Sound Bytes: Indie Mashup EP: Sharing is Caring

Can we just say two words? Mashup. Galore. Mixed by the amazing Chris Geehan, Indie Mashup EP: Sharing is Caring attempts to take a rather ‘modern’ take on classic indie music from such games as Aquaria, Sword and Sworcery, To the Moon, Jamestown, Shatter, Tower of Heaven, and more. With solid remixes from reputed artists within the community like A_Rival, Module, & Disasterpeace, we’d say that this 11-track EP succeeds at showcasing the vast reach of creativity within the VGM scene. Francisco Cerda’s “DARK STAR” provides a particularly haunting, yet amazing orchestral rendition Jim Guthrie’s original “Lone Star” while Module’s “Mutant Jazz Space Babies Remix” proves to be the ultimate groovy, chill-out session of a Sword and Sorcery original.

While we’ve embedded the album above to give you a quick preview, Indie Mashup EP: Sharing is Caring is available exclusively on Game Music Bundle in a Pay-What-You-Want format.

ThaSauce Wrap-Up: This Week in Review (Feb 13 – Feb 19)

At the end of the week, ThaSauce Wrap-Up feature posts bite-sized news recaps just in case you missed any juicy articles. Have any interesting video game music-related stories that you want us to look into? Are you an artist, composer, or remixer that wants keep in touch? Shoot an e-mail to [email protected] If you’re looking for more ways to get your VGM fix, be sure to follow us on Tumblr or like us on Facebook as well.

  • EARTHBOUND PAPAS “Metal Hypnotized” Contest Winners Published: You might remember the EARTHBOUND PAPAS contest we mentioned a few weeks back that invited EBP fans to remix or arrange their hit single “Metal Hypnotized”. As excited as we were to see the winning submissions of the contest, we were elated to find out that one of ThaSauce’s very own featured artists has been chosen to be a guest performer on the next EBP album!r
  • Nerdy Show’s MegaCon Panel with Brian Clevinger This Sunday: The folks behind Nerdy Show, one of our favorite podcasts for nerd culture & general interweb shenanigans, will be present at this year’s MegaCon in Orlando, FL to raise money for a charity dedicated to Triforce Mike’s memory with a special appearance by Brian Clevinger, creator of popular webcomic 8-Bit Theater and the Eisner-nominated Atomic Robo.
  • TheGuitahHeroe’s Step Back Will Get You Groovin’: Are hard-hitting basslines and delicious womp-womps your thing? Marked with amazing production quality, TheGuitahHeroe’s newest EP Step Back will definitely fulfill your dubstep quota for the week.
  • Pro Tip: Get In on zircon’s Production Workshop Tonight: Better known by his exhaustive involvement in the VGM community as zircon, Andrew Aversa has produced music for a variety of video games, television, and interactive media, such as Soul Caliber V, Return All Robots!, Heroes, and MTV’s Making Of series to name a few.
  • Sound Bytes: Danimal Cannon’s “Roots (IRL Mix)”: Proving once again that he can epically shred with his newest endeavor within orchestral metal, Danimal Cannon rips into our souls with his latest remix of “Roots”… in a good way, of course.
  • halc Continues to Defy the Chiptune Genre: Even though he is known to reign within OverClocked ReMix’s judges panel, halc is definitely on a roll. Following his January release of the wonderfully ambient album Zer0-G that could single-handedly define the chiptune genre even further, halc has bestowed upon us yet another EP chock-full of electro-house goodness.
  •  ReMixer Spotlight: Rexy: Our resident reviewer Mirby gets down in the gritty with the wonderful Rexy in this week’s ReMixer Spotlight. Read on to find out about Rexy’s exciting experiences as a remixer, including her own personal influences and favorite composers!
  • In Tha ‘Tube: Dragonlord, Mutherpluckin’ B, DragnBreth, Shnabubula, Cyan: In Tha ‘Tube focuses on ReMix: ThaSauce’s very own vast database of VGM remixes as a tribute to the appreciation & reinterpretation of video game music. With this feature, we aim to post videos onto YouTube for easier access to ReMix:ThaSauce songs in a convenient preview format. This week, we  serenade you with a varied mixture of ThaSauce featured artists.

In Tha ‘Tube: Dragonlord, Mutherpluckin’ B, DragnBreth, Shnabubula, Cyan

In Tha ‘Tube focuses on ReMix: ThaSauce‘s very own vast database of VGM remixesas a tribute to the appreciation & reinterpretation of video game music. Offering hundreds of free MP3 downloads, ReMix: ThaSauce features artists from popular sites such as OverClocked ReMix and VGMix. This feature offers readers, as music enthusiasts, the opportunity to appreciate what ReMix: ThaSauce has to present in the latest VGM styles and genres. Join us as we upload select ReMix: ThaSauce songs every week on YouTube for your aural pleasure. Have any requests? Shoot an e-mail to [email protected] For the latest exclusive uploads on ThaSauce, be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Tumblr. 

ThaSauce is finally riding the waves of social media once again! In Tha ‘Tube aims to post weekly videos onto YouTube for easier access to ReMix:ThaSauce songs in a convenient preview format. This week, we  serenade you with a varied mixture of ThaSauce featured artists:

ReMixer Spotlight: Rexy


Everyone in this community knows who Rexy is; with her haunting piano renditions of favorite tracks, she’s rather well known. I recently had a nice chat with her, bringing about another long-awaited entry in my Interview with a ReMixer series. Here’s the result of an interview that almost never was. More on that afterwards.

[EXPAND Click here to view my  exclusive interview with Rexy!]

Mirby: What started your interest in video game music?

Rexy: For games, I’ve always shown interest towards the visual representation and ideas pretty much since the first Sonic the Hedgehog title, though for a long time I had this strange mentality that the songs that came from the systems I played were little more than keyboard demos; not going against the likes of Masato Nakamura or Dave Wise or the likes I was exposed to as a child, but that’s how they rubbed off.  On a music level, I didn’t feel fully drawn into the scores themselves until around 1998, which was when my system of choice was the original PlayStation. The first score I believe I appreciated for more than just a keyboard demo was that for the original Klonoa, which had that sort of Disney movie charm that moved me just as much as the game itself. Games released later in the PS1’s lifespan, including Spyro the Dragon, Ape Escape and even the port of Final Fantasy VI also helped boost that awareness considerably, thus making me start to understand the creative decisions behind writing videogame music scores.

M: Ape Escape is awesome.

R: Yeah, hard to remix because it’s practically a DnB score though. 😛

M: I would imagine. What started your interest in remixing?

R: My interest kicked in not long after I discovered OverClocked Remix back in around 2003, no thanks to my research on the subject of Sonic Crackers which led to the discovery of Malcos’s “Dirty Beta“. At around the same time, I was already taking up Saturday afternoon music tuition, which was split half-and-half between piano tutoring and handling of MIDI sequencers. So by discovering OCRemix, and seeing how the user submissions came together, I had this ambition from the start to try myself but I had no idea on what would be considered the right tools for the task. I did however keep focused on the weekend tuition, hoping that one day I’d be able to make a remix out of  my tutor’s tools, which finally happened not long after he got a copy of Reason.

M: Nice!

R: You really got to get me to think hard about these.

M: Hey, it’s my journalistic duty.

R: I know, not questioning anything

M: I make people use their brains. Haha. Any tracks that you’ve done that you like more or are more proud of than the others?

R: There’s definitely several highlights. Usually I tend to shy away from putting my OWN stuff on my iPod, but when stuff of mine DOES go on there, it’s usually those that I have felt the most proud of. One that I simply “like more” was the first track I ever won a PRC with, the Yoshi’s Island arrangement “Dream an Eastern Peace” with Prophecy; while I acknowledge now that it’s considered too liberal for some peoples’ tastes, the process behind it made it a memorable experience and made  it a great experience within the electronica sub-genre.  I guess “Dream Traveler” on Summoning of Spirits could also have gone that same way; some people might not have understood the arrangement idea behind it (with it being some hidden Klonoa tribute in Tales arrangement form), but those that did understand have interpreted the idea into a really positive way.

