Triple Review Number Two: Amphibious, Nario, and Joshua Morse

Time for another triple review everybody! In this edition, three phenomenal albums will be reviewed; two original, one remix. What are they, you ask? Well, I’m glad you inquired as to this. They are Amphibious’s Oceans EP, Nario’s More of Me, and for those who thought I’d forgotten it, Joshua Morse’s Robot Museum. See, I didn’t go straight from The Missingno Tracks to The Sound of Speed! Anyways, all three shall be reviewed in this one article, by me, Mirby, your one-stop shop for multi-reviews! You can’t find them anywhere other than ThaSauce! And my website… but still. It’s an exclusivity thing, you see? And now, to the reviews!

AMPHIBIOUS – OCEANS

1. Plunge     2:59
This starts off very aqueous, and some percussion comes in at about 0:10. Melody at 0:27. More percussion at 0:37. Keys at 0:47 or so. I’m sensing a pattern here. I feel like I really am plunging here, like I had my Wailord use Dive or something. Another instrumentation at 1:44 or so. The end is near with a reprisal of an earlier part at 2:30.

2. Pelagic Fortress     3:00
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what pelagic means, but it’s probably something good. Starts off rather ambient, then kicks in at 0:24. Nice melody at about 0:56 or so. Great whistle-thing at 1:18. Breakdown at 1:40 or so. It starts to come back at 1:47. The usage of echoes really gives this album an oceanic vibe; fitting for the title, and the artist’s name. It starts to fade out at the 2:30 mark, very gradually.

3. The Azure Deeps     5:18
Did we enter a deep sea trench here with lava bubbling up from the asthenosphere? I don’t know, but it sure starts off mystical. I’m suddenly reminded of the Serpent Trench from Final Fantasy VI, but just because what I said and not the music. It’s very very ambient until 0:45 when a melody comes in. Very atmospheric. 1:30 brings in some bass, breaking up the ambient background for about 14 seconds. More keys at 1:55 or so. This reminds me of Dave Wise’s infamous “Aquatic Ambience” from the original Donkey Kong Country, both in its vibe and general watery feel. Especially at 2:30. This could very well be a tribute to that track, and that’s a very good thing. It keeps building and building… it feels just like exploring an unknown sector of the sea floor, which is very possible since we know very little about our own oceans. I hope they’re as awesome and mystical as this; I’m loving this vibe. Nice chillout music. 4:15 or so brings in more keys and a reprisal of the original melody back at the 45 second mark. From here it slowly fades until the end.

4. Resurfaced     4:41
Unlike the previous tracks, this one starts off almost immediately with a melody. 0:20 brings in an awesome rhythm. This one… gives a vibe, a vision of ascending back to the surface, to the sunlight and fresh air. 1:05 has nice synth usage. 1:23 may very well be the moment of breaking the surface, what with the sound effect used there. It’s very very calm and mellow until 2:01 when it starts to build up triumphantly. 2:25 brings in a rhythm that just adds to the victorious theme. It’s like a credits theme; once again, my mind returns to the Donkey Kong Country soundtrack, but this time it’s Donkey Kong Rescued from DKC2 And it’s only reminiscent of them because of the triumphant feel present in the track, the general HELL YEAH I DID IT vibe present. 3:53 keeps this feel going. The end begins at 4:27. Fantabulous work, Amphibious!!

NARIO – MORE OF ME

1. gNARly     3:18
Cyril told me recently that this song is the result of a Double’s Dash Compo between him and Nario; sounds good. Nice and chiptacular. And not gnarly in any way, shape, or form. It’s rather groovy. 0:52 brings in a change-up in speed. I feel like I’m running around in a pixelated wonderland. Especially at 1:37 when the hasty rhythm returns. Breakdown at 1:58 or so. Back to the rhythm, but with a key change, at 2:37. Another keychange at the three minute mark, to the end.

2. This Pain Is Too Much to Bear (And Screw You, Too)     3:30
I like the name, it makes me laugh. It’s like THIS TITLE IS KIND OF EMO AND SCREW YOU FOR MENTIONING IT. Nice usage of panning at 0:30. Another hasty rhythm follows shortly after. Nice work here, Nario! You know, it’s nice to talk about Nario without there having to be a dance pad mentioned somewhere. Slow part at 1:25 or so, that builds, and the panning is still in effect. Pause at 1:58, with what could be the pause screen melody right after. 2:21 shows signs of life in the track as it starts to build back up piece by piece. And another piece at 2:33, and then back to full force at 2:43 with a chipsolo. 3:05 brings the rhythm back once more, and keeps on building on that until the end.

3. Drive-In Dance Club     3:35
Ooh, a drive-in dance club! Wonder if they have dance pads here… oh wait. Anyways, aside from the jest, this has a groovy rhythm right off the bat. 1:04 shows a possible change-up, and it keeps on taking this path until 1:36 with a slight breakdown. It’s something different, that’s what’s important. 1:52 has a chipsolo. 2:07 adds a melody in the background to the chipsolo rhythm. 2:23 adds another layer to that melody. Slight switch-up at 2:53 or so, signaling the impending end. This impending end begins at 3:25.

4. Chips of the Penguin     2:30
I didn’t know penguins liked chiptunes. Regardless, this does have a slightly frosty vibe to it. Switch-up at 0:49, and back to the norm at 1:10. Nario is great with his chiptunes, that’s for sure. This sounds just like something I’d hear in a classic game from yesteryear. Or Game Center CX aka Retro Game Challenge… which amounts to the same thing, really. The end starts at 2:27.

5. Chilled Pop Cherry Soda (8-Bit Mix)     2:24
It says 8-bit Mix, not one sound mix. But another sound gets added in quickly, and 0:20 puts one more in, and 0:30 puts one more in. 0:47 shows off some melodius meanderings. 1:32 returns to the normal melody after a brief chipsolo. This continues until the end. Nice track there.

6. Ghostbusters Have Sex With Schala at a Strip Club     3:42
This could be one of the strangest song titles I’ve ever reviewed. Isn’t Schala like… underage? I mean sure it was 12,000 BC but still! Starts off simple, but slowly builds until 0:42 when we have chipdrums. 0:52 gives us some melody. Nice layering at 1:20 or so. Breakdown at 1:48 or so. More layering at 2:02. It’s building and building and building… very nice work with the atmosphere, Nario. Random speed change at 2:42. It’s almost like a completely different song! It stops at 2:56 or so, and picks back up at about 3:08. The end is near at 3:25, when the finale begins.

