Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Composer crafts sick groove using the sounds of the PlayStation 2, inside and out

Illustration for article titled Composer crafts sick groove using the sounds of the PlayStation 2, inside and out
Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno (Getty Images)

It’s been 21 years since Sony’s PlayStation 2 was released—long enough that a lot of adults today might feel a strong sense of nostalgia just from hearing the sounds of the console’s operating system. While we’ve seen this kind of effect used to musicians’ advantage before—most notably with the PlayStation boot up heard during the opening of Frank Ocean’s Channel Orangenobody has taken the concept as far as composer Carter Harrell.

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In a recent video, Harrell uses PlayStation 2 noises as samples for a funk track. He starts off with the console’s introductory tune but doesn’t confine himself just to menu sounds. Harrell uses the PS2 itself—the whir of its disc drive opening, controller wires being wrapped up, a memory card being slotted into a port, and a hand running across its surface—to complement the bass, guitar, and keyboard that fills out the rest of the composition.

It’s all fun and happy until the track abruptly ends with Harrell playing the console’s main menu sounds, a tear running down his cheek. Perhaps he’s thinking about a nicer time when our biggest concerns were climbing up those awful spiked columns in the original God Of War or trying to convince ourselves that renting Devil May Cry 2 from Blockbuster wasn’t as bad a choice as it seemed.

If you can’t relate to any of this PS2-specific nostalgia, don’t worry: Harrell has also looked after the Nintendo kids with a similar track made from Gamecube samples.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.