Review: Mainfinger’s Mode 7 Album (Music)

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Folks, friends, buddies.  We, like you, love game-inspired music.  When we were looking for bookend music for the podcast we scoured everywhere for chiptune songs, hoping to find something that was bleeping and blipping enough to evoke a good, retro vibe.  Right under our nose however was Mainfinger, friend of the show.  Since then we’ve used music from Mainfinger’s Mode 7 album on the show on a regular basis.

So, what about the rest of the album?  Is it a musical enterprise that has ventured where no man has before, or something else?  Something… more sinister?  Okay, it’s not sinister.  Read on anyways for our review of the album, and why we think you should pick it up.

Mainfinger is the music production name of Jesse Gregory of Seattle.  Creating music for a few years now, Jesse has put his love of gaming front and center in his songs.  The majority of the tunes on the latest album are mashups and remixes, taking inspiration from Zelda 2 and James Brown for instance.

Likes

Mashups: From the outset of the first song on the CD, “Unpleasant Noise”, Mainfinger has created a fun, original group of mashup tunes.  “Unpleasant Noise”, a James Brown ultimix, gets me pumped in the morning when I drive to work.  “Relaxin’ in Hyrule” is a downtempo, chilled beat that I love working to if anything than for the Zelda 2 beat.  The mashups are great choices.

Remixes: Remixing videogame music is always a shot in the dark.  Sometimes it sounds good, and other times it sounds like a speed run through a mine field.  Thankfully for Mainfinger Mode 7 showcases the former.  “Enter the Shrine” and “Doomsday Village” are epic.  The songs are all familiar, even if I couldn’t remember where I heard them.  Gregory knows games and game music, and plays up his vast love of the genre by finding harmonic gems in the OST of several games of yore.

Variety: There’s a great variety of music on the album.  From upbeat to downtempo to straight up remix of OST, the album has a bit for everyone.  The original songs on the disc are also creative, showcasing Gregory’s play with various music tools and effects.

Dislikes

Too much variety? – The only issue with having so much variety in an album/project is that the overall theme tieing it all together tends to suffer.  While all the songs are great on their own, there isn’t much to reason why they are all on the same album apart from them being just the newest songs he has produced.

And finally…

I thoroughly enjoyed Mode 7.  Game remix albums are often good to listen to in moderation.  While Mode 7 is fun and enjoyable, it wont necessarily replace Royksopp on my playlist bit rather be added in.  It’s a solid effort that I recommend checking out, as finding favorite remixes or mashups on the disc is something that all listeners will experience.

Mainfinger can be found here on the web

And now:  WE HAVE A COPY OF MODE 7 TO GIVE AWAY!  To get the CD, just leave a comment in this post telling us what retro gaming theme you would like to hear remixed.  All comments need to be in before 1PM EST on Friday, August 14th.  One comment per person.

Author: Dalibor Dimovski

Dali is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of SideQuesting, as well as the co-Founder of CarDesignFetish and the founder of MakLink. Dali is also a car designer, deejay, and introductory beer-brewer.

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