7. Hands in the Air (feat. cyrilthewolf)     3:19
Ah, Cyril. Let’s see what you contribute to the chippiness that is Nario. Starts off simple, but some vocals come in at 0:30. Nice work, Cyril, beautiful! And the chiptunes work perfectly. Chorus at 1:02 or so; it all comes together beautifully. More chorus at 1:48. Also, I’m putting my hands in the air sooo… Bridge at 2:18. Also, isn’t putting your arms up in the sky what every party member in the first six Final Fantasy games did after every battle? Great work! That was wonderful!!

JOSHUA MORSE – THE ROBOT MUSEUM

1. Thunder Beam (Mega Man – Elec Man Stage)     4:10
This track always was pretty chill… But JM makes it sound like elevator music. And I mean that in a good way. Snapping is mandatory for this track, I’m telling you. A slight breakdown at 0:58. More source at 1:28 or so. Another brief solo at about 2:08. Breakdown at 2:33 or so. The end is near at 3:54.

2. Air Shooter (Mega Man 2 – Air Man Stage)     4:20
Oh, Air Man. Contrary to popular belief, you can in fact be beaten. Ooh, nice bass at 0:14; sounds like more standard JM funk is the theme for this track. The bass really bumps in this track, something I’m really enjoying. Guitar at 1:04 taking on the source. After this, I’m gonna have to listen Bramble Reprise. Ooh, solo at 1:54. Heh, I bounced too much and my computer almost slid off my bed. Back to source at 2:38 or so. Epic bass solo at 2:56. Those are words I never thought I’d type, but here they are. And better yet, this bass heralds the end of the track, with more source at 3:28. The end is near at 4:04.

3. Spark Shock (Mega Man 3 – Spark Man Stage)     4:50
Spark Man’s stage always annoyed me; too many holes with too many floating enemies above them ready to knock you down them. The music was solid though, and JM’s take on it is just as firm. Starts off muffled a bit, a la 50’s radio, but at 0:30 true JM flavor drenches the track. More source at at 1:31. Seriously, who would’ve thought that all it took to spice up the classic tunes was some of Joshua Morse’s signature funk? 2:31 brings in the solo. Just thinking, I would so want to hear a collaboration between JM and Mustin. That would be pretty awesome. Back to source at the three minute mark. Piano solo at about 3:30. It morphs into a funky free-for-all that fits in fantastically. But afterwards, the end of the track is quite close.

4. Dust Crusher (Mega Man 4 – Dust Man Stage)     4:23
And now for a more obscure theme. Most people like Pharoah Man, but Dust Man is cool; he’s the one who got an EXE counterpart! Starts off calm with a very basic rhythm, but at 0:42 the source kicks in with a hollow feeling. 1:45 brings in a decidedly epic part that quickly gives way to another brief bass solo. More source at 2:13. Another calm spot at 2:30, but it gives way to the solo right afterwards. At 3:17, you can tell the finale of the track is quite close. 3:43 brings in more source. It slowly dies at 4:14.

5. Power Stone (Mega Man 5 – Stone Man Stage)     4:14
Stone Man, oh Stone Man. You have a wall you can walk through in your stage! Great level design and a great tune! The source kicks in at 0:36. Epic guitar solo at 1:07 or so, followed by another solo. Source returns at 1:52, with epic guitar throughout. Calm spot at 3:08, but it gives way to another solo that heralds the end.

6. Yamato Spear (Mega Man 6 – Yamato Man Stage)     4:37
Ooh, what a vibe right off the bat. I liked how Yamato Man had the rivalry with Knight Man and Tomahawk Man. But he got named JapanMan in EXE sooo… Then again, Tomahawk Man became TmhwkMan. Source at 0:37 or so. Groovy and funky, with great source usage and ethnic feel to it. But that quickly gives way to the funk. Everything gives way to the funk; such is the way of funk. Breakdown at 2:29. Source returns at 3:00. This is phenomenal; Mega Man ain’t ever been this sexy! The end is near at 4:20 or so.

7. Slash Claw (Mega Man 7 – Slash Man Stage)     4:10
I once replaced Slash Man in a Famicom-styled rendition of Mega Man 7 with my custom Robot Master, Wombat Man. The music remained, of course, as did the jungle stage. Starts off with the lesser-known tropical funk, and at about 0:50 piano comes in with source usage. Slight breakdown at 1:31 that gives way to the source quickly after. This is a great take on the track; solo at 2:50. Back to source around a minute later, and it ends suddenly.

8. Astro Crush (Mega Man 8 – Astro Man Stage)     4:12
I still haven’t beaten Mega Man 8, but I did get to the tower stage where you fly around. Think it’s the third one. Regardless, funky to begin with and source comes in at 1:15. 1:45 amps up the funk factor like the funk in the air at Otakon, if reports I’ve received are any indication. Solo at 2:08 or so. Back to source at 2:56. What a groovy rendition of the track. Nice rhythm to end the track.

9. Data Base Accessed (Mega Man & Bass – Data Base)     3:31
Aww… I’m sad that this is the last track. But hey, the Data Base is cool. It’s what made Dr. Light canonically a douche. Seriously, his Bad Point in his profile is Douchie. Anyways, a nice mellow track; works great as a counterpoint to the rest of the album. In fact the mellowness of this and Thunder Beam work as bookends, preventing the funk from spilling over into the rest of your music library. Source is used throughout. This is just nice and mellow… how I like it. There’s really nothing of note aside from the general awesomeness of the song.
CONCLUSION
So in this review, I’ve got two albums that were released quite recently, and one that’s been out since March. I’ve been meaning to get around to Robot Museum for a while now, and I figured why not throw it in with the other two? It’s a single artist album, so the formatting would remain the same. And it worked out. This triple review was also awesome for the fact that all three albums are of completely different styles. Amphibious’s is a nice ambient rhythmic album, Nario’s is a chiptune masterpiece, and Joshua Morse’s is a funkadelic ride throughout the classic Mega Man series, sans 9 and 10. And in light of recent events regarding Mega Man, someone needed to give the Blue Bomber some love.

