Please Press Play: Akira Yamaoka’s Play for Japan Released Today

In a wonderfully heartfelt response to the devastating tragedy that tore through Japan on March 11th, Akira Yamaoka has reached out and organized a benefit album with one simple, inspiring message in mind: “Japan is not alone.” Aptly entitled Play For Japan, Yamaoka hopes to reach out to those affected by both the tsunamis and Tohoku earthquake as well as raise awareness of Japan’s invaluable contributions through technology, entertainment, and culture.

Yamaoka, known for his continued involvement within the Silent Hill series as both producer and sound director, has secured the participation of several prominent composers within the VGM scene. Koji Kondo (Mario/Zelda series), Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger series), Woody Jackson (L.A. Noire), Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy series), Inon Zur (Fallout series), Laura Shigihara (Plants vs. Zombies, see recent ThaSauce articles here and here), Hip Tanaka (Earthbound), and Jason Graves (Dead Space series) are just a few of the superb talents that have confirmed involvement with the Play For Japan project.

Yamaoka has also expressed his own concern of bringing together game and music enthusiasts alike through Play For Japan: “In the videogame industry, composers like myself are responsible for engaging the player through music. Music, too, creates bonds, inspiring listeners to share their passion with others. In this spirit, many gifted composers, musicians and artists — from East and West — have come together to record a benefit album. For creators whose role is to inspire, it’s only fitting we come together, across borderlines, for those in need.”

Out now on the iTunes Store in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, Play For Japan will become available worldwide on July 15th through iTunes and Amazon. 100% of the proceeds will go towards the relief efforts in Japan. If not for Play For Music’s inspirational message alone, we hope you take your time out to definitely press play for Japan.

Mammoth Sound Presents: “The Day After…” @ The Geek Easy

Attention Nerdapalooza fans! If you’re still in Orlando after one of the biggest festival events of the year, come get your nerd on at The Geek Easy on July 18th for a special night of exciting new acts and spectacular encores. With lively performances from nerdcore legends including YTCracker, Mega Ran, and Shael Riley, this insane line-up will definitely blow your mind and leave you wanting more. A special after-show performance is also scheduled to follow from none other than the SKILL FOCUS: BURLESQUE, Orlando’s exclusive nerdy burlesque troupe!

For more information on Mammoth Sound Presents: “The Day After…”, click here. You can also pre-order your tickets online or just show up for a $10 cover. If you’re broke like me, bring a copy of the flyer or a NAP2011 ticket to get a $5 discount. Doors open at 6 pm.

Remember to bring your friends, frenemies, lovers, and cute dogs. Well, maybe not cute dogs. Unless you have a Corgi…

“All Your Base” Turns 10? Well, kinda…

Some places on the internet are marking this week as the 10 year anniversary of the infamous “All Your Base” meme. True, it was 10 years ago this week that All Your Base flash video using the Invasion of the Laziest Men of Mars song was released to the internet, and quickly made it’s way into fame, however anyone familiar with OverClocked ReMix’s origins knows that’s not where the real tale begins.

Before OverClocked ReMix became OverClocked ReMix, it was simply just OverClocked; a web comic dedicated to emulation, amongst other things, by djpretzel himself. It was here that All Your Base first made it’s way into the spotlight on June 5, 2000 with the “ZeroWing Dub Project“; nearly a year before it would hit the mainstream. A full timeline of the events leading up to the All Your Base phenomenon can be found here.

So while the rest of the internet reflects back on the memes of the past, us video game remix fans can celebrate that video game remixes aren’t the only thing David is responsible for popularizing. We can all also become extremely depressed at how old we’re getting ;-;

Double Review!! Genuine LP by JH Sounds and Pixel Perfect EP by halc

Well this is a new thing. Behold, the double review! Glorious, isn’t it? I’ve been meaning to review JH Sound’s Genuine LP for a while now, and once halc released his Pixel Perfect EP I knew I’d be reviewing that too. What better time than now than to do so, and why not review both in the same article? I regularly review double-disc albums anyways, so this is basically the same. Except that both discs are standalone albums and only related tangentially through the artist’s connections in the remixing community, and me. So here goes nothing!

