SEGA TouringCar Championship

SEGA TouringCar Championship. Front. Click to zoom.
SEGA TouringCar Championship
Front
Composed by Caria-Gelmetti-Gulinelli / Ebizoo / Hidenori Shoji / Hiroyuki Kawada / Praga Khan / Ryo Arai / SEGA / Sei Matsumura / Starr Gazer / Yohsuke Takeda / Yoji Biomehanika / Yuki Kubo
Arranged by SEGA
Published by Marvelous Entertainment
Catalog number MJCA-00002
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 17 tracks
Release date October 17, 1997
Duration 00:57:07
Genres
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Overview

Sega Touring Car Championship was the little cousin of Sega Rally Championship released for Arcades and the Saturn during 1997. While the game was critically panned, the electronic score was largely well-received. The score's production represented quite a change from the normal Sega approach. While a team of in-house employees were involved, there were also vocal tracks and trance tracks outsourced to various professionals. The overall aim was to produce an exciting and varied accompaniment to the game in a modern electronica style. With its hybrid of licensed and in-house original sounds, does the album release come together to form a cohesive whole?

Body

The album begins with three licensed tracks by Avex artists. While a strange precedent to the eventual emphasis on licensed tracks by non-Sega racing titles, these tracks are actually pretty well done. "So High" is a very motivating trance anthem featuring especially emotional female vocals; its production values are probavly higher than pretty much all the other tracks on the soundtrack. "Are You Wake Up", in contrast, is relatively quirky with a series of catchy electronic riffs and the occasional male vocal sample. Needless to say, it's well done once again. Finally, "Don't Drop Me" is a fast motivating anthem with very punchy electronic beats. The female lead vocals are as balanced well as "So High", but bring a lot of emotions to the track and a retro influence. For some reason, this track reminds me a lot of the former pop band Steps, though it's not as bad! All in all, these tracks are big highlights.

The 'trance' section featured between tracks 4 and 9 attempts to give Ridge Racer a run for its money. It only slightly succeeds. "Over True" is a hyper-fast super-happy anthem coloured by various synthpads and piano work while "Brave Nu Charge" is a fairly refreshing blend of hardcore sections and more uplifting anthemic trance. However, "Intense" (well "Intence", whatever) is an extremely repetitious and generic drum 'n bass track with no gaming spirit whatsoever. "Rising High" isn't much better and rather jarring in places, though at least develops a little. Easily the best contribution of the bunch is Riow Arai's "Sonic Drive". It doesn't sound anything like his repetitious Front Mission Alternative work and features a blend of rock melodies and upbeat jazz improvisations. It's wonderfully implemented too right down to the soprano saxophone solo. Apparently a few of his tracks were rejected from Touring Car Championship and that's a big shame considering what they could have done in place of "Intense".

The Sega sound team make their late debut on the album between track 10 and 19, though largely maintain the electronic emphasis. Hiroshi Kawaguchi's "Loose Control" and "Target" both feature hyperactive blends of old-school melodies with modern trance; the latter is especially exciting with its string overtones and vocal sampling. Early in his career, Hidenori Shoji already demonstrates his rhythmical edge with "Inductee" and even blends in some stylish jazz improvisations. There are a couple of less impressive efforts, though. Yusuke Takeda only just seems to be getting the grasp of creating breakbeats in "Cool Tropics" so ends up repeating certain treble elements too much. Although functional in the game, Seiichiro Matsumura's "Condition Red" is even less impressive. Keeping the game spirit alive, at least Matsumara's "Higher Steamer" is a surprising but welcome rock track with a few hints of Sega Rally. On that note, the album ends with a high-octane trance remix of Takenobu Mitsuyoshi's Sega Rally 2 hit "Conditioned Reflex".

