Jesper Kyd’s music for Ubisoft’s video game series, Assassin’s Creed, is almost synonymous with the franchise as a whole. Although Kyd left the franchise after Revelations in 2011, giving the duties over to his Revelations collaborator Lorne Balfe, it’s still his sonic aesthetic with which the games are most identified.
Most of the cuts in this collection come from Jesper Kyd’s music for Assassin’s Creed 2. The whole first side is actually from that title, while the second features one more cut from the sequel, as well as two from Brotherhood, one from Revelations, and the just the final cut comes from the original game.
Given the fact that Kyd’s music for the first sequel is by far the fan favorite, it oughtn’t to come of much of a surprise that so much of the music here comes from that instalment. There are even two tracks from Assassin’s Creed 2 - “Florence Rooftops” and “Leonardo’s Inventions ” - that are exclusive to this picture disc, and haven’t previously been released.
That game’s blueprint - guitars and drums pushing everything forward, with the strings as accents, rather than the emphasis of the first game - is what made Assassin’s Creed so notable. So, celebrating the groundwork Jesper Kyd put down is a completely wonderful thing, and the folks at Ubisoft and Spacelab9 have done an excellent job of putting together the highlights from the composer’s tenure with the franchise.
Whether you’re intimately familiar with the games, or just a fan of good, pulse-pounding soundtracks, Assassin’s Creed: The Best of Jesper Kyd is a very nice starting point for Jesper Kyd’s music. The picture disc on which the music comes is a little hissy, but it looks gorgeous, and having any of this excellent music on vinyl is a pretty solid start.
ASSASSIN’S CREED: THE BEST OF JESPER KYD (2016) / COMPOSER: JESPER KYD / LABEL: SPACELAB9 / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW