I’ve written articles on video game music in the past, but that was mostly a collection of songs I like, including one really obscure, sped up version of a track from the Binding of Isaac, as well as songs that essentially haunt my psyche while also being very pretty to listen to. aabicus also wrote an article a while ago (although still somewhat recently) about Team Fortress 2 remix songs he’s heard and enjoyed, and frankly that’s a whole different ballpark of craziness. But right now, I’ve been listening to the same four Minecraft tracks on loop and I have no idea how long I have been listening for. If it wasn’t for the clock on my screen as I type, I’d have no idea what time it is either.
That being said, I’ve lost track of time. I swear it was midday like five minutes ago. Nope, it’s 1pm.
Like most music, I never really understood what compels me to listen to a song and, more importantly, what compels me to keep on listening. Normally it’s some sort of underlying beat or perhaps a verse or… just a little thing like that, which makes me continue listening. With songs that make me stop what I’m doing, it’s a trance, I’m distracted by the music and that’s all there is. Minecraft music, which is written by C418, does something else to me. With Minecraft songs, it’s a different sort of trance that I’m dragged into. While I like most Minecraft tracks, I think I prefer Minecraft Volume Alpha over Volume Beta.
Most tracks are a strange, slow build up. They start somewhat quiet and simple, then grow and grow, with more and more layers being added to the song, while that initial base or beat or whatever is still there. Then, at the middle of the song, you get… I don’t want to call it a cacophony because that implies the sound is bad… a calophony? A melody? I don’t know, but it all build up into a melody and then slowly collapses on itself again, before fading into yet another slow build.
Because each track fades in and out and has a weird ambience to it, I find myself losing track of where and when I am. All these songs are different yet the same and they merge into one beautiful, non-stop melody that only ends if I snap out of it and turn off my music for a bit.
Actually, now that I’ve written this, a lot of tracks, mostly the ‘daytime’ ones, kinda do to me that Ghosts of Void does to me. But Minecraft is special and less… murder-y. At least, it is in older versions. Newer versions have pillagers and zombies and all sorts that you constantly need to deal with.
Weirdly though, this happens far more when I’m NOT playing Minecraft and the music just pops up in my Spotify playlists. When I’m playing Minecraft, while I still lose track of the time and find that it’s suddenly dark (or light), the ambient sound effects of Minecraft do… something to keep me vaguely grounded in reality. Normally it’s the sound of footsteps that wakes me up. Or a creeper snapping me back into reality by blowing me up because I wasn’t paying attention.
I should point out that C418 creates music for things that aren’t Minecraft, and has a large collection of other music he has made, which I do recommend listening to.