MP3: Kinect Adventures! (2010)

January 15, 2011 | By

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Rating: Very Good

Label:  1812 Recordings / Released:  December 14, 2010

Tracks & Album Length:  8 Tracks / (32:07).

Special Notes: Downloadable album.


Composer: Daniel Pemberton




Daniel Pemberton’s music for the Xbox 360 game is based around a singular theme reinterpreted in some of the craziest fusions of differing styles from very distinct musical periods.

In the title track “Adventure is Go!” (a titular salute to the Andersons’ Thunderbirds TV series, with its countdown fetish), the central three-note theme announces itself, reasserts itself, and ends with a flaring finale designed to get listeners ready for a rolling, somewhat cheeky adventure.

Most of the theme variations are anchored onto a particular idiom – bossa nova, ska, or a kind of Latin cantina style funneled and sifted through a Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez Rodriguez filter – but they’re orchestrated to accommodate specific levels of amusement.

Unlike the intro cue, “Creaky Bossa” is rooted in British sixties pop ditties with a reggae beat, and nice instrumental subtleties that drift into eighties UK pop, either through the pinched fuzzy synth notes buzzing over the brass band, or the lightness of Pemberton’s harmonies.

“Four on Four” is equally rooted in eighties pop (largely due to a thick bass beat and synth hand claps), but driven into the arrangement are synth theme variations derived from nineties Europop, and layers of funky percussion textures and wah-wah guitar reminiscent of a heist movie score, with retro bongos and echoplexed brass statements.

The bass groove from “Four on Four” is held over for “Ride the Rapid Beat,” over which a gliding electric guitar motif has been appropriated from a generic, attitude-laden Tarantino film, as well as a trumpet figure extracted from Neal Hefti’s Batman theme. Spacey synth blobs introduce “This is What You Do,” with hollow percussion hits accentuating another sixties-styled theme variation with electric guitar and brass.

“Rapid Dub” offers a combination of spacey tones with a more minimalist bass figure, whereas “Afrotar” strips down the instrumentation to guitar, mostly trumpets, and drums pounding out a ska-like rhythm. Pemberton’s slight additions aren’t layered over each other, so guitar, sixties organ, and Jamaican kettle drums are allowed short & sweet spotlights.

“Adventures Victory March” closes the album with piercing keyboards replaying the main theme in its original configuration, and Pemberton has a few moments of improvisation before he reintegrates the full brass elements to brings the album to a close.

The album does have a repetitive feel – most of the cues restate the theme in whole at some point – but Pemberton’s fusion of styles is quite infectious, reaffirming the composer’s position as one of Britain’s wittiest composers..


© 2011 Mark R. Hasan


Related links:

Interview:  Composer Daniel Pemberton


Related external links (MAIN SITE):

DVD / Film:  LittleBIGMusic (2008) Monster Movies (2005-2008)


External References:

IMDB Soundtrack Album Composer Filmography


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