If you don't know French electronic music producer Danger (opens in new tab) (aka Franck Rivoire) by name, you will soon. He's been slowly making a name for himself in the underground music scene and blogosphere for nearly a decade, combining his love of video games, anime, and 1980s-inspired sounds and pop culture, and infusing his music with the kind of theatricality typically reserved for techno-fueled sci-fi flicks. His enigmatic, brooding, and atmospheric EPs - with track names titled by the hour and minute Danger finished making them - sound like the lost soundtrack to a video game or movie that exists just outside your own memory. It's appropriate, then, that one of his first big forays into the mainstream was his contribution to last year's breakout indie hit game Furi (opens in new tab): a neon-soaked boss rush filled with Danger's towering and pulsing synthwave beats. Since then, he's gone on to tour with some of EDM's biggest stars, including Porter Robinson and Madeon.
Danger is taking his love for games, sci-fi, and all things retro-futuristic and pouring it into his upcoming album 太鼓 (pronounced 'taiko', like the Japanese instrument), available on June 2nd (which you can sample here (opens in new tab)). In anticipation for the release of his first-ever LP, I reached out to Danger to get him to craft a playlist of his favorite video game tracks. Among them are a range of classics that have inspired him and his work - from Amiga games with thumping basslines to the symphonic overtures of Final Fantasy and Shadow of the Colossus - along with a handful of songs he created for Furi. He's also written a little bit about why each track is special to him.
Click below to listen to our exclusive retro gaming playlist
Why each track was chosen, in Danger's words
"My album, 太鼓 (Taiko), coming June 2nd was heavily influenced by video game + anime themes and culture. So I thought it proper to make a playlist for you that reflects on this."
Lionheart (from Lionheart) - Matthias Steinwachs
"My first computer was an AMIGA 1200, and I immediately noticed that the in-game music was incredible. Matthias Steinwachs created this dark opera. That used to impress me a lot as a kid."
Shadow of the Beast (from Shadow of the Beast) - David Whittaker
"David Whittaker's Amiga tracker music is great and a big inspiration."
Death Adder (from Golden-Axe) - Sega Sound Team
"I love FM synthesis, especially the FM chip that you could find in the SEGA Genesis. The sounds are metallic and sometimes painfully high."
8:02 (from Furi) - Danger
"A boss fight track that I created for the game Furi. I always wanted to compose this kind of fighting theme."
Shoot or Die (from Turrican 1) - Chris Huelsbeck
"Back on the Amiga with another classic Amiga and C64 soundtrack composer: Chris Huelsbeck. I actually started making music on Amiga vertical sequencers called “trackers”."
Jim Power II (from Jim Power in Mutant Planet) - Chris Huelsbeck
"Another Chris Huelsbeck theme - I couldn't find the original one on Spotify. I’ve spent so much time on that game… mostly for the music."
Xenon 2 (from Xenon 2: Megablast) - David Whittaker
"Older son of the Amiga, the Commodore 64 music was also a major inspiration for me. Here's the Xenon 2 theme, C64 .SID style by David Whittaker."
6:24 (from Furi) - Danger
"Another boss fight track that I created for the game Furi. I tried to create this kind of hybrid-pairing between Electro/Ethnic/Classical/Trance/Trap."
Stage 7 (from Streets Of Rage) - Yūzō Koshiro
"Streets of Rage theme from Yūzō Koshiro, famous FM housy soundtrack."
One-Winged Angel (from Final Fantasy 7) - Nobuo Uematsu
"Well-known tune / Sephiroth last battle, an amalgam of classical march patterns. You have to realize that this music was the only one in-game that contained voice samples."
On that Day, Five Years Ago (from Final Fantasy 7) - Nobuo Uematsu
"The FF7 soundtrack is full of mysterious themes like this one."
Shadow of the Colossus (from Shadow of the Colossus) - Kow Otani
"Epic OST from Kow Otani, and magnificent game from Fumito Ueda."