Velocity Vistas Review: Cruising Memory Lane
Following up a tribute to Tekken 2, Mairiba’s latest album Velocity Vistas honors the 1986 SEGA classic, Out Run. I’ll admit that I was not familiar with either the game or the game’s soundtrack before listening to this album, but I found myself curious, so I listened to the original OST before writing this review. Fans looking for a faithful, modern recreation of Hiroshi Kawaguchi’s seminal work will be most pleased with this album.
Put simply, this is the perfect album to accompany a meandering, afternoon drive. Mairiba doesn’t take many risks when it comes to the instrumentation used here, but sometimes you don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Sometimes, you just need the wheel to take you someplace warm, wild, and fun.
Given that the Out Run soundtrack is relatively short (less than 15 minutes total), Mairiba took great care with the arrangement of the album by shifting “Splash Wave” after “Passing Breeze”. The effect is a more cohesive listening experience that ebbs and flows like a winding road to nowhere in particular. Slightly distorted guitars and syncopated percussion welcome the listener on “Magical Sound Shower”, a natural album opener. “Passive Breeze” (my favorite track on the album) keeps the good vibes going and ends on some strong solos. “Splash Wave” sounds like the perfect 80s soundtrack with bright synths and a bouncing bassline. Album closer “Last Wave” is the perfect send-off featuring reverb-soaked guitars and ambient wave effects.
Given the album’s short run-time, I can heartily recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the original soundtrack or retro soundtracks in general. Fans looking for a more experimental approach may be disappointed, but there’s an infectious nostalgic joy that’s present on the album. It’s clear that Mairiba has great admiration for the source material, and after listening to the OST myself, I completely understand why. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, Velocity Vistas is the perfect vehicle to do so.