The Streets of Rage series, one of the most iconic video games to emerge in the 90s, recently released "Streets of Rage 4" after a painful 26-year wait following the release of its third edition in 1994.
Between its first three games, which were developed and published by fabled gaming franchise Sega for its seminal console Sega Genesis, and its freshly released fourth, the series has gone through many developments over the course of its storied history. One thing, however, has remained constant—its soundtracks, which consist of trailblazing electronic dance music.
The names of Streets of Rage's composers, Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima, are etched in the history books of both gaming and EDM. Ingeniously blending disco with chiptune, they crafted quirky, adrenaline-fueled compositions that defined not only the games they soundtracked, but also the entire video game zeitgeist. Considering the indelible contributions to the game's initial trilogy by the legendary Koshiro and Kawashima, you can practically feel the beads of sweat that dripped down the cheeks of the main composer of "Streets of Rage 4," Olivier Deriviere, when he was commissioned to score the long-awaited game.
In a feature published in the Washington Post today, Deriviere, a renowned French composer known for his work on the soundtracks for "Alone in the Dark," "Obscure," and "Remember Me," offered up some insight into how he went about scoring such an iconic video game. “We knew what the nostalgia fans would want, but we had to move forward as well and offer a broader choice of genres than just the 90s club music,” Deriviere told The Post. “So I went through all the following years and picked up the one that felt right for every stage of the game. I ended up borrowing from Dr. Dre, the Wu-Tang Clan and Skrillex among many others, and since I happen to love electronic music, I added quite a few underground references too, like Aphex Twin.”
Deriviere went on to say that he structured the "Streets of Rage 4" soundtrack "like a DJ set," starting out with more tame, R&B-inspired sounds and hip-hop before gradually increasing the tempo and energy. “The journey through all the different music genres could have felt like a patchwork, so I had to find a cohesive sound to unite them all,” he said. “I thought the best way for doing it was to twist it all into one final blend that would eventually become the sound of ‘Streets of Rage 4.’ It seems like it worked out.”
“Streets of Rage 4,” which was released on April 30th, 2020 is developed by Dotemu, Lizardcube, and Guard Crush Games. It is available to play on Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.