XIII Soundtrack, Future Primitive Sound, 2003
With its cel-shaded graphics, XIII sported an unusual look for a first person shooter, and its score only serves to reinforce the impression that this is an extraordinary game, at least stylistically. Bringing together various artists of San Francisco-based music label Future Primitive Sound, the XIII soundtrack is quite unique within Western game music and an absolutely masterful blend of the musical past and present. 1970s funk and jazz are the foundations at the outset of XIII, but very soon, the artists not only smoothly blend various 70s music styles, but mix them with contemporary influences such as hip hop beats and increasingly creative electronic manipulations. The result is a sometimes head-spinning concoction that delivers tight beats as well as a tense atmosphere dripping with suspense and paranoia – perfectly suited for the game’s narrative revolving around conspiracies and amnesia. Like XIII‘s protagonist, listeners can never be quite sure where they’re standing, with the music’s textures and beats constantly shifting, moving into unforeseen directions to create innovative sound collages that are both virtuosic and focused.
Not commercially available anymore – try music streaming services or second hand stores.