For those that I have an immense amount of pride over, I can easily think of three at the top of my head. Working with GrayLightning on the Castlevania: CotM remix “Time’s Anxiety” was one incredible experience, and I had known for a long time when I started out on the arrangement that he wanted to see what he can do with my writing style. The finished production on his end literally made me shiver, and with all the critical acclaim that followed it really made it pay off. “The Feather’s Reflection” on Threshold of a Dream was another strong highlight, though to be fair given the track’s age I had no idea how it would stand against the current-day audience, and to be given a huge amount of critical praise there too (most notably from fellow project musician Benjamin Briggs) really boosted my confidence to the point that I sent it to the OCRemix judges’ panel for feedback, as well as being one of those turning points for getting back INTO the community on a social level. And I can’t go through these “proud moments” without brining up “Hogtied” for The Sound of Speed. I knew from the start that that would be a completely different way of arranging on my part, but my experiences through project manager halc and resulting collaboration partner Brandon Strader ultimately made me feel more receptive to newer blood and the ideas they bring over, and the fan feedback behind the track really amplified those feelings tenfold. So yes, definitely several tracks that I feel extremely happy about. lol 20 minute question.

M: Hehe. I do enjoy chth’s comment on The Feather’s Reflection [This being the comment: Ben Briggs: “see, if (The Feather’s Reflection) had played during eagle’s tower instead of the original music, I might not have wanted to ragequit so many times” – Mirby], and I know people who agree with it. Myself included.

R: You know feedback is awesome feedback if you chose to sig it.

M: That is true. Are there any remixers you’d like to collaborate with in the future?

R: I’m personally holding out for a collab with CarboHydroM personally (!!), but I know he’s that busy he might not have time for much beyond his own personal projects. That aside, I could probably see myself working with any male vocalists or saxophone players depending on what I run into, not to mention having some temptation on working with Sixto and Level 99. But since most of my collaborations tend to materialise more by chance, it would actually be difficult to say where my next collaboration experiences may go.

M: A very good point. Although a collab between you, Sixto, and Stevo (both of whom I’ve interviewed before, coincidentally) would be quite epic. Do you have a favorite track from a game?

Another 20 minute question? (I had waited about 15 minutes for this question; I’m keeping these in partially for comedic effect, partially as an insight into the interview process and to keep in vital text that would make no sense without this chronal context. – Mirby)

R: I find it so hard to judge BGM [background music] as they tend to cover so many different scopes depending on what you’re looking for. Most of my favorites have a tendency to have shown origins on 32-Bit systems and beyond, which have included “Blue Knife” from Bust-A-Groove, the boss music for Dr. Neo Cortex in the Crash Bandicoot series (most notably its incarnation in the third game), the Staff Roll music from the original Klonoa (part of the inspiration for “Dream Traveler” btw), the infamous Bathroom Rap from Parappa the Rapper (if only for the novelty behind it!!), and one of the most stand-alone-awesome tracks ever form that era – Gran Turismo’s “Moon Over the Castle”, which I thank KyleJCrb for raising awareness behind that track! There have also been some scores that I have shown appreciation for different reasons than listenability, including the scores for Ristar, Live-A-Live and Katamari Damacy, though like all forms of music they’re there for listening to when the time is right. Not another 20 minute question, a fucking hard one.

M: Heh, these were written nearly two years ago. Guess I did something right back then.

R: You certainly did.

M: If that one was hard, get ready for the penultimate one! Do you have a favorite video game composer?

