Cleveland's Rob Kovacs Releases Single for Virtual Reality Game Soundtrack

The complete soundtrack arrives on January 27

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click to enlarge Rob Kovacs. - Courtesy of One In a Million Media
Courtesy of One In a Million Media
Rob Kovacs.
Local composer, pianist and singer-songwriter Rob Kovacs just released the single “Star Forge” off the upcoming virtual reality game soundtrack, Straylight, which he entirely scored and engineered.

“’Star Forge’ is an immersive, sound-swirling, warm, chill synth-wave track that elicits feelings of wonder, exploration and endless possibilities,” reads a press release about the album. “Inspired by the abstract and brilliant world of the revolutionary VR experience, this song utilizes a retro Prophet 5 synth and runs it through modern technology to create a sound unlike anything out there currently. ‘Star Forge’ follows a simple AB form that loops and was one of the few songs that wasn't written with any particular level in mind, but rather the game as a whole. The production's tone is expansive and unlike anything a player or listener has ever heard before."

Kovacs offers that this work is “the perfect feeling for the second level of Straylight, as the player begins to experience this new abstract world unfolding before them.”

“This is the first track I made for Straylight where I finally felt, ‘Yes! This is the sound I’m going for!’” he says.

The soundtrack consists of 10 progressive synthwave tracks, featuring long-developing melodies that require multiple listens, ideal for songs that may be looping multiple times. Harmonically, Kovacs makes heavy use of "mode mixture" and progressions — a feeling that is mirrored by gameplay where there is no ground.

Developed by Dr. Bloc, the game allows players to experience flying unlike any other game. The music reflects a similar feeling of weightlessness and floating.

Kovacs also releases music under the moniker 88bit and credits his knowledge of early video game music for inspiring his approach to composing new soundtracks for video games today.

“I’ve never written music like this before," he says. "And I probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for this game. The team basically trusted me and gave me free rein to compose whatever I wanted. I used this opportunity to try new compositional ideas and techniques. I feel I’ve created something very unique and something that people will want to keep coming back to whether they play the game or not."

The complete Straylight soundtrack arrives on Emperia Records on Jan. 27 with the game to follow on Jan. 31.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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