Minecraft - Volume Beta

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Minecraft - Volume Beta

Minecraft - Volume Beta.jpg

AKA Minecraft Volume Beta
Release date 2013-11-09
Genre Ambient, Dark Ambient, IDM, Minimal Techno, Orchestral
Running time 2:20:49
Bandcamp $7 or more
Apple Music/iTunes $9.99
Spotify Ad-supported
Google Play Music $9.99

Minecraft - Volume Beta is an album by C418 released in 2013 containing the songs that were added to Minecraft during its Beta period of development. Like Minecraft - Volume Alpha, not every track is used within Minecraft.

To date it is C418's longest album, at nearly 2 hours and 21 minutes in length.

Official descriptions

The second official soundtrack of Minecraft. 140 minutes in length and extremely varied.

Featuring the all-new creative mode, menu tunes, the horrors of the nether, the end's odd and misleading soothing ambiance and all the missing record discs from the game!

It's my longest album ever, and I hope you'll love the amount of work I crammed into it.
This is the second part to the official soundtrack to the most popular video game in recent history. Critics like to compare the style of my album to Erik Satie, Roedelius, and Brian Eno. Aphex Twin also once said I stole his style.

The big difference of Volume Beta is that the tone is both more positive and at times very dark. Some of the songs even have percussion, which is something that was a complete rarity with Volume Alpha. For example Taswell or Aria Math.

A bunch of the songs are VERY long.

Alpha, being 10 minutes, while “The End” clocks in at 15 minutes. And a lot of the “creative mode” songs are at least around 8 minutes in length.

Additionally, this soundtrack contains the collectible records, which are little vinyl songs you can find in Minecraft, the game. With the exception of Cat. That song you can find on the previous soundtrack, Volume Alpha.

I released this album in late 2013 when I was about to be doing a gig in Mexico. Every time I think about this album, I get nostalgic about Mexico and how wildly different it is from the life I know from Germany or Canada. Though now that I think about it, I feel like Volume Alpha might be a love record to Europe, while Beta is dedicated to America and Asia. This might sound like gibberish to you, but to me it’s kind of a personal internalized opinion.
—C418

Tracks

Ki

Ki, like Key, on the previous album is an introduction to the album. But this time it’s not quiet, somber and welcoming, but dark and foreboding.
—C418

This is a reprise (a similar but slightly different version) of "Key" from Minecraft - Volume Alpha (note that both have the same pronunciation). It starts off with "Key" but includes more electronic music.

Alpha

Ki
Length 1:32
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Alpha is a medley of past songs. It acts as the score that plays when you “beat” Minecraft, but it also acts as a celebration of past music from Volume Alpha.
—C418

This track is a reprise of some tracks from Minecraft - Volume Alpha, including "Minecraft", "Mice on Venus", "Moog City", and "Sweden". It plays during the End Poem, after defeating the ender dragon.

Trivia

  • Alpha was nominated as "The best C418 song of all times".
  • Alpha plays during the credits roll. The song was composed so it goes in sync with the End poem.
  • The title of the song is a reference to Minecraft - Volume Alpha.

Dead Voxel

Alpha
Length 10:03
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It begins with ambient music and distant, high-pitched sounds similar to ones heard in "Ballad of the Cats" and later turns into a serene but dramatic piano song with Japanese music. It is a less dissonant, more somber variant of "Concrete Halls". At the end, part of "Beginning" can be heard.

Trivia

  • Dead Voxel only plays in the nether.

Blind Spots

Dead Voxel
Length 4:56
Bandcamp $1
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Blind Spots is the first song I wrote with the clear intention of having a unique soundtrack for Minecraft’s “creative mode”. I tried to create a piece that doesn’t particularly change much, but keeps reiterating on itself, like a constant remixing of its core theme. As the piece ends, it becomes very melancholic and solemn, but quickly returns to being positive. Things end, but that’s not bad.
—C418

Starts off primarily featuring a major seven chord, and later introduces darker minor chords. The entire track is a piano song dominated by a repeated quarter note rhythm.

Trivia

  • Blind Spots only plays in creative mode.