JH SOUNDS – GENUINE

1. Genuine     3:00
A pretty mellow track, with the title repeated for a while until about 0:47. At 1:03 it comes back, all chopped up. At this point, it becomes apparent that the word itself is used as an instrument unto itself. Drumwork is nice. At 2:38 the word fades out and JH’s trademark chime comes in to end.
2. Piana     3:08
Fittingly enough, it begins with piano. And synth. A good combo, too! This track has a good melody to it. It switches up at about 1:04 and returns at 1:18 or so. 1:28 brings a breakdown that sounds sweet, and totally gives the song a new feel. Rhythm returns at about 2:20. Fades to end at 3:05
3. Globalization     2:56
Sounds like a broken sound chip on an SNES at first; at 0:18 the beginnings of a pattern form and at 0:26 they come into full effect. A fun melody comes in at about 0:40. 1:25 brings a new instrument in, and like the other songs here, it adds to the ambience of the track. It ends to whistling at 2:30. The whistling itself ends at 2:50.
4. Creepers     3:03
Funky track; sounds like it would work with the Munsters or something similar too, which rocks. The main melody ends for a brief time at 1:04 when a voice clip comes in. The music returns at 1:27 or so. The melody tunes down at 2:13, and returns at 2:22.
5. AOTD     2:52
Interesting vocal clip from injury… the drums are solid again. The music jumps around a tiny bit, but it’s very enjoyable. As the song goes on, injury’s voice clip works as another instrument, like Noah Ludington’s voice clip from track one. It dies at 2:48 in humorous fashion.
6. Flatline feat. bill cakes     3:02
Starts out with a flatline, naturally. Guitar here courtesy of bill cakes, and it’s done beautifully. At 0:49 the main track comes in, and it’s awesome. I really like what the two did here; it’s a beautiful collab. Then again, JH is great at collabs soo… yeah. Anyways, bill breaks down the guitar at about 2:00 in grand fashion. The song winds down at 2:52.
7. Ambush     2:59
This sounds like a menacing track… I like it! Sounds like something big’s about to go down! Drums come in at 0:36 and add to the intensity. Mix-up at 1:26 doesn’t change the feel, and the drums returning keep it as tense as before. I want this song to play before I go to do anything, just to make it that much more dramatic. The sirens in the background starting at about 2:00 or so help too. It winds down starting at 2:30. It ends with a voice clip.
8. Infamy     3:05
This song starts with FDR’s famous address to Congress after Pearl Harbor happened. Fitting, since the song’s name is infamy and FDR says it in said speech. I’m sure when FDR was alive, he never dreamed his voice would be used in a song like this. It’s actually a bit humorous. I like this track; it’s nice, and at 1:45 more of the speech is used a bit. Voice clip is chopped up starting at 2:25 or so. Breakdowns on this CD are quite regular and well… genuine. Voice clip chop to end.
9. Cheeky     2:58
White Stripes sample start the song out, and it’s nice. The drums and melody in the background are calming and fit the song. Trippy voice sample echo effect at 1:45 or so. This continues until 2:12 or so. Echo is used again every time the voice clip is used thereafter. A nice peaceful track.
10. Fishy     3:55
This track starts out quiet and builds up in grand fashion. Fittingly enough, this track contains a sample from the song “Echoes” by Fishy, alias Cain McCormack. The melody is beautiful and the mood is big. The sample comes in at 1:50 or so. It’s a bit strange, but it works. There’s a nice rhythm from about 2:30 until the end that works fantastically. Song starts to end at 3:43 and ends at 3:52.
11. Motorway     3:13
I just want to drive slowly listening to this song, even though I don’t know how to drive. It’s a fun track, with a nice moving rhythm. It’s calm and peaceful too. The melody goes basic at 2:50 and this plays until the end.
12. Prayer     4:04
For the final main track of the album, JH decided to go religious a bit. A voice clip of a prayer begins the track, albeit a bit delayed. The melody plays throughout this voice clip, which plays throughout the entire track. Bass comes in at 1:12. Everything stops at 1:58 and resumes at 2:00. This entire speech is quite hilarious in it’s nonsensicality. There is a very defined rhythm, and the speech ends at 3:30. The melody continues until the end of the track.
13. Piana (RoboRob SpaceShip ReMix)     3:12
Ah yes, a remix… Very groovy and electronica-y. Some orchestral-like instrument comes in at 0:30. 1:01 brings about more of the main melody. 1:30 brings a voice clip, and 1:38 showcases a pretty slick effect. Sounds like the instruments in the source were sampled here for a more electronic sound. It’s a great mix, and fun to listen to. Everything continues as normal until 3:07 when it all suddenly stops.

