Record Review: Logan Sky Soundtracks His Own Video Game with “Sacred Runes”

logan sky sacred runes cover art

Etrangers Musique | UK | DL | 2020

Logan Sky: Scared Runes – DL [2020]

  1. All Was Lost 00:27
  2. Sacred Runes (theme) 01:16
  3. Homelands 01:53
  4. Cursed 00:38
  5. Cave Ambience 00:34
  6. Forest Spawns 00:25
  7. Venture 00:47
  8. Rivershrine 00:29
  9. Labyrinthene 01:33
  10. Tyler’s House 00:32
  11. The Fall 01:10
  12. Cave Encounter 01:18
  13. Activation 00:13
  14. Unearthed 00:28
  15. Demonic Fire 01:00
  16. Unearthed Creature 00:42
  17. Sad Lands 01:47

A few weeks ago, busy synthesist Logan Sky had emailed telling the Jones + Sky mailing list of his new video game soundtrack for “Sacred Runes.” Logan had been involved in making an interactive game using the Scratch platform of MIT’s Media Lab. Then life got in the way for a few weeks. And the still warm Prince thread. I looked into the game platform just now and for the quick glance I saw, it looks like a mashup of Hypercard stacks and and Atari 2600, for you old timers. This event was as close as I have come to a video game in 40 years. Naturally, the visual adventure game sports an enhanced soundtrack courtesy of game creator Sky’s day job as a synth player of a stoutly analog persuasion.

I finally got the chance to give the soundtrack a “spin” and it’s a brief series of mood pieces; none longer than two minutes that existed to enhance the mood of the game and no more. It’s all very “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am.” While I have enjoyed the solo and even group efforts of Sky working in the distinctive John Carpenter influenced Synthwave genre, most of these pieces were a few steps away from that vibe as most lacked in a rhythm component. Instead they built more contemplative moods through layers of melodic structure.

In that sense these tracks are mostly “mood haiku” and more spare in nature than most of what we’ve heard from Sky previously. The brief tracks may have been made with as little as four tracks in a DAW. In 1985 a Tascam Portastudio would have been the likely environment of their creation. A few longer pieces stood out. “Homelands” had a sophisticated build of rhythm and atmosphere to posit a delicate tribalism that was new to the Sky experience that I’ve heard. While “Demonic Fire” sat firmly in his comfort zone of Synthwave with the building of a driving rhythm dynamic from a somber starting point in its tight minute of length. Listen to it all or even download it below:

Why not have a go at the game itself as well? Click the splash screen below to play the game online.

sacred runes game splash screen artBy the way, I should mention that it thrills me to see that Carpenter’s D.I.Y. soundtracks, derided in their time by soundtrack snobs, have now spawned an entire genre two generations later by the new breed. Meanwhile Logan Sky has made his first interactive game and given it a little soundtrack love while moving forward on his main thread partnership with Steven Jones with their next opus currently in the oven.

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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