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Soundtrack Review

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Trover Saves The Universe
Original Game Soundtrack


Composer: Asy Saavedra
Label: Mondo
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 25 September 2020

Los Angeles-based musician, composer and one half of Chaos Chaos, Asy Saavedra has been cutting her teeth on a string of new projects that bring home her unique flavour of ethereal, synth-infused sound. For her latest project, Saavedra scored and produced the music for the video game Trover Saves The Universe, created by Justin Roiland of Rick and Morty fame, which is available now on all platforms including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Oculus Quest and PC...

The press release mentions that this is the soundtrack to the "new" console game Trover Saves the Universe, yet the game was released 16 months ago in May 2019. If you've played and enjoyed the game, you'll know how important the music is to the overall atmosphere of the gaming experience. Inside the game, players confront a world of chaos, exploding bodies, and salty language geared for the gamer sect. It’s a scenario that materializes elegantly overtop Saavedra’s score, a collection of dreamy, glitch-infused, electro-pop science fiction.

Darker scenes are delineated through Asy’s eerie, mutating vocal range; her piano adds to the feeling of despair, a wrong turn taken. Her writing process involved daily dives into the game itself, experimenting with what sounds fit the scene. Her customary mix of organic and digital equipment are showcased in their full range within the score; her recording “control room” included a digital piano, a Juno 60, a korg prologue, a roland xp30, a theremin, and plugins like synplant, permut, TAl-U-NO-60, and bitspeek.

Talking about the project, Saavedra said: "As much as it threw me out of my comfort zone it also felt super natural for me to write. I’m horrible at games, and probably because of that, I’m fascinated by them. Challenges are a huge part of my creativity - that’s what makes me the most creative - like a creative adrenaline rush. I watched hours of game footage on YouTube and I loved studying the relationship between the game ‘worlds’ and the music in them. I had in mind an Ennio Morricone / Pierro Picionni meets modern K Pop sound because that’s how the game felt to me: organic and also artificial."

In amongst the chaos and electronic chatter there are moments of calm. 'He Is But So Am I' is a beautifully structured and presented piano based piece that showcases Saavedra's ability at composing more conventional classical music pieces. Then, on the flip side we have the frenetic 'Metal Cue' that sounds like the inmates at Arkham Asylum have broken free and decided to put on a metal concert.

Even though it's released a little late in the day, it's still a score that's worth spending a little time with if you're a collector of ethereal, synth based, electronica.


Darren Rea