Summary

Despite its three-tiered hybridised approach, Sega Touring Car Championship comes together as an album pretty well. There is a variation in quality from vibrant hits such as "So High", "Sonic Drive", and "Target" all the way to repetitive stinkers such as "Intense" and "Condition Red". Overall, though, the production values are high in terms of both composition and implementation. There is also a feeling that it is quite pioneering for its time even though its effect was lost given the quality of the game. Regardless of the game, there should be enough diversity and quality here to keep most fans of upbeat electronica entertained.



Album
7/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

Composers
-------------
Channel X (1)
Starr Gazer (2)
Ann Sinclair (3)
Ebizoo (4,5,9)
Yuki Kubo (6)
Yoji Biomehanika (7)
Ryo Arai (8)
Sei Matsumura (10,11)
Hiro (12,13)
Hidenori Shoji (14)
Yohsuke Takeda (15)
SEGA Sound Team (16,17)


Track | Composer
----------------

01. So High      ChannelX      Words & Music by Praga Khan,Adams Prod.BVBA
02. Are u Wake up?      Starr Gazer      Words & Music by Starr Gazer
03. Don't Drop Me      Ann Sinclair      Words & Music by Caria-Gelmetti-Gulinelli
04. Over True      Ebizoo
05. Intence      Ebizoo
06. Rising High      Yuki Kubo
07. Brave Nu Charge      Yoji Biomehanika
08. Sonic Drive      Ryo Arai
09. Regen      Ebizoo
10. Higher Streamer      Sei Matsumura
11. Condition RED      Sei Matsumura
12. Loose Control      Hiro
13. Target      Hiro
14. Inductee      Hidenori Shoji
15. Cool Tropics      Yohsuke Takeda
16. Game Over      SEGA

Secret Track (Bonus - SEGA Rally Remixed)
17. Conditioned Reflex (STCC Mix)      Takenobu Mitsuyoshi remixed by SEGA

Track 16 doesn't have an artist listed on the booklet, and track 17 is a secret track with no printed credits on the booklet


Executive Producer:                   Haruki Nkayama [MMV]
Producer:                                  Tetsuya Mizuguchi [SEGA]
                                                Motoshi Takabe [SEGA]
A&R:                                        Yoshiaki Matsumoto [MMV]
                                                Hiroyuki ASada [MMV]
Mix Engineer:                            Tatsutoshi Narita [SEGA]
Mastering Engineer:                   Kazuya Satoh [PONY CANYON]

[M1~M3] By The Courtesy Of Avex D.D.,Inc.
Music Specially Coordinated :    Tom Yada [avex group]
Music Executive Producer:         MAsato "MAX" Matsuura[avex trax]
                                              Ryozo Syoji [PRIME DIRECTION INC]
Music Arrangement:                 Yasuhiko Yoshino

Creative Director:                    Tatsuo Sugai[T'S]
Art Director:                            K.Kominami[K's]
Art Work Cooridination:            You-co Limura[T'S]
Designer:                                To-ru Takahashi[T'S]
                                              KENTA KABAYASHI[T'S]
Album was composed by Caria-Gelmetti-Gulinelli / Ebizoo / Hidenori Shoji / Hiroyuki Kawada / Praga Khan / Ryo Arai / SEGA / Sei Matsumura / Starr Gazer / Yohsuke Takeda / Yoji Biomehanika / Yuki Kubo and was released on October 17, 1997. Soundtrack consists of 17 tracks tracks with duration over about 60 minutes. Album was released by Marvelous Entertainment.

CD 1

1
So High
02:58
2
Are u Wake up?
03:10
3
Don't Drop Me
02:49
4
Over True
00:42
5
Intence
03:48
6
Rising High
04:59
7
Brave Nu Charge
02:36
8
Sonic Drive
03:47
9
Regen
04:12
10
Higher Streamer
04:25
11
Condition RED
05:00
12
Loose Control
04:10
13
Target
05:12
14
Inductee
03:50
15
Cool Tropics
01:30
16
Game Over
00:10
17
Conditioned Reflex (STCC Mix)
03:49
30.04.12
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