Zones (Act 1 & 2) by Saskrotch
“If the world chooses to become my enemy, I will fight like I always have!”
Dusk Metropolis Zone
Hold on tight and zip through some green hills this week with Saskrotch's genesis infused love letter to gaming's beloved anthropomorphic blue hedgehog. Pressed on gorgeous “Royal Blue” vinyl by The Yetee, Zones (Act 1 & 2) is a collection of music influenced by an entire generation of games. Born at the height of the early console wars, Sonic and its music has been such a prevalent force in the gaming industry and lives in the hearts of many around the world. Nothing is more evident of this fact than this lovingly composed album by Saskrotch. As a special treat for this week, VGM WAX was able to chat with Saskrotch and get answers to some of your burning questions. Let's drop that needle and collect some rings!
Snowcapped Sky Zone
Saskrotch’s genesis and love of electronic music stems back to his love of music - he started a band with his friends when he was 13. From that point on, the birth and success of Saskrotch was imminent. He found fulfillment in experimenting with the four track given to him by his father at age 16, and later cites Stunt Rock as being “an incredibly underrated breakcore producer,” using the same audio program as Stunt Rock until he could afford an upgrade. Fast-forward to today: for the composition of Zones, Saskrotch chose to use, “Ableton Live using an FM8 pack of instruments from Sonic 3 & Knuckles, along with a bunch of drum samples ripped from the genesis ROMs, and then Chipsounds to emulate the SN76489 chip.”
Chaos Island Zone
The tone and upbeat nature of the formative Sonic soundtracks is in full effect on this compilation album. Released in August of 2017, Part 1 of this collection has been adored by many as an extension of the Sonic universe itself. With Part 2 releasing in the summer of 2018, the complete vision of this project was unleashed upon the world in all its glory. The arrangements on this album are absolutely superb. From the upbeat jam “Dusk Metropolis Zone,” to the chaotic “Genocide City Zone,” Saskrotch will have you banging your head the entire time you track through A to end of side B.
Marble Cavern Zone
Originally released on cassette, this collection has now found its home on vinyl. With the mastering wizardry of Marc Junker (R23X), this release sounds better than ever! Saskrotch has truly captured what it's like to race through level after level at breakneck speeds. My personal favorite track, Marble Cavern Zone, happens to contain one of Saskrotch’s favorite memories hidden between the grooves. Noted as a “eureka moment”, Saskrotch found inspiration from the Knuckles' Chaotix Original Soundtrack when composing the B-side to Marble Cavern Zone. In his words, “ … there was this amazing little bass gallop in Evening Star. I used that rhythm on the baseline and everything clicked into place so quickly.” Taking you on a carefully crafted chiptune adventure, Saskrotch will enclose you in a symphony of bits that will make you come back again and again.
The Yetee is known for their impeccable releases, and Zones is no exception. The mastering here by Marc Junker (R23X) is truly impeccable; the clearness and shear range of this album blew me away. The artistic genius of Drew Wise pushes this album’s presentation to the max with nostalgic vibes all over the place. I absolutely love the artwork here, and the clever use of shapes and colors encapsulates what it's really like to listen to this album and relive those memories of racing level-to-level as fast as possible. Saskrotch has fond memories of meeting artist Drew Wise for the first time, recalling how the pair “met cause we were at the same show and I was wearing a Sonic Mania shirt he designed.” Little did they know that life would pair them together in such a phenomenal way! Time and time again, The Yetee assembles incredible talented people and delivers a superbly tangible product that transcends the medium. There is truly something special going on behind the scenes there, and I cannot wait to see more!
Remastered for vinyl by :
Marc Junker (R23X)
Vinyl produced & distributed by:
Where to Buy?
Limited to 350 copies, this release is still readily available directly from The Yetee’s web store and from Saskrotch’s Bandcamp page. If you wish to pick up this album, you can follow the links I have posted below. This album probably won’t be in stock for long and I highly recommend you pick it up. Purchases through The Yetee or Bandcamp come with a digital code that you can redeem via Bandcamp to download the album in high-quality MP3, FLAC and more.