Thematic Thursday: Katamari Damacy

Welcome back to Thematic Thursdays where I share from my collection of soundtracks suitable for writing or working! Today to help you get your new year rollin’, we’re going to explore–you guessed it–the Katamari Damacy soundtracks.

I’m sure thesises could be written about Katamari Damacy; it’s a deeply weird but highly engaging game published by Namco in 2004 for the PS2, and the soundtracks are the perfect accompaniment. They are also deeply weird and highly engaging.

Lead composer and sound director Yuu Miyake spoke about being given little direction and wanting to go in a fun direction as possible:

Since the first game, Katamari Damacy, was originally only released in Japan, we wanted Japanese singers who were well-known in Japan but nobody had heard from in awhile for whatever reason.

What I think is important in this consuming society is not to stick to one genre. I maintain this philosophy throughout the entire Katamari series. Since Japan has a long history of games I included chiptunes like YMCK. I also added “organic” tunes like SOFT’s remix of “You Are Smart.”

(quotes from the Playstation blog; the entirely post is quite amusing and I recommend it. ‘What hath god wrought’ indeed.)

If you were to name a genre of music you’d likely find an element of it in the Katamari soundtrack; it’s possibly the most eclectic soundtrack I own, besides Cowboy Bebop, and yet, unlike Cowboy Bebop, the Katamari OST sounds cohesive. It’s meant to be listened to over and over being for a video game, so while there are some jarring elements, it also blends well into the background and is intensely peppy. Chiptunes, jazz, samba, rap, humming, pop, bossa nova, spoken word… It’s a fruit salad of a soundtrack, and that salad is delicious.

Normally I don’t recommend music with a lot of lyrics for working/writing because the lyrics (to me) get in the way of what I am typing, but there is a big loophole: lyrics in languages the listener doesn’t speak. The Katamari Damacy soundtrack features rapping that manages to become verbal wallpaper thanks to the Japanese lyrics (even the english lyrics sound like Japanese, it’s very odd) which is why I included it for a Thematic Thursday. It is fantastic background work for chores and computer work that requires motivation and enthusiasm more than detail-oriented focus, I feel. So if today is the day you need to send out a bunch of pitches or clean out a closet so you can put away your Christmas decorations properly, I’m here for you.

(links via YouTube)

Katamari Damacy OST | We Love Katamari OST

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