Grand Theft Ambient

Yes, I’ve been playing GTA4 this week just like everybody else. If you live under a rock, it’s an ultraviolent gangster themed videogame where you drive around carjacking, running over pedestrians, doing drive-bys, and otherwise ditching your moral compass and indulging in your darkest human impulses. It’s also a lot of fun and has a great sense of humor about itself. One of its nicest touches has always been the radio stations you listen to in the car, which are stocked chock full of good up-tempo heart-pumping music from a variety of genres and time periods (the Miami Vice themed GTA, for example, had lots of eighties music), with hilarious fake ads and DJs. In this latest installment they added an electronic ambient/chillout station, which, while seemingly unsuited to such a fast paced violent game, is nonetheless filled with incredibly good music. In fact, well over half of these tracks can be found in slowburn Album of the Day entries. So if you are playing the game and want to relax a bit while you contribute to the moral decay of society at large, turn that virtual dial to the “The Journey” radio station…

The Journey
DJ: A computer
Genre: Ambient/Chillout
Global Communication – “8:07″
Terry Riley – “A Rainbow in Curved Air”
Steve Roach – “Arrival”
Michael Shrieve – “Communique ‘Approach Spiral’”
Jean Michel Jarre – “Oxygène, Pt 4″
Philip Glass – “Pruit Igoe”
Tangerine Dream – “Remote Viewing”
Aphex Twin – “Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 CD2 Track 5″
Ray Lynch – “The Oh of Pleasure”

Update: Here’s an article on how Rockstar made it so you can buy mp3s of the songs you are hearing on the radio while playing the game. Also talks a little about them being very into the music/soundtrack aspect of their games, and briefly mentions Rock Band / Guitar Hero.

On the slowburn front I am making slow but steady progress every night. I’m currently working on adding little random blips and build ups to each song, after that I want to add some extended sections of weird abstract synth noises in a few places. I have a list of every sound I want to make, and every place I want to put them, so right now I am just making them and checking them off one by one. I will hopefully be completely done with this in about a week, and then we will be ready to do the final (yes, final!) mix.

I am also planning on buying that Tenori-ON thing, and will put up a review and some samples once I get it.