Some things just loop, go back and forth. I didn’t live in the ‘80s. I’m a part of the ‘90s generation and, since my teenage years were in the ‘00s, sometimes I consider my generation as the one without any unique fashion or timeless, iconic music. We borrowed fashion from the past combining trends together and our music (like nu metal which occupied radio back then) hasn’t gone beyond its own time – unlike music from previous decades.

The game’s made out of pixel art graphics and vibrant synthwaves.

Perhaps that music conveyed emotions in a way that nobody relates to anymore, including me, but there’s something tricky in going back in time. Such throwbacks are often nostalgic, yet rarely being literal – they rather recreate the general look and feeling of the time, still adding a bit of flavour of their own one. They work like memories do – simplify things and make them easier to understand by the next generations, the next cultures.

That’s how the Narita Boy soundtrack sounds like. It doesn’t try to be 40 years old music, it doesn’t fake anything – what it does insead, it takes an idea of synth music and the style of ‘80s, and makes it all fresh. The game’s made out of pixel art graphics and vibrant synthwaves, and the synthwave is what the soundtrack gently orbits around most of the time – sometimes putting it to the front (Pirate), the other time just slightly remarking it (Riding The Servohorse) or going really far from it (Him), but always being very consistent in rediscovering ‘80s with what were the most typical factors for the era.

However, there’s much more around that core. In one of his interviews, a composer, Salvador ‘Salvinsky’ Fornieles, mentioned that the album’s about “how we think ‘80s music would have evolved” with today’s equipment. It’s always been fascinating to imagine the future (Blade Runner’s just a top of an iceberg), but creating music based on the culture that doesn’t exist anymore makes the whole idea even more nostalgic, since it’s a long-gone time that the music brings to life. Our current culture tends to search the past and reinterpret it anew or take it for inspiration at least – in cinematography (yes, Stranger Things), in games (all the retro ones), in music (from Greta Van Fleet to Daft Punk).

The ‘80s were a real beginning of computer music and that’s what Salvinsky’d taken as a base – but then he built a very multi-layered world above it. As a result we have some great references to jazz (Gusano Bar), to punk rock (Hex) or even western music (Riding The Servohorse, again). Salvinsky switches the genres in a very seamless way and proves that you don’t have to care about sticking within genre’s frames until your general sound tells the same story. And here, he tells that story very well.

Sounds like a must-have for the era lovers and I believe there are plenty of them.

Two discs of reinventing ‘80s music and listening to that from a modern point of view. Sounds like a must-have for the era lovers and I believe there are plenty of them, since retro culture is in bloom now. If only the soundtrack was released on tapes and anybody still had a working tape player, time would probably feel confused.

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Maciej Baska

In the games he happens to stand around at a random location only because there is a great music. For over a decade he's composed, written, recorded and mixed.