Flake

Blind Spots
Length 5:32
Bandcamp $1
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This song starts with a calm, bell-like synth and ambient sounds and later a glitchy rhythm enters.

Trivia

  • Flake only appears on the Christmas mashup for console version of Minecraft.

Moog City 2

Flake
Length 2:50
Bandcamp $1
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Moog City 2 is a recreation of Moog City from Minecraft Alpha. However this time I actually did use Moog synthesisers, along a lot of other synths that I acquired over the course of making this album.
—C418

Trivia

  • Moog city 2 only plays in the main menu of the game.

Connections

Concrete Halls

Moog City 2
Length 3:00
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This track is a rhythmic song with dark, relatively dissonant ambient music, heavily reverbed percussion, and distant ghast sounds.

Trivia

  • Concrete halls only plays in the nether.
  • The song's title could be a reference to a Nether fortress, the in-game structure which appears only in the nether.

Biome Fest

Concrete Halls
Length 4:14
Bandcamp $1
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Biome Fest is a song that I created when Minecraft Alpha was done, but I felt it had no place anywhere in the game, until the creative mode was sort of reintroduced to the game. It’s one of my favourite songs I’ve ever created. I do love minimalism and achieving tones with just very few notes, and I think this song does that extremely well.
—C418

It starts with a song of synthesized voices which makes way to an electronic song with bells in the background

Trivia

  • Biome Fest track on Bandcamp has a link to a YouTube video called "Minecraft Biome Test".
  • Biome Fest only plays in creative mode.

Connections

Mutation

Biome Fest
Length 6:18
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This track is a variation on "Minecraft" from Minecraft - Volume Alpha with string ensemble embellishments (this is likely where the name "Mutation" originated).

Trivia

  • Mutation only plays in the main menu of the game.

Haunt Muskie

Mutation
Length 3:05
Bandcamp $1
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Haunt Muskie, if I remember correctly, an anagram for Hatsune Miku. Not entirely sure why anymore, but there you go. This song is very nostalgic for me, and I didn’t expect anyone to like it but just me. It turns out it is a little bit popular though. There was this fairly old video game I used to like. Some game where you solve puzzles of broken rollercoasters you have to fix. The music wasn’t particularly good, but the emotion it carried was something I always remembered. Haunt Muskie is what I remember that music to be.
—C418

An upbeat, ambient, rhythmic track. It begins with the growing sound of echoing chimes and clarinets that quicken in pace. A reversed piano, accompanied by a synthesized accordion or similar instrument, begin to play up and down a scale, shortly before echoing and fading away, after which the main portion of the song starts. A saxophone can be heard in the background throughout most of the piece.

Trivia

  • Haunt Muskie only plays in creative mode.
  • The title is an anagram of the virtual singing character, Hatsune Miku.

Warmth

Haunt Muskie
Length 6:01
Bandcamp $1
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Warmth plays in the game’s hell. Or as it is called in Minecraft, “Nether”. This song tries to play with the idea that even hell isn’t all bad, and there’s good things to be found. But it’s still a very harsh environment.
—C418

The song starts with loud, hollow sounds of something banging on a metallic object, which fades into synthesizer music with enderman-like sounds. Near the end, the music turns back into banging sounds, but louder and less muted. At the end are sounds of a large amount of a water-like liquid flowing.

Floating Trees

Warmth
Length 3:59
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It is an ethereal and calming track written in the same key as "Minecraft". The end seems to contain the start of the melody from "Subwoofer Lullaby" from Minecraft - Volume Alpha.

Trivia

  • Floating Trees only plays in the main menu of the game.
  • This appears to be a reference to the well-known annoyance of leaving a tree only partially chopped down, thus leaving it “floating”.

Aria Math

Floating Trees
Length 4:04
Bandcamp $1
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Aria Math is a song full of Pan Drums and old synthesisers rhythmically dancing to ping pong delays. It’s also one of the creative mode songs. I wrote it with the beauty of the more extreme creations in Minecraft. Gigantic statues, entire cities, paintings, people, all recreated in this game. It’s awe inspiring, and that’s what I wanted to kind of symbolise. Not sure if I succeeded?
—C418

It has a main theme played in hang drums throughout the song with electronic music to accompany it. Later the main theme turns into guitar accompanied by a crescendo played in orchestral strings near the end.

