SEGA Tunes: Hideki Naganuma Edition

This week’s Tuesday Tunes will showcase the music of Hideki Naganuma, one of the funkiest composers working in video games today. The song above is from Ollie King, and as you can see, it’s as out there as anything else he’s done. If you really allow yourself to zone into it and appreciate all the craziness that goes on in a typical Naganuma track, you’ll see that there’s very little else like it. His work for the Jet Set Radio series remains some of the industry’s most iconic; his funky, up-beat, and totally unpredictable tracks really set the scene for these games and, arguably, played a major role in making them as great as they were.

Many people remember the song entitled “That’s Enough” (which you can hear after the break) in particular, mostly, I think, for its use of the rather memorable line, “the music just turns me on,” a sentiment that fits the Jet Set Radio games like a glove. Since then Naganuma’s created music for other SEGA games, including the first Sonic Rush game, a track or two from Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, and much of the music for the cel shaded arcade skateboarding title Ollie King. In my opinion though Jet Set Radio and its sequel remain his crowning achievements, games that made brilliant use of a sound he pretty much defined.

And though his other work may not be quite as well known, his sense of style, his ability to surprise, and, of course, the breakneck speed at which his songs propel themselves forward, all are aspects that carry across his entire body of work, unquestionably demonstrating his style, talent, and invention. Keep reading to hear a very familiar track from, of course, Jet Set Radio.

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7 responses to “SEGA Tunes: Hideki Naganuma Edition

  1. CrazyTails says:

    I love naganuma. Being confronted with his music at such an early age has influenced my taste in music alot.

  2. Ollie King really is a treat, both gameplay wise and musically. For those who never heard of it, and are big Naganuma fans, hearing the soundtrack is like finding a buried treasure. It really is like hearing the lost music to a third Jet Set Radio. Naganuma even remixed the JSR station transition themes.

    If anybody lives near Schaumburg, Illinois, check out their Gameworks. Last I was there, they had an Ollie King cabinet. It may very well still be there.

  3. Gagaman says:

    Never found a cabinet of this game at any arcades I’ve been to sadly, but watching gameplay footage it seems like maybe Sonic Riders was loosely based on this. Shares some similar game mechanics like how it rates every trick you pull with a ranking that also determines how much boost you get.

  4. robert says:

    i just got off playing jet grind radio and this was posted well the link i hope the xbla ver keeps the best beats like bout the city

  5. segaismysavior says:

    Wow, I’m ashamed that I didn’t check out Ollie King’s soundtrack sooner… amazing!

    I remember seeing the arcade cabinet in a few places between Ocean City, MD and Rehoboth, DE. I’ll have to see this summer if it’s still around. You could never really hear the soundtrack unfortunately, too many other machines blasting their tunes to compete with.

    • If you’re listening to the Ollie King soundtrack on YouTube, make sure to seek out the mp3 download of the tracks (ffshrine.org has them). The quality is way better than some of the YouTube versions.

  6. -nSega54- says:

    I’m bummed that Sega never did a console version of Ollie King, even if it’s just a download title. I don’t think a lot of people got to play it, myself included, and yeah, I can imagine that the soundtrack must be hard to hear in an arcade setting.

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