After two years of work, musician Keiji Yamagishi and director Mohammed Taher are ready to unveil their year-long project titled THE RETRO-ACTIVE EXPERIENCE under the Brave Wave® label. Keiji Yamagishi is a Famicom-era pioneer and has composed music for some of the most beloved gaming franchises, notably Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Bowl, Captain Tsubasa and Gitaroo Man. Twenty-five years later and surer of his place in life, Keiji Yamagishi is stepping into the limelight once more to present his first-ever solo project, split into three parts to be released throughout 2015, beginning with Retro-Active Pt. 1 in February. Inspired by his Famicom days and fueled with more passion and focus than ever, Keiji Yamagishi sends us all into a "futuristic and emotional chiptunes world", as he himself has described it.
“I've made many songs and sound effects for Famicom games in the late 80’s and I love Famicom sounds,” Yamagishi says enthusiastically. “With Retro-Active, I created an album with sounds that are inspired from various old soundchips. I feel that my music is different from contemporary pop or game music. There might be some people who are unfamiliar with my songs, and I would be glad to invite them and let them hear for themselves the attraction of modern Famicom-inspired sounds from a Famicom composer.”
In Retro-Active Pt. 1, Keiji Yamagishi infuses his early Famicom roots with modern sounds and production in collaboration with notable audio and visual artists, including Marco Guardia (of Flutlicht, DJ Tatana, Monomirror) as mixing engineer. The mini-album sees Yamagishi dabble in melodic and guitar-driven compositions, including collaborations with Mega Man’s legendary composer Manami Matsumae and eclectic guitarist Stemage (of Metroid Metal). With art by David Hellman (of Braid; Second Quest) and Cory Schmitz (of SoundShapes; Below), director Mohammed Taher works to combine audio and visual into an explosive and exciting comeback.
Retro-Active Pt. 1 is available to pre-order now, following a Polygon.com feature about Yamagishi and his Famicom work. The album contains 9 tracks and will release on February 5th, 2015 with remixes by Brave Wave’s Takahiro Izutani (of Metal Gear Solid 4, Bayonetta) and newcomer Smoke Thief, as well as Riki Arai, Yamagishi’s longtime friend from their Famicom days.
Memories of T (feat. Stemage)
Kaleidoscope (feat. Manami Matsumae)
First Contact (Takahiro Izutani Remix)
First Contact (Riki Arai Remix)
Bounty Hunter (Smoke Thief Remix)
Yamagishi is currently working on composing the second part of the Retro-Active project as well as designing the 2-disc physical release (details TBA) with director Taher and designers Hellman and Schmitz to be released later this year. Simultaneously he is composing music for video game Exile's End by Marvelous.
“My music is not only based on nostalgia,” Yamagishi emphasizes. “With Retro-Active Pt. 1, we employed heavy guitars, dance beats, Vocaloid, and other modern techniques. My aim was to create a futuristic and emotional chiptunes world. Welcome to my world!”