Thursday, 15 June 2017

Timothy Steven Clarke "Starsiege OST" (1999)


In a similar vein to Frank Klepacki's Command & Conquer soundtracks, Starsige is another video game soundtrack of weird and wonderful Industrial music colliding with Techno, Breakbeat, Cyber Punk, Metal and all with shades of Ambience steering the musical intensity. This is the sort of music you could grow to love after hearing it over and over in the background of your favorite childhood games. The difference is I never played Starsiege, It was recommended to me based on my adoration of the C&C soundtracks. I'd always yearned to hear more music in the Industrial Metal styling of Frank Klepacki and this is the closest Ive come yet. Unlike the back road to bands like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, here is a record that comes after the likes of Tiberian Dawn & Red Alert that pulls influences from Frank's particular flair and contribution to the genre.

All I know of Timothy is his work on this soundtrack and its squeal. His distinction is in the detailed layering of sounds that stack up in these compositions, throwing all sorts of guitars, synthesizers, drum sequences and samples into overwhelming blocks of deep, textural sound that charge at you with big theatrical directions. That's just some of the tracks though, others dispel the lively energy, creeping into mysterious territory with eerie, unearthly synths brooding dense atmospheres over janky disjointed beats. Thick and blunt with its delivery, many of the synths and oddities are paraded upfront with no measure for subtlety. The resulting songs can often be very alike to some of Frank's own but Timothy gets the chemistry right, emulating a rather wild and fringe sound that will turn off many. The vocal presence, where it turns up, is surprisingly dark, offering alien warped voices and distorted shouts in the vein of Aggro-Tech.

The soundtrack is split onto two discs, the first is rather disapointing, with just six tracks it feels like the projects b-sides, with exception to "SS2" and its thudding, pounding break of the Amen Loop, bordering on Hardstyle. The album gets going on the second disc with the anthemic, blood pumping "You Got". From there on the pace and variety is just fine, constantly mixing up the approach, fluctuating the intensity and maintaining the same mysterious, alien, cybernetic atmosphere. Its a journey, a trip and has totally scratched the itch, one to go on the playlist with some of my other favorite video game soundtracks. Great discovery!

Favorite Tracks: You Got, Newtech, SS4, Purge, Watching, SS1,
Rating: 6/10

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