HALC – PIXEL PERFECT

1. First Headache     2:16
This sounds like the Game Boy Zelda fairy music at first. It’s very peaceful and relaxed. More chippiness comes in at 0:30, showing the main melody. It is also reminiscent of old Kirby music. It slows down at about 1:10. This is a very catchy track, and doesn’t incite a headache at all. It calms down at 1:58 or so.
2. Floating Away     2:56
Great choppy chips of Cthulhu! This song is more ethereal than a cloud! Was that a Mega Man sound effect I heard? 0:43 brings in some melody aside from the rhythm. 1:24 brings a breakdown, and the music slowly lowers it’s volume. At 1:44 it comes back. Looks like halc learned much from chthonic… err… Ben Briggs, in their time working together! Everything goes quiet at about 2:20 until the end, as it all slowly fades away.
3. 17-bit     2:17
The melody comes in almost immediately. There is a very… not quite victorious or triumphant, but close… there is that sort of feel to this track. Like you’ve just done something monumental, but it’s not really a big deal… It quiets down at about 1:20 and returns at 1:38. Awesome chippiness at 1:54 or so. At 2:08 it begins it’s final descent.
4. White-Out     2:15
Funky, groovy, nice bass. 0:10 brings in some melodious awesomeness. 0:28 shows off some echo-like chimes. This song has created it’s own ambience, and feels like an old cavernous dungeon theme from a game of yesteryear. 1:08 brings in another melody, albeit faint, and 1:28 mixes it up a bit. It returns at 1:45 with new beats. Bass to end.
5. Bad Decisions     3:20
I don’t think this song was a bad decision at all! Sure, it starts out slow, but it is building up to something epic. It keeps going, and by 0:30 there is some rhythm. 0:52 adds more rhythm, and 1:09 kicks off the melody. 1:28 adds some drum effects, with some bass effects. Main melody returns at 2:00, with some mixage of it incorporated. Now this sounds like some sort of infiltration theme for an old game. It fades out starting at 3:00 until the end. And a great end it is!

CONCLUSION
First off, JH’s album. It’s a great freshman effort, and it’s beautful. I would expect to see this on store shelves or something. It’s a highly enjoyable collection of average-sized tracks, perfect for someone on the go!
halc’s album, Pixel Perfect, shows off his champion chiptune skills masterfully, and is a great example of how old sounds can sound fresh and exciting. Each track is bite-sized, and full of nostalgic effects. Highly recommended, and highly advised for download. I hope he releases an LP of this soon; I must have more!
All in all, both albums are fantastic efforts by both artists, and are but the beginning of what they have in store, I’m sure. You can find more from JH at his website, jhsounds.com, and more from halc at his website, halc9bit.com. In our next thrilling installment, we’ll have a new album by that guy who has the perfect gigoquotes. If you know what that means, then I’m surprised you’re reading this. Until next time, game on!!

Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu” Becomes First Grammy Award Winning Video Game Music

Christopher Tin has just made history by being the first composer to receive a Grammy for a song composed for a video game. Tin’s Baba Yetu from Civilization IV won the award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) at the 53rd Grammy Awards this evening.

Baba Yetu, while appearing as the first track on Tin’s debut album,”Calling All Dawns,” it was originally composed as the theme song for Civilization IV. Since it has been performed at numerous Video Games Live concerts. In addition, “Calling All Dawns” itself also won the Grammy for Best Classical Crossover Album, and includes judge, OC ReMix, and friend (<3) Jillian Aversa on the song “Sukla-Krsne“.

Will we ever see a day where video game soundtracks start making their way into the Grammy’s in full force? Well it might still be some time from now, but this is confirmation that we’re moving in the right direction.

Congratulations to Chris, and may he keep creating excellent scores and songs like this one.

A Melodious Melee! Heroes vs. Villains Review

One of the most anticipated albums in OCR history has finally been released! No, not Threshold of a Dream. I already reviewed that back in December, remember? No, it’s not The Missingno Tracks either; that doesn’t drop until the end of the month. I’m talking about OC ReMix vs. The Bad Dudes: Heroes vs. Villains. First conceived by Mustin, this album is the most collaborative album in OCR’s history, featuring work from the notorious Bad Dudes and several now-veteran OC ReMixers. And it’s a great collaboration indeed; you want to know more than read on! Just be warned, if you’re listening to this album some face-melting may occur. Let’s begin! Let the musical battle between Heroes and Villains begin!

