Beastie Boy's Side Project Writes Songs For Skating Video Game

Latch Brothers, featuring Mike D, compose five tracks for 'Jet Set Radio Future.'

Beastie Boys fans needing new sounds to tide them over until Hello Nasty's follow-up drops can find some Michael Diamond gems on the soundtrack to a new video game.

The Latch Brothers — Mike D, former Mary's Danish bassist Wag (Chris Wagner), and Tick (Kenny Salcido), a former columnist for Grand Royal's Web site — composed five tunes for the recently released Xbox game "JSRF — Jet Set Radio Future," according to the game's publicist. The trio also remixed tracks by Grand Royal recording artists Bran Van 3000, the Prunes and BS2000, the side project of Beastie Boy Ad-Rock. The game's developers showed "Jet Set Radio Future" to the trio, who then wrote songs specifically with the game's concept in mind.

"Ill Victory Beat" is built around an eerie atmosphere of whining synths and scattershot squeals, while "Me Likey the Poom Poom" is a rambunctious rave-up of beats — both organic and automated — blips and random vocal samples. As the title suggests, "Latch Brother Bounce" could have originated in the Dirty South, with flurries of percussion holding aloft a funky melody led by keyboards, manipulated children's voices and something that resembles electronic kazoo. "Count Latchula" has a darkly tweaked game soundtrack at its base but adds to its twisting melody's disorientation with muffled vocal loops and staccato bridges. And "Koto Stomp" begins with a sparse beat and builds to a multilayered amalgam of Casiotone keys, digital hardcore and jarring DJ scratches.

In addition to the in-game soundtrack, which boasts 30 songs, a companion audio soundtrack (the final LP to bear the Grand Royal label) is available as a bonus to all who purchase the game via The album contains the five Latch Brothers originals, their remixed Prunes track, and previously released songs by Blues Explosion drummer Russell Simins, Bis, Cibo Matto and Scapegoat Wax. WaveMaster, the Japanese studio responsible for the soundscapes of many Sega titles, including "JSRF"'s prequel, 2000's "Jet Grind Radio,"composed two original songs and remixed a third.

"Jet Set Radio Future," which takes place 10 years after the original, involves a crew of inline skaters who defy the ruling evil corporation by splashing self-expressive graffiti art throughout the city.

Tracklist for the soundtrack to "JSRF — Jet Set Radio Future," according to the game's publicist:

  • Hideki Naganuma - "The Concept of Love"

  • The Latch Brothers - "Ill Victory Beat"

  • Russell Simins - "I'm Not a Model"

  • The Latch Brothers - "Me Likey the Poom Poom"

  • Cibo Matto - "Birthday Cake"

  • The Latch Brothers - "Count Latchula"

  • Scapegoat Wax - "Aisle 10"

  • The Latch Brothers - "Koto Stomp"

  • The Prunes - "Rockin' the Mic" (Latch Brothers Remix)

  • Richard Jacques - "What About the Future"