”.

I asked Esposito about this, how “quirkiness” lives on in all aspects of life. neon white.

neon white doesn’t make sense on paper,” he said. “It shouldn’t work, but it works because it doesn’t try to please everyone. This is a celebration of unusual gameplay and aesthetics. You don’t have to be a freak to enjoy neon whitebut it was made for freaks who love weird, messy and 100% true media.”

The game’s music, a sandwich of sweet, crackling breakbeats, gives freaks hyper-active gameplay with solemn passion.

“Without Machine Girl, it would have been a completely different game,” Esposito said. “Not only because Matt is an amazing and prolific producer, but also because [Machine Girl’s] the art reflects the same passion for overly stimulating, unbalanced and unloved media that the game was made to celebrate.”

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.