Gamers Listeners: Best of 2013

Our favourites, the greatest and the best. Sometimes by a huge margin, sometimes heart-splittingly close to their runners-up, because there was a lot of material to choose from and to root for. Since we only had four laurels to give, we can just wish the awardless more luck next year. May confetti rain down, may champagne corks pop! This is the Best of 2013 by Gamers Listeners.

 

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Remember Me Original Soundtrack (Olivier Deriviere) – To be honest, we’ve known since the day of its premiere that the French album deserves a laurel and since then, nothing has even come close to taking the award away from it. An OST with an excellent idea and a superb implementation, surprisingly thoughtfully designed with the listener in mind – such a combination is rare. Remember Me Original Soundtrack shines  in comparison to its strong competition as a standalone, fully autonomous work, worth of a place in the collection of every enthusiast of the genre. It is a soundtrack which evokes authentic joy and excitation, discovering unique and unprecedented possibilities of orchestral and electronic fusion. A well-earned award for breaking the mould and redefining cyberpunk music.

 

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Final Fantasy VI: Balance & Ruin (various artists) – Actually, all nominated soundtracks are so good we could easily give you enough reason to pick any of them over the others. So why Final Fantasy VI: Balance & Ruin? Because apart from the quality of the music itself, the album also has a symbolic dimension to it. It’s hard to find a better summary of over 10 years of OverClocked Remix, an energetic group which never fails to surprise us with its spontaneity. The Balance & Ruin project is a fruit of collaboration of both OCR veterans who started this madness and gifted OCR debutants. While the album has no ambition to redefine anything (“only” to set the bar even higher for similar compilations), it surely is full of breadth and playful experiments with music, but not without respect toward the original versions. And all of that completely free for everyone to take.

 

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Big Steel Wheels (Dmitry „C-jeff” Zhemkov) – The charmingly comic book-like The Black Box had been occupying the first place on our list for quite a while, but finally it was overthrown by Big Steel Wheels (Sasha Swamp). Contrast is king! The cover of  C-jeff’s newest solo album enchants with its creative juxtaposition of artistic technique with music that practically begged for a painfully clichéd artwork. Oil paint creates a pleasant dissonance, with its more traditional, high art connotations. And for the final flourish: vivid colours, bold brush strokes and a “rainy” blur. A soundtrack’s album cover doesn’t necessarily have to draw from the game and it’s a great thing more and more artists realise this.

 

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For the category Polish Thing, we decided to award two titles ex aequo. The laurels go to the Deadfall Adventures album and to all the makers of the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt soundtrack.

The new Witcher’s pre-launch trailer offensive (Adam Skorupa, Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz, Marcin Przybyłowicz) – While waiting for the new Witcher game, we turn our attention to trailers again. Adam Skorupa, Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz, Marcin Przybyłowicz and all others who took part in creating the soundtrack did a superb job. Gamers mainly watch trailers to see them, but without sound trailers wouldn’t be much of an encouragement on their own. An award for meticulous attention to detail, capturing the atmosphere and a promise of a truly world-class Polish soundtrack.

Deadfall Adventures Original Soundtrack (Piotr Musiał, Arkadiusz Reikowski, Paweł Cincio) – The gentlemen in the brackets scored quite a neat debut: an adventure with many shout-outs, tongue-in-cheek moments and playing with the convention. A balanced and attractive soundtrack, if a bit short, but at the same time, unpretentious and surprisingly fresh.

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