Hideki Kamiya’s and Clover Studio’s Zelda-esque Ōkami is often considered among the sixth console generation’s most under-appreciated gems. It managed to get a motion-equipped Wii port, more recently an HD PlayStation 3 remastering, and even a touch-furnished DS sequel, Ōkamiden, but it’s never really “taken off” as far beyond its cult-following as many—myself included—think it deserves to.
To me, among the coolest parts of
Ōkami is undoubtedly its tone and atmosphere, taking elements of traditional Japanese culture to create its impressively distinct aesthetic in terms of both visuals and sounds. Zencha Music seems to agree, particularly in the music department, so they’ve gone and made an awesome Jazz-Hop (a Jazz meets Hip-Hop type deal) remix album for Ōkami‘s soundtrack!
A couple months back, Zencha actually ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of physical copies of Shinshu in Bloom, and here’s an excerpt from what they wrote beneath the question “Why a remix album?“
“Okami is quite literally in my top three favorite games (next to Braid and another game I won’t mention). I played the original PS2 version on launch before it was even cool. In other words, I’m an Okami hipster (and there’s
nothing wrong with that). Furthermore, anyone who plays this game will tell you that the soundtrack is absolutely amazing. It’s awe-inspiring how well done and immersive it is.
I want to, potentially, bring this amazing soundtrack to someone who wouldn’t have heard it otherwise (by making it more accessible). Most of all, I did it because I love music and Okami and it’s awesome and I’m so happy with how it’s coming out and aaaahhhwhekwlekaj.”
If you’re interested, Zencha is still selling physical copies of the album for $15 at zencha.bandcamp as well as limited editions including two extra tracks—”Sakura Shuffle” and “Legend of the Blue Wolf”—and special “night-themed” cover art. But, if you’re not interested in a physical copy and can stand missing out on those two tracks, Zencha has the full 14-track Shinshu in Bloom available for download free of charge, or you can even listen to it on YouTube (above).
The full track list (with links to their particular time in the YouTube upload) is as follows:
- Radio Okami
- Kamiki Village Dance
- Shinshu in Bloom
- An Artist and Her Dragon
- Fine Goods
- Tama on Fire
- Tides, Strings, and Melodies
- Cavern of the Beast
- Young Love
- Thank You, so Much
- Miracles and Treasures
- Stay Strong, Ayame
- Tribe of the Gods
- Sakura Shuffle (Limited Edition Only)
- Legend of the Blue Wolf (Limited Edition Only)
I’m going to say that “An Artist and Her Dragon,” “Tama on Fire,” and “Shinshu in Bloom” are my current favorites, but it’s all pretty damn great. Give it a listen and then tell me yours!