There was an old arcade near me when I was growing up. It had some proper classics: Street Fighter 2, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage shit like that. Me and my mate Tiny Tom used to spend hours and hours in that place and it was fuckin ace, the funny thing being that all these years later it is not the games that have stuck with me, I hardly ever play with ma joystick anymore, it’s the music, music that sounded like it was from a future that we had created in our own heads.
Of course, that type of music then went on to form a genre of its own, chip tune, which definitely had its good points but I struggled to listen to any of that for prolonged periods of time for fear that the novelty factor of the instrumentation might turn my already tired ears into something resembling well chewed Strawberry Hubba Bubba.
I think the secret to using 8-bit synths and the like is to use them sparingly and as an accompaniment to a beat that is made up of instruments unearthed from different historical backgrounds. That’s why this beat Retro Games really tickled my under passage.
It stars off with a melancholic sounding synth playing a sombre sequence and you get the initial feeling that this song is going to be a wee, sad, lonely lament. However, this is not the way this beat is made. As soon as we start feeling sorry for ourselves, a melody from the video arcade down the road starts slowly floating through the window ready to gatecrash this game and offer us a bit of hope, a chance to insert a coin and continue a game we thought we had lost. The melody goes on throughout the entirety of the beat but at no point did I ever get bored of it, and I was more than happy to plop coin after coin into that rusty slot. It really is a lovely beat and you can check it out right here