The Messenger is an action/platforming gaming that encapsulates both the 80’s and 90’s console gaming aesthetics into one time-traveling adventure. The first disc is based in the 8-Bit era, a faithful contemporary recreation of the limited sonic output of the original NES. The NES could only output audio in 5 channels - two square waves (the bleeps and bloops), one triangle wave (bass tones), a noise channel (basically static), and a rarely used fifth channel that held sampled audio. In a digital audio recording landscape that allows for nearly infinite virtual instruments, recording channels, etc., it’s refreshing to hear music so vibrant, exciting, and varied made under such harsh restrictions. The second disc maintains the general retro style, but updates it to the polyphonic 16 bit era, ruled by the Sega Genesis. The Genesis had exceptional audio qualities of the time, thanks to the inclusion of the Yamaha YM212, aka the OPN2 - the console even had a separate processor just for audio output. With the average track clocking in at just around 2 minutes long, you can listen to this LP like you’d demolish a bag of potato chips. (I thought of a pretty good ‘potato chiptune’ joke, but will save you the groan.) The LPs are pressed on blue and purple vinyl and housed in one of the more charmingly designed gatefolds I’ve seen in a long time. Recommended!
- purple and blue vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve
- limited edition
- music label: iam8bit
reviewed by SIMON SEZ 07/2019