Ah, the sweet sounds of video game soundtracks. How beautiful it is! The Dropsy Soundtrack appears to be along the same vein.

The game, Dropsy, is one that got funded on Kickstarter, featuring a delightfully creepy clown (well, all clowns are a bit creepy in my eyes) exploring a clickable universe. The soundtrack creates a vibe of relaxation and groove, being both simple and sensitive in the best of ways. The music is reminiscent of Sesame Street, in that it sounds unfinished (in a good way) and layered on the spot like a Jazz album, and the one full track you can listen to “Kierkegaard’s Umbrella” is a effervescent jaunt through an outdoor market.

This will be the one and only time this vinyl is getting pressed (according to the email “Chris Schlarb’s “Dropsy” is limited to a one-time pressing of 500 hand-numbered copies on yellow-inside-transparent orange vinyl. This album will never be pressed again within the foreseeable constraints of time and space… So order now. “). So get on it!!!

The Details

"I was five years old in 1982. I remember sitting on thick brown carpet, plugging in the joystick, and playing Yars Revenge on the Atari 2600. The music consisted of a single, oscilating drone. Thirty years later technology has granted us the wish of near-infinite possibilities: it's not uncommon for some games to feature vocal choirs and symphony orchestras. Of course, as Orson Welles famously remarked, "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations."

A few years ago my friend Jay Tholen asked me to write music for his adventure game about a mute, handless clown named Dropsy. We talked about junkyards and circus tents, we looked at photos of open country roads and graffiti and neon lights. Jay showed me his early pixel landscapes and it made me think, perhaps video games represented a type of modern folk art. He embraced the limitations of medium and created something honest and beautiful. I wanted to do the same with the soundtrack.

The themes for Dropsy were composed almost entirely on piano. After months of preparation, I booked a single, 12-hour recording session and tried to leave enough space for each musician to contribute their own voice. Everyone looked at the images Jay provided and we talked about the different locations inside the game. I can hear the subliminal influences of Joe Raposo's early music for Sesame Street in the music now. I hear the mechanical pop of Devo and the doom metal of Earth. I hear the limitations working their magic. The music is alive."

- Chris Schlarb

Price $15

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