one is the official soundtrack to Minecraft: A Story of Mojang, which was a documentary about the development of Minecraft when things were still innocent and young. The soundtrack itself is way more than that though. Through editing it became an album on its own, something that is way more unique than what I could have accomplished by just making a dedicated album.
The tone is pretty relaxed, with a mix of live recorded chiptune, orchestral phrases and a lot of Array Mbiras. A LOT of them.
I also intentionally put in a lot of repetition into the album. You will hear a lot of songs that sound similar to songs you’ve heard before. Like Leitmotivs, but actually for entire songs.
There’s a word in German, called “Schönhören”, and it roughly translates to the act of listening to something until you start to like it. So, a lot of this album is an experiment on if that can actually be true. That may sound like a lot of bogus, but I was actually genuinely curious if songs sound better if you’ve heard preview versions of them before you listen to the main track. Did it work? I think it did for me. But did it work for you? I don’t know, you tell me!
“cliffside hinson” is the intro to the album as much as it is the intro to the movie. It seemed fitting to use it as the first song. It’s also the introduction to “social lego”, a song that appears MUCH later in the album. I think I considered it the theme of accomplishments the community of Minecraft had. All the crazy projects of gigantic cities built within the game.
“surface pension” is the main theme of the hard and often unnoticed job of working developers. If you pay attention you can hear them clicking away on their keyboards. This song also uses the same progression as “preliminary art form”, and as an antagonised version in “post success depression”. All of these songs are essentially the same, but they all carry completely different messages across. While “surface pension” is about the hard work, “preliminary art form” is about the trance you have when working on a thing for so long that it becomes second nature. Finally “post success depression” identifies with the times when working hard becomes the enemy. When your work hours are way past 60 a week. When you still have to get your work done, no matter if you want to or not.
“danny makes chiptune” is yet another introduction to “social lego”. It’s like an intro without the rest.
“the first million” is about the feeling of relief and the happiness of finally having your project be successful and you’re no longer struggling with money. However, it’s also with the sudden change of your social life. You have money, therefore everyone looks at you with completely different eyes. They think before they talk to you. It’s kind of weird and not in a fun way. Still, at least you have the success?
“buildup errors” is a name that is quite literal. This song had a few glitches at the beginning, but I decided to make these glitches into a song. It’s a somber little melody that builds up to explode in melancholy. There’s no real meaning behind this little piece. I just liked how a glitch made me have this sort of spiritual time with creating a song.
“certitudes” is another main theme, it stands for friendship and the feeling of not being the only one. The theme also appears in other songs, like “lost cousins”, which is a more somber, introspective variant, yet still talking about the same feeling of friendship. “one last game” is about the hope that one day you will have the friends you had in your past. “wooden love” is about the loss of friendship. Friends you wish were still your friends do not appreciate or want to talk to you anymore, you feel alone. Again, it’s essentially the same song, several times. But yet, they all have completely different meanings.
“lawyer cage fight” introduces “social lego”, yet again. But this time it tells us that things might not be as good as they seemed before? Is it going to be bad?
“total drag” introduces the final and last song, “tsuki no koibumi”, sung by Laura Shigihara. It’s about being together once more. Laura’s lyrics probably nail it. It’s about the Moon loving the Sun, yet they are constantly separated. The Moon just wishes to see the Sun again.
“the weirdest year of your life” is about literally that. The weirdest year of your life. Maybe that’s when you got fired and were in a ditch. Maybe it was when you finally finished school and had to go into the unknown. With any luck, it was about changing your life for the better.
“this doesn’t work” is about having fun and not caring what the next day has to offer. Sometimes you gotta just let your emotions roam free and not constantly worry if you have enough money to pay the bills. Sometimes you just gotta party.
Finally, “social lego” appears, and it’s probably not what you expected. It’s minimal and it never even once changes its main chord. It’s constantly the same, yet building up to something. Builds up to the moment your project is finally done, and it’s as good as you hoped it would be.
“no pressure” and “one” are essentially a good bye. Albums gotta end! I can’t make them last forever, even though I wish I could. I’m obsessed with gigantic albums, as you probably know.
And that’s one. I think it’s probably the most polished album I ever created.
If you want to work really hard and just want to put some noise on, you should try this album. A lot of my friends told me this is like their magical programming album. Try listening to it right now. I’ve embedded the whole 2 disc album on this page!