Welcome to my new weekly feature – Bass Cadet.
Every week I will be showcasing a piece of music that’s relevant to the retro enthusiast right here on Bass Cadet. Requirements and criteria for a me to cover a single track, album or even a live performance are as follows:
- Composition must be strictly electronic.
- The production may be for a game or any other medium but it must be able to work as a game soundtrack.
- Vitally important for all compositions to be instrumental but samples and singing are permitted, provided they are a good match.
- Experimental compositions are allowed but they must be listenable.
- It may be an old or new production but it must sound positively retro.
- Last but not least, it must sound great!
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s kick off this week’s feature with something awesome. Technosoft (also known as Tecno Soft) were the code house behind the truly remarkable Thunder Force series. They were also know for the astounding sound work on their game releases.
Thunder Force IV on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis for those in the U.S.) is one of my favourite horizontal scrolling shmups of all time. It’s just one of those games that strikes the right balance between visuals, sound and play mechanics. A masterpiece bar none.
Since TFIV was developed for the Mega Drive the music is obviously using the system’s Yamaha YM2612 FM-based chip. The previous article covered FM-Synthesis and gave some excellent examples of it’s applications.
However, Thunde Force IV is the standard-bearer for FM-Synthesis on the Mega Drive. Composed by Takeshi Yoshida, Toshiharu Yamanishi and Tomomi Otani they managed to put that little Yamaha chip through it’s paces. If you click on the video above, the results speak for themselves. Fusing techno-jazz with metal, this can only be described as 16-bit cyber thrash, space orchestra. Enjoy!