33 1/3 blurs the lines between video games, music, books, and plumbing with new Super Mario Bros. title

33 1/3 blurs the lines between video games, music, books, and plumbing with new Super Mario Bros. title

If we’ve learned anything from the publication of the 33 1/3 Celine Dion book (well, apart from a discourse on the notion of taste, that is), it’s that the Bloomsbury -affiliated series on music and culture just DGAF. They DGAF about what you think is “literary” or whatever. They DGAF that you’re like “Super Mario? How is this a music type book? Wait, the SOUNDTRACK to Super Mario? Whaaaa—???? Nahhhhhh….”

Because damn it, they’re gonna release a whole book about Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Bros., whether you hold that 80s soundtrack of blips, bleeps, and accumulating coins on par with Beethoven or not. Chosen from over 400 proposals, Andrew Schartmann’s book is the first of 14 new 33 1/3 titles heading to a bookstore near you over the course of 2015-2016. The video game-loving academic delves into the topics of changing technology, Nintendo marketing, and why so many of us still have those damn Mario songs stuck in our heads 20 years later. The book hits shelves in May 2015; read a description from the publisher below, and also check out Mr P’s classic “Mario Coin” Chocolate Grinder Mix.

Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Bros. (1985) score redefined the video game music genre. With under 3 minutes of music, Kondo put to rest an era of bleeps and bloops—the sterile products of a lab environment—replacing it with one in which game sounds constituted a legitimate form of artistic expression. Author Andrew Schartmann takes us through the various external factors (e.g., advances in technology, Nintendo’s marketing tactics) that coalesced into a ripe environment in which Kondo’s musical experiments could thrive. He then delves into the music itself, searching for reasons why our hearts still dance to the “primitive” 8-bit tunes of a bygone era.

• 33 1/3: http://333sound.com

Most Read