Tuesday 10 September 2019

[RFM] Basic Dungeon

Radio Free Magnamund back on the air with the low-resolution digital soundscapes of Basic Dungeon

Released on the infamous Heimat Der Katastrophe label, home of dungeon-synth legends Gnoll and Kobold, Basic Dungeon lurks in a dark cavern lost between a soundtrack to a home-brewed adventure game for the ZX Spectrum and a bedroom studio produced demo tape of 'Ambient Fantasy Soundscapes' advertised in the classified section in the back of White Dwarf magazine back in the days of yore when it was still a Dungeons & Dragons magazine.

Basic Dungeon follows in the dank and hollow footsteps of the TSR UK produced 1985 double vinyl  First Quest in binding ambient synthesiser music with specific cues and textual references to the Dungeons & Dragons game. Track titles such as 1D4 of Copper Coins, evoke game mechanics whilst sounding like something The Advisory Circle might sandwich between layers of samples from 1970s supernatural childrens television and Open University explanatory animation soundtracks.

The hauntological tangents are buried deep within the twisted confines of the megadungeon. 1 bit wizards summon ghosts of fantasy computer games that were never written, where incomplete text adventures lurk like grinning skeletal for...if loops of undeath. Memories of the witch haunted Grannies Garden cackle alongside mushroom addled orchestrated prog-horror of Goblin. Basic Dungeon successfully fuses both vintage analogue and lo-fi digital sounds to create epically minimal caverns of sound, spawning infinite unreleased sequels to Intellivision AD&D and it's pixel possessed ilk, punctuated with minimally animated low-res skulls floating over total party kills.

For your convenience and listening pleasure, the complete (?) Basic Dungeon back catalogue follows:

Tunnels & Treasures


Tunnels & Treasures II


Expansion Set Vol. 1: The Book of Spells


Tunnels & Treasures III


Expansion Set Vol. 2: Magic Items and Other Utilities


Perils In The Slums Scenario One: The Orcs Commune

While the limited edition cassette releases are all currently sold out, downloads can be purchased from their Bandcamp.

For other Radio Free Magnamund broadcasts on low-fi fantasy music see also:  Heroquest - ZX Spectrum / BoltThrower 8 bit ,/  BBC Micro 8 bit Dungeonsynth