Twitch Streamer ‘Ninja’ Brings Soundtracks Back To The Pro Gaming World

camjameson
Written by camjameson
/ 4 mins read

In what is certainly one of the most peculiar developments in today’s electronic music market, the biggest push towards diversifying the industry in 2018 – also leading into 2019 – comes not from the scene itself, but from a completely unrelated outlier: Ninja, the Twitch streamer extraordinaire – In the past year alone, the 27-year old gamer has achieved unprecedented celebrity thanks to streaming himself playing the game Fortnite online, with all manner of advertisers & companies turning to him for endorsements, but the most important of these is the “first-of-its-kind” partnership he scored with production house Astralwerks, creating Ninjawerks, Vol.1, a custom soundtrack to Ninja’s gaming persona & by proxy the online gaming network as a whole, bringing us back to the good ol’ days of competitive gaming when those who created worlds with digital sprites & those who wrote electronic music worked hand-in-hand.

Fortnite As Part Of The Digital Zeitgeist

As invasive as it may be in your everyday life, especially for those with children, Fortnite has become the hot-spot through which many cultural movements have spawned, literally influencing an entire generation of people who either play, compete in or simply watch the game; Thus, everything the game’s top-performer Ninja does is godsend – Enter Astralwerks, who helped gather the biggest names in electronic music – & some you might never have heard of – like 3LAU, Tïesto & Nero together to create the perfect gaming playlist, featuring original works like “Game Time” & “Lullaby” specifically for his style of play. Just think about that: A guy who makes millions playing games at home has his own soundtrack! That’s how influential Fortnite has really become.

Every Tournament Needs Its Battle Music

Now, soundtracks for gaming adventures are no new thing; Everyone from EA to Playground Games to Rockstar have been licensing music for their Sports & Open-World games for decades now, choosing music they think will go along with their fan’s interests – What’s different here is that the included music is written to enhance your gaming experience, much like the Eurodance soundtrack written for Mortal Kombat back in the day someone always blasted during a tournament. Songs like Kaskade’s “On Your Mind” simulate the intense bliss one feels when they’re having a particularly stellar playthrough, whilst others like GTA & Cimo Fränkel’s “All About It” are straight up hype tracks for when you’re devastating your opposition.

Capturing A Certain Era Of Electronic Dance Excellence

We can gab all day about how the music itself connects with Ninja & the gaming industry, but what’s truly special about Ninjawerks, Vol.1 is that it unearths an entire era of electronic music that has since faded from existence: The origins of EDM – Back in the late-noughties, EDM was actually defined as its own style instead of being used as a blanket-term for all electronic dance music, characterized by harsh anthem synths, a boisterous attitude & a healthy connection to Club culture. This gets shown beautifully in “Tilted Towers,” in which Alesso rekindles the abrasive Hard Trance energy the Bay Area was dancing to in 2008 whilst Dillon Francis jumps into 2012-era Club Hits with “LFGD,” blasting your ears with that Hyphy Lil Jon “Outta Your Mind” noise everyone misses dearly – It’s like reliving the Bush administration all over again.

The Renaissance Of Hacker-Life

As mentioned before, the gaming industry – particular PC gaming – & electronic scenes once went hand-in-hand with one-another; For every Counter Strike match or Warcraft 3 competition there was some Cascada or Benny Benassi blasting in the background – Ninjawerks, Vol. 1 not only promotes this partnership, but breathes new life into a scene that had become to reliant on Electro Swing tunes with the advent of YouTuber culture, making the gaming world seem dark & cool again with songs like “Affliction” or just the natural evolution of humankind with others like “Love You Just The Same” by Ducky; You can be one of those kids who thinks they live in Blade Runner or Hackers again, born into an electronic existence that transcends reality – Well, that or you can just have some cool jams, your choice.

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