R: For a long time I’ve been a sucker for the works of Yoko Shimomura due to her ways of writing according to feeling, which is what I sometimes feel about myself as an arranger as well. The awareness with her really peaked when I started playing through the original Kingdom Hearts, and after being able to see some of her other scores since, her works in general have somewhat of a mesmerising quality to me most notably with the writing. Other composers I have shown a huge amount of appreciation for in the past have included Stewart Copeland from the Police (Spyro 1-4), Mutato Muzika (the Crash Bandicoot titles on the PS1, and due to Mark Mothersbaugh’s involvement it also brought in awareness for Devo!!), Spiralmouth (Crash Twinsanity), Koichi Sugiyama (Dragon Quest) and Tenpei Sato (the Disgaea series). A little easier, actually.

M: I had no idea that the Spyro composer was from the Police.

R: He played the drums.

M: This means that Spyro could conceivably be linked to Kevin Bacon then.

R: I wish I understood that gag. Oh wait…

M: Final question time! What do you enjoy most about remixing?

R: What I enjoy most about remixing is being able to grow not only as a writer but also as a person as well. In regards to writing, one may think that they’re shoe-horned into a certain writing mentality, but by being able to branch outside of the box every now and again and experimenting with new methods, you may discover various techniques that you thought you would never have had. That to me is the way that people ideally would grow as arrangers, by being able to dive into new challenges thrown at them and see what happens. As for growth as a person, the way of life as a remixer is a very difficult and grueling process, and if you don’t toughen yourself up to both constructive criticisms and unjustified hatred then you may struggle to last long at all. I’m still not the most emotionally stable person in the world either, but by knowing about the mature mindset, getting along with other arrangers and site members, and just having fun about your writing, that kind of cooperation would make you feel both safe and secure in regards to writing. In other words, I enjoy mixing because of the wonderful community at large, and all the pursuits that can ultimately emerge from it.

M: Everyone seems to love it for the community, and no surprise; it’s a great community. And it’s all thanks to Lord Pretzel… oh wait…

R: The OC ReMix community, definitely. 🙂

M: The greater community is also pretty nice too…

R: Yeah, bit of a shame that VGmix is out of the picture though… But alas, thank you very much Mirby! Good timing too, because I gotta run for the bus!

M: It’ll be reborn as something new, I’m sure. Well, thanks for your time. This has been one of my longer interviews but it was fun.

R: Not a problem, it was definitely a firm process.

M: Also, the only other person who had to leave quickly at the end was djpretzel. Leave with that on your mind. Thanks again!

R: No idea you interviewed djp, but I’ll see some of your other interviews during lunch hour if I can. Cheers![/EXPAND]

It was a rather fun interview too, but alas my IRC app didn’t save the log so this almost never was pasted. Thankfully, Rexy gave me the log, so now you all get to read the awesomeness! You can read more about her at her artist profile Viewing Artist: Rexy. Until next time, game on!!

 

Sound Bytes: Danimal Cannon’s “Roots (IRL Mix)”

Along with his illustrious credentials as the monumental guitarist in not one, but two, of the most popular bands in VGM history, Daniel Behrens has made quite a name for himself. This reputation may be punctuated by the fact that Behrens’ solo work as Danimal Cannon, with his latest album Roots, has taken the VGM community by storm. This may prove one of two things: Danimal Cannon is incredibly talented artist or Danimal Cannon is actually a Norse god sent down by the heavens to teach us the ways of both epic shredding and chiptunes indelibly made into a staunch configuration of a human being. While I would agree with the former, Danimal Cannon’s “Roots (IRL Mix)” may have most acquiesce to the latter. “Roots (IRL Mix)” takes orchestral metal to the next level, proving that Daniel Behrens is indeed a metal Thor incarnate.

Peep his latest song above and let us know what you think. While you can cop Roots for a mere ten dollars, Danimal Cannon’s “Roots (IRL Mix)” is available for free on Bandcamp.

