If you bought a copy of the magazine Computer Gaming World in the early 2000s, chances are you heard a track by Tomas Diablo. The magazine was one of several PC-centric gaming mags that would come with a bundled CD each month. One of my fondest gaming memories was the PC Gamer CD, upon which I believe I once grabbed a demo copy of The Descent, which I proceeded to play over and over again.
When you put the CD into your computer's CD drive, you'd be taken to a menu — and in CGW's case, that menu would have music. Thanks to alert reader Paul Woolverton, who sent in this page from Tomas Diablo, the man who created the music that played in 28 consecutive CGW CD main menus.
Now that is a different kind of menu music, isn't it! As I mentioned, I was much more of a PC Gamer guy myself, but I did read CGW from time to time. Diablo's tracks are all very enjoyable, and can be downloaded for free from his site. They're also on YouTube — here are three that I particularly enjoyed.
- Dig that augmented James Bond-style sharp fifth. From Diablo's site:
The Rumour Mambo begins with a simple mambo beat, supported by vocal percussion, but quickly becomes something quite different. A James Bond-esque guitar from a Henry Mancini cover combines with an all too familiar bassline from the founders of Lollapolooza. The track continues to evolve with two separate samples from Siouxsie. By the end of the track Brian Setzer, singing "But there's something you should know," mirrors Siouxsie's "I heard a rumour", further distinguishing 'Rumour Mambo' as the bastard child of Alt Rock and Lounge.
"Crucify The Verse"
An evocative, ultimately soothing piece of music. Diablo says that he combined Antonio Carlos Jobim with some Sarah Vaughn, Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me" and some beats. What? Man, who is this guy? This is some extra-great stuff. This one is probably my favourite.
Another great mash-up of Harry Connick Jr and K.D. Lang. The coolness continues.
I'm so happy to see great music like this out in the open again — all of the tracks on Diablo's site are great, and available for free download. For those of you who subscribed to Computer Gaming World, this is a trip down memory lane. But even without that gaming hook, this is an outstanding collection of tracks, perfect for chilling out, browsing menus, or even learning about PC Games.
Rock on, Tomas Diablo.
Tomas Diablo "Original" Tracks [Tomasdiablo.com]