Auckland composer and producer Marc Armitage delves into the world of Cyberpunk Electronica as he reimagines classic soundtracks from video game levels for this brand new EP.
Specifically drawing from levels within Duke Nukem 3D and Deus Ex, Augmented Soundtrack sees Armitage essentially hypercharge the original compositions, rearranging them and injecting a heavy hit of distorted electronic energy for a wholly immersive and powerful new listen.
As the second track on the project, Stalker is perhaps the first fully explosive moment, within which you realise the weight and strength of the music. You’re not purely transported to the game world, but gifted an intensely euphoric journey, which envelops you in its multi-layered fuzz and ferocity when taken on at volume.
Always a fine composer and creative, the unique nature of this endeavour helps relieve the original composing aspect and allow the artist to focus on a passionate ode and reworking of something already engaging. As a result, the attention to detail, and the sheer rising energy, are immense.
UNATCO (Rising Dawn) is something of a highlight – the opening progression and melody, the rising anticipation, all swirl out and around you like a hypnotic embrace – prompting immediate escapism, beautifully cinematic immersion, and a notably emotive encounter on the whole.
With Syndicate Titles (Nightmare Mode), the music is every bit as dark and unsettling as the title implies. An intensifying marching rhythm meets with relentlessly looping synths that indicate a certain approaching chaos or turmoil. There’s space here, a little pause from the fullness, but your mind is taken over by the various intricacies of the nightmare and the struggles of the level.
One final highlight from the seven-track EP is NYC Streets (Reamplified). Here there’s a clear pathway or journey once again, four minutes building up from spacious uncertainty, lightly haunting synths and retro bass, into again distorted and electronically amplified layers, with an ultimately brighter and more uplifting final quarter that elevates the whole thing.
As mentioned, the focus and intention here is fantastic – the creative realm when given a guide such as this, makes for a uniquely recognisable yet uninhibited place to explore. Marc’s passion for music and gaming alike have joined forces in a brilliantly skilful, impressive way. Well worth a listen for gamers and electronic music fans alike.