Traffic Jams: Kohta Takahashi – ‘Outside’

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One of the few still-wonderful things about the internet is that it brings people with niche interests together. People who’d otherwise be alone, despite a desire to celebrate the things they enjoy with like-minded individuals. My choice for today’s Traffic Jam is a song from the soundtrack to a video game that does not exist: the next Ridge Racer. And it would never have been possible without the interconnected tubes that gathered us here today.

What’s more, it’s not a song by an independent artist with a love for the franchise; it was made by a musician who, in part, shaped the series’ signature sound: Kohta Takahashi. Takahashi was one of the masterminds who worked on R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, the most beautiful racing game ever made, alongside the likes of Hiroshi Okubo and Asuka Sakai. He, like so many of us, wants publisher Bandai Namco to greenlight a new Ridge Racer, which hasn’t happened in a decade. Takahashi can’t make that happen alone, sadly, and so he’s given us the next best thing: a soundtrack.

It’s called Reiwa Type 4, and its 40-minutes of blood-pumping electronica in the arcade racing tradition. “Outside,” the song I’ve chosen to highlight here, melds the sort of drum-and-bass you would’ve heard during Ridge Racer’s turn-of-the-millennium prominence with the bombast of dubstep. I’m not normally a fan of dubstep, but Takahashi has opted for a more melodic slant, with breakbeat undertones that evoke “Move Me,” his masterpiece from R4. I’m into it.

I honestly believe we’ll one day get a new Ridge Racer, but until that happens, Reiwa Type 4 is a lovely consolation prize that keeps the dream alive. When that day does come, I know what I’ll be listening to. You can purchase Reiwa Type 4 over at Bandcamp.

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