Jun Senoue

Jun Senoue on Team Sonic Racing Original Soundtrack:

Thank you so much for picking up Team Sonic Racing soundtrack. For the music production of this game, I received a request from Series Producer Iizuka: “I want cool and exciting race music, and a new main theme from Crush 40!” As the lead composer, I was primarily in charge of the main theme and BGM during races.

In this work, a racing game brimming with the settings and characters of the Sonic series, I wanted to try new things while also making use of familiar-sounding phrases; there’s a balance of new songs and arrangements, and I thought carefully about the distribution between them. Musically speaking, we aimed for a simple and cool driving sound, using the keyword “team” as the hook for the music production; I planned the formation of a team to create captivating music. Fresh partners who have joined in recent titles such as Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces, familiar faces from older titles such as the Sonic Adventure series, and genre artists who are joining for the first time. Within the SEGA sound team, in addition to Ohtani, who has worked on the title music for recent Sonic games, I also included the newcomer Horita. As a result, you could say that a wide range of generations were combined within the whole music production.

Green Light Ride, Crush 40’s first main theme in a long time for the Sonic series, is based on an idea that first appeared in a teaser in February 2018. To my relief, its first appearance in the June 2018 E3 trailer was warmly received. It’s a song that incorporates a number of riffs, including some quiet parts, but basically I think it’s a solid, simple, truly Crush 40 number. During the game, the Racing Mix composed of only the uptempo parts plays during Time Trials, so give them a shot!

“There should only be one vocal song in this game!” Upon receiving that memo, instead of increasing the number of vocal songs, we decided to produce multiple remix versions. In this soundtrack, the lead track is on the initial disc. The version on Disc 2 is remixed by The Qemists, a British band known for their dance rock sound. Another remix on Disc 3 is by Dangerkids frontman Tyler Smyth, who you might remember as the singer of Infinite from Sonic Forces; it has a unique appeal from a different point of view. Both of these takes on the theme song are awesome! Also, the remix by Wall5, including the intro used for the loading screen before each race, is included as a bonus track on Disc 1.

There’s also a wide variety of teams collaborating. Crush 40, my own team with Johnny, creates music that can only be produced by these two people and our unique worldviews; an overlap between songs by the Japanese and vocals by an American singer. Additionally, the core band who recorded the songs, bassist Takeshi Taneda and drummer Act., form a trio with me, Sonic Adventure Music Experience; our team of musicians who bring out the best points of each other. While these are existing relationships, I was greatly inspired by the team of musicians who had worked on recent Sonic developments like Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces: Tee Lopes, Hyper Potions, and Tyler Smyth of Dangerkids. For fans of the series, including Richard Jacques and Sonic Adventure 2 music producer Wall5 on the team may also be meaningful. I wanted to collaborate with a genre that had never been seen before, so teaming up with chiptune artist Toriena was personally exciting; ultimately, it’s best if the team’s individual works are the driving force for each other to create something new. Within the SEGA staff, Ohtani has been involved with the team of musicians for many years, and Horita’s piano compliments my guitar very well. Since the keyword “team” was incorporated into the creation process, I hope that intention is also expressed through the music itself.

Looking back, it’s been a long time since I’ve been in charge of music for a work in the Sonic series, from planning to composing, from recording to finishing. Additionally, I was also devoted to producing a variety of additional material that we hadn’t done for previous titles, such as short animation and performance videos, which was an excellent experience. (The animation’s love for the characters is awesome!) I hope the impression that everyone receives from the soundtrack is that I loved working on it.

Thank you to everyone involved.