In summation, Amphibious’s freshman effort was well-done; I hope to hear much more from him in the future. And I hope to get lost in fantasy with the aid of his music once more. As for Nario’s album More of Me, well… It’s Nario, so what else can I say? If you need to know more, just look at the album art. Enough said. And lastly, Joshua Morse’s The Robot Museum. As I said in the review, Mega Man ain’t ever been this sexy. And, once more, enough said. All three of these albums are phenomenal, and while some may already have The Robot Museum, Oceans and More of Me are well worth a listen as well. Get them as soon as you are able, and until next time, game on!

Quick Look: Mega Ran’s “Pump It Up” feat. Adam WarRock


Although we’ve gushed about his unadulterated expertise in the past, we find it absolutely necessary to show to the world how amazing Mega Ran’s new video is.  Joining nerdcore giants MC Chris and MC Lars this fall for the Race Wars Tour, rap virtuoso Mega Ran has just released a new video with none other than the incredibly talented Adam WarRock, this year’s breakthrough artist at Nerdapalooza. Along with its scandalously catchy beats, “Pump It Up” features the best of both performers — Mega Ran brings his own A-game with superb fluidity, backed by WarRock’s assertive yet unforgettable rhymes. Peep “Pump It Up” above and get ready to start bobbing your head right until the end.

 

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 me an e-mail at [email protected] Be sure to click on the ‘Quick Look’ category below to satiate your visual appetite here at ThaSauce.

Triple Review!!! Benjamin Briggs, ProtoDome, and WillRock!

She’s done the normal single review, she’s possibly created the double review… what will Taylor Brown do next to top herself? Nothing but the logical evolution of this series. Much like how Pokémon Black and White introduced Triple Battles to the series, I shall now attempt to fuse the two into a new thing. And there’s nothing else to call it but… THE TRIPLE REVIEW!! And no, this is not just a hasty way for me to clear my backlog. Maybe. Regardless, in this edition I shall review Benjamin Brigg‘s Attention Deficit EP, released much earlier this year; ProtoDome‘s BLUENOISE, also from earlier this year; and WillRock‘s Refraction of a Dream. All three of these come from wacky people well-known around the community who are quite talented in their musical stylings, and much like fine wine have only improved with age. So, without further ado, I present to you… THE TRIPLE REVIEW!! Woohoo!

BENJAMIN BRIGGS – ATTENTION DEFICIT EP

1. Too Soon – 4:06
Starts off pretty nice… nice rhythm. 0:17 brings in some more melodic parts. At 0:32, it all changes, and by 0:40 the main meat of the track kicks in. 0:55 brings a brief breakdown. 1:20 or so brings in a change with Mario fireball sounds keeping rhythm. Nice idea there, chth. It starts to come back together at about 1:58. Chippiness at around 2:20. The fireballs fade away at 2:30 or so. Another breakdown at 2:40 or so, followed by another buildup. 3:18 brings in a pretty cool effect that keeps the track going. Much like the title of the album, these instruments keep changing as rapidly as an ADHD kid’s focus of attention. Ends with racecar sounds.
2. Benji Needs A Lawyer – 3:47
OBJECTION! Oh wait, my bad. Starts off with the basic rhythm, and 0:16 brings in another layer intermittently until about 0:34 when another layer is added. 1:04 brings in the bass. 1:20 brings it all together. This is a good track; makes me start to move and groove. 1:48 brings in some nice chipchimes. Remember, I’m now using chip- as a prefix. Nice mixup at around the 2:10 mark, followed by a slight breakdown and solo at about 2:44. Chippy awesomeness right here. Breaks down at about 3:15 in preparation for the end. At 3:35, the end is definitely near.
3. Troll 4 Life – 3:51
The previous track flows right into this one. Nice chippy effects at 0:35 or so. Even cooler ones at 1:04. This track seems to be just a rhythm with random sound effects, which is fine by me. It proves me wrong at 1:31 with some melody. Johnny Bravo sampling at the 2 minute mark! Okay, this track is now about 500% more awesome. Solo at 2:32. Reminds me of the old Sonic tunes a bit. It starts to fade out at 3:20. Beavis and Butthead sampling at 3:40.
4. I Can Has This Dance? – 3:55
No, you can no has this dance, chth. But you can has a review! Great usage of sound effects again; in this case, it sounds like the Mario 3 death sounds, both the enemy and Mario’s sounds. The main melody slowly builds in the background until 1:07 when it explodes in awesomeness. 1:40 brings in another layer of instrumentation, and 1:48 throws one more on top. It’s a beautiful haunting melody, that almost reminds me of Lavender Town from the original Pokémon games. 3:04 brings a gradual fade, with the sounds of Mario coming back to the forefront.
5. Love The Game – 3:51
Starts out awesomely. Nice ambient howl-thing at about 0:24. Think I heard this same instrument in VVVVVV’s soundtrack. Breakdown at 0:54. Chipchimes in the background sound great. It all explodes at 1:32, bringing a much fuller soundscape. Slight breakdown at about 2:08. Buildup at 2:18, which explodes at 2:30 with singing. Is this chth himself? I think it is. Not too shabby, even though I think I heard a faint hint of autotune. More howl at 3:05. This heralds the final part of the song, which starts to fade out at 3:34.
6. I’m Nobody (feat. Cornelius Rawness) – 2:54
And now for the final track of this album, which starts out with rough and muffled chiprhythms. At about 0:20, singing comes in. It’s pretty good; I’m enjoying it, and the effects help it fit right into the atmosphere of the track. Great writing; not many songs use “codependency” in their lyrics. The main music is pretty good too; well done. 1:46 brings in Cornelius’ part. Nice usage of the Sonic sound effects. 2:24 brings the chorus back. “I’m nobody, I’m nobody, I’m nobody… at all…” Finale at 2:46. Great work, Ben!

