Digital composers of the 1990s pushed the console tech far beyond its natural limits to produce warped symphonies that are buried deep in the minds of millions. Now specialist labels are reissuing them on vinyl.
In an age when even the most obscure subculture is within easy reach a passion for music can become tinged with one-upmanship. ‘Have you heard these Levantine recordings from 1906?’ ‘S’OK. I’m more into this Tuareg reimagining of Purple Rain’.
The feverish cratedigging is compounded with the trend for luxurious vinyl releases – to the point where your mantelpiece can end up stuffed with cloth-bound 10-LP boxes of even the most marginal synth-botherer and your kids are asking why you can’t afford their uni fees.
Now a new frontier is opening up for the fetishists: videogame soundtracks. These are being brought out of hiding – lovingly remastered – pressed on to vinyl and packaged with all the foil-blocked majesty of the finest LP reissues. Once the videogame soundtrack occupied a stratum of cultural respectability alongside Hornby train sets – war re-enactments and scale models of manga schoolgirl characters – a slightly weird object for completists and inveterate nerds.
Now they’re making a bid to be treated as high art.