- So here's something fun that I don't mention too often - quite apart from my work in games/game journalism, I used to be an electronic musician in the Amiga demo/.MOD scene.

Because of that, I founded a netlabel called Monotonik, which has been releasing music online since 1996 in .MOD and now .MP3 format for free, latterly under a Creative Commons license.

Most of the time, the music (Last.fm label page, streamable playlists) - which can be roughly described as 'headphone listening', or 'idm' if you must - is somewhat remote from traditional 'video game music'. However, we do sometimes stray into chiptune areas, and have released Jake 'Virt' Kaufman (Contra 4, Shantae soundtracker)'s FX EP and FX 2.0 before. [BTW, check out his newly composed BlipFest tracks for some insane chiptune mastery.]

In addition, Monotonik previously debuted 'Killbots EP', a Game Boy-based release from Blasterhead, a Japanese composer who made the soundtrack for (non-adult!) Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 versions of the (distinctly risque!) Kero-Q PC dating title Moekko Company (Moekan), about 'an enigmatic man served unquestioningly by five beautiful maids with equally mysterious pasts.' Heh.

Anyhow, we've by and large left the chiptune goodness to Nullsleep's majestic 8bitpeoples. But Monotonik's latest release is Pliant's 'Musical Endeavor' idm/chiptune melange - which was originally released in 2000 on a New York electronic music label. It's interesting because it attempts to paint a spooky, alternative fictional game soundtrack in purely musical shades - I think it might be a bit Minus World-y? Here's the info/download links:

"Monotonik rounds out 2007 with a bit of a gem - a free digital release of the super-rare Pliant mini-CD 'Musical Endeavor', the quirky video-game inspired electronica blast originally released on New York-based label Systorm Technologies back in 2000.

What do you need to know about this? Well, the super-perky 9 track, 18 minute release is chronicling a fictional video game of some kind, and from the dynamic, spider-bass infused 'Title', it's clear that you're being taken through the game in aural form, thanks to previous Monotonik release Pliant's bleep-pop stylings.

Some highlights? 'Options' is funked-up loping, slightly sinister pseudo-game music, and 'Forest' conjures up previous Monotonik release 'Maruera Gum' with some aplomb, before the super-weird waltz-ish 'Volcano' and the reprise of 'Credits' finish things off in dischordant, intriguing form. Bravo.

Download Pliant's 'Musical Endeavor' from:

1. "Title" - (d/l support.nl archive.org scene.org)
2. "Options" - (d/l support.nl archive.org scene.org)
3. "Village" - (d/l support.nl archive.org scene.org)
4. "Forest" - (d/l support.nl archive.org scene.org)
5. "Hills" - (d/l support.nl archive.org scene.org)
6. "Cave" - (d/l support.nl archive.org scene.org)
7. "Volcano" - (d/l support.nl archive.org scene.org)
8. "Boss" - (d/l support.nl archive.org scene.org)
9. "Credits" - (d/l support.nl archive.org scene.org)

..or download the entire release from Support.nl or from Archive.org - plus stream, or review the track at its Internet Archive release page."