TWRM Radio

TWRM Radio: “Noire” – 1hr of jazz noir video game music

I’ve got eight slugs in me. One’s lead, and the rest are bourbon. The drink packs a wallop and I pack a revolver.
-Tracer Bullet, Calvin and Hobbes



As evidence to demonstrate that things have settled down into an easy state of normalization around here, while still evincing proof that I’m not dead, I’ve at last resurrected the symphonic series of musical mesmerization, namely: TWRM Radio!

Yes, despite the fact that these have never struck a chord of incredible popularity, I enjoy doing them. That’s enough for me. At least it should be enough for most content creators, right? So in the spirit of doing what makes me happy and hoping that it cheers some souls I’ve never met, as well, here is our brand new “Noire” mix, which takes its cues from the classic black and white movie genre and its particular style of music.

“Noire”, the feminine form of “noir”, is a mix of jazz noir video game music, though you can trace that musical flavor all the way back to old crime melodramas popular in the 40s and 50s, film noir. Hard-boiled detectives, treacherous dames, smoke illuminated in the night, the stark imagery of film noir is captured by its music, which is always of the smoothest and darkest sort when it comes to jazz.

Lest we forget, we’ve crafted a mix of big band jazz before, “Ebullience”, and that was naturally a happier, more energetic collection of tracks. This, its darker sister, is for those looking for a little private rumination, some soul-searching, some blues-feeling, or maybe just plain old relaxation.

I took some care with organizing the tracks the way I did in “Noire”; the jazz noir style is rather specific and it becomes apparent that it’s something of a limited niche after listening to it for some time. Video games that feature jazz noir are very on-the-nose about their presentation. High hats, slinky clarinets, swooning saxes, crooning brass… what I tried to do was interject some differentiation throughout this mix. What that means is I tried to segment off sections of the collection and pick out distinct feelings. You’ll notice that there are lighter tracks here and there, blues once in a while, something more foreboding here, and something a little more lounge-worthy there. That’s by design.

This was actually the hardest TWRM Radio mix I’ve ever had to put together and while the sound of jazz noir is uniquely recognizable, it was hard to think of a variety of games which bore the style we wanted. I’m all the gladder to finally unveil it to the world.

So, here’s “Noire”… and here’s looking at you, kid.

My specialest thanks goes out to the ABXY Mage (@ABXY_Reviews), the Hyperactive Coffee Mage (Games with Coffee), and the Sometimes Vaguely Philosophical Mage (Overthinker Y) for contributing nominees to this mix! Thanks, guys!

What’s one of your favorite songs in this mix? I love me some Grim Fandango!

How about any tracks we might’ve included? I try to keep these limited to one track per game.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, what would be a cool theme to tackle for our next TWRM Radio mix? Let me know in the comments and see you then!

Play it with feeling,
-The Well-Red Mage


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