Jim Guthrie’s “Corporeal” EP comes from the game Sound Shapes where the music from this EP is broken down into interchangeable sound snippets. The four track EP effectively then puts all the snippets together so we can hear what the original tracks actually sound like.
Opener “Personnel” takes the electronic sound palette and builds a nice cross over between sneaky and slightly sinister electric piano that happily bounces along its meaty beat. “Research and Development” then takes a tuned steel drum or wooden log and then turns the percussive drum into the main melodic pulse during a more driven track. Behind it there’s a well-built up kaleidoscope of shimmering keyboard synths that you can barely hear sometimes but they are there strengthening the main pulsing beat. “Purgatory” is a more complex track with a variety of riffs and loops filling out the more rustic percussive sounds going on around it. The title also lends itself well to the more damaged and distorted synth pads and the tolling bell at the end is a cute touch. “Event Horizon” completes the EP with more mid tempo electronica but this brings the beats and bass more to the fore and makes the track more punchy than its counterparts. What’s interesting is you can hear pieces of the previous three tracks sliding effortlessly in and out of this track. It really sums things up nicely especially as the drum loops change throughout and yet everything still feels rounded and tied together.
“Corporeal” is an interesting game music release because with Sound Shapes the music is integral to the game itself, it feels slightly strange to hear the tracks removed from it. Whilst there’s not anything here that’s going to blow you away, it’s a well made EP that uses some good tricks up its sleeve. Fans of the game will get more out of it, especially if you’ve ended up remixing the songs effectively yourself. This shows you just one iteration of what is achievable. Did someone say a remix album? *cough cough*