Wherein we solicit music recommendations (VGM and non)

Hi all, I need some new listening material. I thought I'd share some of my music preferences of stuff I like to listen to in and out of video games and see if any of you have any recommendations. And maybe you can share what you like to listen to and get recommendations, too!

For VGM tracks, my favorite soundtracks for listening are:

  • - Gate of Thunder (most awesome synth rock ever and I want more like it so badly)
  • - Ys III (all versions)
  • - Ys I & II (especially the Yonemitsu arrangements, not so much the later Falcom arrangements)
  • - Dragon Saber
  • - Lords of Thunder (Def TG version over Sega CD)
  • - Castlevania 2 and 3
  • - Contra and Super C (da bomb!)
  • - Minibosses NES covers
  • - Mega Man 2
  • - Legendary Axe (or almost anything Jun Chikuma for NES or PCE)
  • - Magical Chase
  • - Gauntlet IV
  • - Midnight Resistance (specifically Genesis, love me some old Sakimoto)
  • - ThunderForce V
  • - First track of Super R-Type (love that extended jam)
  • - Super EDF (arcade AND SNES)
  • "Real" music I love:

  • - Yes
  • - Walk the Moon (especially the earlier synthy stuff)
  • - Older Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment
  • - A lot of 80s synth rock and pop
  • - Some Muse
  • - Some Queen
  • - Synth and electric guitar are better together than separate
  • - Busy drumming that isn't just slamming on the double bass pedals
  • A few things I don't like:

  • - SNES guitar samples (including the much-loved Mega Man X)
  • - Most metal vocals (growling, wailing, faux operatics)
  • - Too much auto-tune
  • - Foo Fighters guitar tone (can't discern the notes or melody over the distortion)
  • - Most dance electronica
  • - American southern rock
  • - Country music
  • - Folk rock
  • Yes, I know my music preferences are obnoxious. Hopefully you can all forgive me my music sins.

    @“marurun”#p72009 lol i appreciate the honesty here. it is funny to me that to another person the foo fighters' guitar tone is too distorted

    i don't have that much experience with the game music you list, but based on the Real music you like, it seems like you would like The Black Mages (uematsu's FF cover band), if you somehow haven't already listened. synth and guitar are always trading leads; you get some of the aggression of metal, but without the aggressive vocals; hyper-melodic like the minibosses, and overall a big progressive rock vibe


    yeah the foo fighters guitar tone is too distorted is throwing me lol


    @“marurun”#p72009 A lot of 80s synth rock and pop

    can you expand on this?


    @“marurun”#p72009 Busy drumming that isn’t just slamming on the double bass pedals

    I mean, every album by The Police and every album after the first Rush album says hello.

    If you like synth pop/rock then you might like some of the following, in order of aggression, I guess.

  • - ぽわん / Powann (JP pop + some light synth sounds. Check out pretty much any track.)
  • - Freezepop (Canadian pop, exclusively synth. Check out "Plastic Stars" or "Doppelganger".)
  • - Metric (Canadian pop rock with synths and guitar in equal measure. "Gimme Sympathy" is their most well known track.)
  • - Polysics (JP - bit poppier, bit rockier, generally quite frantic. Check out the track "Code 4"). Bit like Devo but wilder.
  • - Atom and His Package (USA - more popish punk and lots of synth in equal measure. Check out "Pumping Iron for Enya".)
  • - Bomb the Music Industry (USA synth + ska + pop or hardcore punk). "Goodbye Cool World" is a fairly broad, representative album.
  • - Melt Banana (JP - basically grindcore music with lots of synth, guitar effects and so on. Generally very aggressive. Their "Fetch" album is probably their most accessible and consists of more regular song structure and pacing - a lot of their earlier stuff is poorly produced and consists of dozens of extremely short songs.
  • >

    @“LeFish”#p72074 Freezepop (Canadian pop, exclusively synth)

    Super fan checking in. Freezepop is from Boston and though Canada has tried to invade with poutine, they threw it in Boston Harbor and Boston remains non-Canadian. The first few albums were sequenced elusively on the QY70. You can hear the delay in bank switching in a few songs if you listen closely.

    [upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/c0iaTFj.png]

    But later albums (mostly since Kasson left) have more diverse instrumentation.

    And "[Backfired](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEmO6fjFGec)" is probably my favorite Freezepop track.


    @“LeFish”#p72074 Metric (Canadian pop rock with synths and guitar in equal measure. “Gimme Sympathy” is their most well known track.)

    That may be but OWUWAYN? and Live It Out are still their best albums.

    @“connrrr”#p72084 I really like the Metric album “Pagans in Vegas”.

    @“antillese”#p72086 they‘re one of the bands I associate with teenage me and when I try listening past the albums from back then I get disappointed, like I was with Fantasies, but I’ll give that one a listen sometime. I didn't know people were still listening to Metric!