Trivia

  • Aria Math only plays in creative mode.
  • Aria is a music term for a song of air.

Connections

Kyoto

Aria Math
Length 5:10
Bandcamp $1
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A downtempo song in two main parts. The first part features a piano playing the bass part, with a melody and countermelody in saxophone and flute, respectively. The second part features synthesized strings and celesta.

Trivia

  • Kyoto is a Japanese city and was formerly the imperial capital of Japan.
  • Kyoto only appears on the Christmas mashup for console version of Minecraft.

Ballad of The Cats

Kyoto
Length 4:09
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A period of techno-sounding music and then a break. Later a second period of peaceful music and then a techno-style ending. Near the beginning and end are distant, echoing ghast sounds.

Trivia

  • Ballad of The Cats only plays in the nether.
  • The song's title could be a reference to Ghasts, the in-game hostile mobs which only appear in the nether.

Taswell

Ballad of The Cats
Length 4:35
Bandcamp $1
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Taswell is a farewell to a friend I only met for a little bit, but they passed away faster than anyone could have imagined. It was shocking, but I didn’t want to remember them for their death, but the happiness they showed every day of their life.
—C418

It starts off as a track of echoing, ethereal music and high-pitched beeping with odd static-like periods in between. It suddenly becomes an upbeat, catchy song with steady drum beats. Later it turns into an electronic track with the middle song in the background. It starts playing quieter static-like periods at the end.

Trivia

  • The track title refers to Ryan "Taswell" Davis, founder of the video game website Giant Bomb. Davis passed away unexpectedly at age 34 due to natural causes.[1]
  • Taswell only plays in creative mode.

Beginning 2

Taswell
Length 8:35
Bandcamp $1
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Beginning 2 is just like Beginning on Alpha, perhaps the end to the album, or just the beginning. This album is now in the progress of changing tone rapidly, but not before going to The End.
—C418

Trivia

  • Beginning 2 only plays in the main menu of the game.

Connections

Dreiton

Beginning 2
Length 2:56
Bandcamp $1
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Dreiton is a remembrance of the times when I wrote albums like Zweitonegoismus. When I was still scared to embrace minimalism and simplicity in music. When I was still keen on making my music as crazy and varied as possible. Turns out there was no reason to have such a fear. And with Dreiton, the are essentially only two sections on a song that clocks in at over 8 minutes. I hope I accomplished to have repetition that nonetheless isn’t boring in any way. Like all the other “creative mode” songs, this one is also about the awe of the creativity to be found in Minecraft. At minute 7, the song abruptly builds up to nothing and fades away. Sometimes creativity doesn’t need to have a reason. Sometimes you just build.
—C418

An ambient track that makes use of hang drum sounds. It is a slow rhythm that slowly loudens, and then suddenly quiets down again, slowly crescendoing until dramatically quieting into a guitar piece.

Trivia

  • Dreiton is German for "three tone".[2]
    • The track title is a reference an earlier track by C418 zweiton, which name translates to "two tone".[3]
  • Dreiton only plays in creative mode.

Connections

  • Later remixed on 148 as Vierton, the name of which is the German for "four tone".[4]

The End

Dreiton
Length 8:17
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The End is a 15-minute piece for the namesake in Minecraft, a place called “The End”, a dark and sinister place full of creepy things called Endermen. Oh, and there’s a dragon. Since The End is also the final stage the player has to go to to “beat” the game, this piece contains a lot of references to past songs. If you listen closely, you can essentially hear most of Volume Alpha embedded within. After building up the drone, the song breaks, as if some sort of audio device couldn’t handle it anymore. Lastly you hear someone fixing it, and it starts from the beginning. At least in the game.
—C418

After a loop of part of the track "Minecraft" succumbs to excessive reverb and glitching, a low-pitched drone starts and grows slowly, eventually gaining a harmony of choir voices. At the climax of this piece, a pulsing, one-note "ostinato" appears and is overlaid with a half-tempo rendition of the song "Sweden". Throughout the track, extremely distorted and/or remixed versions of the tracks "Dry Hands", "Wet Hands", "Danny", "Oxygène", "Equinoxe", "Subwoofer Lullaby", "Beginning", "Cat", and "Haggstrom" from Minecraft - Volume Alpha can be heard. "Floating Trees" from Minecraft - Volume Beta can also be heard.

