2010: The Year in ReView

As 2010 draws to a close and 2011 looms on the horizon growing ever closer, now is an appropriate time to look back and reminisce about what made this past year so great.


by Taylor Brown
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As 2010 draws to a close and 2011 looms on the horizon growing ever closer, now is an appropriate time to look back and reminisce about what made this past year so great. Describing all the myriad events that happened in the world and the universe would take far too long (suffice it to say that there was a particularly notable total lunar eclipse on December 20, being the first such eclipse to fall on a solstice since 1638) so the world of video game music remixing is what we’re going to inspect in this article. Whether it’s OverClocked Remix, ThaSauce, or something not directly associated with the sites or the community, it shall be mentioned. Let the comprehensive guide of 2010’s notable events begin!

First off, January. The year was kicked off with OCR01967, a remix from the game Romancing SaGa 3 entitled “Romancing the Bossa” by OCR veteran Bladiator, AKA Karl Harmdierks. It was the first of many tracks in what was OCR’s tenth birthday. A few days later, ReMix: ThaSauce came out with their first entry of the year, RTS0204, a remix from the infamous game Bad Dudes entitled “My Way Or (Night Version)” by formerly just64helpin and now known as JH Sounds. Also came the first round of the Grand Robot Master Remix Battle, a competition that lasted all the way until June. It produced a lot of great mixes, and tested even the most veteran of remixers. The year was off to a great start.

January faded and February came. With it came the release of Get Acoustic on the fourth, an acoustic jam of The Megas’ 2008 release Get Equipped. The emotional feeling for the disc went from one of energy as with GE to one of somberness. The final track, Lamentations of a War Machine, also had a faster tempo than the GE version. On the 14th came Kaleidoscope, also known as OCRO-0001, the site’s first original soundtrack. A collaboration between Judge Another Soundscape, AKA Mattias Häggström Gerdt and site founder David W. Lloyd, AKA djpretzel, the soundtrack became a huge success. Of course, many tracks were released in this month as well, but none as monumental as those that would be posted in the coming month.

Next up was March, the first month of spring, a month that signals a deliverance from the winter frosts and a rebirth of beauty with the blooming of the trees and flora. On the ides of March, or the 15th, Serious Monkey Business, a Donkey Kong Country 2 remix album, was released.  With it came a few important milestones. The credits remix, entitled “Re-Skewed”, was posted as OCR02000, the two-thousandth mix to be posted on the site. It was also by David Wise, Grant Kirkhope and Robin Beanland, three veteran Rare composers, and Wise was the composer for the soundtrack. To have him remix a track was an honor for the site, and for it to be one of his own tracks was a great way to show that the composers support the community all the way. Another one of the tracks to be posted was entitled “Dance of the Zinger” and was by Jake Kaufman, also known as virt. Several years previous virt and djpretzel had a falling out that caused virt to create his own site known as VGMix. He returned with OCR02005, a glorious dance remix of Flight of the Zinger and returned with style. This wouldn’t be the only remix of his posted this year.

April brought with it the release of “What If This CD…Had Lyrics?” on the 26th. YouTube sensation brentalfloss was well-known for his series of “With Lyrics” videos, each being a remix of some classic gaming tune, but with lyrics. This was his first full album, and it was a great one. Featuring songs from his YouTube archives and others exclusive to the album, it was a perfect melding of old and new and incited nostalgia fits among gamers of all ages. The very next day brought with the the pixietricks/zircon collab (wife and husband team Jillian and Andy Aversa, respectively) “Time to Oil Up,” a remix of Hakan’s Theme from Super Street Fighter IV, which was released on the same day. The only reason this is notable is because it’s the first, and currently only, time that a remix was released on the same day as the game that the source track belongs to.

May had the usual song releases, and on the seventh a Mega Man fan film was released using two Megas songs in its credits roll. It also brought a monumental event in OCR’s history. Just as 2010 brought with it an old anniversary (OCR turned ten), a new one had found its genesis on May 30th. Site founder Lloyd got married to his long-time love Anna Ziskind, thus inspiring congratulatory wishes from all forum visitors, and also a few jokes and the new husband’s expense. This didn’t affect the site in any way, thankfully, as Lloyd kept his schedule just as it was before marriage. The only difference was that he was noticeably happier.

June came, and Essence of Lime was released on the 18th. Originally a solo effort by Ben Hoffman, alias Hylian Lemon, others quickly latched on to the idea of an Oracle of Ages remix album and joined forces with Hoffman. The album was a rousing success, despite the fact that several websites mislabeled it as an Ocarina of Time remix album. It even reached into the world of the game Minecraft, with a small blurb reading “Goddamn Ess. of Lime is badass to listen to.” Plans were quickly made for a companion album, then untitled (now known as Lime of the Season). This one would be an Oracle of Seasons remix album, for Ages can’t be remixed without Seasons. Unfortunately with the joy of the release came sadness as well. VGMix, the brainchild of Kaufman, had died. Dwelling of Duels, a well known monthly competition hosted on VGMix had vanished with its host. Luckily, a lot of people worked to give DoD a proper site, and can now be found at dwellingofduels.net.