PROTODOME – BLUENOISE

1. Hello World. – 1:07
Atmospheric!! More atmosphere at 0:31. Nice finale at 0:57.
2. 9am Skies. – 2:21
Did I just start listening to an Animal Crossing song? 0:15 shows that I didn’t, with a mix of Proto’s chip mastery and jazz stylings. I don’t think anyone else could do chipjazz quite like ProtoDome. Nice melody. Slight breakdown at 1:18, and another 1:27. This is reminding of Pilotwings now. Another solo at 1:51. The end is near at 2:07.
3. Blueberry Jam! – 2:17
Nice rhythm to kick it off. 0:17 brings in more music. He really is jamming right here. No sign of blueberries, but this is a nice jam. 0:43 or so brings in a breakdown, which ends at 0:57. The chippiness of this song is epic. A change-up comes at 1:26 or so. Breakdown at 1:48 or so which heralds the end.
4. Bitmap_Blues. – 1:56
How many songs do you know of that use underscores in their titling? I can only think of this one and a few on Reanimation. Ooh, jazzy! This is soooooo 8-bit, I’m loving it. Nice work at 0:36. I want to play an NES game with this music. And just pause it so the music plays indefinitely. Nice solo at 1:20. The end is in sight at about 1:35.
5. Heat Death – 2:54
IT BURNS!! IT BURNS SO GOOD! If I died in a fire, this is what I’d want to hear in my last moments of consciousness. Nice job setting up the atmosphere. 0:30 brings in chippified vocal samples. Breakdown at about 0:58. This is such an ethereal track, it’s beautiful. Chipvox comes in again at 1:24. Beautiful breakdown at about 1:48. Changeup at 2:04, which seems to bring in more real instrumentation. Chips return at 2:34 to bring in the end.
6. Her #0000ff Eyes… – 2:54
I think that’s… blue? Bumpin’ bassline, Blake! Chips at 0:24. Slight breakdown at 0:55 or so. Bassline remains quite prominent, and a nice key solo here. More chippiness at 1:14. Nice solo at about 1:38. This song has me movin’ around while reviewing. The rhythm is infectious. 2:29 brings about the finale of the track.
7. Zero-G Lemonade. – 2:09
And now for the finale of the album. How would Zero-G Lemonade even work? Would you float around with it and drink the suspended lemonade particles? Ahem, back to the review. Nice instrumentation in this track. 0:44 brings in a vocal sample stating the track’s name. Hard to hear but it’s there. Nice piano parts interspersed throughout this song. 1:43 replays the chipvox. 1:55 heralds the end of the song, and thus the album.

WILLROCK – REFRACTIONS OF A DREAM

1. Fatigued – 1:42
Ooh, ambient. I feel fatigued just listening. 0:27 brings in guitar reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Or at least, that’s how it sounds playing off the background music. Great work here, Will! 1:14 ends the guitar for a changeup that presumably sets the stage for the rest of the album.
2. Down The Rabbit-Hole – 2:24
Oooh, nice bassline. Nice chimes at 0:09. I like the increasing speed of the chimes, and how they stop at 0:30 for more ambience. OH GOD I’M FALLING INTO A HOLE!! A HOLE WITH WEIRD AMBIENT SOUNDS AND STUFF! Also weird voices at 1:09. This song is extremely weird; the visuals on my media player aren’t helping. I really feel like I just fell into another realm, one that is far different than our own. 2:08 brings in breathing. Not nearly as creepy as effects I’ve used before.
3. Pool Of Tears – 2:11
This album flows cohesively. Nice chimes and acoustic guitar. I’m glad that absurdity is over, fun as it was. Electric guitar at 0:33. Speed increases at 1:15 slightly before stopping seconds later. Bass picks up at 1:28. Nice rhythm at 1:48 that slows down as quickly as it starts. No doubt prepping the next track.
4. The Garden Waltz – 0:53
Kicks off immediately with what could be used as a game over effect. Waltz rhythm at 0:11. I never thought I’d hear Will make a waltz but hey. Should’ve been an epic guitar waltz. It ends suddenly at about 0:35.
5. The Caterpillar – 1:24
Bassline at 0:15. Building guitar that stops at 0:35 or so. Nice woodwind at 0:48 or so. Reminds me of Easton from the original Mario Land. The end comes quickly at about 1:16.
6. Tulgey Wood – 1:44
It flows right into this track that begins with piano. Slow, somber piano. It stops at 0:30 and replaces it with intermittent effects. Piano returns at 0:54 with a fuller soundscape. More effects at 1:22, straight from the ’80s. Chimes at 1:30 or so.
7. Lost – 1:44
It’s birdcussion! Piano kicks in almost right away with drums. Awesome guitar at 0:26 or so. Piano comes in at about 0:54, with woodwind shortly after. It ends at 1:40.
8. Don’t Step On The Mone Raths – 1:24
Will, it’s spelled “mome raths.” Eh, no matter. Trippy effect here. Is this the sound mome raths make when you step on them. This track is just full of ambience. It’s well done, don’t get me wrong. But there’s a lot of it.
9. Refractions Of A Dream – 2:06
Title track time!! This song is fuller than the previous, complete with synth rhythm almost right at the start. Guitar at 0:46. Guitar cuts out at 1:22 or so, only to be replaced by some more ambience. It slows down at 1:40 with more ambient sound effects. The last seconds set up the last track.
10. The Queen Of Hearts – 4:11
Nice rhythm to kick it off! Dramatic beat at 0:22. Chimes at to the rhythm, and 0:45 brings in chippy awesomeness!! Slight breakdown of the chippiness at 1:15 or so, only to return at 1:28 or so. This is a weird song, as it seems to end at 1:58, only to pick right back up. Screech at 2:14 brings the track to a halt. Guitar screech at 2:43. More trippiness follows. Honestly, I have no idea what is going on, but I’m a little scared. Seriously, great mind-trick performed by this track. Easton-esque woodwind rhythm comes in for a second, only to be replaced by ticking, and more ominous ambience. It ends at 4:08.