ReMixer Spotlight: djpretzel

David W. Lloyd, alias djpretzel… hmmm… what can I say about him? He’s the founder of OverClocked ReMix, which means he’s busy almost all the time. He oversees all submissions to the site. He helped compose the music for Kaleidoscope, on XBox Live Arcade. 71 of the remixes on the site are his. He… I’m sorry, this is hard for me. The fangirl in me is trying to run rampant. I mean, I interviewed djpretzel! Ahem…. shoving that down for a second here… Somehow djp managed to find time from his busy schedule to let me interview him. This is the result of that interview. (EEEEEEEE!)

[EXPAND Click here to view my exclusive interview with the man, myth, and legend of OverClocked ReMix, djpretzel!]

Mirby: What started your interest in video game music?

djpretzel: Well, I was already interested in both video games AND music, so it wasn’t an epiphany or revelation, just a natural extension of combining two different loves into a single interest. I remember playing “Smurfs” on Colecovision or “Spy Hunter” on C64 and getting those themes stuck in my head, humming them for the rest of the day. Part of it may simply have been how BAD I was at certain games, and how many times I thus had to hear the same music over and over. When I got a Sega Master System, that was the first game console that was MINE instead of the family’s (I have two older sisters), and that was really the system where themes like OutRun and Space Harrier and Shinobi got me hooked on VGM.

M: Classic tunes.

djp: Absolutely – they were all actually arcade themes, just conversions, except for Alex Kidd and Phantasy Star.

M: What started your interest in remixing?

djp: Now, as a far as remixing/arranging goes, I come from a musical family. Interestingly enough, neither of my parents are particularly musical or play instruments, but my sisters and I were all in high school band, marching band, etc., and we listened to a lot of different music on family trips.

M: I know another David like that…

djp: My sister Emily got a Yamaha PSR home keyboard – I forget the model, but it was actually really cool because it was one of the few that actually let you program your own sounds in a limited version of FM synthesis. She never used that feature, but later on I got into it. She wrote some original stuff, mostly cheesy synth pop since that was all the rage at the time, and I tried to as well. I got more and more into synthesis and electronic music because of this FM programming feature on this PSR – I was fascinated, crappy as it was, that I could actually design my own sounds. Back then eBay didn’t even exist, I think, but I started looking in the classifieds for people selling used music gear, synths in particular. I bought a Casio CZ-101 from some dude in Maryland – my parents had to drive me to pick it up – and that made sound design a lot more fun since there were more options.

M: Sweet!

djp: It didn’t have a sequencer, and I didn’t have a computer, so I needed a way to actually record compositions as MIDI (all my original stuff at this point in time). So I checked the classifieds again and found someone selling an Alesis MMT-8. This is a hardware sequencer – a type of device that doesn’t even really exist anymore, completely replaced by computers or onboard sequencers. It does nothing other than record MIDI, and play it back.

M: I figured as much.

djp: As I later learned, it also had the bad habit of erasing ALL of its storage if the power spiked.

M: That’s not good… hehe…

djp: Anyways, I mention this because the dude I bought the MMT-8 from, we sat down and talked a bit, and he mentioned he was moving and that’s why he was selling it. Then he asked me if I’d be interested in taking his collection of Keyboard magazine off his hands – for free.

M: I smell something a little shady about this…

djp: I played it off casually and said sure, why not, but I was actually really psyched, and for the next couple years I read through all those issues – he had stuff from 1986 through 1993, including old interviews w/ Jan Hammer and Keith Emerson and all sorts of gear reviews. Nah it was completely legit, the guy changed my life by giving me those old magazines, because it got me addicted to synths and music technology in general.

M: Well, I suppose it might be thanks to him we have OCR now, right? Or at least a little bit…

djp: I read those things front to cover, which really gave me an appreciation of where music tech started, and how far it had come. Of course, it’s come twice as far in the time since then, but having that history & appreciation means you don’t take things for granted.

M: Of course not.

djp: Software like Kontakt 4 or Cubase 5 would have been $4000 easily, if you could even come close to matching those features, way back then.

M: Which is a whole lot more these days…

djp: So yeah, I think this guy who gave me hundreds of issues of Keyboard magazine for free, he played some role in the eventual creation of OCR.

