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Dun-Dam ~Dungeons & Dam~ Audio Collection

[back cover]
Catalog Number: VGCD-0166
Released On: May 27, 2009
Composed By: Toshiko Tasaki
Arranged By: Shinji Hosoe (2-24)
Published By: 5pb.Records
Recorded At: Memory-Tech
Format: 2 CDs
Buy this CD from Play-Asia
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Dun-Dam 6971.1m³
02 - Quiet City 173.9m³
03 - Temple 233.6m³
04 - Nearby Dangerous City 234.0m³
05 - Dam 238.2m³
06 - Warmth From the Sun 177.1m³
07 - Tavern 233.5m³
08 - Night Battle 243.9m³
09 - Hospital 249.6m³
10 - Ambitious City 247.0m³
11 - The Outcome Is 238.6m³
12 - Warehouse 216.2m³
13 - Emergency! 248.5m³
14 - Research Laboratory 200.6m³
15 - Fate 245.2m³
16 - Blacksmith 243.2m³
17 - Assault 242.5m³
18 - Teach Me 230.5m³
19 - Boss Appears! 216.3m³
20 - Just In Case 160.8m³
21 - The Morning Came 237.9m³
22 - Sorrowful Visit 156.1m³
23 - Don't Look Back 78.2m³
Total Time:
54'42"

Disc Two
01 - Yearning For Dam!
02 - Dun-Dam
03 - Quiet City
04 - Temple
05 - Nearby Dangerous City
06 - Dam
07 - Warmth From the Sun
08 - Tavern
09 - Night Battle
10 - Hospital
11 - Ambitious City
12 - The Outcome Is
13 - Warehouse
14 - Emergency!
15 - Research Laboratory
16 - Fate
17 - Blacksmith
18 - Assault
19 - Ambitious City • Death
20 - Blacksmith • Death
21 - Hospital • Death
22 - Fierce Fighting • Oblivion
23 - Don't Look Back
24 - Yearning For Dam! -Remix ver.-
25 - Yearning For Dam! -Karaoke ver.-
Total Time:
68'22"

Unless we are quick enough to forget that Japan has come up with such quirky RPG hybrids as the "racing RPG" (Racing Lagoon) and the "soccer RPG" (Inazuma Eleven), we won't be surprised at the existence of Dun-Dam, a DS title labeled in all Japanese ads as a "Dam Management RPG." I always wanted to control the levels of the town's water supply; haven't you?

I can't actually speak to the quality of this particular RPG... not yet, anyway. But after listening to the soundtrack, I can certainly speak to the quality of the music. And based on the soundtrack alone, I would be very happy to have this game come to North America.

The composer, Toshiko Tasaki, has worked on a couple of Shin Megami Tensei titles, as well as the DS adventure game "Touch Detective." My personal take on Tasaki-san's work is that it could generally use some extra help to "get where it needs to go." There are a lot of great musical ideas, but rarely do they develop into something valuable or meaningful.

On Dun-Dam, however, my opinion of Tasaki's work has definitely changed.

This is an RPG soundtrack that will appeal to any RPG fan that gives the soundtrack a chance. In this sense, I would equate it to the Rune Factory soundtracks; not because Rune Factory and Dun-Dam share a similar melodic or instrumental style, but because they both manage to capture that ineffable feeling that makes us say, "hey, this is good game music!"

At no point does the soundtrack attempt to be a film score. And at no point does Tasaki-san decide to give us bland atmospheric drivel. No "mood music." These are solid compositions that stand well on their own and bring a new level of vibrancy to whatever game they're ascribed. And based on the concept art I've seen for Dun-Dam (mostly in the soundtrack's packaging), I'd be surprised if gamers thought the score didn't fit the game well.

Now, while the album is split into two discs, it's not two discs of original music. The soundtrack repeats a common occurrence for DS soundtracks. The first disc, while it doesn't explicitly say so in the tracklist, is the "DS sound source" version. The second disc contains original compositions, which are of a higher synth (sound processing/library) quality. The second disc also contains the vocal theme song for the game, as well as two extra versions of said vocal track. One version is a remix from SuperSweep founder and techno-mix mastermind Shinji Hosoe. The remix isn't too far from the already sugar-coated synth pop original piece. Hosoe adds extra percussion and some chiptunes to the mix.

This album was published by 5pb.Records, and while I don't know any sales figures, I do know that among English-speaking importers, the album has fallen under the radar. Hopefully this review will serve to generate more interest in the soundtrack, because I think it's one of my favorites for the year of 2009. I expect even greater things from Toshiko Tasaki in the years to come. She's proven she can do a "chill," soothing soundtrack; let's see what else she can do.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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