Leave it to Brooklyn’s Ship to Shore Phonograph Co. to find the a way to release a 7-inch of the most insanely catchy and intensely-paced chiptune music they could find. The Adventures of Bayou Billy might not be the most well-known of the titles released on the Famicom and NES during the late ‘80s, but the music for the game is absolutely fantastic, even for the majority who might be unfamiliar with the side-scrolling brawler.
This 7-inch marks the first installment of Ship to Shore’s Konami Kukeiha Club Museum Series, and for fans of Castlevania or the other games from that composing group, the attempt by the label to “highlight lesser known gems from the esteemed history of the legendary Konami sound team” is definitely off to a solid start.
The record comes pressed on swampy green marble vinyl, and includes an obi strip and a poster by artist Austin James. On the reverse of the poster are liner notes by Jeremy Parish of Retronauts.com, which really do a great job of selling the qualities of the game, as well as the music, which he describes as “a collection of tracks that sat somewhere between house music and soul pop.”
As it’s a 7-inch, The Adventures of Bayou Billy is really quite short in length, but this is more of a museum piece than anything one might regularly spin around the house. The tracks -- while catchy -- don’t run but more than a couple of minutes cumulatively, and breeze by so quickly that it’s as if it’s just one longer, madly-diverse track to a side.
For fans of chiptune, video game history, and the wonder that is Ship to Shore, this is an absolute must-have. Despite its short running time, the packaging, liner notes, and poster artwork make this a really fantastic little slab of wax with a lot going on.
THE ADVENTURES OF BAYOU BILLY (1988) / COMPOSER: KONAMI KUKEIHA CLUB / LABEL: SHIP TO SHORE PHONOGRAPH CO. / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW