Kale in Dinoland Soundtrack, Luming Hao, 2012
It’s an intriguing, if cheeky idea: pretend your new iOS game is the port of a long forgotten Game Boy title. Of course, Kale in Dinoland was an original game and not a port, but it gave Luming Hao the chance to write a soundtrack that mimics the nostalgia-inducing timbres of a 1992 Game Boy platformer score, and at the same time expand upon the sound and structure of these vintage works. His compositions are superbly composed chiptune symphonies that develop flawlessly and pile up staggering amounts of enthusiastic arpeggios, bright melody hooks and insidiously catchy rhythms and counter rhythms. More than that, Hao shapes a perfect album arc, starting with the sunny and light-hearted “Test”, before moving to the semi-ambient “Arctic” and the increasingly harsh and claustrophobic “Volcano” and “Pterodacteryl”, before “Mansion” ultimately explodes the Game Boy-homage format and launches into an awe-inspiring, post rock-inspired noise vs. melody showdown. The Kale in Dinoland soundtrack is chiptune music on steroids, as complex as they come, yet always focused on delivering excellent melodies.
Purchase on Bandcamp.