Friday, September 26, 2014

Soundtrack September: Axelay

Game: Axelay (1992)
Platform: SNES
Composer: Kudo Taro

Axelay was a relatively under-the-radar space shooter from Konami. It used the SNES's so-called "Mode 7" background scaling and rotation system extensively and ambitiously (if not always effectively) to depict the space fighter Axelay's mission to....I don't know, do what ever. (I was never that interested in the story elements behind games where all you do is shoot everything that appears in front of you.)

Kudo's soundtrack features ostinato synth motifs, energetic drums and bass lines that sound like the composer really cared about the bass. The opening stage's music, in true Konami fashion, sets the mood with prog rock organ chords that could have come straight out of an Emerson, Lake and Palmer recording. My favorite is "Silence," the steadily percolating backdrop for Stage 4, a gloomy cavern populated with mostly organic enemies.

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