Zombies Ate My Hamburger
It was shortly after the completion of Trophies from Sheol (after taking a hiatus of course) that I decided to create another electronic album … with a twist. I wanted to create an album (sticking with the EP recording time that I had been doing) that was written in the style of music from an 80s/90s video game. There were certain limitations that I imposed on this creation.
- It has to fit in the 8-bit/16-bit video game realm.
- Each track should blend pretty well into the next track.
- Each track should loop well (the album is meant to be listened to with each track on an indefinite repeat).
This album almost never came to fruition due to the Great Hard Drive Crash of 2008 (not to be confused off the housing crash of the same year). The first 2 tracks were forever lost (those were the only ones that were completed) as well as 2 others that were in a state of 'partial' … I almost abandoned the project entirely. Interesting side note, it was about a month before the album was complete that I discovered a genre called "Chip Music" or "Chip Tunes". I never imagined that there was such a vast group of individuals so committed to this nystalgia … this album is my little contribution to the scene.
Released under Sick City and NEWM Record Store, Zombies Ate My Hamburger (Limited Edition) was released on the Cardano blockchain. This new version dropped on 7/14/2023. At the same time, the album was pulled from the Dan Swift.com store/website. It is now only available through the partnership with Sick City and NEWM. This limited edition album also includes a studio version of "The Tears". An acoustic version of The Tears was released as part of Unreleased Volume 1. This song has been a rare gem from the get-go.
The artwork for the original release was created by Bill Griffiths. The packaging, inspired by the packaging for Nintendo Entertainment System games, featured a zombie going after a hamburger which had a mysterious glow.
The artwork for the limited edition version (also created by Bill Griffiths), features an extreme close-up of a zombie noshing on a burger. You also have to love the "100% Choice" stamp in the corner.
The sound for this is loosely based on the concept of the 'start button' at the beginning of any random game from this era. Ghosts 'n Goblins is probably a pretty close approximation.Listen to Clip of Eat
The general idea of this album (were it coupled with an actual game) would probably some kind of combination between Earthbound and Resident Evil … only because Resident Evil has zombies. This track really makes me think of Earthbound.Listen to Clip of Radioactive Zombie
Capitalizing on the concept of Earthbound, it's no wonder that the next track has 'arcade' mentioned in the title. This track really starts the album off in an interesting direction. For starters, the white noise links the first couple of tracks together and made for an easy loop point. This is probably also the most compositionally-intensive song in the entire album.Listen to Clip of Undead Arcade
Lights Out House
There was a game for the Atari … I wish I knew the name of it. Basically, you were in this haunted house (it was probably calledListen to Clip of Lights Out House
Haunted House) and there were these ghosts and everything. Sometimes the lights would go out and everything but the ghosts (I believe) would be dark. The visual concept was used for this track. The timbre of the beat also reminds me of little Link going down the steps to any one of the caverns of the original game.
I took this transition as an opportunity to get away from that static/white noise sort of sound. For whatever reason, I also thought ofListen to Clip of Grave Shaft
Drive Shaft… which has nothing to do with video games … especially those from the 80s or 90s.
My Tomb Dot Digg
While this title is far from silly, it really starts off the trend for the next couple of songs. I think this is the first track off the album where I sat in front of the piano. This is also the first track in the series that uses (what I would call) contemporary electonica compositional effects. There are also elements in this one that remind me of Rush'N AttackListen to Clip of My Tomb Dot Digg
With a silly name like 'Radioactive Peaches are the Pits', you need to have some silly music to go along with it. This is the first in the series to have a different kind of loop feel to it. There's the closure, but also the seamlessness for which I was striving. This is also the first one to break 200 bpm.Listen to Clip of RPatP
Grow Me a River
I think every album I've ever done has at least one track that comes from the ticker in some way, shape, or form. This album is no different. As this one started to take form, I also couldn't help but get images of Kaipo, Edward, and the lute … I think it's a lute. For me, the sound is always more important than the melody itself. This is a prime example with the way the beautiful harmonies and the harmonics run up against each other along with the modulation … it's absolutely gorgeous.Listen to Clip of Grow Me a River
Zombie Shadow Castles
While far from the most interesting track, it holds a special place because of what I had to go through to get here. In the early stages of this one, I accidentally rewrote one of the main tunes from Shadowgate. Of course I had to scrap that, but I thought it was only appropriate to keep a memory of it in the name. Incidentally, this also marks the first track after my first writer's block.Listen to Clip of Zombie Shadow Castles
Scales and Wights
Musically speaking, the triplets in this one remind me a whole lot of Metroid. I remember writing this one and then adding that little high bit. Immediately I thought,Listen to Clip of Scales and Wights
Metroid. So it's more of an afterthought … the rest is nothing more and nothing less.
First My Tomato (Then Your Lettuce)
While I absolutely love the name of this one, it's about as close to a non-functional piece as you can get. It's simply a transition from Scales and Wights to Burger This!.Listen to Clip of First My Tomato (Then Your Lettuce)
This one really reminds me of Burger Time! … at least the verse part of it. I doubt that there's a connection sonically, but for some reason the song and that game seem to go really well together (in my mind). The bridge of this song is actually lifted from one of my outtakes. I really liked the effect that I came up with for that.Listen to Clip of Burger This!
Hot & Spicy
This one doesn't particularly remind me of any game, nor did any game really inspire this one. I will say that I find sine waves and square waves to be very pleasant … especially with a little reverb on them. I don't know if it has to do with the computer or not, but it makes it sound so much warmer and real. That's all you get for Hot & Spicy.Listen to Clip of Hot & Spicy
Oh Stormy Night
I believe this one was originally the third or fourth track. I moved this one to the end because I felt that it made a much better closer. I wrote this one with Blaster Master in mind.Listen to Clip of Oh Stormy Night
This album, is not meant to have a physical format, though a silver promo disc (numbered) can be requested at the time of download. Special thanks to Bill Griffiths for the original artwork. Other thanks go out to Tweakbench,
Sam, as well as
Mr. Dude. Given the nature of the album, it wouldn't be proper if I didn't say:
Zombies Ate My Hamburger is a fourteen song EP and was written and recorded from February of 2008 until May of 2009. The Collector's Edition comes with two bonus tracks (Unreleased Volume 0b).
- Composing/Recording (2008-2009) Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- Initial Mix (2009) Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- Secondary Mix/Mastering (2009) Thorndale, Pennsylvania
- The zombies were released into the wild on 01/11/10
Recording, mixing, mastering, and production were done by Everywhere Productions. Published and distributed by Everywhere Productions Music Library. All compositions, performances, engineering, and production are of the composer, Dan Swift.
… thanks for stopping by. Hopefully a new album will materialize in the not too distant future.-D