Awhile back, I stumbled upon this little tidbit in one of the Suikoden 1 Original Soundtrack reviews here:
"As an extra note, I strongly recommend an American CD by David Arkenstone as an accompaniment to the Suikoden soundtrack. The CD is titled "Return of the Guardians" and is very similar to Suikoden and may even be better in some ways! If you love Suikoden's music, you'll love this! The best thing of all is that it can be purchased easily in America."
It took, oh, say...18 years for me to finally heed this advice but wow, am I glad I did!
While I don't necessarily agree that Arkenstone's work sounds EXACTLY like classic Suikoden music, it has many of the same characteristics - instrumental, ethnic-fused themes, dripping with catchy melodies that run the gamut in terms of moods, instruments and boasting outstanding production. I own 6 of his CD's now (with more on the way) and I have yet to stumble across a single lackluster track. Even "Barcelona Nights", a CD I bought because it was cheap and had zero expectations for, has found its way high up on my "repeat this NOW!" list.
His music appears to be classified as "new age" and I can't say I agree with that classification. It's too catchy, too well-thought-out, too adventurous. I must have flipped through over 100 "new age" artists (as well as "contemporary instrumental", "worldbeat" and "ethnic fusion" artists) and no one seems to have anything on this guy. It's soothing without being out-and-out relaxing. It's more...soothing and fun? It's like EXACTLY what I like hearing from classic Japanese VGM.
He does have a few game soundtracks under his belt (primarily related to World of Warcraft), but the bulk of his work seems to be his stand-alone releases. My favorite release so far is "Island" (one of his earliest works).
Edit: Well, I know at least ONE person is familiar with him.
Interesting, I wasn't aware that David Arkenstone had composed for the Warcraft series. It's not a soundtrack per se but I recommend his album "Return of the Guardians". In fact I almost reviewed it here back in the day just because it's so much like a video game arranged album, with a nice mix of traditional instrumentals, ethnic, New Age, and contemporary elements.