CoLD SToRAGE’s “SLIPSTREAM”
I really like techno, but I know nothing about it. I don’t know the difference between House and Trance, and I certainly can’t classify them properly. Heck, I don’t even think I can name all the different types without a wiki page open in front of me. Even so, I do like listening to techno. I like the throbbing baseline, I like the ‘futuristic’ kinda synth-y noises, and I like huge variety of sounds that can really make a piece unique. An album gets bonus points, though, if it’s upbeat enough to make me feel productive, and I can listen to it all day without getting tired of it or thinking it repetitive and annoying.
CoLD SToRAGE recently released SLIPSTREAM [volume one] where he has remixed his work on the Wipeout soundtrack, and it gets these bonus points. Wipeout is a racing game, which helps to explain my attraction to the album. The video below takes a look at the Wipeout series over time, where CoLD SToRAGE worked on Wipeout and Wipeout 2097.
As a racing game, it has a few requirements of its soundtrack to make the game playable (if not enjoyable). First, the songs need to be ambient enough to loop endlessly; if you’re bad at a racing game, you can spend hours on a single track just trying to finish. I’m terrible at racing games, and I had trouble with the Project Gotham Racing soundtrack; it was just songs of varying genres plugged together into a playlist. I really hated that, and I grew to hate the songs because they were always associated with my failure. Wipeout’s soundtrack, however, takes long songs that can tie together well so it becomes a single immersive experience.
The second strength of this soundtrack is in the music itself. Because this is a racing game, the music needs to convey pressure. You need to go faster, the other guy’s catching up and he has weapons. Just a little faster! I think this soundtrack applies just the right amount of pressure – it’s that good kind of stress that makes you push yourself, and means I can really kick into overdrive and write that piece I’ve been putting off for a bit too long.
This is why SLIPSTREAM is my favourite kind of techno. It’s interesting without being distracting, it’s loopable without being irritatingly repetitive, and it puts on pressure without freaking me out. I hadn’t really thought about the benefits of racing game soundtracks before, but now maybe I should give them another look; upon closer inspection, they’re my ideal work music.