How do you transform BioShock’s harrowing art-deco universe into something infectious? Well, if you’re voice actor turned remix extraordinaire Eddie Bowley, you take its most famous sound bites and arrange them into beats so catchy that not even Ayn Rand could resist tapping her disco feet. ‘Only Man’ is a full eleven track album based on the sounds of Irrational Games’ critically acclaimed first-person shooter, and the product of two years of hard labour.
“I am a huge fan of remixers such as Pogo, MrSimon, and Dainumo, who take films, TV shows, and so on, collect a variety of samples, and create unique music out of them,” Bowley tells us when we ask him about the project’s origins. “So, I began experimenting creating songs in the same way, but in my own style.”
Around the same time, the hobbyist musician discovered BioShock. “The game left such an impact on me that I experimented with it, intending to make just one song using the soundtrack, sound effects, and vocals from the game,” he adds. But the results were a mess. It wasn’t until he started splitting up his first attempt into multiple tracks that the record started to take shape.
While creating a full album based on sound bites seems like a colossal task, Bowley tells us that he only had to play through the game once to get all of the samples that he required. “I found many of the sounds I needed freely available, such as the original soundtrack, audio diaries, and sound effects,” he continues. Amazingly, he didn’t even get around to playing BioShock 2.
Originally, the London-based composer had intended to only use sounds taken from the game, but he later opted to implement some original loops to give the album a bit more punch. “I'd say about 95 per cent of the album is entirely from the game and the soundtrack,” he beams. That’s close enough as far as we’re concerned.
And just to make the release that little bit more impressive, the artist adds that each track is based upon a specific theme or character from the game. “A song like ‘Masterpiece’, which is all about the artist Sander Cohen, is designed to sound grand, epic, and eccentric, whereas ‘Mr Bubbles’ is a mix of gentle and vicious like the Big Daddies,” he grins.
You can stream the entire record for yourself courtesy of Bowley’s Bandcamp page. If you’d like to purchase the full thing, it’s available on a ‘name your price’ basis. Just remember to give generously, or Frank Fontaine will come for you when you least expect it.