M: Somewhere in your subconscious he lurked…

djp: Anyhow, eventually I got a Roland U20, which let me do compositions that started sounding more like actual music, and also an Alesis Datadisk – this device, also now obsolete, was designed specifically to recording incoming MIDI to floppy disks, and then also playing it back. This is all before I had done a single game remix, but I was certainly playing games at the time… this was still the 16-bit era, so I would have been playing Revenge of Shinobi and Phantasy II & III, most likely.

M: Good era.

djp: Anyhow, when each of my sisters turned 16, they got cars. Not superfly fancy cars, but a set of wheels nonetheless, which to a teenager is supposedly the ultimate freedom. I’m not knocking cars by a longshot, but when my turn came around, I decided to delay getting a car so I could get a sampler/workstation instead. That’s when I got my Ensoniq ASR-10.

M: Sounds fancy.

djp: Thing had programmable effects, loaded the OS off floppy, and an LED readout that looked like a Speak & Spell, but man did I love it. And it was really a pretty decent bit of kit – I’d done my research well. I upgraded it to a *whopping* 16MB of memory and attached a 2X SCSI CD-ROM drive and I was on my way!

M: If you don’t mind me asking, did you do early remixes on that thing?

djp: Around the same time I was also getting really involved in the emulation scene – retrogames.com, mame.net, that whole community was a lot more cohesive back then. Nowadays there’s not as much of a scene, since the nostalgia factor has sorta given way to outright piracy masquerading as homebrew, and other issues. I’m getting there.

M: My bad.

djp: Anyways I was a news poster at retrogames.com and was doing my own little emulation-themed comic strip called “OverClocked”, which poked fun at the emulation scene. Believe it or not, there was a lot to poke fun at, although it was also just an excuse for me to get better at Photoshop and 3D Studio MAX (I can’t draw – comic strip was all 3D).

M: Don’t feel bad; I can’t really draw either.

djp: Around that time retrogames.com was covering news about the occassional Commodore 64 remix, and indeed there was at that time something of a scene for those doing primarily electronica arrangements of C64 music. I loved that idea, but I wanted it to be all games, from all systems, in all styles of music.

M: A noble plan.

djp: So I sat down and started doing VGM arrangements on my ASR-10, in my parents basement. I did Phantasy Star III and Shinobi, in two different styles, and decided to start a side project to my comic strip, and call it “OverClocked ReMix” where I would post my own game mixes as well as others’.

M: Including a really strange Bubble Bobble one.

djp: Indeed.

M: And from there, the site grew and expanded into what we know today, right?

djp: That’s the long version of that story, but essentially a series of events combined to get me interested in electronic music and emulation/retrogaming, and those two interests coalesced when I started this side project. Which, yeah, eventually grew much bigger and became my primary focus.

M: And it’s a great community, if I do say so myself.

djp: Thanks.

M: Hey, it’s the truth. After all, OCR gave birth to VGMix, and from there, Dwelling of Duels… Or something like that, right?

djp: Hmm, I have no idea how DoD came to be, but OCR certainly predates both of them.

M: Well I figured since DoD is hosted on VGMix… And I thought I read that VGMix was born out of some discontent members from OCR…

djp: It wasn’t always hosted there, AFAIK, but like I said, OCR was certainly first.

M: I know this. 2000, and it’s been a great 10 years since…

djp: There are a couple versions of that story, but that’s certainly one way to put it. It’s been a busy 10 years, that’s for sure, and we’ve been online & growing for all ten of them.

M: 2000+ remixes, 17 albums, hundreds of members… And an inspiration to many, myself included.

djp: Glad to hear it.

M: Are there any tracks you’ve done that you’re more proud of or like more than the others?

djp: Sure, I think Sonic ‘Love Hurts’ is a mix that’s stood the test of time, and Zelda 64 ‘Pachelbel’s Ganon’ as well… those were both made on my Yamaha Motif, which is what I replaced the ASR-10 with.

