Why Does This Video Game Soundtrack Sound Like Ass?

This week a video game reviewer posted a short clip from a Nintendo Switch racing game featuring one of the most confusing pieces of music I've ever heard.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7kvpza/future-aero-racing-s-ultra-switch-game-soundtrack-sounds-bad-explained

There are ways to do rapid key changes in music and this provides a pretty comprehensive list of all the ways to not do that.


Does anyone have a link to the actual song? I want to hear this trainwreck.

Also I’ve been watching 12tone on Nebula, and what I really want is for him to have an Unraveled-style mental break down video where he tries to figure out what this song is doing.

Waiting on the SilvaGunner high quality rip

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Here’s the tweet with the song that was going around earlier this week:

And here’s the song by itself on YouTube:

On a somewhat related note, the tweet in question lead to me listening to a bunch of “terrible video game music” and found myself to be genuinely offended, or at the very least extremely annoyed, at what most people consider to be terrible music. On the bright side, it lead to me hearing the soundtrack for Evergrace (and it’s sequel) for the first time and they’ve become instant favorites of mine!

Also, I came across a fascinating article about the wild story behind the composer who worked on an infamous rerelease for the original Resident Evil. Here’s the most egregious song since I think all the YouTube links are broken in the article: Resident Evil Director's Cut DualShock OST - Mansion Basement (Reupload) - YouTube


Someone should try transposing the individual parts to check if it was at one point a normal song that got mixed up and no one noticed.

EDIT: never mind. That vocal melody is just strange

Yooooooo this track is dope. Its cacophony is delightful. Is there more from the soundtrack?

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First 15 seconds: “This seems all right, what’s the big–”

*vocals start*



It’s a bop, actually.


It has all the ingredients of a bop, which makes the key signature argument it’s having with itself all the more jarring


It’s a statement.

This is a rejection of modern harmonic theory present in pop music by applying polytonality to contrary melodies. By placing the secondary key precisely at the tritone, it awakens one’s mind to the harmonic landscape possible within even the limited scope of the Western chromatic scale. It begins with the discordant bit, but briefly breaks to moderate stability with the vocals and the main melody. But then, it the secondary and tertiary keys break into the song, shocking your senses instantly. This is a radical deviation of the typical expectations of something like, this kind of pseudo-house music in a racing game. It is a profound meditation on genre, tonality and harmony.

This song is not a mess, it’s a masterpiece. It’s part of a long lineage of musicians like Schoenberg, Stravinsky… before them, with Bach… probably extending beyond recorded musical history. We need to wake up and recognize the immense harmonic universe available to us, beyond monotonality, beyond the Western chromatic scale. beyond tonality itself. No one is going to stop them now, baby. No one is going to put them down.

Or, you know, they just made a blooper on the MIDI files.


The fact that this song does nearly everything wrong that you can do wrong (except rhythm, it has a steady beat), and we still recognize it as being music, is both wild and strangely reassuring to me.


I know you’re being at least partially ironic, but HARD agree! Burial is constantly playing in that space, and they’re (rightfully) considered a genius! We have to open our minds to other modalities and paradigms in music!!!

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while i was being very ironic and silly, the moment the second lead and the bass kick in with the vocals around second 14 in the clip hits me in a way i cannot fully explain

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Yeah! When the vocals come in the discordance tickles a part of my brain placed there by listening to too much Cursive in high school, and I go “this is kinda cool!” I’m not going to pretend that this song is the opus of an unappreciated genius, or that it was even done on purpose, but it always makes me kind of sad to see any non-standard musical choice marked as objectively bad. It’s totally fine to not like a thing, but I just don’t understand how you get from there to saying that a creator made art wrong because they broke some made up rule. I dunno, maybe my adverse reaction to cinema-sinseque criticism broke my brain so hard that I overcorrected the other way.

Anyways, I don’t think anyone on here has said anything to that effect! I just saw a lot of reactions to this video with that vibe on Twitter and YouTube so I had to vent, lest these thoughts fill my brain for weeks.


I completely agree with everything Notanimal said, if we’re talking about the Evergrace OST above. I think that’s a good example of something that seems chaotic and dissonant at first, but really comes together nicely once you see what it’s trying to do. I don’t know music words, but I hope you get what I mean.

None of that applies to the original bad song in this thread. It sounds like someone who didn’t know what they were doing layered random samples over each other in garage band, without realizing they don’t mesh well, and not in an interesting way.

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Extremely relatable and part of the reason my taste in music cannot be trusted lol

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Oh sure, when Captain Beefheart does it, it’s “one of the most important experimental rock albums of all time” but when I play in a different key, people tell me to “tune my instrument properly” and that I “don’t understand how Audacity works” and that “we’re just playing Brown Eyed Girl”


I totally agree that the original song from the thread is not really interesting beyond the initial novelty, and that they probably weren’t playing with dissonance on purpose! A lot of the weirder stuff on the Evergrace OST is super successful at doing dissonance right, and that’s why it’s the music I added to my weekly work rotation, and not the song from the article :stuck_out_tongue:

@EXWeis I’ve tried revisiting Cursive recently, and it’s a bit too misogynist for me to really vibe with these days (like most of the punk/emo adjacent music from the time). BUT, listening to their music was the first time I thought to myself this is kind of ugly… I like it, which is a core part of my music taste at this point.

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Pretty much exactly why I haven’t tried to go back to them. It was very time and place for me, and I appreciate how cursive developed my tastes and helped me process some tough feelings, but I’m not in that space anymore (thank god lol).

Anyway this song owns and is inspiring on multiple levels. Art has no rules. Anyone who says otherwise is a cop. Gonna strive to be discordant as hell in my own music going forward lmao.