One of gaming’s musical maestros just released his first solo album

Hirokazu Tanaka has a history most game composers can only dream of. As a young sound designer working at Nintendo in the 1980s, he crafted the soundtracks to classics like Metroid, Earthbound, Dr. Mario, and Tetris. Later on, he would write songs for the original Pokémon anime. Now, a few decades later, he’s releasing his first proper solo album, a collection called Django that fuses chiptunes with techno and reggae.

Tanaka — who is releasing the album under his stage name “Chip Tanaka” — describes the new collection as “the culmination of my harder side, the kind of game music you hear in EarthBoundʼs battle tracks.” The 13 songs jump around from genre to genre. The opening track, “Ringing Dub,” starts out as a thumping electronic…

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