Brave Wave Productions Announces THREE MOVEMENTS, the First Solo Album by Mega Man Composer Manami Matsumae

 

Manami Matsumae, in collaboration with Tokyo-based music label Brave Wave Productions, unveils her first-ever original solo album THREE MOVEMENTS, which celebrates her thirty years of working as a composer in the video game industry. Matsumae’s career began in 1987 when she graduated from the Osaka University of Arts and joined Capcom’s Sound Production Department that same year. The solo album features Matsumae’s signature catchy and memorable tunes, while showcasing a new side of her that fans rarely get to see. She ventures into chiptunes, trance, orchestral, and ambient soundscapes – woven into a classical narrative that splits this blend of genres into three distinct parts. “By this point, I've created music for a number of video games,” says Matsumae about the album’s diverse lineup of tracks. “These songs come in a variety of genres, and I want everyone to listen to the different styles I've experienced throughout the years, which is why I ended up creating my album in this fashion.”

The solo album will be released on December 17th 2017, thirty years after the release of the original Mega Man. The album is available to pre-order on Bandcamp right now, with four tracks available to stream: the Mega Man-inspired ‘Fight For Peace’, the action packed ‘Aerial Clash’, the gloomy ‘Lost Artifact’, and the melodramatic ‘Elegy’. Matsumae deviates from her signature style at times, opting for unclear melodies and structures like in ‘Lost Artifact’. “This track is indeed different from the melodic songs I'm known for,” explains Matsumae. “I composed the song by relying on changing chords. I previously created the ambient version of the Mighty No. 9 Main Theme using this method. For me, these types of songs aren't at all difficult to create and is actually my favorite compositional method.”

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For the album’s visual theme, Manami worked with label director Mohammed Taher and New York-based photographer Bao Ngo to capture the full breadth of her music. “Unlike the typical solo album, this isn’t a genre album,” explains director Taher. “Manami crosses chiptunes with everything from classical piano and SNES-inspired beats to melodically vague soundscapes and orchestral numbers. The music influenced our photography, and we toured around the Swiss Alps looking for the perfect shots.” The front cover was shot by photographer Bao Ngo with a long lens and symbolizes the album’s distinct genre-sweeping style, with the CD and vinyl booklets featuring full-page spreads of Ngo and Taher’s photographic escapade.

Matsumae’s music has touched the hearts of gamers since December 1987, when CAPCOM released the original Mega Man for the Nintendo Entertainment System, ushering in one of that company’s longstanding and most recognizable gaming icons. Since then, Matsumae has worked on dozens of game soundtracks, such as standouts Mega Man 10, Shovel Knight, and Mighty No. 9. She has most recently worked with Brave Wave on original songs and collaborative albums, notably collaborating with Evanescence’s bassist Tim McCord and contemporary chiptune extraordinaire Chipzel, thereby penetrating the borders of her home country of Japan to reach new audiences all around the world. She continues to be an integral part of Brave Wave, and is currently working with label director Taher on the upcoming mega-collaboration album World 1-3 slated for release in 2019, following the #1 album World 1-2, as well as contributing to the ZX Spectrum album Magenta by C-jeff which is planned for January 2018.

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Dugo - Lingua Franca / The Solo Album by Takahiro Izutani

"Dugo is my life's work."

So begins Izutani in his liner notes to Lingua Franca, his latest solo album under the moniker Dugo and the first to be released on Brave Wave.

 
 

While Izutani is well known to video game fans for his contributions to the Metal Gear and Bayonetta series, his body of work spans across genres in Japanese popular music as well, perhaps most notably his work for pop superstar Ayumi Hamasaki.

But Lingua Franca, with its development lasting almost 10 years, is close to Izutani's heart.

From a 2015 interview with VGMO, Izutani explains: "I started Dugo in order to discover my own musical identity, without thinking about its financial aspects or whether it would actually be released. [...] Dugo is what represents me, so it’s going to be subjective and personal for me. It needs to be something I can do with no strings attached."