Trivia

  • The End is one of the longest C418 tracks.
  • The End only plays in The End dimension, after killing the Ender Dragon.
  • The End features other songs from Minecraft - Volume Alpha, such as Minecraft, Wet Hands, etc.

Chirp

The End
Length 15:04
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Chirp, is where we switch to the records you can find in Minecraft as collectables.
—C418
Chirp is not a song from LittleBigPlanet, but both the song in LittleBigPlanet and my song have one similarity. We used an instrument called the Mellotron. The Mellotron is a very fascinating instrument when it was new. It’s the very first sampling-based piano you could say. You press a key, and a tape behind the instrument plays a sound. Every single note has its own band. And with that you were practically able to play anything that has been recorded. They advertised the Mellotron as an orchestra you can play at home.

When I created records for Minecraft I wanted them to have one or two sounds that all of them share. In this case it was both the Mellotron and the Roland TR 808.

I should have cleared that up when making the song.
—C418

A retro tune with a sample from a 1970 MATTEL Program Disc: Bossa Nova Style playing in the background, along with a vaporwave-like version of Mall.

Wait

Chirp
Length 3:07
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Upbeat remix of Minecraft.

Trivia

  • This track was originally titled "Where are we now" and for a long time was in the record folder but was not added as a music disc due to issues with the spaces in its name. This was finally rectified by renaming it and it was added as a music disc

Mellohi

Wait
Length 3:54
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A slow, slightly melancholic waltz with a sample from a mellotron playing in the background.

Stal

Mellohi
Length 1:38
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A moderate jazz-like piece with a recorder.

Trivia

  • In Swedish, "stal" means "stole", but can also be "stål" with the ring diacritic, which means "steel".

Strad

Stal
Length 2:32
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A tropical-sounding piece with the main melody being played on a handpan and steel drum, accompanied by a glitchy electronic beat and ending on some melancholy melodica chords.

Eleven

Strad
Length 3:08
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A slow, calm piano piece. At the beginning, the record static from the start of the music disc 11 can be heard, but is abruptly switched to the new tune when a record scratching sound interrupts it.

Trivia

  • This track references the music disc 11 in its name and length, but features a new track instead of the disturbing sound of a person running away from some unknown creature.

Ward

Eleven
Length 1:11
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The record starts off with an excerpt from Chopin's Funeral March played on synth organ but goes into an electronic, upbeat, exploration and adventure tune with a dark undertone.

Trivia

  • The old-sounding intro to this song is shortened in Minecraft - Volume Beta, compared to the in-game music disc version.

Mall

Ward
Length 4:10
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A calm, underwater-like, piece of serene music.

Blocks

Mall
Length 3:18
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An upbeat, catchy tune with a shuffling rhythm.

Trivia

  • Refers to the main theme of Minecraft.

Far

Blocks
Length 5:43
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A calm, relaxing, nature-like melody.

Intro

Far
Length 3:12
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See you next time
—C418, Bandcamp
Intro, an improv piece to say goodbye. Or hello?
—C418

This track consists of a person humming and playing notes on a piano as if compiling a song from his head. Strings, along with echoing synthesized sounds and other recordings of what may be the same voice, fade in afterwards, until the song ends.

Trivia

  • The quote on Bandcamp could be a reference to the upcoming [Untitled Minecraft album| Third Minecraft Album]].
  • The person humming and playing the notes on the piano is C418 himself.

Album trivia

  • There are two extra tracks which weren't added to the album.
    • The first one being a music disc 11.
    • The second one being an in-game music when fighting the enderdragon, boss.
  • The discs appear to be based on older 78 rpm records. These usually held a single 2-3 minute song on one or both sides, were made out of a noisy material called shellac (which was notorious for its fragility and hissing sound when no music was playing, both of which can be seen in "11"), and were larger than later, 45 rpm vinyl records which replaced them.

References

Intro
Length 4:36
Bandcamp $1
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