Bob Ostertag’s musical piece w00t is a 50 minute sonic journey through 18 game soundtracks thrown into a blender and delivered as a chiptunes smoothie. It’s layered piece that demands attention from the listener. Through the din of bleeps and bloops one searches for familiarity in the sound clips used from several highly regarded franchises including:
Balloon Fight • Congo Bongo • Contra • Earthbound • Halo: Combat Evolved • Ico • Katamari Damacy • Killer Instinct • The Legend of Zelda • Massive Assault • Myst • Star Fox • Super Metroid • Super Smash Bros.: Melee • Viewtiful Joe • WarioWare, Inc: Mega Party Game$ • World of Warcraft
The piece is wildly colorful, taking cues from wonderfully varied game soundtracks. At times it may be harsh or ambient, and then dips quickly into irreverence with the theme of Katamari Damacy appearing out of the mist. Then it’s a wild roller coaster from within the ball as the listener spins out of control picking up vegetables, speed dashing around, and accumulating people, animals and cars. It’s a bit more of a horrific take on the “gentle” rolling game, but the cheeky humor still shines through.
Woot marks the first time in Ostertag's extensive musical career spanning over 28 years, that one of his releases skips the CD-for-sale stage and goes to a free internet download. He encourages listeners to pass it around by emailing it, remixing it and creating mash-ups with other music and fostering free culture.
Ostertag is an impressive multi-talented artist who began with experimental audio recordings at the dawn of the eighties, birthed from instruments of his own design. He quickly gained the attention of several New York critics, and has worked with some of the best avant-garde artists around including the brilliant drag diva Justin Bond with the Panty Christ album. Bond went on to create the Kiki and Herb show that sold out Carnegie Hall, and appeared in John Cameron Mitchel’s Shortbus as himself.