The Generation Series is a new label that stands for definitive editions of legendary video game soundtracks. I conceived the idea with my co-director and restoration engineer Marco Guardia; we wanted to create a video game soundtracks sub-label where every single release aspires to be the definitive edition for its fans, similar to how we felt with our Criterion Collection films.
I wanted to approach publishing soundtracks differently. Instead of going for a licensing spree to republish soundtracks rapidly, I wanted to take a meditated approach and choose our battles wisely. Seeing that we're a music label first and foremost, I care about the musicians and their history a lot. That has been the constant theme of Brave Wave. We decided to leverage our roster of legendary game musicians by going on a mission with them and remaster some of their critically acclaimed works. Our vision isn't limited to the composers that we have on the label, but since we were aiming to create an informative restoration of these soundtracks, we thought it'd work best for us to start with the composers that we have.
We presented a few options to Capcom, and we decided that Street Fighter II would be our inaugural project for the Generation Series label. This proved to be a tricky release, and a pretty big one right out of the gate. Street Fighter II had a multitude of releases on most game systems of the time. The game evolved throughout the years to have two different flavors of the soundtrack based on the different arcade boards that were used for the game. Street Fighter II The World Warrior was released on the CPS-1 Arcade system, and had more of a lo-fi sound to it, and was originally composed arranged by Yoko Shimomura and Isao Abe. The CPS-2 board witnessed the release of Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which included new modes and characters, and completely new arrangements by Isao Abe and Syun Nishigaki. Thus came our decision to release both soundtracks in one release, as we thought that both of them represent the Street Fighter II legacy in equal measures.
We went on release the definitive soundtracks of esteemed and celebrated video games such as the Ninja Gaiden trilogy, Shovel Knight and its expansions, and Samurai Showdown amongst other SNK soundtracks.
I'm proud to say that we remain the only label that seeks out and consults the original composers on our new restorative work, as well as sharing a cut of the profits with the musicians.
Our existence as a record label defines these soundtrack releases, and that enables us to work with the musicians to release their own solo albums, another hallmark feature for Brave Wave that no other label follows. Most famously we worked with Ninja Gaiden composer Keiji Yamagishi for over 7 years on his massive 29-track solo album, titled The Retro-Active Experience, which was performed live at MAGFest by Brave Wave's in house band Super Strikers.