Music Spotlight #1: Ryo Nagamatsu

APRIL ISSUE: POST #6

You really can’t go wrong with Mario Kart, no matter what version you play or platform you enjoy it on, there’s always that same competitive feeling every time, and honestly, I think the music makes it all that much more exciting.

I played a lot of Mario Kart growing up, mainly the Wii and DS versions, and I loved them to bits. I even went as far as obtaining a generic wheel I could give to my friends and family, so they could join me while I used the official wheel that came in the box. Ha! I thought, ‘nobody is going to beat me with the pathetic version of my exquisite steering device!’ Oh, how I was big-headed. 

Anyway, following on from my earlier post, I would like to keep the ‘Japanese people’ theme going so I would like to introduce you to Ryo Nagamatsuwho composed tracks for Mario Kart Wii along with Asuka Hayazaki. Ryo Nagamatsu has also worked on games such as New Super Mario Bros Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2. 

Name: Ryo Nagamatsu 永松亮
Nationality: Japanese 

Disclaimer: All music belongs to Nintendo. 
Thank you mainly to this channel for having so many soundtracks!

Here are some of my favourite tracks that he has composed and arranged.

Moo Moo Meadows – this music makes me so HAPPY. This actually has a sort of Irish-theme to it, and since I grew up around quite a bit of folk and Irish music, this is even more enjoyable to me. It’s a fantastic fit for a cute racing game, especially for a track where you’re driving on a farm, surrounded by cows. It’s not like you get to do that everyday anyway.

Dry Dry Ruins – WHY ARE ALL THESE SOUNDTRACKS SO FUNKY? Well, it is Mario KartWhy am I even asking that question? The desert levels were never really part of my top tracks, mainly because of that stupid quicksand that I never seemed alert enough to avoid, but the soundtracks were and still are effective. Composers have to create music that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a new kind of world, and this soundtrack does exactly that in my opinion.

Moonview Highway – Why does this make me feel that I’m about to go onto some 80s Theme Show? Or some sort of prize-winning show? But in any case, this music is great. It really sets a nice and pleasant atmosphere while you’re being run over by cars and bombs. Remind me to never play this music at driving lessons if I ever have any.

Now, while Mario Kart is glorious, I’d like to move onto some other games and see what other soundtracks we can do some funky dances to.

Title Theme for New Super Mario Bros. Wii – I haven’t actually played too much of this game, the main reason being that I don’t own it. From what I did play though, I have heard this title theme time and time again. It’s actually pretty simple, but it has such a Mario aura to it. Like, if you hear it, you just know that it’s part of a Mario game. This is why the composers are so genius.

In my opinion, the ‘bah’s’ will always go down in history. Not sure what for exactly, but they should always be remembered no matter what. It reminds us of the good in this world. Also props to the marimba player. (Or xylophone. I’m not an instrument expert, unfortunately).

Sorry. I just love this. It makes me say ‘yay!’. You’ve got to appreciate the shorter tracks too, you know. It’s only eight seconds in length but it’s still so charming. If after eight seconds of sound you make someone feel hundreds of emotions, you’ve done your job right.

Finally, this is the most hypnotizing 26 seconds my ears have ever heard. And also, it’s like congratulations to me, for finishing this post, and congratulations to you, for actually getting to the end too.

What are your favourite soundtracks from these games? 

-LDG

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