When I went to PAX East last year, I got to see a number of interesting video game musical acts. One of them that stood out to me was a group called Supercommuter. It was a interesting act, He rapped over what sounded like game boy style chip tunes. I have to admit, for a guy who’s really not into Rap or hip-hop I found it pretty damn catchy.
But later on that year I went to a show at the Grog Shop to see my favorite video game metal band since they were opening for MC Chris. Chris was good and my guys slayed as usual, but the acts that really caught my attention were two openers: A guy named Richie Branson and a guy who went by Mega Ran.
Mega Ran (AKA Random) opened the show with Bassil, the drummer from Powerglove, by doing a freestyle rap about who he saw in the crowd. Aside from being incredibly funny and entertaining, he had a pretty good flow to his stuff. Now I can’t claim to be an aficionado of what makes good rap, but what I can tell you is I had a crystallizing moment during his set: People rapping over chip tunes is pretty fuckin rad. Random followed his freestyle with a series of songs based off old NES video games such as Little Nemo the Dream Master and Mega Man as well as what sounded like some original chip tune compositions.
I had the chance to meet with the guy after his set before MC Chris went on, and he was pretty happy to talk to a new fan. I picked up his compilation album with Richie Branson which was based off Ghouls and Ghosts, which was also pretty awesome. Since then I’ve been keeping an eye on Random to see when he’d next come to town.
Doing this I found out that he recently released a concept album called “River City Random” which of course is based off my favorite NES game ever River City Ransom. He’s also got a large number of concept albums such as “Black Materia” from Final Fantasy, “Forever Famicom” which borrows from all sorts of games, and he cuts a number of singles such as a “Thank you rap” for the now closed Nintendo Power magazine or his new release “Wreck It Ran”.
Random is quickly making me a fan of his work, and I think he’s definitely one of the names I bring up now when I talk about chiptune or video game music. So give a couple of these select tracks a listen. If you like it you can find more of his stuff on his page (he’s got a lot of free downloads in there) and he also released a free sampler album on destructiod.. So there is no reason not to give him a chance, it might open a new horizon. Certainly did for me.