Gunship is a neon soaked, late night, sonic getaway drive, dripping with luscious analogue synthesizers, cinematic vocals and cyberpunk values, exploding from the front cover of a dusty plastic VHS case which has lain forgotten since 1984. Created by Dan Haigh, Alex Westaway and Alex Gingell, GUNSHIP is an evolution of the of the recently popularised synthwave genre, which was originally started by Rosso Corsa records & The Valerie Collective artists.
Today Gunship return with another world first, salvaging yet another relic from the retro gaming hall of fame. The band are re-releasing their critically acclaimed self-titled album on cassette. On side-a the golden cassette features Gunship’s self-titled album and on side-b, Jeff Minter’s classic Commodore 64 game Attack Of The Mutant Camels. Not only is this the first cassette album release to feature a built in C64 game, but this version of the album will also be the only version of the album to feature the April Towers remix of “The Mountain”, which was premiered with Earmilk earlier this year.
Speaking on the new release Gunship said:
The games for the early video game systems like the Commodore Vic 20, C64, Atari 2600 and latterly the Amiga 500 were huge influences on our imaginations growing up. At that me game development felt like a genuine free for all where unrestricted creativity flourished and imagination was unchecked by the yet to arrive influence of big business and its risk-averse practices. We love this era for its simplistic charm and raw creativity and certainly try to take these influences and values and implement them in Gunship’s music.
We worked with Jed Shepherd at Post/Pop records to cook up a version of our album on gold cassette tape, with our music on side A and a Commodore 64 game on side B to hopefully bring some attention back to this fantastic era in game design. It’s an honour to share a cassette tape with Jeff Minter! The man is a icon in the classic gaming world. His games, including Attack of the Mutant Camels and Llamatron, were cornerstones of our childhood and those influences certainly live on in Gunship’s approach to writing music today.
The cassette is due for release on 9th December 2015, and can be pre-ordered here.
It’s time to put your retro gaming chops to the test! To accompany the bands cassette release, in true GUNSHIP style the band have also launched a competition to win a one-off, custom neon pink Commodore 64 to play their new cassette/cartridge release.
The competition is open now and the challenge is simple, visit this online emulator HERE, and attack your keyboard in an effort to reach the highest score possible in Llamatron!
Players must compete using this emulated version of LLAMATRON (Mac or PC)
To submit your score: If you manage to get a high score, the game will ask you to enter your name – please enter your Twitter handle (or at least as much of it as fits). Please then take a picture of yourself alongside the high score table, with your score clearly visible in the same picture, and tweet it to @GUNSHIPMusic, including the hashtag #LlamasAteMyParents.
To use the emulator all you have to do is visit the link above and click the power button. Once it has loaded, use the arrow keys to pick a play mode and hit space to start. The controls are simply the arrow keys and space bar. Use your Llama spit to destroy the gaunts and save as many beasties as possible!
In Llamatron it is possible to play in single player mode with a ‘droid’ helping you. This option is available at the start of a new game by toggling left/right. Scores submitted while playing with a helper ‘droid’ are acceptable for submission. Team mode is also available – twice the firepower, but twice the chance to die horribly! We recommend 1P+Droid for your best chance!
The competition will close on 10th December 2015 and the winner will be announced soon thereafter. The winner will also have the chance to be personally presented their console (location dependent) and a copy of the album by Gunship. Other than this, I can find no geographical restrictions on entry – so you can have a go no matter where you live!