Last week we covered jazz, before that 8-bit punk, and before that symphonic Pokemon scores. The best video game music out there, those projects included, tends to be the unexpected and unique. You've got to have that something extra that takes your tunes to the next level.
This week we'll be taking a look at the mysterious Team Teamwork who creates some of the most undeniably unexpected and unique
alliteration yay video game mash-ups out there.
Little is known about Team Teamwork. We know that they're actually a he, singular, that he's a graphic designer by day who makes his own album art, and that he hails from Massachusetts but beyond that not much. While I personally love to know more about an artist's personality and history, in the case of Team Teamwork his sort-of anonymity doesn't bother none because his work speaks plenty on its own.
He specializes in hip-hop remixes and video game/hip-hop mashups, and this being gaygamer.net and all I figured it'd be a good fit.
The guy is a genius, flat out. He takes some of the sickest hip-hop, largely from a couple of years ago, and throws it against the likes of Zelda and Final Fantasy for some truly amazing results. Intrigued? Confused
about something other than your sexuality? Worry not audiophiles, it wouldn't be Audio File Friday or a post by me without a youtube video:
From Team Teamwork's first video game mash-up album, the amazingly titled Ocarina of Rhyme:
What makes his work...well, work is that as surprising as it may be to hear Jay-Z and Dre spitting over video game samples it actually makes a lot of sense. These days its not uncommon to hear hip-hop albums that are incredibly complex musically, look no further than Kanye's newest work, but at the roots of rap you've always got to have that baseline beat to work off of. The simple repeating beats aren't entirely unlike a lot of classic gaming ditties, which were often simple and repetitive due to technical limitations but still catchy and easy to hook into. Using Zelda and Final Fantasy tunes and turning them into samples takes these modern songs and gives them a classic sound reminiscent of the early days of hip-hop.
After his first video-game mashup album took off and got a lot of attention he moved on from Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time to another pillar in gaming history, Final Fantasy 7 with his cleverly titled Vinyl Fantasy 7.
While on Ocarina the tunes held a lighter sound, even if the lyrics weren't so light, his Final Fantasy 7 mash-ups are harder. A bit more down low. A bit darker. Heavier and more in your face.
The mash-ups here, due to Final Fantasy 7's already incredibly melodramatic vibe, feel a bit more "expected" than the utter surprise of Ocarina of Rhyme but aren't without their merits. Love or hate the game, Final Fantasy 7 really took RPG storytelling to new places and common misconceptions aside hip-hop is at the end of the day all about telling stories. Often time stories of hardship and overcoming adversity. Bringing the two together speaks to their unsung universal qualities.
One of the best things about Team Teamwork is that, despite not giving much away about his personal life, he keeps in regular interaction with his fans.
His official website is updated regularly, and he always answers fans' questions regarding his work both current and future. He even created a twitter account merely to combat a fake twitter someone made in his name. His reasoning being little more than his fans deserved the real thing.
If you're a fan of hip-hop already, or perhaps you're just curious, you should check out his other albums, Good-Ass Remixes vol. 1 and Dude Whatever It's Summer 2010, which feature equally impressive remixes of the non-gaming variety. Hopefully his gaming stuff will be a good jumping off point for you.
All of his work is completely free and downloadable from his official website and you can always take a moment to make a donation as well. Always support your underground gaming artists, because without them what would we be stuck with?
Remixes of Rebbeca Black's Friday
What's next for Mr. Teamwork? Well, a brand new album that's what!
In fact it's being released next week, April 1st to be precise! If you were wondering why this post is a 'Part One' wonder no more!
In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your weekend with two of the sickest gaming albums out there in preparation for what is sure to be equally sick next week.