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Raystorm Neu Tanz Mix

Welcome to the music review at RPG! Our goal is help people see the soundtracks they listen to in a better light as well as help the RPG music lovers out there know what to get and know what crap they should stay the hell away from before they're stuck listening to something so bad, they'll want to drive ice picks into their ears to relieve the pain.

To view our previous reviews, check out the archives

This happens to be my very first Zuntata disc that I own, and I'm glad to say this is a very nice start for me considering Zuntata's amazing library. The music here is remixed and arranged with the intention to be a total techno make-over, and I can say, as being a techno buff, they've achieved their goal flawlessly.

Tamayo Kawamoto, who composed the original Raystorm music and a good deal of other Zuntata soundtracks returns to her synths and performs marvelously. As mentionned, this techno arrangement is heavy on electronical and voice samples, all that please the ear so well. Normally, techno music is reputed to be very complex and difficult to get into, this arranged soundtrack is an exception.

Out of all 19 tracks, none of them gives me the urge to skip. Everything just flows so nicely.

Starting up with Cycloid, this introduces the listener to the electronic stylings of Kawamoto and Zuntata in general. A slow synth melody which starts off as being serene quickly builds up into a more pleasant progression, which showcases the strong techno feel of the album. Fast paced and simply enjoyable listening material, from this opening track, it can only get better.

Geometric City is another standout track, it builds up really quickly and is easily among the better level themes. It consists of backbeats, some smooth piano, flowing synth and a flute, and creates the perfect shooting mood.

Aquarium is another winner, we have flutes, backbeats, a piano, an acoustic guitar, all of that supplemented by a really catchy melody. It has a mediterrean feel to it, which fits the aquatic ambience it's trying to represent. All of that with some sea SFX, like crashing waves and a dolphin's sonar. It's just a neat listening experience.

According to the original Raystorm OST, Juggler is a boss theme. Starting off with some beats and fairly quiet piano passages. It seems to give off the wrong mood, but halfway it picks up the pace and becomes much more menacing, dashes of quick synth gets the point that whatever you're fighting isin't as easy as you'd expect. In the end, this is a fairly decent boss theme for a shooter, although it takes a minute and a half to really build up, which may turn off some listeners.

Luminescence has this playful melody that just sticks in your head for days, and it has a person mentionning a few words in french once in a while, which is a really neat touch.

The most interesting tracks however are the Final boss prelude and the Final boss theme itself, being Heart Land and Intolerance respectively. Heart Land gets points for being sooo eerie with all those SFX, you hear a heartbeat going faster and faster, while an echoed voice tells you "Relax". How the hell can one relax when you know you're approaching a nasty critter ?! The second half of the track is a strings version of the final boss theme... it sounds as if it were played on an old LP. Then, unexpectedly, the final boss theme rears its head... it's a enjoyable melody, sounding fairly agressive, not to mention really catchy. As it progresses, it gives off a "Prepare to Die" vibe, which is exactly what it's supposed to be doing in the first place. This theme easily rival Yack's (another Zuntata member, although with Super Sweep now) final boss themes from Metal Black and Border Down.

One of the most pleasant surprises is the vocal in the end. Sung in french, it's a delight for the ears and easily ranks as one of the best vocals in VGM. Compared to many, it's not too sappy and has a great melody.

All in all, the Raystorm Neu Tanz Mix CD is an interesting venture into Zuntata's own stylings. Tamayo Kawamoto couldn't have arranged this OST any better. I definitely reccomend it to all fans of electronica, but also to those who want to broaden their horizons on VGM. As far as I know, this disc is no longer available in import stores, but Taito's official store should still carry it, along with many other excellent albums, like Metal Black - The First -.