But first, a little note. Due to the character-based nature of this album, the first line will contain track number, artist, title, and duration. The second line will contain character, series, and game the main source is from in italics. Okay, NOW let the battle begin!

1. Big Giant Circles – Bounty of a Brain 3:55
Samus Aran (Metroid) – Super Metroid
It starts out classic BGC style; Mr. Hinson hasn’t lost his touch at all. Everything builds and builds continually… intensity rises clear past the minute mark… 1:12 brings in some awesome guitar to really kick the album, and the battle, off. 1:29 or so gets the melody rockin’ right on. 1:47 gets Samus’ theme in the mix. 2:09 isolates the theme from the rest, only to reacquaint it with everything else bit by bit starting at 2:25. By 2:55 it’s all back together, with more than it started with. A finale for the track seems imminent, as everything slows down at 3:20. Ambience kicks in shortly after, and carries the track through to the end.2. Mazedude – Dieselbrainage 4:20
Mother Brain (Metroid) – Super Metroid
Ambience continues, picked up by the first of the Bad Dudes, Mazedude. Infamous for his quirky tracks, Mr. Getman really keeps the mood eerie right off the bat. 0:52 brings in some rhythm. The drums ‘n bass genre works well for this track. Creepy sounds punctuate the soundscape like bats in a cave, only intensifying and amplifying the spooky atmosphere of the track. 1:59 brings in Samus’ theme, but it’s quickly silenced. After a brief breakdown at about 2:25, it all returns at about 2:58. Massive breakdowns much like the breaking of the glass around Mother Brain’s dome are plentiful in the later seconds of the track. By 3:46 the speed has slowed down considerably. 3:56 starts off a very basic rhythm. One dude down, many more to go. On to the next battle!3. audio fidelity feat. Eric Griffin, Derek Meler, Marcus Affeldt – Pirate Shout 3:32
Guybrush Threepwood (Monkey Island) – The Secret of Monkey Island
Ooh! Tropical! I like it already. And epic guitar at 0:13. audio fidelity didn’t waste any time. Screams of YO and HO add to the piratey feel. There’s awesome guitar and awesome chanting here. A flute comes in at about 2:20, only to be usurped by guitar again at 2:39. A PIRATE’S LIFE WAS MEANT FOR ME, TRIM THE SAILS AND ROAM THE SEA!! Think that’s the lyrics… they work. Awesome guitar to end.

4. Diggi Dis feat. Alex Jones – Voodoo, Roots ‘n Grog 3:45
LeChuck (Monkey Island) – The Secret of Monkey Island
Acoustic guitar now? And drums too? Awesome! This song has a nice rhythm… enjoyable. Some funky styling comes in at 1:03 or so, and the feel permeates the entire track. It’s quite groovy as well. Oh damn, chiptunes at 1:55 or so. This song has everything! More traditional instruments return at 2:24, with some awesome piano. A very fun track to listen to, only for all the funk and groove and general awesomeness… To the next battle!

5. Brandon Strader – Born of Ashes, Baptized in Blood 5:25
Kratos (God of War) – God of War
Starts out very dramatically, worthy of the character this battle is for. The question is, is the battle for the music or for Kratos’ very soul? Guitar comes in at 0:34 or so. Intensity builds at 1:05. Very nice guitar work done here by Mr. Strader. A bit of a mix comes about at about 2:20. Awesome bass at 2:44 or so. This song is more metal than the liquid metallic hydrogen seas of Jupiter. Yes, I mean the planet, not the Roman god, since this is Greek mythology-inspired. 4:35 brings in more melody, and it carries through to the end.

6. Kunal Majmudar – Wrath Industrial 3:01
Zeus (God of War) – God of War
Well the title’s not far off… this does sound very industrial. And bagpipey too; how that’s industrial I don’t know but it works. A very ambient piece… some electronica sounds come in at about 0:50. Guitar at 1:05 or so, and strings at 1:20 or so. Also a very unique track. More guitar at 1:46. Charging at 2:20 for awesome guitar at 2:25 or so. Song ends with a descent at 2:55. To the next battle!

