Go Straight!

Published April 5, 2012 by jcrosland

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Above: Yuzo Koshiro in the studio, date unknown

Yuzo Koshiro is one of many men responsible for making video game music more than just a sequence of beeps and blips. This article explains his importance to me, a long-time gamer and lover of (good) video game music.

Born in December 12, 1967, Hino, Tokyo, Koshiro is widely regarded as “one of the most influential innovators in chiptune music and video game sound design. He’s produced music in multiple genres, including electronic music (dance, Eurobeat, house, jungle, techno, trance), hip hop, jazz, classical/orchestra, and synth rock” (taken from Wikipedia).

In an article by Nintendo Power, the Japanese musician was quoted as being “arguably the greatest game-music composer of the 16-bit age…[he[ created some of the most memorable game music of the late ’80s and early ’90s.”

Famous titles which include his special brand of “progressive, catchy, techno-style compositions” are Nihon Falcom’s Dragon Slayer and the Ys series, and Sega’s The Revenge of Shinobi and Streets of Rage series. Koshiro’s compositions were “far more advanced than what players were used to…[this] set a “new high watermark for what music in games could sound like.”

Koshiro’s influence extends beyond the video game music industry. Artists such as Ikonika, Frentel, Janet Jackson, and Darkstar have credited the musician with inspiring them to created works of a similar kind. Even electronica and dubstep producers cite Koshiro as having influenced them in some way.

Here is a complete list of Koshiro’s video game music credits in alphabetical order:

Other projects include Merregnon (both volumes)Ten Plants; the Street Fighter Tribute Album (for an M. Bison stage remix), and FM Sound Module Maniax.

And here are a few samples of Koshiro’s work:

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