“He’s the one for me, there’s no place I’d rather be…”
Namco cooked up a storm with their Ridge Racer series in the 1990s. Video gamers across the world were treated to colourful visuals and fast-paced 3D action like they’ve never seen before and for the first time ever, thanks to the Sony PlayStation, they could experience this at home instead of being in an arcade.
The first Ridge Racer soundtrack was heavily rave-influenced, with tracks that would beat you senseless with their repetitive beats and crazy rhythms. It could arguably be said that the first game opened up the genre of rave music to a new audience culturally.
However, at the end of 1998, Namco released a Ridge Racer game with a completely different sounding soundtrack to it’s predecessors and to date it’s probably one of the most well-received original soundtracks for a racing game of all time.
Ridge Racer Type 4 was released on the Sony PlayStation in December 1998 and became one of the best-selling racing games on the PlayStation bar the likes of the Gran Turismo series.
The games formula was rather different than the other Ridge Racer games, where you would go through a sort of career mode with a team you selected at the beginning of the game and you would work your way up until you reach the end of the Real Racing Roots ’99” Grand Prix which was a race on New Years Eve in 1999.
Of course, with the game nearly sliding into a new millennium, Namco wanted something different compared to the early 1990s sounds that blasted through your CRT TV’s mono speakers.
The soundtrack for the game was composed by the Namco Sound Team, which consisted of Kohta Takahashi, Hiroshi Okubo, Asuka Sakai, Tetsukazu Nakanishi, and Koji Nakagawa. As well as this, the New Jersey-based singer, Kimara Lovelace lent her exceptional voice to plenty of the songs of the soundtrack. She is still active to this day.
We’re going to take you through some of our favourite songs from the soundtrack:
On Your Way
‘On Your Way’ is a delightfully addictive 2 minute track that scoots around your eardrums at lightning speed. With a clear UK Garage influence and delicate flute samples, you’ll be well on your way to musical heaven with this selection.
Pearl Blue Soul
With more sidechain than a 2000s French House track, ‘Pearl Blue Soul’ perpetuates the style that the Ridge Racer Type 4 soundtrack continues to hold as a cult classic.
Those who hold slap basses in high regard will love this track ever so much.
Back in February of this year, rapper and producer, JPEGMAFIA, sampled ‘Move Me’ off the Ridge Racer Type 4 soundtrack on his song, ‘BALD!‘
The fact that the song was sampled goes to show that the craftsmanship around ‘Move Me’ was quite simply one of a kind.
The track itself implements Drum & Bass features on a blustery and dreamy synth pattern, with sprinkles of electric guitars here and there. Just simply blissful.
This article was written by Louis Chant. You can follow him here.