7. WillRock – Bare Knuckle Blitz 4:00
Axel (Streets of Rage) – Streets of Rage
Whoa! I thought this was from Streets of Rage, not Dance Clubs of Passion. Regardless, Mr. Harby comes through, and rocks this track from the start. Signature WillRock sounds permeate the track like Febreze in a small dorm, and it’s a very good thing. 1:46 is an example of great guitar work by Will. This little bit continues until 2:14, when the main rhythm takes center stage. Everything breaks down for a bit unti 2:45 or so when it restarts in grand fashion. The song sort of takes a life of its own until 3:51 when the end begins.

8. zyko – Mr. Z 5:57
Mr. X (Streets of Rage) – Streets of Rage
Ah yes, zyko. A more versatile musician is hard to find, but we already have zyko so why bother looking? We’ve got some guitar, tense drumbeat, and electronic sound effects. Yep, it’s zyko. Laughing at 1:48 breaks the music down, but it slowly builds back up. By 2:24 or so, it’s back. Organ comes in at about 2:50. A solo of sorts busts out at about 3:05, with organ backing it up. Another sudden stop occurs at about 3:36… At 3:55 it all explodes back onto the scene. An awesome guitar solo picks up not long after, and continues more or less until 4:36. The end of the track is definitely building up. Sound clips from the game work well… after 4:45 or so weird effects and guitar go back and forth until the 5:25, when guitar comes back. It quickly vanishes and the main rhythm takes over and the end really does begin. To the next battle!

9. Mattias Häggström Gerdt – Screw Wily, I’m Taking a Vacation 4:08
Mega Man (Mega Man) – Mega Man 2
Piano and electronica. Typical of Mr. I-have-too-many-umlauts Gerdt. A very happy track worthy of a vacation. Some nice guitar comes in at about 0:53. The guitar comes back in at about 1:40 or so. I hear some Mega Man 9 title theme at 2:05 or so. This continues until 2:56 when a basic breakdown occurs. Everything returns back to the main source at 3:08 or so. The guitar takes prominence at about 3:18. More MM9 title at 3:40 or so. Heads up, last time Rock tried taking a vacation we got GUTSMAN’S ASS soo… yeah…

10. Joshua Morse – Screw Mega Man, I’m Taking Over The World 3:19
Dr. Wily (Mega Man) – Mega Man 4
Basic Morse style, and it’s never been more beautiful. Many parts working in harmony to create beauty. 0:45 isolates the main rhythm, punctuates with some bass and horns, and returns it to normal at about 1:00. At 1:28 we have some Wily Stage 1 from MM2. 1:52 brings the main rhythm back. The instrumentation is magnificent in this track, not surprisingly. A quick simplification occurs at about 2:45 or so and continues until the end. To the next battle!

11. bLiNd – Go Ninja, Go 4:13
T.M.N.T. (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Go bLiNd go! We’re halfway there! What a very mystical sounding track… it’s beautiful and awesome. Everything starts to come in at 0:44 with epic guitar. A very fast-paced track, worthy of them heroes in a half-shell. Breakdown at 1:40 or so. Everything comes back at 2:11 with a solo of sorts. Breakdown again at 3:00 or so. I guess the turtles learned how to shred… suppose that cancels out Shredder’s shredding or something… This very basic part continues until the end.

12. Danimal Cannon – Enter the Shredder 4:09
Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) – TMNT IV: Turtles in Time
Now can Shredder outshred the turtle’s track? Let’s see what Dan can do. Fast-paced guitar and drums starting at 0:03? Very epic. Forgive any future typos; my face might melt over my eyes blocking my vision. Super-fast stop at 0:54 and restart a second later. Another breakdown at about 1:40 or so. Chiptunish sound effects take over… guitar returns at 1:58 or so. More basic rhythm at 2:25. 2:49 brings a feminine voice clip saying Enter the Shredder, only to bring in one of Dan’s signature solos immediately afterward. This solo continues on until the end of the track, only to start breaking down near the end much like the Technodrome does ALL THE TIME. Ends with laughing. To the next battle.

13. José the Bronx Rican feat. zyko – He Ain’t a G 4:22
Link (Legend of Zelda) – The Legend of Zelda
José starts off rapping immediately. Good instrumentation. YOU MUST BE HIGH IF YOU WANT TO RULE. Okay, this song wins already. The lyrics are good, as is the rapping. I heard Treecko… I love all the double entendrés here. zyko takes over rapping at 2:14 or so. The echo effect on his voice works well. José takes over at 2:48. The only tracks on the entire disc to be worked on by all involved in the particular battle, and it’s better for it. The track is passed on at 4:04 with instrumentation and the line, “Take this.”

