Whilst Hiroki Kikuta has been making cracking music for several decades, there is something nostalgic about his SNES era 8-bit game soundtracks. It’s exactly this era that Hiroki Kikuta has tapped into with ‘The Unbreakable Unity’.
Following a similar premise to his arranged ‘Secret of Mana+’ album, this is a single 39-minute track. Housed inside this titular track is a whole RPG-esque symphony which both acknowledges the Secret of Mana inspired soundscape but goes beyond the two loops and out melodies that the early 90s soundtracks would be structured in. Here we have beautiful transitions and a fully fleshed out suite.
The SNES style chipset is used throughout and has that round, rubbery smile-inducing happiness embedded in it. The laid back mbira like melodies, soft brass leads and heavy woodwind synth lead tracks play into the chipsets hands. It feels effortlessly beautiful and melodic so has the main melody changes instruments and cycles in piano, harps, light percussion and more – it just continues to envelop you with its charm.
Across the 39 minutes, the music stays mainly in the melodic ‘forest themes’ style with the occasional ballad and brassier sections. There is no battle theme or dramatic stand section to mention of – this is all about the hypnotic power of arpeggios in a peaceful land. Whilst that may be a negative to some who come expecting an all-encompassing soundtrack, for me, this is a bonus. Staying in one zone and emotion throughout, Hiroki has created a lush zen space that is as relaxing as it is misty-eyed.
‘The Unbreakable Unity’ is a lovely addition to Hiroki Kikuta’s catalogue. It’ll give you all the chill out SNES vibes you need for a late night relaxed gaming session and impress you with how layered arpeggios can stir your emotions. A beautiful symphony of 8-bit woodwind, harps and strings.
Recommended track: The Unbreakable Unity
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