The Cool Kid | Diggin’ in the Carts | Red Bull Music

The Cool Kid | Diggin’ in the Carts | Red Bull Music

(Narrator) Japan is a nation that has
influenced the world in so many ways. Be it there food, their technology, or their contributions to popular culture
like video games. For many of us
the music of video games played more in our households growing up
than any other form of music at the time. Yet for most of us, the composers behind
these timeless melodies remain faceless. DIGGIN’ IN THE CARTS is about
unearthing the men & women who inspired an entire generation while arguably creating Japan’s biggest
musical export to the world. (chirping) (beep) (chirping) (beep) (chirping) (Narrator) By the early ’90s, video game music
had become big business globally At the center of it,
there was a legendary battle. Early on, Nintendo was the dominant player
in the video game market, but with the release of their
Mega Drive (Genesis) console Sega was ready to stake a bigger claim
of the home console market globally. ♪ (SEGA’s sound logo) ♪ (Man) Do I remember the moment
I got my first Genesis? Yes I do. It was like getting married as a child. I now pronounce you man and SEGA. When I got a Mega Drive,
everything kinda felt a little bit complete. In terms of the music that was out
at the time, the films And now this technology,
now these video games. (Man) When the Genesis came out it completely changed
games and game music. Me, myself I’d say SEGA music
kicked ass more than like… Whatever other music there was. Mega Drive was unlike the NES or PC Engine because of its FM synth. You went from having like the super simple
pristine square wave sounds, and suddenly you have musicians working with the same stuff
that was on the DX7 like synths that were
being used in Tears For Fears and just like pop music
everywhere at that time. ♪ (MAIN THEME from Space Harrier) ♪ I think the coolest game company
in the arcades in the 80s had to be SEGA. Hiroshi Kawaguchi established SEGA music. You can call him SEGA’s music itself. He was consistently trying to bring
game music closer to a real band sound. I’m Hiro and I work
as a sound creator for SEGA. This is my 30th year. ♪ (HANG-ON THEME continues) ♪ The first time my music was used
was in Hang-On. At the time rock band style music was
pretty rare in games. ♪ (HANG-ON THEME continues) ♪ The Hang-On machine was
developed specifically by SEGA, to be able to use PCM, a sampler. So, if you made it play drums, then you could use it as an instrument. This is called “Sega Music”. Got this in Japan, long time ago. ♪ (SQUILLA from Space Harrier) ♪ Come on man, this is evil. This is evil music. (vinyl noise) ♪ (SQUILLA continues) ♪ (going up an octave) ♪ (SQUILLA continues) ♪ (going down an octave) Hip-Hop. 100%. Somebody go rap on that. ♪ (Vinyl version of SQUILLA continues) ♪ ♪ (IDA from Space Harrier) ♪ Making music back then was a nightmare
compared to now. You had to play it first on a keyboard and record it on a cassette as a sketch. Based on that, you’d play it
a bunch of times and write down
the final version on a score. After writing the score,
there’d be a dev PC and you’d input it in with digits. All with digits. Then you’d compile
what you’d input in with the PC, and load it onto a board. And when you hit play,
it’d finally make a sound. ♪ (MAGICAL SOUND SHOWER from OutRun) ♪ (Man) Sega had a strong presence
in the arcade market. I’ll never forget the first time
I saw Outrun. And I was just mesmerized by the fact
that I could sit in a car that moved when you played this game. But then I put my 50 cents in
and the first thing you see is the hand with the radio,
and you could pick four songs It was like “Summer Breeze”,
or “Passing Breeze”. This is crazy, this is a video game music. ♪ (Vinyl version of PASSING BREEZE
from OutRun) ♪ Oh, oh. ♪ (PASSING BREEZE continues) ♪ What the hell is that? What’s Latin Jazz doing on a video game? (Hiro) The original concept of OutRun was as a driving game
rather than a racing game. When I worked on the game the development team actually went to
Florida and San Francisco to scout locations. Although I didn’t go myself. I looked at the pictures and videos,
which made me feel like I was driving there. I imagined what music would suit
driving down one of those straight roads, and used that image to make the music. OutRun had three background tracks so I thought of making
the first track fusion and the second track rock. I wanted the third track
to be different to those, So I decided on the Latin genre first. I’d have been happiest if people had felt
like they were actually in their own car with the radio playing. ♪ (PASSING BREEZE continues) ♪ (J-ROCC) This is from the video game OutRun. Songs called Sprash Wave. I’m sure it means Splash Wave. It’s called Sprash Wave. ♪ (SPLASH WAVE from OutRun) ♪ The best thing about making music back then was that the technology evolved every time. Wondering what kind of sounds
I could make with this hardware and then programming it to bring the best
out of it was very interesting for me. I felt really happy to be able
to make a job out of that. (J-ROCC) When you was a kid,
you’re not thinking there’s a dude who’s putting mad thought
behind that. Like, “Yo – I just listened to
Yellow Magic Orchestra” “and Herbie Hancock today” “I’m gonna make Splash Wave.” You don’t think there’s a dude
who thinks that you know? That’s crazy, man. ♪ (OPENING from Sonic the Hedgehog) ♪ ♪ (GREEN HILL ZONE
from Sonic the Hedgehog) ♪ ♪Da, Da, Da, Da, Da, Da ♪ ♪ (GREEN HILL ZONE continues) ♪ (humming GREEN HILL ZONE) I can sing the whole thing. ♪ (GREEN HILL ZONE continues) ♪ (Uchizawa) Sonic the Hedgehog is