 
 

To bring the vision of his grand solo project to life, Izutani enlisted the help of a talented international team of violinists, guitarists, and artists, including commissioning album art photography from Brave Wave's own Mohammed Taher.

The result is a genre-defying, multifaceted album much different than anything Izutani has composed before yet still retaining his signature sound. We're excited and proud to present this unique, deeply personal album to fans and newcomers alike.

Lingua Franca is available from today on Brave Wave in digital, CD, and for the first time ever for a solo artist on the label  a limited vinyl release signed by Izutani himself.

Visit Brave Wave's store to order, or use the widget to preview the tracks below.

The signed vinyl set is available for pre-order from our partners at Bigwax.

Pre-order the New Pressing of Street Fighter II The Definitive Soundtrack 4-LP Box Set

The wait is over! Brave Wave is excited to announce that a new pressing of the sold-out 4-LP Vinyl Box Set of Generation Series 001: Street Fighter II The Definitive Soundtrack is available to pre-order today!

Pre-order herehttp://bigwax.fr/en/brave-wave/gs-001

If you missed out on the last pressing, this is your chance to own this beautiful box set containing 4 colored discs each accompanied by a unique LP sleeve with character art by Akiman. The full-sized booklet contains a foreword by Yoshinori Ono, Executive Producer of the Street Fighter series; an interview with composer Yoko Shimomura; an essay by Matt Leone, Features Editor at Polygon; and original archival artworks.

Street Fighter II The Definitive Soundtrack, released in 2015, features a new digital restoration approved by composer Yoko Shimomura, and includes the full arcade soundtrack: the original CPS-1 score that appeared in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, plus the newly arranged CPS-2 score for Super Street Fighter II Turbo. For further information on the implemented techniques, you can read FACT's interview with our recording and mixing engineers.

Note: The new pressing will be made by a new factory, therefore things like printed colors and paper material/feel might exhibit slight cosmetic differences to the original product. The sound quality is unaltered.


We are excited to announce a new and exciting partnership with France-based BIG WAX, who will lend their expertise by operating Brave Wave's new vinyl online shop located at http://bigwax.fr/brave-wave. Big Wax will handle all future fulfilment and customer service for Brave Wave vinyl releases, including the upcoming Generation Series 002: Shovel Knight release (coming next week!) and Generation Series 003, which will be announced in October.

Big Wax operates out of Europe, but offers shipping options for our customers based in North America. Please note that the new Brave Wave vinyl shop operated by Big Wax has a separate customer service policy from the Brave Wave shop on Bandcamp. The terms and conditions can be found here: http://bigwax.fr/en/about/terms-and-conditions

We are also equally excited to announce a new partnership with Mondo who will be carrying Brave Wave's Generation Series products on their shop. Mondo will offer Street Fighter II The Definitive Soundtrack for pre-order at around the same time as Big Wax.

Brave Wave @ Japan Expo Paris 2016

Saori Kobayashi and two fans at Japan Expo Paris 2015

Saori Kobayashi and two fans at Japan Expo Paris 2015

We here at Brave Wave are happy to announce that we will be returning to Japan Expo in Paris, France, for the second consecutive year! Last year's event was an incredible experience for us, and we're so excited to meet even more fans and VGM enthusiasts this year.

Our star guest this year will be composer Saori Kobayashi, who attended Japan Expo last year as well. This time around, she'll not only be at the Brave Wave booth to greet fans, but will also be performing two concerts along with the Japan Game Music Orchestra and vocalist Eri Ito. Definitely a performance not to be missed!

At the Brave Wave booth, Founder/Director Mohammed Taher and CEO Alex Aniel will be present, and Brave Wave merchandise will also be sold. We'll have much of our catalog on hand, including CDs of Street Fighter II: The Definitive Soundtrack, Saori's new solo album Terra Magica, Journey by AKANE, Smoke Thief's debut album Heart Beat Circuit, and our bestselling album World 1-2: The Complete Collection. We'll also have listening stations set up, so come treat your ears and hopefully discover some music you'll love!