>July came and with it, heat. The 4th, known as Independence Day here in America, had a rare quadruple mixpost under the guise of Four for the Fourth. All Sonic remixes, they were lapped up quickly. halc, alias Drew Wheeler, tried his best to remix Labyrinth Zone from the original Sonic and succeeded, and Chemical Plant Zone from Sonic 2 was received warmly and remixed well by PrototypeRaptor, also known as Jonathan Paulsen.  Joshua Morse took on the iconic Ice Cap Zone from Sonic 3 and blew it out of the park, and Level 99, alias Stevo Bortz, took on the Doomsday Zone theme from Sonic and Knuckles. On July 29th came OCRO-0002, the site’s second original soundtrack release. This one was for Trenches, a comical World War I-era tug-of-war style iOS game with some elaboration to make it quite unique. The music was done by OCR forum regular Abadoss, AKA Kenneth Keynes, and his brother Troy. It went extremely well for the two, and was downloaded en masse.

August was a bit of a moody month. On August 15th, a preview of an Armored Core tribute album entitled The Answer was released. It was quite well received. On the 19th, remixing veteran Geoffrey Taucer, alias Jeremy Waters, left the community to pursue his dream job. He promised to check in from time to time, a promise he has kept, but a sad day nonetheless. And then, on August 28th came the unthinkable. The well-known double act between  Duane Zuwala and Brandon Lackey known as The Adventures of Duane and BrandO was dead. The two had split up, showing some distance between the two. Lackey would continue his own solo act entitled The Amazing BrandO, and Zuwala would remain as Duane’s Action-Adventure World. It was tragic, but time moves on…

September came and if anyone wanted to be woken up when it ended, their slumber was stopped a bit early. The well-known One Hour Compo had it’s hundredth installment on the second. On the 15th came the first of five Final Fantasy V remix albums. Directed by DarkeSword, alias Shariq Ansari, this one was entitled Wind. It featured 9 tracks from remixing vets such as Sixto Sounds, AeroZ, and DarkeSword himself. This series would be the first album Ansari had directed since Rise of the Star in 2005. It was released to stellar acclaim, and left fans salivating for the next installment, Water, in early 2011.

October brought more autumnal weather, and with it a few milestones as well. The game Shantae: Risky’s Revenge was released on DSiWare on the 4th, with a soundtrack scored by none other than virt. A remix from the game came two weeks later by Kaufman himself, entitled “Baal Bhaagna.” It was a Bollywood-inspired take on the source used. The 26th of the month brought the start of competition for the Grand Maverick Remix Battle, hosted by Ansari just like the GRMRB was at the start of the year. And much like that, this one lasted until the end of the year. On Halloween came the final track to be posted from Morse’s album Castlevania: Sonata of the Damned, Demonic Conception. The album was released on Halloween 2009, and with the post came the first OCR album to be released in its entirety through individual mixes. Christopher Getman, better known as Mazedude, also had his 50th mixpost on the same day, joining the ranks of Ari Asulin, alias Protricity, and djpretzel himself.

In came November, and with it came yet another remix of Wily Stage 1 from Mega Man 2. This one was by AkumajoBelmont, real name Robbie Sabo, and was unlike any other remix of the source before. It was a huge success. JH’s first album release with fellow remixer B-Type’s record company Giggling Robot Records happened on the 11th. It was entitled Genuine EP, and contained four tracks. The long-awaited Teen Agent album release occurred on the 22nd. Directed by the infamous Brandon Strader, the album was based on a semi-obscure PC game from a composer who also was semi-obscure. However, he gave it the old thumbs-up, and so did fans. Lastly, on the 28th long-time remixer chthonic decided to use his real name, Benjamin Briggs, for all his remixes. No longer would he have people either confusing him with some metal band or stumbling over how to pronounce his name.

December came, and with it a promise of the best the year had to offer. Although it was the last month of the year, the 13th showed it could contain many firsts with the release of Threshold of a Dream. The Link’s Awakening remix album was the site’s first Zelda album, and 20 album overall. It also was the site’s longest running album, having started originally way back in 2002, and featured many first-time remixers. The requisite flood from the album also brought about the site’s 2,000th hosted track. At the time of this writing, there are currently 2011 tracks hosted on the site, even though the most recent track is OCR02153. Oddly fitting, in my personal opinion. The 23rd also saw the release of Return All Robots! and its soundtrack, OCRO-0003. This was a new type of original soundtrack for the site, as the first disc was the actual soundtrack and the second was all remixes.

And now the end of the year is here. OCR posted 186 tracks so far, and RTS posted 58. Not records by far, but still a respectable amount. The birthday party for OCR went resoundingly well, and wasn’t forgotten once. ThaSauce got a new format so it would be easier to write and post articles on the site. Many stellar albums, an astounding amount of tracks, and a promise of more to come is what 2010 leaves us with. Let’s hope 2011 delivers on the hopes its predecessor has planted! Until next time, and next year, game on!!

Taylor Brown, alias Mirby, has been playing games for as long as she can remember. As such, she's also been listening to the music contained within said games, and enjoying it for just as long. She's interviewed quite a few remixers, including Level 99, Sixto Sounds, zircon, and even djpretzel! Now that she's at ThaSauce, she's gonna keep the interviews and scoops coming! Stay tuned!

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