What Hotline Miami Does to a "Musician"...

As someone who considers themselves an amateur try-hard, I was surprised by what came to me from playing this game. This blog is more about the game's effect on my writing, but also about the "homage" to the style of the soundtrack that I've written. The pure madness of the soundtrack, the mesmerizing loops, and the ultra-violence all combined to make this thing in what amounted to less than an hour's worth of work. If you just want to hear more heavy drum and bass, scroll down and skip the text block.

Rarely do I work this fanatically. Sure, if my year has been a pile of shit then writing some sappy ballady thing is easy enough... but that usually takes days to really fine tune. I feel like the game clicked something on in my brain - something that kind of worries me. Isn't it pretty messed up that something this disgusting is causing the most creativity in me? I mean, sure, I wrote a lot of death metal years ago but I never looked at something like an autopsy and said, "yep, got a riff!" Thinking about this, about this game in a way beyond the "scroll mouse, click LMB" mentality, brought about an interesting realization to me. Normally I would call it over-analyzing, but the parallels are there and they make me wonder.

Hotline Miami is, in a sense, the death metal of video games for 2012. Surgically precise, grotesque, and strangely attractive. Something draws you in, even though your mind is initially telling you to back the fuck off, and you give in to that something. The initial stench of decay isn't enough to put you off from the entrancing violence, and soon you've crashed through the door of an apartment knife in hand. It takes less than a second to have conducted your first kill, and where are you now?

Standing still, calculating your next move. The first was easy, and the following one thousand nine-hundred and eighty-eight kills are more of the same. That's how I would describe the feeling I tried to push through this song: an homage to the butt-fucking-insanity that the soundtrack of the game uses to back up the vibrant crazy going on in the world. I think I did it justice.

The beat was composed entirely in Acoustica Beatcraft - 808 kick, baby - and the voice is me with some effects from Audacity thrown in. I was playing around with the gain and the feedback/clipping from, what I think was, the kick being turned up created some kind of horrible nightmare squarewave bass, so I made sure to keep that. I won't tell you what I'm saying, but it should be easy to figure out, either by ear or by fiddling with it (though I dunno if I want to drop the raw .aup here, so that option isn't extant).

(in case the embed doesn't work on your browser: Here)

I plan on writing a rap over this thing, and I might -possibly- post the finished version of that if I do.

4 Comments
5 Comments
Edited by SirOptimusPrime

As someone who considers themselves an amateur try-hard, I was surprised by what came to me from playing this game. This blog is more about the game's effect on my writing, but also about the "homage" to the style of the soundtrack that I've written. The pure madness of the soundtrack, the mesmerizing loops, and the ultra-violence all combined to make this thing in what amounted to less than an hour's worth of work. If you just want to hear more heavy drum and bass, scroll down and skip the text block.

Rarely do I work this fanatically. Sure, if my year has been a pile of shit then writing some sappy ballady thing is easy enough... but that usually takes days to really fine tune. I feel like the game clicked something on in my brain - something that kind of worries me. Isn't it pretty messed up that something this disgusting is causing the most creativity in me? I mean, sure, I wrote a lot of death metal years ago but I never looked at something like an autopsy and said, "yep, got a riff!" Thinking about this, about this game in a way beyond the "scroll mouse, click LMB" mentality, brought about an interesting realization to me. Normally I would call it over-analyzing, but the parallels are there and they make me wonder.

Hotline Miami is, in a sense, the death metal of video games for 2012. Surgically precise, grotesque, and strangely attractive. Something draws you in, even though your mind is initially telling you to back the fuck off, and you give in to that something. The initial stench of decay isn't enough to put you off from the entrancing violence, and soon you've crashed through the door of an apartment knife in hand. It takes less than a second to have conducted your first kill, and where are you now?

Standing still, calculating your next move. The first was easy, and the following one thousand nine-hundred and eighty-eight kills are more of the same. That's how I would describe the feeling I tried to push through this song: an homage to the butt-fucking-insanity that the soundtrack of the game uses to back up the vibrant crazy going on in the world. I think I did it justice.

The beat was composed entirely in Acoustica Beatcraft - 808 kick, baby - and the voice is me with some effects from Audacity thrown in. I was playing around with the gain and the feedback/clipping from, what I think was, the kick being turned up created some kind of horrible nightmare squarewave bass, so I made sure to keep that. I won't tell you what I'm saying, but it should be easy to figure out, either by ear or by fiddling with it (though I dunno if I want to drop the raw .aup here, so that option isn't extant).

(in case the embed doesn't work on your browser: Here)

I plan on writing a rap over this thing, and I might -possibly- post the finished version of that if I do.

Posted by gaminghooligan

@SirOptimusPrime: That is a solid track. Would love to know what you end up doing with it, it's the right mix of that HL trip and back beat. I actually do a lot of my work (I write short stories and working on a major novel) to the HL soundtrack and other great gaming soundtracks. They do tend to inspire. Keep up the good work!

Posted by SirOptimusPrime

@gaminghooligan: I have no clue what I'm going to do with it. Half of what I write is for shits and giggles, and this might just get lumped in with the other 1 000 tracks I never really finished.

I have so many unfinished songs, on Beatcraft alone, that I could probably pump out hours of loops if I sat down and finished them. I normally don't listen to a lot of this kind of music unless I'm doing something really, really menial or working out.

Posted by Little_Socrates

@SirOptimusPrime: It's a good song as is! Just dropping in a late bit of support.

I think your analysis of Hotline Miami's effect is engaging, too. Presuming you like death metal, there is something very similar, yeah.

Posted by SirOptimusPrime

@Little_Socrates: Thanks! Yeah, I won't be doing anything with this anytime soon. It got sifted into my songwriting pile of shame - most likely never to be 'finished.'

Yeah, the first time I played Hotline my first impression was pretty much the same as the first death metal song I ever heard/album I saw. Morbid curiosity,if I want to sound like a serial killer I guess.