Beat Saber (2018), the unbelievably slick VR rhythm game that tasks you with slicing blocks in mid-air with a pair of lightsabers, released today in Early Access. We’ve got our Early Access review here so you can learn more about the game, but what about the heart-pumping soundtrack behind it?
We got a chance to speak with indie studio Hyperbolic Magnetism’s Jan Ilavský and composer and EDM artist Jaroslav Beck, the mind behind the game’s first 10 tracks. We’ve linked Spotify here for the sake of easy embedding, but you can see the full 10 track list on a variety of services including iTunes, Google Music, and Amazon Music.
1. $100 Bills (105 BPM)
Jan: This was one of the easiests levels to create. The music just guided me and I simply followed all the melodies and rhythm patterns. This level is probably my favourite because that perfect music-map connection.
Jaroslav: I started an early demo of this idea a few years back when I was studying in UK. I never finished it back than. After I found it in my archive, I did a few changes with new inspiration and the song was ready in about an hour. It is one of my most favorite songs in the soundtrack. We also used it in the first teaser for BS.
2. Escape ft. Summer Haze (175 BPM)
Jan: When I start working on this song I just wanted to follow the synth line in the chorus. We’ve never tried this amount of notes density before, so I wasn’t sure if it will be playable. Fortunately it wasn’t a problem and I could play it without making any mistakes. We showcased this level on some conferences on expert difficulty, to show people what more we can offer. Since then we created much more complicated levels ;)
Jaroslav: Second Drum&Bass tune featuring Summer Haze. I felt that bring in nice vocals could work even though the game should focus more on rhythm than vocals.. So I tried it out and it seems to work well.
3. Legend ft. Backchat (90 BPM)
Jan: I was a little bit afraid about how would I handle this one. There’s not much happening during the rap part, so I couldn’t focus on “many notes difficulty” style. Instead I tried to force player to do some more complicated moves. In the end, this level is not very difficult, but I love how powerful you feel when playing it. We also had to improve our editor to create that shuffle feel of some bass drums.
Jaroslav: The idea behind this track was to try how something similar to hip-hop could work in our game as I wanted to bring variety of music styles into the soundtrack yet keep the electronic stylization. I created this tune with good friend of mine Generdyn and we bring on board Backchat for lyrics and vocals.
4. Country Rounds Sqeepo Remix (105 BPM)
Jaroslav: This is a remix I did while ago. I am somehow obsessed with combining folklore elements with electronic music and even the track was already released I though that it should be part of the soundtrack.
5. Commercial Pumping (105 BPM)
Jaroslav: If you’ve seen movie “Kevin & Perry Go Large”. There is a scene when Dj Eyeball is asking Perry and Kevin what styles of music they prefer. “Balearic Pumping or commercial pumping?” … Even though I am not aware if those music styles exists, now you can decide what you like more.
6. Breezer (112.5 BPM)
Jaroslav: The aim behind this song was to test 4×4 beat in the game so we can decide if we want to use something similar for the future tracks. It turned out that it should work.
7. Turn Me On ft. Tiny C (160 BPM)
Jaroslav: I was wondering what would happen in the level if there will be a tune with variety of atmospheres and tempos in one tune. I contacted Tiny C as a featuring artist who helped with creating some synths.
8. Beat Saber (166 BPM)
Jan: Normal difficulty of this one is the very first level we’ve ever created. Jaroslav wasn’t even part of the team back then. I created simple music and made the cubes perfectly fit into it. The idea was to make it as simple as possible, but also a little bit challenging by the end. Most of the people who played the game on some exhibitions last year, played exclusively this level.
Jaroslav: This tune is the first testing song I make for Beat Saber soundtrack. Drum & Bass was the first style I wanted to try as it has enough power and rhythmic elements to make people move.
9. Lvl Insane (160 BPM)
Jan: This one is very special because the beat map was created before the music. I prepared some patterns and created music track with drums only. Jaroslav took it from there and made music based on my foundation.
Jaroslav: The intention behind this track was to create hard level music with a “rock” transferred into Beat Saber’s signature electronic style.
10. Balearic Pumping (111 BPM)
Jan: One of the hardest levels to design. Music is quite monothematic here and there are just two small drops. I had to think more like a music producer who is adding one more percussion instrument. In the end this is one of my most favourite levels.
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The developers behind Beat Saber, Jan “Split” Ilavský and Vladimír “Loki” Hrinčár, have told us they’re committed to bringing more songs and levels throughout the game’s time in Early Access.
You can follow along with updates to the game via Beat Sabers’ news portal on Steam.