CONCLUSION
That… Well, I think the whole triple review thing worked out well. It was only 23 tracks, taking up a total playtime of less than an hour. First off, Ben’s album. I enjoyed it immensely, and it was a really fun listen. I hope that he comes out with more stuff like this in the future, because I loved it that much. As for Proto’s album BLUENOISE, it was more of the same from him. But that’s a very good thing, since it was full of really nice tracks that showcased his abilities with the chiptune style of music. Also, the track names were awesome. Lastly, Will’s album. It was… well, I’ll be blunt and say it was the weirdest album I have ever listened to, one I never thought I’d ever hear, and one that I don’t think will ever have anything even remotely similar to it. It really did mess with my mind a little, but you know what? That’s okay. The song titles obviously allude to Wonderland, and with that connection, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Excellent work, Will!
In conclusion, these three albums have been out for quite some time now, waiting to be heard, waiting to be reviewed. And it wasn’t until now that I decided I would review them. Now that I have listened to them and reviewed them, I’m happy that I did. All three showcase the artist’s talents. In Ben’s case, it’s paying homage to the classic games of yesteryear, when the technology on the system only allowed very few simultaneous sounds. For ProtoDome, it’s his talent to just keep creating wonderful music in styles he’s quite skilled with. And in Will’s case, it’s his talent to just create something off the wall, so outside the box it’s kilometres away. I think that’s what they use in Britain. Anyways, all three demonstrated that what they do, they do well. And it’s my sincere hope that they continue to do so in the future. I’ll be uploading new reviews every day this week, so stay tuned. And until next time, game on!!

Quick Look: Popular YouTube Vocalist Takes A Stab at VGM Music

We just got our hands on London-based Sabrina Valenzuela’s  adorable cover of Utada Hikaru’s “Simple and Clean” with a wonderful accompaniment from YouTube pianist, Alex Peniera. As a self-declared video game fan, Sabrina’s skill as a vocalist shines through, carefully integrating sentimental emotion and passion into one of Square Enix’s most popular theme songs.  Valenzuela has explicitly utilized her YouTube channel as a means of working to “become a better singer and songwriter”. However, we definitely have to applaud this lovely twenty-one year old YouTube songstress on her absolutely gorgeous voice and continued journey as a soloist.

Peep Sabrina Valenzuela’s latest video on top. While her VGM-related songs mostly involve Final Fantasy content, check out her YouTube channel here for more cute video game covers.

P.S. We’ve been thinking about implementing a ‘Quick Look’ series with videos and featured songs to ThaSauce to introduce emerging artists and musical twists within the VGM scene. While we’re also on this topic, I want to know what readers would like to see more of. What do you guys think? Shoot me an e-mail at [email protected]t and let me know!

It’s a halc-stravanganza!! Double Review Number Two!

How fitting that the second double review, possibly in existence, contains halc just like the first. And that it’s the Pixel Perfect LP, the follow-up to the EP that was in the first. And one that, looking back at the review for the EP, that I had in fact wished for. As for the second album, it’s The Sound of Speed, halc’s OCR directorial debut. So get ready for the halc-stravaganza, as this double review is dedicated to him!

PIXEL PERFECT LP

1. Recovery     1:01
Pretty mellow track, fitting the title quite aptly. More beats at 0:37 or so. It just keeps building and building until 0:57, when it stops.

2. Next Headache     2:32
The disc flows right into this track. Chippiness kicks in at 0:11. More instrumentation at 0:28. This is a pretty jazzy fun track. Slight breakdown at 1:08 or so and again at 1:23 or so. 1:54 or so brings in happy chippy fun time. Then again, that’s pretty much this whole disc if I’m not mistaken. The finale begins at 2:20 or so.

3. Human Eyes     3:13
This effect sounds like a guitar. Chippiness confirmed at 0:18. Slight breakdown at 0:48 or so. The main melody is pretty hypnotic. Back to the norm at 1:20. Another breakdown at 1:50 or so. Nice little piano solo at 2:12 or so. Return to regularity at around the 2:20 mark, and nice little chipsax at 2:37 or so. I like the sound of that, the chipsax. I’m using that from now on.

4. Floating Higher    2:00
The sequel to Floating Away from the EP? Probably, and it does feel ethereal and floaty. The main melody is pretty mesmerizing. Switch-up at 0:50. Not much of a sequel when it’s a minute shorter than its predecessor. Breakdown at 1:36 or so heralds the impending finale, which occurs at 1:53.

5. Shoot & Spin     2:09
What a jazzy track, upbeat and happy, as chiptunes are wont to be. I think. More instrumentation at 0:32. Slight mix-up at 0:51. Some chipkeys at 1:08. Okay, chip is my new prefix when dealing with chiptunes. Some chipchimes at 1:30 or so. I feel like I’m spinning. Floating and spinning… guess I’m now a helicopter. Finale starts at 1:58 or so.

6. Higher Reasoning     4:18
Slow start, but it works. Still slow and calm at the minute mark, but picks up at 1:19. Has some instrumentation reminiscent of some of bLiNd’s work at around the two minute mark. Breakdown at 2:25 heralds more to come, and it builds up until 2:56, when something big is on the horizon of the soundscape. Sure enough, the impending event takes place at 3:09. Slowdown for the last 30 seconds.

7. Pixel Perfect     2:07
It’s title track time, people! And it’s apparently party time too, judging by the start. Melody at about 0:28, leading up to the inclusion of more percussion at about 0:45. Instrument change at around the minute mark. Change back to the original sound at 1:32 or so, leading up to both at once at 1:44, and then the finale at 1:58.

8. On + On     3:08
How haunting of an intro here; well done with the chipambience. Chipchimes at 0:32, and some percussion in the background. More instrumentation at 0:52. Breakdown at 1:08, interspersed with various effects until 1:42 when instrumentation returns. This song feels like a dream. It keeps building and building until 2:16, when it explodes into what can only be its final form. Slight breakdown at 2:32, which signals the coming end of the track, and subsequently the album. Fades out to nothingness. I am sad now.

THE SOUND OF SPEED

1. halc, OA – A, B, C, Start!     0:33
A simple take on the short title jingle, an idea taken from SnappleMan‘s Project Chaos title mix. Well done!!

2. OA, Scaredsim – The Sound of Speed     3:21
And one of the most familiar tracks in gaming gets a rockin’ facelift yet again. Guitar comes in at 0:18. Dual guitar tones at 0:27 or so! At least this song doesn’t start out with HEY IT’S THE PARTY SONG!! PARTY’S OVER HERE!! Just kidding, I love that part. Anyways, pretty faithful mix. Or at least, it is until 1:54 when the mixage begins. OA and Scaredsim did great on giving this a tropical feel while keeping it rocking. Throughout the solo, the crescendo plays continuously in the background. Back to source at 2:49.

