Stöj Snak

Chronology Original Soundtrack

Written by: PP on 16/01/2014 23:04:17

Stöj Snak is the alter ego of Niels Sørensen (Mighty Midgets), which is often described as screamer-songwriter for its unique take on the genre. Chronology is an upcoming adventure/platform game for PC that looks to be a fairly innovative indie game based on the trailers I've been watching. And what do the two have got to do with each other? Well, Stöj Snak has written a 22-track soundtrack to the game, which functions as mood-setting background music while you play the game. It's a radical departure sound wise from what we're used to hearing from Stöj Snak, in fact you might as well forget everything you've ever heard Niels write, including the material in his main band Mighty Midgets, because none of that is going to prepare you for what is on "Chronology Original Soundtrack".

If only it were as simple as to note that there are no vocals on the disc whatsoever (aside from a lead in and lead out track), which have always been the core strength for anything Stöj Snak related in the past. But really, this is quite an accomplishment musically for Niels, as we are introduced to cinematic soundscapes consisting of unusual percussion, xylophones as the main instrument, violins, classical music arrangements, defining ambient moments, and much else to create specific moods to match various settings and areas in the game. Many of the tracks are barely a minute long (a couple of longer pieces exist), and common to all of them is that they are clearly designed for easy looping in case the player is stuck in a section of the game for longer than the song actually lasts. Each song is decisively different from the next, purposefully so to highlight the different contexts present in the game (as seen in the YouTube embed below).

All of it makes for perfect background music for an indie game looking to push some boundaries in terms of gameplay. But that being said, I'm having a difficult time seeing why you would ever listen to this outside of the game context. Even as a casual music fan, a track like "The Passport Office" will surely feel like elevator music rather than something you'd actually put on a good pair of headphones for. This is even less so the case if you're coming in with a curious mind because you've loved everything else Stöj Snak has released thus far (and you should, his records are amazing, be sure to check those if you haven't yet). Without the vocals, the acoustic guitar, the poetic lyricism... well, this just doesn't work as an album, at least nowhere in the same range as it works as actual music in the game. And while I respect the musical achievement that this record is, from a music critic's point of view, this isn't something you'd want to listen to on its own.

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For the fans of: Game and movie soundtracks
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Release date 15.01.2014

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