This week we look back the unusual "game" Music 2000 on the Playstation
It has been 15 years since Music 2000 was released and some may now find it strange that a piece of Music Production software was released for a gaming console. At the time however it was no surprise at all, not just because it was a sequel to 1998s Music, but because of the culture of the late '90s.
As mentioned before Music 2000 was a sequel to the hugely successfull Music, a music creation programme for the Playstation One. But why was it so successfull? Let me set you a picture that may be obvious for those who lived through it but younger readers may be oblivious too.
The '90s had been dominated by the Rave scene and, since the mid '80s, House music had been growing in popularity until it became the defining aspect of '90s culture. From the underground clubs playing Jungle and Hardcore to the commercial venues playing the latest Vengaboys Euro Pop, electronic music was what life was all about, unless you were into Metal or Indie of course. By the time Music was released people from all walks of life had become superstar DJ's and producers. Nothings changed you say? Well things were very different back then, there was a genuine feeling of positivity and a desire to part of the rave "tribe" as it were. It wasn't about being cool or famous as it is today, it was about being part of something bigger.
Music and Music 2000 offered your typical gamers, who were now the same people filling the clubs and illegal raves, the chance to experiment with dance music production and some tracks created by everyday people were actually signed to labels. Again I should point out that, back then, music creation software was not as abundant or easily accessible as it is today.
Acting as a basic sampler and sequencer, Music was great fun to play with and it was fairly simple to create some decent tracks from the preloaded database of samples and loops, even if you tended to end up writing tunes that always sounded like Goa Trance. Whilst Music was fun, Music 2000 really upped the game, bringing better controls, a more advanced sampler and effects units to alter those samples. It also came with some pre loaded creations by big name artists such as Grooverider and Dario G who had written tunes using the programme to showcase its abilities, giving you the opportunity to remix them.
I spent hours and hours tinkering on this game, should I use the term game? I'm still unsure. Writing everything from Deep House to some particularly Industrial Techno, it always made for an amusing post club game. In fact I still have some of my creations on a VHS somewhere.
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If you haven't tried Music or Music 2000 and you're interested in music production you could do a lot worse than to try it out. The programme is easy to understand and gives you a great understanding of the basics, allowing you to progress to more complicated programmes.
It is my opinion that these releases were true classics of the Playstation age, changing the face of gaming and gamers forever, giving a perfect snapshot of '90s dance culture.