3. halc, Insixfour, ProtoDome – Shifting Islands     3:38
Now my favorite Marble Zone remix happens to be Metamorphic Rock, but this take on it… well, it’s in its own league, and I mean that in the best way possible. Source comes in at 0:18 or so. Violin comes in at about 0:49. Classic halc chiptuna mastery comes in at about 1:25. More violin at 1:53. Breakdown at 2:27 or so, pure chiptunage follows until 2:46 when it all comes back. Simplicity from 3:22 or so until the end.

4. GaMeBoX – Subsonic Sparkle     3:21
And here I was thinking I’d never be able to review a GaMeBoX mix… Silly me, guess I was wrong. With the first of three Special Stage mixes, GaMeBoX puts his trademark style on this classic track. Source comes in at 0:20, with wah guitar at 0:27 and 0:34, and many other places throughout. Nice guitar usage from 0:54 or so until 1:12. The ring loss sound effect is put to good use in this song, along with several other tracks. Some chimes in the background at 1:44, and a breakdown about ten seconds later. Breakdown from about 2:52 until the end, with some elaboration starting at 3:02 until the end.

5. halc – Spring Junkie     3:45
I wonder if the duo of junkie-titled names was intentional… Anyways, pure halc here, just like in the above album. Except for the fact that those are original and this is not, and a mix of Spring Yard Zone. Some source comes in at 0:48 like a flying saucer. Listen and you’ll understand. More source at 1:11 or so. Slight breakdown at 1:30, with some awesome chiptuna at 1:40 or so. Great sound effect usage, a technique that seems prominent with this entire album. Slowdown at 2:25 or so, with source at 2:44. Simplicity reigns from 3:02 until end, with sound effects interspersed throughout.

6. Benjamin Briggs – Bubble Junkie     3:32
And now for everyone’s favorite stage, Labyrinth Zone. With its deadly waters and awesome boss fight, how can you not love this zone? Okay, so the stage itself sucks, but the music is phenomenal. As is chth’s take on it. Nice magic-box effect at 0:42 for the source to come in with. Also, I don’t care if he’s going by his real name now, he is and always will be chth to me. Spring sound, among others, at 1:11. Bubbly take on the source at 1:55 or so, and mixes with the wah effect afterwards. Remixage begins at 2:30 or so. Nice take on it to coast to the finish, and slowdown for the final seconds, with a sudden end at 3:28.

7. Joshua Morse – Fifty Rings to Ride     4:11
JM takes the second Special Stage mix, with a title that doubles as a game hint. Source comes in at 0:27. Sounds like he slowed the tempo down a bit; it works quite well. Classic Morse instrumentation and jazziness. Sexy guitar, ethereal instruments… it’s beautiful… Ahem. Brief breakdown at 2:05. 2:51 brings in some DO-DO-DO-DO-DOOOO… fits in perfectly with the track. More source usage at 3:17. 3:50 heralds the end of the track.

8. DrumUltimA, Harmony – Under Construction     5:30
And for the longest track on the album, we’ve got the Star Light Zone remix. And it starts simply with acoustic guitar and some chimes. Chimed source at 0:35 or so. And guitar source at 1:14 or so. What I never got was why it was Star Light Zone and it took place in a construction zone. Shouldn’t it have taken place in space or a planetarium or something with that name? Eh, no matter. Da-da-da-da-daaaaa at around the 2:40 mark. 3:20 brings in some remixage, queued up by Doug’s mixer name being sung. And then more guitar and singing queued up with Harmony’s name being sung. With epic drums continuing. I have to say, this song is like ten times more awesome in headphones than via my crappy lappy speakers. It calms down at 4:35 or so, and remains calm until the end.

9. Brandon Strader, Rexy – Hogtied     4:43
Epic boss mixage right here. By the way, last time I checked you could find a midi version of this on VGMusic under Newly Submitted Files, and it’s by Rexy, so that’s pretty cool. It doesn’t take long for the source to start, and Brandon rocks the guitars in this. Main source at 0:54 in epic guitar. The percussion in this keeps a fast beat that makes me move to it. 1:41 brings Rexy in to the main picture with some jazzy guitar. 1:58 has Brandon take his own version of the mix, and it’s pretty sweet. It’s also a segway into Rexy’s awesome take with more guitar over it. 2:49 brings in the start to one of the more epic parts of the song, building and building until it explodes at 3:22 with more guitar source usage. 4:12 brings the start to the finale with rising notes that culminate in brief source usage that fades to silence.

10. José the Bronx Rican – Caos     4:34
And now for the final take on the Special Stage theme. In my opinion, this is the most meticulously detailed one of the three, fitting for OCR’s resident rapper and media man. Source comes in at 0:34 or so. If you listen carefully, you can hear so many things at once it’s insane. More source usage at 1:22 or so. 2:00 brings in the start of José’s remixing of the source, filled with various jingles and brief snippets other tracks from the game as well. 2:46 is the start of an epic piano solo, lasting for an entire minute!! Listen carefully for the aforementioned aural allusions. Background source usage at 3:30 or so. The last minute is very toned down, but it works. After that piano solo, you need a cooldown period.

11. WillRock – Clockwork Criminal     3:28
Starts out with sound effects, and source comes in at 0:30. Trademark WillRock sounds come in at 1:01. Sound effects are in the background throughout the entire song, but are most prominent as the bookends, so to speak, for the track. 1:47 brings in the genesis of what we all know Will loves to do, and that’s rock out like a Brit. And judging by past British bands, they rock out quite hard. 2:17 has his synth guitar squeal that we all know and love. And again at 2:46, albeit briefly. 3:20 takes the sound effects and ends the track.

12. Jewbei – Final Progression     4:36
Ah, bLiNd’s disciple… good guy, good mixer. He’s learned much, and that’s blatantly obvious with this take on the Final Zone theme. Hints of the source come in at 0:31, and the full source begins at 1:41 after a breakdown at 1:11 and buildup at 1:28 or so. Trance-tacular!! Nice usage of ethereal chimes at 2:18 or so for more source. This just builds and builds and builds, kind of like Robotnik’s wrath I suppose. This is Sonic 1, so he’s being called Robotnik. It’s only fitting. 3:38 or so brings a slowdown and gradual removal of parts, until 4:20 when it becomes obvious that this is the progession to the final seconds of the track.

