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Exceptional Goblins

by Ian Cowell

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indietecher thumbnail
indietecher This whole album is solid VGM gold from start to finish, but the Mario Land track is especially fun and the Chrono Trigger track gives me chills every time. Worth the price for just those alone. Favorite track: Enlightened Ones.
Michael St. George
Michael St. George thumbnail
Michael St. George Essentially, a fantastic anthology of chill, psychedelic, mellow-yet-emotionally-upbeat and/or funky rearrangements of excellent VGM, commonplace and obscure alike. One atypical quality I like about these covers: the liberal application of soundbites, copious enough to make the likes of Ben Briggs jealous. While not *the* standout trait, it's an uncommon one I wanted give voice to. Everything slaps—even if you don't much care for this collection, you're bound to fall in love with something her Favorite track: Aquatic Ambien.
Life Patterns
Life Patterns thumbnail
Life Patterns If this album was simply a collection of great covers, a pure exercise in nostalgia, that'd be fine. However, the use of samples along with the engaging and sometimes composition and instrumentation really makes this special. An album to return to again and again. Favorite track: Chimpin' Ain't Easy (In The City).
FoxPuppy thumbnail
FoxPuppy On a particularly difficult day, I turned on this album because I needed some particularly powerful good vibes to improve my day. Cowell's talent as a musician, especially his guitar skills, and his unique perspective on the world were exactly what I needed to add some energy, groove, and joy to my day. Ian is an exceptional goblin indeed.
Ian Martyn
Ian Martyn thumbnail
Ian Martyn If you're looking to kick back and chill, this is absolutely the album for you. Dominated by super chill synths and warm guitar tone. Can't recommend this album highly enough. Hard to pick a favorite track because they all shred. Favorite track: Enlightened Ones.
Ca-Caw, Brah 04:02


This is a dedication to those little creatures that stick with you. Whether you call them nostalgia or family, the difference is thin. This is a dedication to all those Exceptional Goblins.


released December 10, 2021

Arranged, performed, mixed & mastered by Ian Cowell.

Saxophone on Image of a Hero, One World for World One, & Let's Bake (A Cake) by Joe Newman - joenewman.bandcamp.com

Guitar solo on Image of a Hero by Donny Dixon.

Organ solo on A Pink Flower for Your Tabi by Delicious Nick - deliciousnick.bandcamp.com

Violin solo on A Pink Flower for Your Tabi by Ronin Op F - roninopf.bandcamp.com

Drums on Let's Bake (A Cake) by ErichWK - erichwk.bandcamp.com

Album art by Emily May Reay - www.instagram.com/emilymreay/?hl=en


Dedicated to my Exceptional Goblins - Vera & Elroy.

Special thanks to Gene Dreyband, Jesse Bishop, Nick Galvez, Jay Kim, Erich Beckmann, Raj Ojha, Joe Palfini, Taylor Matson, Jerry Herrera, Pramodh Ramnath, Kaarin Zoe Lee, Jason Fox, Hugh Myrone and the entire Softshred family, N64th Street, the Adrienne Has Issues podcast, Turbo Drive, Patient Corgi, the entire DNA Lounge staff, and everyone at The Shizz. This wouldn't be possible without all of you.

In Memory of Hank Cowell


Image of a Hero - Original composition by Hideaki Kobayashi for Phantasy Star Online (2001, Sega Dreamcast)

One World for World One - Original composition by Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka for Super Mario Land (1989, Nintendo Game Boy)

Enlightened Ones - Original composition by Yasunori Mitsuda for Chrono Trigger (1995, Super Nintendo)

Cartography & Chill - Original composition by Shoji Meguro for Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne (2003, PlayStation 2)

Touch Fuzzy, Get Buzzy - Original composition by Koji Kondo for Super Mario World 2 Yoshi's Island (1995, Super Nintendo)

Chimpin' Ain't Easy (In The City) - Original composition by Hiroyuki Iwatsuki for Spanky's Quest (1991, Super Nintendo)

A Pink Flower for Your Tabi - Original composition by Shigeru Araki, Yusuke Kato, Saiko Miki & Yasumasa Kitagawa for Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (1997, Nintendo 64)

Welcome to the Green Garden - Original composition by Akifumi Tada for Bomberman 64 (1997, Nintendo 64)

Out on the Town - Original composition by Akito Nakatsuka for Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (1987, NES)

Ca-Caw, Brah - Original composition by Dan Hess for Pilotwings 64 (1996, Nintendo 64)

Aquatic Ambien - Original composition by David Wise for Donkey Kong Country (1994, Super Nintendo)

Let's Bake (A Cake) - Original composition by Koji Kondo for Super Mario 64 (1996, Nintendo 64)


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Ian Cowell Rodeo, California

Ian Cowell is an East Bay Area musician, producer, engineer, and all-around purveyor of the Dorkly Arts. A MIDIsexual amalgam of every guilty pleasure you've ever had, Ian Cowell is a Guitar Dude. Are you a Guitar Dude?

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