a very famous character in Japan. In Japan, Sonic was compared
to Super Mario to some extent, but he had a cooler image. ♪ (EMERALD HILL ZONE from
Sonic the Hedgehog 2) ♪ (Man) The first time I played Sonic
it was like, I was almost ready to give up. ‘Cause the dude was too fast,
you know what I’m saying? I’m like, what the hell is this? I remember seeing Sonic the Hedgehog
for the first time. And just being, just mind blown. Just, what is possible? How are those colors so vibrant. And how is it so amazing. HOW DOES HE MOVE SO FAST? It was crazy. My favorite song from Sonic 1
was ‘Spring Yard Zone’. That joint was so funky, man. That was like one of my first experiences
with funk I think honestly. Whoever created it,
it was like a perfect match with the game with the music. Who did that? The music of Sonic the Hedgehog was done by Masato Nakamura
from Dreams Come True. As Nakamura-san is a J-Pop artist, he really captured the cool and pop
feeling of Sonic in the music, and it felt like listening to J-Pop
while playing the game. ♪ (SPRING YARD ZONE continues) ♪ (Hally) The one who started
using the FM synth before anybody else did, in an accurate,
realistic and rich manner was Yuzo Koshiro. He was referred to as
the “magician of FM synth”. Yuzo Koshiro made the music
for the Streets of Rage games. I feel like he took
the position of game music composers to a higher level. (Woman) Yuzo Koshiro was
extremely important for video game music. This was the first time
the music was a very important and credited element of a video game. Like, “Music by” … It was like,
very, um, Hollywood movie.” ♪ (FIGHTING IN THE STREET
from Streets of Rage) ♪ (Flying Lotus) I love Streets of Rage, man, that was one of my favorite,
that’s the best beat ’em up to me. People like Final Fight and all that,
I love Streets of Rage. (Ikonika) The music of Streets of Rage, there was something
very futuristic about it I guess because it was very techno. But also very jazzy, and very street. ♪ (FIGHTING IN THE STREET continues) ♪ That Streets of Rage soundtrack brought house music … to 3 year olds, it’s insane. ♪ (THE STREETS OF RAGE continues) ♪ I’m Yuzo Koshiro. I compose game music. I think people who liked old club music
will listen to this and think “Ah Soul II Soul and Enigma”. This kind of subtle, swinging beat wasn’t in any Japanese music back then, and, of course,
it wasn’t in any game music. I could make the same kind of sounds
with FM synthesis. Not only with FM synthesis,
but with a 1ch PCM too. For example, among the famous
Roland instruments, there were the TR-909
and the TR-808 drum machines. I sampled those sounds
and put together a beat. The process of putting together
those beats was really exciting and a lot of fun. ♪ (DREAMER from Streets of Rage 2) ♪ When we did Streets of Rage, it was around the time the Genesis
started selling very strongly in North America and Europe. Club music was growing in popularity
overseas at the time. I believed people loved club music, so I thought if I could put this
into game music, then they’d be really happy. And I made the bold decision to give
Streets of Rage a house or techno kind of sound. (Just Blaze) Oh, men,
I don’t think Yuzo was… he might’ve been Japanese descent, But I don’t think he grew up in Japan,
I think he grew up in Detroit. There was an authenticness
in Streets of Rage 2. That you didn’t hear, I don’t think in a video game previously when it came it like, to dance music. The thing about his work was
that it was very fresh. Even if he was being inspired by
what was actually happening in the clubs. He made it,
he somehow technologically made it possible to insert that into a video game. And make it sense. I felt like some of those themes
were records I could’ve played, at raves. And it would’ve been incredible,
it wouldn’t of been like this sounds like somebody trying to
sound like such & such. No it sounded like…. There’s one theme on Streets of Rage 2
that I kid you not. It sounded like Juan Atkins or Derrick May
could of co-produced it. ♪ (GO STRAIGHT continues) ♪ I’m at what used to be a club named Yellow. When did I come here? Long time ago… Back then, I was still only 22 or 23. I was young and full of energy,
so I danced all night. Until morning. The music I made for Streets of Rage 2 was more techno than the first one. That’s because it was techno or hard ones
that I was hearing when I went to Yellow and other clubs. I didn’t know about no Techno
when I was a kid. So hearing… (humming techno) “This is sick!” “LIAM GET OFF THE COMPUTER!” “NO!” (laughs) What originally influenced me
when making the Streets of Rage music wasn’t Japanese music,
but American and British music. It feels kind of strange to hear
those people say they like my music. “But it was your music originally.” ♪ (RANDOM CROSS from Streets of Rage 3) ♪ (Just Blaze) You have these guys, literally on the other side of the world, Directly influencing an entire generation of American kids and music nerds. When somebody has influenced
you to the point where they are a part of your,
being of your essence, how do you put that into words? If I met Yuzo or any of those dudes,
I wouldn’t say anything. I’d just give him a hug. And be like, yo thank you Thank you, Thank you. Thank you.
If you’re watching this Thank-you. It’s a real honor for me
to have people say that kind of thing. I tried my hardest
to bring the music I liked, the club music and the fresh sounds
that I aspired to into the world of game music. It almost makes me
want to go back 25 years and give myself a pat on the back. (laughs) ♪ (STATTS from Sword of Vermilion) ♪