    @“marurun”#p72009 In case you‘ve never heard them, Supertramp. I’m pretty sure Yes and Supertramp fans are a one-circle Venn diagram.


    @“antillese”#p72082 Oops, my bad. I was already thinking of Metric by then!

    Couple of other suggestions for predominantly rock music but with electronic / synth elements are late 90s / early 00s Joe Satriani and various Porcupine Tree albums. The former's "Engines of Creation" album is electro-heavy guitar-led rock instrumentals, and the latter's "Fear of a Blank Planet" is more of a melancholy or sombre album but well worth a listen.

    For videogame music listen to the Sonic R, Capcom vs SNK 2, and Jet Set Radio Future soundtracks. Heck, if you like them get down with some Jamiroquai.


    @“connrrr”#p72087 I‘m a bit older than you based on this conversation, but I also have a teenage band that can Do No Wrong: Garbage. I keep buying their albums because I liked them when I was younger. Whether or not they are “still good” isn’t really the point. Every album gives me probably two new songs that I really like and I'm alright with that.


    @“marurun”#p72009 Busy drumming that isn’t just slamming on the double bass pedals

    bit left field but based on this i recommend giving Venetian Snares a shot, specifically his masterpiece [Rossz Csillag Alatt Született](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rossz_Csillag_Alatt_Sz%C3%BCletett). it's genuinely unique.


    I worded that badly. It's not that Foo Fighters tone is too distorted, it's that the particular style and pedals and distortion they use makes it hard at times to suss out the exact notes and melodies they are playing, especially live. It just ends up sounding like a musical guitar mush.

    My thoughts on the discussion so far:

    I have only heard one Metric song (Black Sheep, thanks to the Scott Pilgrim movie) and I actually liked Brie Larson's take on it better, but I really should listen to some more Metric.

    Giving Rossz Csillag Alatt Született a brief listen. It's interesting. I don't know that it would hold my attention overly long. I prefer human drummers. But it is a neat idea with some cool moments. A lot less repetitive than I feared it might be.

    I respect Sonic R and Capcom vs SNK 2, but I don't know I enjoy listening to them. JSRF is pretty awesome.

    I do like Supertramp OK, but they're no Yes. I also like Rush and the Police decently well, though I don't think they are as characteristic of what I like best.

    I do like the Black Mages decently well. I have to say, the Uematsu stuff I like best is from FF 1 and FF4/2US. There's tons of random JPOP I like, musically at least.

    Looks like I have some stuff to explore. Y'all have shared some stuff I don't have time to get into right now, but this weekend might be a good opportunity. Thanks!


    @“marurun”#p72151 I have only heard one Metric song (Black Sheep, thanks to the Scott Pilgrim movie) and I actually liked Brie Larson’s take on it better, but I really should listen to some more Metric.

    Black Sheep rules. It's my favorite Metric song, but I don't care for the Brie Larson interpretation.

    I recently rediscovered Stemage's [Metroid Metal](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWeHA0F2Zbw&list=PL241FAF613AFD38DE). It's got the fast drumming that you may crave and is also game-adjacent. Stemage's non-game-adjacent work is similar. [This is my favorite track](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9EF_vsem0A) and the opening line "Motorhead is kinda like you / nobody really likes them but they say that they do" is incredible. Queens of the Stone Age are another "mainstream" band that I think has a similar sound.

    Regarding your Genesis callouts, you should try listening to the [Blaster Master 2](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzod48H2vvc&list=PLDF60B89345B32D88) soundtrack. I think it's underappreciated.

    Also, since you like NES Konami so much:


    The most unjustly over hated on game ever has a pretty good soundtrack. I could rant forever about how this is actually a good game, but yeah, just give it a listen if you never have.

    I've been trying to get into Arabic music lately, since hearing a live guitarist at a Moroccan restaurant a few weeks ago and falling in love with the sound. Only trouble is I have no idea where to look! The Arabic playlists on Spotify are all full of modern pop stuff, but I prefer guitar-based songs, and more traditional styles.

    Like this:


    I know this is not the most popular genre out there but I am desperate! If anyone has any recs lemme know.

    Also... this song is not exactly what I'm looking for but I want to share it with everyone because it rules a lot.


    @“marurun”#p72151 ever heard Marquee Moon? I think that might be what you're looking for

    @"wickedcestus"#p74266 the habibi funk compilations are good, but maybe not as traditional as what you're looking for. I'd be interested
    in any recommendations on this topic too...major blindspot for me. TBH you might just want to
    ask a middle aged Arab person for advice.

    @“marurun”#p72009 have you ever come across sexy toads and frogs friends circle (STAFFcirc for short)? all the volumes are free to snag and they're such grab bags of electronic music that you could probably find some cool musicians in there.


    @“antillese”#p72167 Black Sheep rules. It’s my favorite Metric song, but I don’t care for the Brie Larson interpretation.

    ever listen to emily haines and the soft skeleton? https://youtu.be/PpGr8ZKm9Qg