13. Brandon Strader, halc, WillRock – A Hog in His Prime     5:36
The credits medley, always a classic. Starts out with Special Stage usage, and sound effects. What else? Guitar comes in at 0:24. Awesome bass at 0:46 or so. Green Hill Zone at 1:04 or so, and more guitar courtesy of Brandon at 1:22 or so. More Special Stage at 1:49. Marble Zone, with wah, at 2:24 or so. Star Light at about 2:40, with chimes. Guitar starts at 2:52. WillRock’s synth at 3:23 goes wild. This is the solo that wasn’t in Clockwork Criminal. Breakdown at 3:52. 4:06 brings in epic finale, and 4:18 has Brandon showing off his recorder skills. For your information, these were previously seen in Monkeys Disarm Their Kremlings, from Serious Monkey Business, back in 2010. The recorder continues until very close to the end… but unlike most final tracks, this one doesn’t end with a peaceful fade. 5:17 brings in Brandon rocking the OUT OF BREATH jingle that closes out the album.

CONCLUSION

Well, truth be told I’ve reviewed three albums this night. First was DjjD’s Uprising, which you can read about elsewhere on this site. This double review was created to quickly shrink my backlog of albums I need to review. And I think it went well. Pixel Perfect LP was great, albeit brief. But mixed with the EP and you’ve got a damn near complete album. halc’s chiptune skills are definitely improving with age, and practice no doubt, something evident in his recent singles and in his work on these two albums.
As for the others involved with Sound of Speed, they’re pretty awesome too. A lot of love went into all of these tracks, and it shows. WillRock did a phenomenal job with his tracks, and Brandon rocked the holy hell out of what he was tasked with. Jewbei is starting to show signs of matching his sensei’s skills, if not surpassing him, with the potential shown in his, and chth gave Labyrinth Zone a nice spin. I’d request a mix of that from Insert Rupee, but since both Ben and halc have mixed that track on their own, I don’t think I need it. And the three Special Stage mixes were all beautifully done, created by three masters of their style. And the others involved did great as well. Next time I’ll be reviewing ProtoDome’s BLUENOISE album, followed by Benjamin Briggs’s Attention Deficit EP. Until next time, game on!!

Setting Up your Facebook Page

So hopefully by now you’ve got a Facebook Page set up. A Facebook Page is not the same as your Facebook user profile and, If don’t have one yet, or you’re unfamiliar with Facebook Pages in general, then you should check out last weeks entry on why you NEED to have a Facebook Page as a musician.

The first thing you need to realize is that your Facebook Page is not just for Facebook users. Granted, you will get the most of out people who are both a Facebook users, and a who have subscribed (or “Liked”) your Page, this is not the only traffic that will pass through your page; You’ll also get people who aren’t even members of Facebook who get there through links posted to them or via Google. This means you have to realize that your Facebook Fanpage is more than a microblog; It’s a whole new mini-site, or a portal, for your users to find more information about you. Some users may land on your Facebook Page before even your website. How will you welcome them?

  • Do not let someone land on your wall. This one is a very easy mistake to make, and it’s one of the most important things to do right away. Would you let visitors land on the guest book of your personal website? Of course not! Why then would you let them land on your Page’s wall? Admittedly, our Facebook Page currently isn’t setup like that (yet), nor is OverClocked ReMix’s, but zircon’s Page is a good start for what you want to go for in a Facebook Page landing page, and many major franchises are great examples. You can make an engaging landing page like this using the Static FBML App. Some things you should consider having on it are: Some information about you, some of your other sites on the web they might be interested in such as your personal site or YouTube profile, and most importantly…
  • Give incentive to follow/like you. The first questions in your head whenever you create something like a landing page are: “What are the long and short term goals of this?” and “How do I achieve these goals?” In this case your long term goal is to convert visistor into fans, and maybe at some point sell them music. You achieve this goal through the short term goal of giving them information about you and, most importantly right now, getting them interested enough to follow your page. You do this by telling them to follow your page, and giving a clear reason why they should. Sounds crazy, no? This is what we “selling the value” and giving a “Call-to-Action.” Everything you do should have some Call-to-Action, and incentive to do so by selling the value of it, and be sure to not give away the value without the action, first. In the case of your Page one value right away is up-to-the-minute updates on you and what you’re doing, but consider that someone who’s landing on your page might not be interested in your updates upon first getting there, and might not even stick around long enough to find the value themselves. Why then, would you stop there with the value? Give your visitors some incentive right away, and try to make it something more than your Facebook spam in their news feed. What kind of incentive? Here is an example of a case study done by “Socially Buzz“, a social media marketing firm, for restaurant. In it they explain how, by giving visitors incentive through value to “Like” the restaurant’s Facebook page (in this case, coupons), they were able to drive over 5,000 new Facebook followers, and create more social awareness of the brand. What kind of incentives can you create? Maybe downloadable and/or stream-able songs available ONLY on your Facebook page? If you charge, maybe it’s a coupon for your music. Maybe you could release an entire exclusive EP available ONLY to people who like your Facebook page. Play with it, and see what you can think of.
  • Make sure to keep engaging your audience. The biggest grace of social media is the ability to engage your audience. Make sure, once you get followers, that you use them! Keep them informed with important, relevant updates about what’s going on with you (subscribers probably don’t need to hear how drunk you are tonight), consider releasing exclusive or world-first items on different social mediums, and make sure whenever possible to end your updates with a question. You’ll notice OverClocked ReMix often does this, as does mashable. You want to engage your audience as often as possible, and encourage them to engage you as well. This gives them a much more personal experience, and gives them a stronger connection and dedication to you, and your brand. Remember: A personal connection could be the difference between a casual fan, and a die-hard fan.

These are just some of the ways you can use your Fanbook Page to help increase your visibility on the web, and hopefully help you convert more users into die-hard fans, but remember: Facebook isn’t the only social medium out there, not is it the only one people are actively using. In the upcoming weeks I’ll explain the important of things like a twitter page and, more importantly, a YouTube profile, before getting into the down and dirty of building and maintaining your own personal site, but for now go make yourself an awesome Facebook Page and start collecting followers.

If there’s any questions about anything discussed this week, have any Facebook Page suggestions of your own, or if you have any other questions relating to marketing yourself on the web that you’d like me to cover, feel free to leave a comment.

