(By Gene Yraola)
You may have never heard of the upcoming Playstation video game Hohokum or even know what it looks or sounds like, but if you’re a fan of experimental ambient music, its the only game that will matter.
Already considered by many to be one of the most charming games of the year by the top video game critics, it’s edgy and hypnotic score is probably one of the best that has ever been released of its kind. Featuring music by a number of artists on the electronic/experimental label Ghostly International, Hohokum is a brilliantly designed game that is open-ended in objectives. Its developer Richard Hogg describes the game as simply being “relaxing in a space and just enjoying the experience and the music, instead of trying to complete it to make progress.”
The music itself blends perfectly with the game creating a truly rich and vivid sensory experience. In fact watching the game’s surreal visuals as you listen to the music is practically looking at a full-fledged conceptual video treatment that’s better than any lyric or music video put out in the last year alone (Imagine a souped-up version of Cee Lo’s lyric video for “F*ck You” but on acid).
Colorful and dreamy, the score is absolutely mind-blowing in ever sense of the word. The game’s trailer reveal in 2013 featured the music of Scott Hansen, aka Tycho, whose upcoming album Awake on March 18 is already all the rave with critics and fans alike. In essence the trailer for Hohokum was almost a promo video for Tycho himself as many discovered his music through it. Hohokum is a significant moment in gaming as it represents the first time a video game has introduced a new audience to a musician in an truly integrated manner, as well as vice versa for fans of the musician to be enveloped by a medium they may never given much artistic consideration to.
Unlike the uncorrelated music integrations into sports games such as Madden or the 2K sports series, or the marketing shovel of music into music games such as Guitar Hero, Hohokum‘s music inclusions makes sense and works in unison with each other that just feels organic and natural. There’s a flow to the music of Hohokum that stands out from the typical composed game soundtrack faire and actually enhances the experience of the gameplay.
The most recent trailer for Hohokum featuring Tycho’s label mate Ben Benjamin again shows how beautiful the music and visuals work together. You almost feel you want to play the game to hear the music. You almost don’t want to listen to the music without the gameplay visuals. Everything feels perfectly balanced together.
Many are discovering Tycho, Ben Benjamin and their Ghostly International camp through the announcements of the Hohokum‘s gameplay footage, while many are discovering the game itself through the game’s tie-in with the aforementioned artists, lending heavy artistic cred to the game itself.
Hohokum may just be a game but its the one game that looking to be truly a work of art, both visually and sonically.This entry was posted in General and tagged ambient, ben benjamin, electronic, experimental, hohokum, playstation, post-rock ambient, tycho on .
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