What's the weather like where you are, Audiophiles? Because here in my home town of San Francisco there's some heavy rain fall, and no that wasn't an intentional Heavy Rain pun. In fact this post has nothing to do that interactive movie so I don't even know why I brought it up. Let's move past this.
I quite enjoy the rain myself, finding it calming and refreshing.
It's especially nice when one is hungover. Like today for instance. So on a rainy day like this, I'm in the mood for something low-key but fun; something that doesn't distract from the rain but rather complements it. Something mellow. Something adult contemporary-y. Something jazzy, even.
Perhaps The OneUps?
From their official website:
The OneUps are a musical collective hailing from Fayetteville, Arkansas, widely praised for their intricate, and eclectic approach to the art of game music. Stylistically diverse, yet meticulously skilled, the group has evolved over the past decade into one of the most dominant acts in the video game music scene.
The eclectic group, founded in Fayetteville, Arkansas, have spent the last eleven years blowing up the video game music world; taking fan favorite video game themes and reimagining them as full blown jazz numbers. But they don't stop at just jazz.
While the band has changed its line-up over the years since its inception in 2000, each iteration has allowed them to explore a variety of genre from Funk to Jazz Fusion, and more recently, vocal Hip-Hop.
The band came together in 2000 and was in its fourth lineup before the release of their first album, The OneUps Volume 1. They garnered a lot of attention despite being almost entirely self-promoted, and began work on their follow up album, The OneUps Volume 2. Both albums featured mostly classic gaming tracks from the NES-SNES era, like Ducktales and Kirby's Dreamland but also included a few modern surprises from the likes of Katamari Damacy, Luigi's Mansion, and Super Mario Sunshine.
They've also been featured on several independent video game music projects, my favorite being their feature on Time & Space - A Tribute to Yasunori Mitsuda (of Chrono Trigger and Xenosaga fame) back in 2003, during the band's early days.
Just last year they released the Super Mario Kart Album, an entire collection of Super Mario Kart themes to bump while you cruise down the freeway. They even made this nifty music video:
The effort may not feature any of your favorite Mario Kart tunes beyond the game's first iteration but it does have Rainbow Road aka the most fabulous of the Mario Kart jams. It regrettably does not feature vocals.
With their newest release Intergalactic Redux they've gone back to an anthology style album with tracks from games like Super Metroid, Castlevania, and fan favorite Toejam and Earl.
The OneUps are major crowd-pleasers, and seeing them live is quite the treat. In 2007 while performing at PAX they surprised everyone by including quite possibly the mellowest piece of video game music ever composed in their set, The Mii Channel theme.
There aren't any upcoming performances scheduled as of writing, but that doesn't mean you can't be a part of The Oneups' journey. Their official Youtube channel is updated regularly and leading up to the Super Mario Kart Album's release band member Mustin uploaded several behind the scenes videos to show you the work that goes into putting this kind of project together.
You can grab all of their albums, as well as some bonus shwag, at their official website as well as iTunes. And be sure to hit up their other official site, OneUp Studios for news about their releases, merchandise, and other artists' video game music projects.
Even if there isn't any torrential downpour in your neighborhood you can still pretend there is, kick up your feet, sip some coffee and enjoy the mellow stylings of one of gaming's favorites. Rain or no, enjoy your weekend, enjoy The OneUps' tunes, and see you back here next week.