This week's #TuesdayAesthetics will look at Street Fighter EX Plus α, released in 1997. Specifically, I'd like to talk about the music and why it works for me.

I'm of the opinion that jazz fusion was the penultimate musical flavour of the 1990's. It's a fluid, versatile genre that I feel is expressed especially well in video game themes. For example, Sakura's theme in Plus α.

This is almost straight up jazz. In the beginning, at least.

What I love about these themes is that as dissonant from what might be considered 'fighting' game music, they fit the game so well. Rhythmic and chordal complexity lend each theme an ambience that keeps them independent but ties them together by virtue of being jazz fusion.

Not all the songs are like this, sure, but I feel that the trend of finding jazz fusion tracks in video game music (especially Japanese ones) is something to be talked about more. There's a way that Japanese producers internalise and create jazz fusion that I find entrancing.

A number of the sound teams that worked on video games during the 1990s - Namco and SST, to name a few - are made up of some incredible musicians that played a massive role in shaping my understanding of what video game music could be.

Ending this thread with a little announcement. A track for Blue Wave Wonder should be coming out soon. Maybe there'll be a video too? Wait and see. But for now, thanks for reading. See you next week!

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