First post, by xjas
You know that jazzy, upbeat, melodic synthpop that was used in heaps of oldschool platform games? I've been listening to a ton of this stuff lately but I can't figure out what it's called. It started on consoles in the early '90s (think Megadrive or SNES) but blew up way beyond background music in the tracker scene a little later, right when the first wave of digital synths got cheap-ish (Roland D50, Kawai K4, Yamaha SY, etc.) or everyone got their hands on a sample pack from them. Alexander Brandon was a master of the style.
It's not doskpop or spacesynth but has a lot in common with both of those. It's far more interesting than modern "tropical house" but sometimes (not always!) has tropical themes & instrumentation. I think it has roots in early-'80s Japanese jazz fusion, probably because it originated in Japanese games & that's what the composers were into, but it got heavily pop-ized and less experimental along the way.
These days you mostly hear it in... retro style platformers, naturally. 😜
Here are some examples (there may be a couple different subgenres or variants here) :
Alexander Brandon - Jazz 2 Laboratory
Bacter vs Saga Musix - Whiskey Drops
cTrix - Light N0va
Woofle - Dragon Valley
Skaven - Revenge of the Cats
Virt - Orbital Bombardment
Virt - Space Dojo 1
I feel like there's absolutely a name for this 'genre' but I just can't come up with what it is.
twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6:30 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!