M: Are there any remixers that you’d like to collaborate with in the future?

djp: I definitely wanna do something w/ Sixto, and I’ve already got an arrangement in mind that would be perfect for katethegreat19 to sing on.

M: Well I’ll let him know, since I’m his unofficial secretary now…

djp: Heh, he already knows – shooting for a style similar to 80s rock band The Cars.

M: Sadly enough, I know who they are, and I can’t wait.

djp: Hey, great band. Actually Trent Reznor mentioned in a Keyboard interview a long time ago that they were an influence for him, the way they blended synths & guitars.

M: Hey, those free magazines just came in handy!

djp: Yup.

M: Anywho…. Any tracks you’d like to remix in the future?

djp: Yeah, I’ve got several WIPs at various stages.

M: I assume you have a backlog of other tracks too?

djp: First out of the gate is probably gonna be a ReMix from the PSP game Crush. Really awesome puzzler.

M: Sweet!

djp: Besides the stuff I already have WIPs for, I also have some project obligations for Dragon Warrior, Mega Man X, and FF9, so I’m keeping busy.

M: You’re always busy.

djp: Very true.

M: Do you have a favorite track from a game?

djp: Not really… I mean, I get asked that a lot, and music is really apples and oranges, I find it hard to rank overall soundtracks, much less individual songs.

M: In that case, are there any particular tracks that stand out in your mind moreso than others?

djp: “Small Two of Pieces” from Xenogears is what I sometimes say, just so I’m not copping out.

M: I don’t qualify that as copping out; I qualify that as not having a favorite because you may or may not like it all equally, or are smart enought to not play favorites. Do you have a favorite video-game composer?

djp: I don’t think in terms of games as much as I do individual songs… if trying to come up with my favorite game composer, I’d go by the number of songs I absolutely love and that I think work perfectly in the context as well. At the moment, using those criteria, I’d probably say Koji Kondo, but it could be [Nobuo] Uematsu, [Yasunori] Mitsuda, or [Yuzo] Koshiro depending on the mood I’m in.

M: That actually describes how I feel at times regarding this… Final question. What do you enjoy most about remixing?

djp: I’m very melody-centric, so I choose my source material and my overall approach with a focus on that. I think the best part of ReMixing is finding that one note, or passage, when if you change an interval or add a counter-harmony or modify the rhythm, it just makes sense and feels natural. Sometimes, when arranging music, you can end up fighting against a source or struggling with it to take it where you go, which is not the worst thing in the world, but it’s much more enjoyable when things click and fall into place and you can get the ideas in your head turned into music that mirrors them.

M: I have the ideas; I just can never transfer them properly…

djp: Yeah I think that happens to even the best arrangers/composers… Until we get neural brain hookups that can seamlessly translate thought into sound, we’re stuck with making music the hard way. But the hard way is often pretty fun, as it turns out.

M: I know; I’ve made one track myself. It sucks, but the fact I actually went through and made it… That is enough to keep me satisfied

djp: Groovy. Got what you needed? I gotta run.

M: Yeah. Thanks for your time!

djp: No problem.[/EXPAND]

You could find his page on OCR here: Artist: djpretzel (David W. Lloyd), or you could just go to OverClocked ReMix and check out the wonderful community he has founded. This was tough for me to do; tuning out the fangirl EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE is difficult, but I managed to do it for the most part. Stay tuned next time for a review of Rocked ‘n Loaded. I should get it sometime next week, so patience is key, people! Until then, game on!

I recently realized I stole that from Joe Santulli, former writer of Collector’s Closet in Tips & Tricks… if you see this, Joe, I hope you don’t mind!

