This is our second review of the retro gaming vinyl soundtracks put out by Data Discs. Our first, Golden Axe, set a pretty high standard and Streets of Rage does not disappoint when carrying on that legacy.
Where as Golden Axe had a fantasy element woven through its compositions, Street of Rage is an all out, balls to the wall slice of action game soundtrack. The opening title track builds layer upon textural layer, kicking in with a nineties house track vibe that seasons the whole disc. It would not be amiss on an early Ministry of Sound white label.
In the first two tracks, the drum machine beats and synth pads all actually feel quite relaxed and chilled out when removed from the context of the game. But by track three the action really begins and not only do you get the wave of beat em up nostalgia but also images of sweaty dance clubs and illegal raves.
Created by renowned composer Yuzo Koshiro, it is apparent the compositions and production are both way ahead of their time, yet also a perfect slice of the era. Koshiro developed the soundtrack using his own original audio programming language. Called Music Macro Language, it was based on a modified basic programme. As such, the breadth and depth of timbre is outstanding. From offbeat digital conga to Casio keyboard vocal sounds, it is all in there. Some of the keyboard breaks sound like Herbie Hancock just improvised them.
The Streets of Rage vinyl package itself does not disappoint either. Again, the game is supplied with two lithograph prints of original artwork from the Sega archives. The first lithograph is the US/Europe cover and the second features the Japanese cover.
The disc itself is a striking translucent red in 180g and also comes in classic black.
In conclusion, the Streets of Rage vinyl package is beautiful and well worth the money. Data Discs are excellent at providing a real tangible experience using coloured vinyl and lithographs. The music itself is a step ahead. Whereas other vinyl in the catalogue act as a memory trip, these compositions stand on their own as great pieces of early nineties dance/trance music.