Watch Diggin’ In The Carts, Episode 1

Get your 8-bit groove on with the originators of video game soundtracks in RBMA’s new web series.
By Glen Ferris

Gamers who spent their formative years discovering the joys of 8-bit console classics could no doubt recall every bleep, bloop and dispiriting 'Game Over' noise, but they most likely have no idea who created the soundtrack to their childhood.

Red Bull Music Academy's brand-new web series, Diggin' In The Carts, aims to correct that heinous wrong by heralding the unsung heroes of digital music-making. Episode 1 of the six-part documentary – entitled The Rise Of VGM – goes in search of those who pioneered video gaming's earliest sounds and melodies.

You'll meet the likes of Junko Ozawa, one of Namco's earliest composers, and Hirokazu 'Hip' Tanaka, the man responsible for composing much-loved titles like Metroid and Tetris.

"Hirokazu Tanaka was a composer at Nintendo and created the iconic soundtracks for games like Donkey Kong and Balloon Fight," says Diggin' In The Carts co-director Nick Dwyer. "He loved to listen to reggae and tried to recreate Sly Dunbar's grooves, but with 8-bit sounds.

"These guys really had it down to an art form. That's why we created all those little moments throughout the documentary when the music is heroically played to beautiful scenery: people should actually listen to it as music of its own, and not just as a soundtrack to a video game."

Check out the episode, which also features appearances from the likes of Mobb Deep's Havoc, J-Rocc, Kode 9 and Thundercat, in the player above.

Come back next week (Thursday, September 11) for Episode 2 of Red Bull Music Academy’s Diggin' In The Carts.

Red Bull Music Academy's Diggin' in the Carts with Thundercat.
Go Diggin' with Thundercat © Red Bull Music Academy

RBMA Tokyo 2014 runs from October 12 until November 14. Click here for more info.

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