14. zyko feat. Jos̩ the Bronx Rican РBladewalker 7:19
Ganon (Legend of Zelda) – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
A basic retelling of A Link to the Past? Wouldn’t surprise me, but that’s why I like me some zyko. Randomness in music is his forte. And I mean that in the best way possible. Voiceovers like ones from a movie are played, and they’re as well-written as the lyrics in the Link track before this one. A very basic rhythm plays throughout this part. The final battle theme takes over at about 2:00… 2:49 brings in some lyrics. They’re as well-written as the previous vocal parts, and the instrumentation is good. 3:50 brings in some guitar. Each time the verse seems about to end, it continues. Very well-done. I AM ERROR. Okay, now the Link track has some competition. The guitar sounds very raw, and that fits Ganon’s pure unbridled hate. Probably the reason it’s so raw sounding. More spoken word at about 5:40. And then, José at 5:50 or so. I think. Organs at 6:33 or so. Laughter at 6:40 or so. From here everything slows down to the end. To the next battle!

15. zircon, Joshua Morse – Satsui no Koto 2:57
Ryu (Street Fighter) – Street Fighter II
Wait? JM is on both sides? Okay, guess that works. Very Japanese sounding. Nice instrumentation. A bit of a solo at 0:45. Chiptunes at 1:15 or so. More strings at 1:39. Electronica at 1:56… this sounds like Morse’s part of the song. Piano at 2:08. Signature JM sound at 2:28 or so. Calmness through to the end.

16. posu yan, Joshua Morse feat. Stacy Morse – Coconut Milk 3:40
Sagat (Street Fighter) – Street Fighter II
After the introductory rhythm, main instruments come in at about 0:25. Another tropical track, moreso than the previous though. A very happy track too. A bit of an acoustic guitar solo at 1:34. More solo afterwards. Everything calms down at about 2:30. At 2:53 it picks back up. A finale is definitely imminent. Sure enough, it begins at 3:13. And it ends at 3:36. To the penultimate battle!

17. Insert Rupee (Benjamin Briggs, halc) – The Life and Death of Kirby 3:54
Kirby (Kirby) – Super Smash Bros.
It slowly builds… some nice bass and sound effects kick this off. Rhythm comes in at about 0:38, and melody at about 0:46. Chiptune champions Briggs and Wheeler take on this track with style and aplomb. It’s a great rendition too; happy, fun, chippy… what else needs to be said? Still think the band name should’ve been halchthonic, though. Solo of sorts at 2:00 or so. 2:40 or so brings a bit of breakdown. It works magnificently, especially at 3:00 when it takes on a unique feel with removed notes; a wondrous sound it makes though. Everything slowly tapers to the end at 3:45.

18. Mazedude – Hot Air Penguin 3:37
King Dedede (Kirby) – Kirby Super Star
He’s back for revenge!! Mr. Getman takes on Dedede’s theme wonderfully. Everything kicks in at 0:27. Chiptunes are present here; guess it’s a battle of the retro sound chips. At 1:11 the chippiness is really evident. Horns come in at 1:24. At 2:00 the horns and chips cohabitate the soundscape of the song. Piano is also used a lot here. 3:02 brings all instruments back for one final push. 3:15 signals the beginning of the end in piano chords. To the final battle! Who shall win? Let’s see!

19. Mustin – The Prodigal Son Returns 3:49
Simon Belmont (Castlevania) – Super Castlevania IV
Mustin’s not playing for the Bad Dudes here? Intriguing… just like the start of the track. Funky track for sure right here. 0:50 or so brings in some main source usage. 1:10 or so has piano for source usage. There’s also a whip sound effect throughout the track. Fitting. 1:42 brings in some of Mustin’s signature funk, probably borrowed from his own OneUp Studios hardware and/or software. Very mellow and calm. 2:17 signals a return of source usage… and whip. 3:08 brings in a solo, perfect for the end of the track.