In Tha ‘Tube: Liquid Wind, Level 99, Brandon Strader, Shael Riley, Safra, & TH3HT

In Tha ‘Tube focuses on ReMix: ThaSauce‘s very own vast database of VGM remixes as a tribute to the appreciation & reinterpretation of video game music. Offering hundreds of free MP3 downloads, ReMix: ThaSauce features artists from popular sites such as OverClocked ReMix and VGMix. This feature offers readers, as music enthusiasts, the opportunity to appreciate what ReMix: ThaSauce has to present in the latest VGM styles and genres. Join us as we upload select ReMix: ThaSauce songs every week on YouTube for your aural pleasure. Have any requests? Shoot an e-mail to [email protected] For the latest exclusive uploads on ThaSauce, be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Tumblr. 

 

ThaSauce is finally riding the waves of social media again! In Tha ‘Tube aims to post weekly videos onto YouTube for easier access to ReMix:ThaSauce songs in a convenient preview format. This week, we have quite a few songs to start you off right:

Quick Look: Mega Ran’s Jeremy Lin Rap

We’ve really tried straying away from posting any more enthusiastic posts about Mega Ran, but this video is just too good to pass up. Even with Black Materia: Remixes managing to stay on Bandcamp’s top seller list since its January 21st release until recently, Mega Ran still manages to rile folks up with his eclectic rap style and wonderful sense of humor. Enter Mega Ran’s freestyle ode to Jeremy Lin, which made popular headway on both YouTube with over 131,000 views and ESPN today. With smooth lyrics like “First ivy leaguer in the league since Chris Dudley / Must be some kinda desire / To make everybody who doubted you out to be a liar”, Mega Ran’s affirmative image of Jeremy Lin inspires us to root for the underdogs out there.

Kudos to Random for being featured on national television for such an inspirational song. If you enjoyed his rap as much as we did, grab the song for free here.

The ‘Quick Look’ series  is your biweekly source for videos of emerging artists, rad performances, or just about anything awesome that we can get away with posting that involves the VGM community. Have any cool videos to link us with? Shoot an e-mail at [email protected] Be sure to click on the ‘Quick Look’ category below to satiate your visual appetite here at ThaSauce.

Sound Bytes: Shnabubula Covers Double Dragon’s “Title” Theme


Okay, so we might have a habit of hyping up NYC-based remixer and piano prodigy Sam Ascher-Weiss, also known by the moniker Shnabubula. But can you blame us? With over 1,200 subscribers and over 326,000 views on YouTube now, Shnabubula’s reputation for piano improvisation and insane productivity still cannot be denied.

Even with his wonderful Free Play album recently released (which you can preview all for free on his Youtube page), Shnabubula has just put out a new teaser for yet another upcoming album to be released in March, featuring music covers that will only utilize live piano and NES/Famicon samples. We are happy to report that if this teaser is a just sign of things to come, NES Jamz  will absolutely be off the hook. In this video, Mr. Ascher-Weiss really shows off his talent with some good ol’-fashioned Double Dragon. We seriously implore you to give this video a quick listen and see, truly, what the hype is all about.


ThaSauce Wrap-Up: This Week in Review (Jan 30 – Feb 5)

 

At the end of the week, ThaSauce Wrap-Up feature posts bite-sized news recaps just in case you missed any juicy articles. Have any interesting video game music-related stories that you want us to look into? Are you an artist, composer, or remixer that wants keep in touch? Shoot an e-mail to [email protected] If you’re looking for more ways to get your VGM fix, be sure to follow us on Tumblr or like us on Facebook as well.

  • Sound Bytes: Blake Robinson’s “Morrowind Theme” Orchestra Arrangement: While maintaining his chief occupation as a game developer at both Electronic Arts and Outplay Entertainment, Mr. Robinson spends most of his free time freelance composing for several high-profile indie games. If you haven’t heard the orchestral works of Blake Robinson, you’re in for a special treat.
  • Nintendo’s Rhythm Heaven Fever Launch Event in LA @ iam8bit: Nintendo has teamed up with Los Angeles-based production company iam8bit and Giant Robot to promote Nintendo’s upcoming groovalicious game Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii) by hosting a party at the iam8bit gallery in Los Angeles next Friday, February 10th from 6-10 p.m.