As some of you know, I grew up with LucasArts adventure games. Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, Monkey Island... and of course, Sam and Max Hit the Road. The soundtrack to the latter, composed by Peter McConnell, Clint Bajakian, and Michael Land was always a classic. Both iconic and astoundingly weird, it fit the game perfectly. Over the years I’d received various requests to remix the music from it, but sadly, never quite got around to it.
Fast forward to the dawn of episodic gaming, and my invitation to check out Sam and Max Season One, by Telltale Games. I was skeptical, to say the least. Could they really do justice to the style and character established in the original game? And more importantly... would the music stand up?
Well, I was very pleasantly surprised. The game was fun, well done, hilarious, and... the music was awesome. Jared Emerson-Johnson, this composer who I hadn’t heard of before, knocked it out of the park. The entire soundtrack is full of lush, lengthy, well-developed compositions that are simultaneously musically complex, and also perfect for the environments they create within the game. So, when it came time to honor new composers for American Pixels, I knew I wanted to arrange something from Sam and Max and honor Jared accordingly. And since it’s a theme that keeps coming back as you walk around the game, I picked the “City Streets” music, which you can listen to here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vul-LQvE4E
Now, many of you also know that I like doing stylistic homages to legends from the tracking scene, and this felt like a perfect opportunity to mimic the one and only Purple Motion. He was a member of the demoscene group Future Crew, a collective of musicians who truly set the tone for up and coming trackers in the early 90s. While there are many phenomenal tracks by the guy that I could point out, I think the one that comes to mind as an all-time classic is “Insideout,” which you can listen to here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aOlbFBSyxY
Now while Insideout was crafted within the limitations of the day (channels, effects, etc.), I thought it would be fun to marry the two concepts – the music of Sam and Max in the style of Purple Motion – while also taking the soundscape to a new level with my 40+ tracker channels, proper post-processing, etc. All said and done, the final piece is a 4 and a half minute piece of tracker homage insanity. Enjoy!