20. Ailsean – A Walk with Death 4:16
Dracula (Castlevania) – Castlevania
And now, for the final song. Bad Dude vs. Bad Dude… who shall prevail? It’s tough, for this track starts out slow and calm, with ahh-ing and stuff. 0:33 brings in some simple guitar. 0:49 brings in more complicated guitar, still acoustic though. 1:04 makes it electric to great effect. 1:36 brings in more source usage. 1:51 has some laughter in the background, and again at 1:59. 2:08 returns to a very basic rhythm, and the ahh-ing returns. 2:39 brings back the awesome guitar. I’m expecting some epic guitar soon, Ailsean. Please don’t let me down. 3:11 returns the simplistic style of earlier in the track. 3:29 brings in what I was hoping for, epic guitar solo. Thanks for not letting me down man. Even though it stops at 3:45, it was still awesome. Acoustic returns at the four minute mark, only to stop at 4:10 to the end.

CONCLUSION
Well… it’s a bit hard to tell who came out on top here. If it was Heroes vs. Villains, then both sides battled bravely and built a balanced bout. If it was Bad Dudes vs. OverClocked ReMix, then each side masterfully manipulated music to manhandle the melee they momentarily met with. All alliteration aside though, this was a phenomenal album, worked on with love for the music and camraderie for the mixers.
The warning in the included readme file isn’t far off, either. “And if you’re reading this while listening to the album and still have a face, congratulations. But don’t freak out when your face starts melting. We warned you.” They most certainly did. Great work from all involved; I think this battle’s a stalemate. Until next time, game on!

Flexstyle releases Eye of the Storm Original Album

Video game remixer Flexstyle has recently an original electronic album titled “Eye of the Storm.” The album is available via Bandcamp and is currently price at $0, but you are free to pay whatever you want for it via Bandcamp’s system.

From the Bandcamp page:

Eye of the Storm chronicles–in audible and written form–the journey of a brave group of travelers through a mighty tempest. This is the fourth album from Glendale, AZ-based solo electronic artist Flexstyle, featuring a collaboration with up-and-coming Boulder, CO-based house musician Hollidayrain and a spectacular remix by Norman, OK-based electro producer PrototypeRaptor, winner of the Weeping Clouds remix competition. Included as bonus tracks (in the album download) are contest runners-up Moar and The Loopkitchen with their excellent Weeping Clouds remixes, along with a Flexstyle remix of Danish trance producer Airdrift’s song “Phoenix,” the original of which is available from Dangerbox Recordings.

As someone who’s a bit over saturated by electronic music, I approached this album with a grain of sand, but was very pleasantly surprised. The album features 17 high-quality tracks available in 320kbps MP3, FLAC, Apple Lossless, and more and is thoroughly recommended for anyone who’s a fan of Flexstyle’s remixes.

Album discussion on OverClocked ReMix
Flexstyle on OverClocked ReMix
Flexstyle on Bandcamp
Flexstyle’s Homepage
Eye of the Storm on Bandcamp

JH Sounds Releases Genuine LP

Recently, JH Sounds released his brand new Genuine LP, here’s what he had to say about it.

This album mostly came about due to my recent interest in making heavily sample-based music. In the past, my tracks were mostly synth-based and focused on compositional structure. Working with sampled material has been inspiring, and has led me into unexpected directions. The album download contains a 20-page booklet with samples credited.

You can find JH Sounds’ Genuine LP at http://jhsounds.com.

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. 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!!

Nobuooo Presents: Videogame Music in Context Kickstarter

Jeriaska of Nobuooo has been busy interviewing your favorite Video Game Music composers to create Videogame Music in Context: DVD Interview Series.  In Japan artists include Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill), Hip Tanaka (Game Boy Camera) interview by Baiyon, Hideyuki Fukasawa (Super Street Fighter IV),Hideki Sakamoto (echochrome ii), Noriyuki Asakura (Tenchu 4), Takashi Tokita and Naoshi Mizuta (Final Fantasy Legends), Independent artists include Baiyon (PixelJunk Lifelike), Dan Paladin (Castle Crashers), Daisuke Amaya(Cave Story), Shinji Hosoe & Ayako Saso of SuperSweep (Prismatic Solid),Nigoro (La-Mulana), Takashi Iura (PixelJunk Monsters) and other independent game creators to be announced soon.

Outside of the interviews, the project has entailed filming live chip music performances for Nullsleep’s Collapsed Desires tour for a separate DVD. In addition, Spanish developer Locomalito is working with our site to create for their game Hydorah a 2-disc CD soundtrack and remix album.

This project will be funded through Kickstarter.  For as little as $10 you can receive access to DVD content as soon as it is released online.  For $30 you will receive a physical DVD.  The more you choose to donate, the more you will receive.