54 thoughts on “The Cool Kid | Diggin’ in the Carts | Red Bull Music

  1. That dude with the backpack and the green yellow hair hasn't said a word trough the entire series. why bother having him onscreen?

  2. Street rage music, got so much influence on my childhood, and with turban jazz from aladdin, are the reasons i love music,
    and to discover the guy who made them is just a bit older than me. well.. its unbelievable!! like all the guys in the vid, I give you my thanks, Yuzo Koshiro, you exported the cool stuff to reach an obscure country in north west africa called morocco where i live, its pretty amazing at the 80's.
    my tribute here, done on fl studio 🙂

  3. Love hearing from the musicians themselves, but I don't feel like the color commentators add anything. They really are not educated on the subject. I skip right over those bits.

  4. @RedBullMusic Please, add Japanese subtitles here. I know it is subtitled at but it does not include Japanese subtitles where Japanese speakers talk.

  5. 11:32 that is the most BOSS introduction to one of the most BOSS BOSSES in the music world… of music history. that introduction of him was EPIC, especially to those of us who hold the soundtrack in extremely high regard. bows

  6. This whole series put like, the biggest smile on my face. I can't think of another documentary that has made me feel this way.

  7. appresh that this doc has been made, but this particular segment could have been skipped to favor more 8 bit progenitors of chiptunes..

    these awful, awful sega games, which seemed to greatly influence clubbers, ubercollectors, and retro-aggrandizers musically – really led to the downfall of this horrendous vg market and the current appeal of favoring actual sound-tracking to the art of creating the genreless masterpieces of the silverage.

    this was a time when sega was spamming that Motorola 68 processor for just about every cart – forsaking content in favor of trending and simulating the pop music of the time, just to put the arcade in your home (minus the environment that made it appealing in the 1st).

    some true introductory level crap it was!
    the reason anyone would ever put a token in a sega game's slot was for the gimmick of sitting in a chair with a stickshift/wheel combo, or throwing a leg over a stationary crotch-rocket..  very few girls were ever interested otherwise – and without such an aesthetic, these home consoles were an absolute bust and the bastard children of the videogame.

    shinobi might get a pass –
    but streets of rage was an embarrassing cussfest!
    [compare downtown nekketsu from technos of japan]
    the only game that was halfway decent came with the console!
    {tbh, sonic sucked shit and was lame as fuck to deal with..}
    dare you to compare SF2 for the sega and the SNES!
    all of the music pushed thru that cheesy fm synth and bassline just reeked of an inferior product, and I always felt sorry for the kids that owned them.

    revisiting anything this platform created has been a chore to say the least

  8. The subtitles… They are a joke right? I just got punkd?… I mean " cycling because the sunglasses depicted?" The love of cthullu does that even mean?

  9. "Their predicted pizza wedges…All before we sealed off the west" on second thought… Keep the sub's… Adds an 'all your base' authenticity to the doc…

  10. Oh crap, I only just realised the intro theme was progressing through the different soundchips between episodes! This series' attention to detail is amazing 😀

  11. Stíll waiting for the subtitles (but the auto detection of the Japanese to the nearest English words are entertaining but so wrong)

  12. Yep. Amiga trackers and pirate radio were an influence . . .Who would have thunk it?
    It makes me want to go back 25 years too. Ending credits song?

  13. Incredible documentary, so good and interesting. The only thing that i think is missing is an interview with whoever did the soundtrack to Super Metroid for SNES. Its space dark ambient feel was one of the best things of the game and it definitely set the mood of being stranded on a distant planet.

  14. MUITO FODA esse documentário! O_O Puta que Pariu! Pra quem sempre amou o SEGA MEGA DRIVE que nem eu, é um TESÃO poder assistir isso. s2

  15. thank you thank you very much for documenting yuzo koshiro! never thought i would say this, but I can die in peace, knowing that professional musicians acknowledged how BRILLIANT Yuzo Koshiro and the Streets of Rage series. thank you.

  16. If I met Yuzo Koshiro, I would drop to the ground in the Wayne's World "we're not worthy" stance.

  17. Saying "game music was big business worldwide in the 90s" makes me sad, 'cause I can't think of a single game soundtrack that you could buy in a store in the US back then. (And even now you'd still probably only ever get one showing up if it was a special release.)

  18. Where's episode 3? >:(

    On an unrelated note, who else has noticed the way the opening theme subtly evolves with each episode? Super cool!

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