Reflecting on World 1-2

One year ago this month, in May of 2013, World 1-2 was released to what seemed to me as a roaring plaudit. It felt good. Partly because I had no expectations and I was simply having fun with what we created together — I just wanted to get out of my own bubble and see what people would think of this weird gigantic album that I made solely by emailing people and asking for permission.

It's quite liberating to make something without prior experience in the field nor how things work, as intimidating as that could be.  It made me smile to see World 1-2 winning a Best Remix Album award from VGMO, in a category that included Nobuo Uematsu, Square Enix, Capcom, and others. That was a nice surprise because the album wasn't aspiring to be anything other than itself: a project that kind of celebrates video game music and its immense diversity, by highlighting forgotten composers and brave remixers . I do realize that it shook things up and introduced new ideas and approaches, if I may say so myself, and I admire that people seem to get it when it comes to its purpose and intent. It was entirely made with pure love and child-like excitement, and that struck a chord with many. It certainly makes me happy.

Looking back at it, World 1-2 was a people's album. I think. Lots of remixes, relatable video game art, an easy narrative to grasp onto (despite the intimidating track list). If you're a fan of video games, it's not hard to enjoy the album. There's at least a handful of tracks you'd love instantly, and that'll make you work your way through it.

I've been moving away from its formula ever since and I wonder if that would resonate with people more. I mean, it's not easily relatable and I understand that.  Starting with In Flux, I'm more interested in exploring new themes and weird ideas that seem super interesting to me, but are probably a bit more between the lines to people who aren't very invested in what I do with the label. No more mega remix albums like World 1-2 (except for client jobs) — only new ideas and initiatives. I still have one foot in the making side and another in the fan side, so I'm not totally absorbed with what I'm making yet; I'm not lost in my own sphere. I don't think that'll happen soon as well, because work doesn't exist in a vacuum, and delighting people is a very important goal to me: I care about making people delightful and excited with the stuff I make. But, I guess, my ego doesn't want to repeat the same trick. World 1-2 was novel; repeating it would be counter to the potential of my ability as a maker, and the broad range of ideas that Brave Wave is able to give birth to.

I guess I'm thinking out loud. Well, in any case, please look forward to the few albums we're gonna be releasing in the next few months. I've been working day and night on Brave Wave and I'm very excited to let people finally hear the new stuff we're all working on. Keiji Yamagishi (of Ninja Gaiden) has been working on his album for a full year now. That's crazy. We're trying to implement so many things and that pushed us back a bit. But that's the album I've been waiting for all my life, the album that I waited for Keiji to make since first playing Captain Tsubasa 2 on my Famicom, and for that I'm giving it my utmost will and dedication. We all are. But let's talk about that some other time, when we have more to show you.

Thanks for sticking with us.

Mohammed Taher

Director of Koopa Soundworks.