For exact details and Saori's schedule, see below:

Japan Expo
July 7th - 10th, 2016
Parc des Expositions de Paris-Nord-Villepinte
93420 Villepinte - FRANCE

Brave Wave booth location:
Hall 6 / Booth number: A616

Saori Kobayashi's performance times:
July 8, 2016
8:45-10:00 - Autograph Session (@SUMIRE Stage)
16:30-17:15 - Performance (@KARASU Stage)

July 10, 2016
14:45-15:30 - Performance (@KARASU Stage)
16:15-17:00 - Autograph Session (@SUMIRE Stage)

Terra Magica release date and exciting pre-order remix update

 

After more than a year in development, composer Saori Kobayashi's latest musical journey will arrive on Bandcamp and iTunes on April 13. For those who know her prior work on Panzer Dragoon Saga, Orta and Crimson Dragon, you know what to expect - soaring, beautiful tunes that whisk you away into a fanciful, imaginative soundscape. We know these words can sound hyperbolic, but believe us, this is thoughtful, notable work.

What is Terra Magica? Here's Saori's own words from last year:

"For my solo album, the music takes precedence over any story or imagery, allowing listeners to visualize a world that only I have created. I hope to create an album whose music will inspire listeners and give them complete control over what they see in realm of their own imaginations. 

"I personally enjoy fantasy games and RPGs; worlds where dragons soar across the sky, and cosmos where a vast bed of planets lie scattered across... these images are my fantasies. What are yours? I hope that when people listen to my solo album, they conjure up their own worlds like I do as I compose with Brave Wave."

While most of the tracks are instrumental, you'll also be treated to occasional vocals from Yumiko Takahashi (Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Orta) and Eri Ito (Saga and Orta). Their spirited contributions further elevate the Terra Magica experience and give the album a Studio Ghibli (or specifically Joe Hisaishi) feeling.

Rounding out the experience is the package itself. The art recalls unique architecture and distant horizons of past Panzer titles, and that's no accident - it's from Saga illustrator Manabu Kusunoki! Series fans will know the style well and how it's hard to articulate the "feeling" Panzer Dragoon artwork places in your mind... but it's our hope this album cover stirs those same feelings in you today.

But Terra Magica has two more important tidbits worth sharing ahead of its release - remixes by Castlevania's Michiru Yamane and Bayonetta's Takahiro Izutani. If you pre-order the album starting today, you'll have immediate access to these tracks ahead of the album's 4/13 release. 

The music found within Panzer Dragoon Saga and Orta, and now Terra Magica, further demonstrate the talents and range of video game music composers. We sincerely hope you give it a listen and share with anyone who loves music in general - video game or not!

If you enjoy Terra Magica, then be sure to check out AKANE's 2nd album Journey, which Brave Wave released in September 2014. Like Terra Magica, Journey features new original music inspired by the Panzer Dragoon series of games, as well as compositions from Crimson Dragon, Crimson Dragon: Side Story, and a special appearance by legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu (of Final Fantasy). 

 

Photos, release info for Street Fighter II: The Definitive Soundtrack vinyl set

 

While the Bandcamp page already has a handful of gorgeous product shots for our upcoming SFII album, Mohammed has shared brand new, not-studio-fancy pictures of the album and its discs in the real world.

For those who've pre-ordered the set, we will begin shipping them your way later this month and into early April. We're quite proud of this project and can't wait for you to hold this in your own two hands.

Please note the price is now $85 for new orders and any orders from subsequent pressings. We priced the 4-LP set quite competitively during the pre-order phase but now that we've begun shipping orders and have a better sense of the cost, we had to slightly increase the price. Still, even at $85 you're getting an incredible amount of music, top-tier packaging and access to digital FLAC/MP3 files.

For more information on the creation of the SFII set, please check out our podcast!