Interview with a ReMixer: Sixto Sounds

Originally Posted at Feb 17, 2010 5:47PM PST, updated on November 3, 2010 10:41 PDT for ThaSauce

Juan P. Medrano, alias Sixto Sounds, is a man who lives by his state’s standard: Everything’s bigger in Texas. His remixes are big on the rock, heavy on the guitar, and huge on the quality. Whether it’s remixing a track from a classic Ninja Turtles game or from a recent entry in the Tales of series, he’s doing it, and doing it well. Being a contributor to OCR for 5 years, half the time it’s been around, he’s built up a stable of 20+ tracks, including one to the Dwelling of Duels that’s been accepted and updated over at OCR and a self-admitted ThaSauce exclusive. I recently interviewed him, and this is what he had to say.

Mirby: What started your interest in video game music?

Sixto: Hmmm… well, as a kid i didn’t play video games THAT much. I dabbled in a little Nintendo, little bit of Sega. But there were some games like Punch-Out!!, Afterburner, Sreet Fighter 2, [Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV] Turtles in Time where the music just kind of stuck with me. In my head I could always here the music being played by a live band.

M: I was the same way (just different games).

S: Anyway, once I picked up guitar at around 11-12 years of age, I pretty much forgot about video games; wasn’t till maybe 2004 that a friend shared some MP3s with me. Remixes from OCR; It was Prot’s Brainsick Metal and djp’s GerudoInterlude.

M: Two of my favorites! Nice!

S: Yeah, that really drew me into the site and that’s when I started listening to the music of all these older games I used to love…

M: And that’s what started your interest in remixing tracks yourself, I take it?

S: Yeah, exactly; I figured, why not?

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

S: Let’s see… Well, my favorite one might be my Super Hang-On remix “Burn, Baby, Burn.” I think I like it the most because, well, I went in with the idea of making it sound a certain way…

M: Actually, I haven’t heard that one. So I’m going to get it now. I actually have no idea how I missed it…

S: Hehe. I wanted to give it this 80s kind of feel. Not so much 80s metal or anything. Also, this was the first time I was able to get everything sounding just the way I wanted.

M: That’s pretty cool! To continue, which do you prefer; solo tracks, or collaborations?

S: I prefer the solo stuff. To be honest, i’ve never really collaborated, per se… Except for one time, with zircon, on the FF7 project [Voices of the Lifestream].

M: Lunatic Moon?

S: Yeah. In that track, zircon and I wrote together. In all of my other collabs the music had pretty much been written out already.

M: Great track, one of my favorites. Especially with your 45 second or so guitar solo type thing.

S: I do wish I could re-do it; it’s not one of my favorites.

M: Ah, well a true artist in never satisfied with their work, I suppose.

S: True that.

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

S: Tons!

M: Such as?

S: Well, I’ve got about 23 project tracks i’m working on; stuff from Megaman X games, Final Fantasy 9, the Dragon Quest games… Lots of stuff. Plus, I’m going to be remixing another track from Turtles in Time, which is probably my favorite game soundtrack.

M: For the Boss Themes project?

S: Yeah.

M: And it is a fairly epic soundtrack.

S: That it is.

M: Fun game too, for that matter.

S: Definitely, even today. That re-shelled version is so great.

M: Re-shelled? Is that some sort of re-release for XBLA or something?

S: Yeah; a remake of the arcade game in 3D. It’s really fun when you play online with 3 friends.

M: That it would be.

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

S: Hmmm… That’s a tough one. It would be a toss up between Ken’s Theme in Street Fighter 2 or Sewer Surfing from Turtles in Time.

M: Both of which you’ve remixed.

S: Right!

M: Do you have a favorite video-game composer?

S: I’d probably have to say Motoi Sakuraba. I love Nobuo [Uematsu]’s Final Fantasy stuff, but I dunno…

M: He’s pretty cool. Tales games and Golden Sun, that’s all that really needs to be said

S: I’ve always liked how Motoi writes; more of a modern style. Yeah, I love the Tales soundtracks and the Star Ocean’s.

M: I always liked how there’s a Sakuraba (and Sakuraba III) in Tales of Phantasia. One last question. What do you enjoy most about remixing?

S: Well… I like recording and mixing music. Period. I just love doing it. It feels like it’s something that comes naturally to me. Remixing video game music, though… I guess I just love being part of such a big community, being able to make something that other people enjoy. I still haven’t met any of these people as I’ve never been to MAGFest or a meetup, but I’d like to some day.

M: Well you’re being interviewed by one right now. Thank you for your time. It has been an honor, Sixto.

S: Anytime.

You can find Sixto’s page on OCR here: Artist: Sixto Sounds (Juan P. Medrano), and his page here on ThaSauce at Artist: Sixto Sounds – ReMixer. I’ll keep interviewing them as they come, so stay tuned. Until next time, game on!

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!!

ThaSauce v4 is a GO!

Finally. FINALLY. After months and months of seemingly not much, ThaSauce 4 is ready for launch. Let me be the first to warn everyone that the site may have some problems, but fixes will be rolling out quickly now that the new site is live.

Some new features include:

  • FINALLY ditching Php-Nuke entirely for WordPress
  • An all new look and feel that will hopefully provide readers with easier readability and navigation.
  • News comments now totally integrated with the forums
  • And many MANY features to come that will totally change how you interact with the site.

Right now the forums are still a work in progress. If you had an account on the old forums, you should be able to log into the new PhpBB3 forums, but they will be VERY ugly. I’m working on it. The PhpBB3 default theme is fighting me tooth and nail, but I shall prevail. Formatting from the forum comments on the site comments is a bit messed up too, but I assure you all this is but the tip of the iceberg!

I also don’t have a working version of Photoshop right now (GASP, right?) so that’s why the thumbnail images look like butt. I’M GETTIN’ THERE.

Thank you, enjoy, and STAY TUNED for more upcoming changes.

ThaSauce Launches New Media Tab

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The media tab was the only thing not completed along with the rest of the site. I talked about my plans for it a bit at the panel at MAGFest this year, and I’ve finally gotten it to (about) where I want it to be.
The media tab now lists a bunch of really great podcasts from around the community, and has now been streamlined for Radio:ThaSauce. There’s a lot more that I want to do with it in the future, but for now I think it’s a substantial improvement over what we had. Enjoy! 😀