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.

Retro City Rampage Soundtrack On Sale Now

Coming at you with fast-paced arcade action, Retro City Rampage is an upcoming cross-platform parody of epic proportions that promises to “take modern game mechanics and mash them into an authentic 8-bit experience”. Although the trailer for the game marks intrigue here at ThaSauce (preorder Retro City Rampage here), we’d like to focus attention to the #1 selling album on Bandcamp that has just been released, the Retro City Rampage soundtrack, which features phenomenal music by what may be one of the best collaborations in the VGM scene right now. Award-winning artists like 2011 OSV Composer of the Year  virt (Jake Kaufman), Norrin Radd (Matt Creamer) and Freaky DNA (Leonard J. Paul) have come together to form an ultimate trifecta for the sake of high-quality chiptunes in the style of the original Nintendo Entertainment System.

The Retro City Rampage soundtrack showcases the best of what these composers have to offer, starting off with virt’s “Retro City Rampage Title Song” that reminds us of hard-hitting chip music at it’s finest with frenetic chords and frantic transitions. Norrin Radd’s “Renegade” thoroughy brings us back to the ‘badassery’ that has since delineated fighting arcade games since the ’80s while Freaky DNA’s “Half Steppin'” just rules overall with rugged, catchy beats, adding to the coarse, yet contemporary take on NES-dependent chiptunes.

While the full digital Retro City Rampage soundtrack is available on Bandcamp for a paltry $8, you can also elect to buy an individual limited edition hand-numbered vinyl that retains high-quality tunes for something more special. Order now, and you’ll also receive a poster of the cover album art by Maxime Trépanier and a CD case.

 

Random Encounter Performance Tomorrow @ The Geek Easy

 

For you Orlando residents out there, we just got word that Random Encounter is playing a free show at the Geek Easy tomorrow, February 24th:

Hey everybody! Did you know we’re playing a FREE SHOW at The Geek Easy in Orlando next Friday the 24th? Because we are! And guess what! We’re playing 2 never before heard songs at this show as well as all of our regular goodies. But make sure to come, because this will be the last time we will play (most) of this set. We’re writing and arranging new music and will not be playing (most) of this stuff for some time! AGAIN, it’s FREE! Star Lake will be joining us and it will be a super amazing time!

With their amazing stage presence and crazy show antics, we’d definitely say that Random Encounter is one of the best live performances we’ve seen in the VGM community to date. This free show is restricted to those 16 and up, so no tweens allowed. And for those who are 21+, you can BYOB (holla!). Donations are also being accepted, so please be generous! Be sure to RSVP on Facebook, as well as enjoy rad tunes from one of the best VGM cover bands out there.

Original Sound Version’s OSVOSTOTY 2011 Awards Winners Announced

 

As we’ve mentioned before, the winners and runner-ups of Original Sound Version‘s 3rd Annual OSVOSTOTY 2011 have been announced today  and the results are quite intriguing. Editor-In-Chief Jayson Napolitano had many bright things to say of the artists that the OSV staff chose for this year, as he states:

The smoke has finally cleared, and we can finally announce our winners and runners-up for our 3rd annual Original Sound Version Original Soundtrack of the Year 2011 Awards. As always, there are a few surprises, and while I know some editors are still passionately clinging to their given favorite, I think that points to the amazing quality and variety of music that was released in 2011. This year in particular saw a number of new franchises and sequels that went in radically different directions, and I think the music accurately reflects this fresh and exploratory direction.

The list of winners and runner-ups are listed after the jump. ThaSauce would also like to congratulate all of the winners and nominees of this year’s 3rd Annual OSVOSTOTY 2011 Awards as well. Here’s to hoping that next year’s awards will be as exciting as ever!

[EXPAND Click here for an official list of the 2011 OSVOSTOTY winners & runner-ups!]

Best Handheld Soundtrack
Winner: Jake Kaufman’s MIGHTY SWITCH FORCE!
1st Runner-Up: Tsutomu Narita’s UnchainBlades ReXX
2nd Runner-Up: Hitoshi Sakimoto’s Valkyria Chronicles 2 -Unrecorded Chronicles-

Nominees: DJMAX Portable 2, Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Best Fan Arrange Album (Western)
Winner: Metroid Arrange 25th Anniversary Album (Bad Dudes)
1st Runner-Up: Intergalatic Redux (The OneUps)
2nd Runner-Up: brass 2: mouth (the minibosses)

Nominees: Harmony of a Hunter (V.A.), Made of Metal (VikingGuitar), No NES For The Wicked (Vomitron)

Best Fan Arrange Album (Eastern)
Winner: UMEMOTO ~He Lives Here~ (WOODSOFT)
1st Runner-Up: FF VIOLIN -FINAL FANTASTIC VIOLIN 2- (TAMUSIC)
2nd Runner-Up: Kinoko Sanmai!! (Mackerel Sky)

Nominees: CHRONO TRIGGER ~Saihate no Kanade~ (earth Japan SOFT), North Wind (Magical Trick Society)

Best Official Arrange Album
Winner: NieR Tribute Album -echo-
1st Runner-Up: SQ Chips
2nd Runner-Up: Hideki Sakamoto Orchestral Works

Nominees: Oboromuramasa Ongakushuu Hensou no Maku, Symphonic Odysseys, The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special Orchestra CD

Best Live Concert
Winner: Symphonic Odysseys (Team Merregnon)
1st Runner-Up: The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony (JMP Productions)
2nd Runner-Up: Back to the Future: Two Generations of Film and Video Game Composers (VGO)

Nominees: Gamers X-Mas (David Westerlund), JADE-II (Takeaki Kunimoto), LEGENDS (Team Merregnon)

Best “Other” Release
Winner: Tree of Knowledge (yogurtbox)
1st Runner-Up: IMERUAT (IMERUAT)
2nd Runner-Up: Songs for the Cure ’11: Remedy (V.A.)

Nominees: Now is the point at which I touch eternity (freesscape), Oto Gift (Basiscape), Play for Japan (V.A.)

Best Chip Music Release
Winner: Beautiful Lifestyle (George & Jonathan)
1st Runner-Up: Roots (Danimal Cannon)
2nd Runner-Up: Equilibrium (V.A.)

Nominees: Cheap Dinosaurs (Cheap Dinosaurs), SOUNDSHOCK: FM FUNK MADDNESS!! (V.A.), The Octagon (Jonathan Baken)

Best Indie Game Soundtrack
Winner: Bastion
1st Runner-Up: Jamestown
2nd Runner-Up: Sword & Sworcery

Nominees: Cthulhu Saves The World, Escape Goat, Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion

Best Sound Design
Winner: Portal 2
1st Runner-Up: Batman: Arkham City
2nd Runner-Up: Dead Space 2

Nominees: L.A. Noire, Limbo, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Best In-Game Soundtrack
Winner: Deus Ex: Human Revolution
1st Runner-Up: Dark Souls
2nd Runner-Up: Child of Eden

Nominees: Dead Space 2, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, Uncharted 2: Drake’s Deception

Soundtrack of the Year
Winner: Final Fantasy XIII-2
1st Runner-Up: Deus Ex: Human Revolution
2nd Runner-Up: Rayman Origins

Nominees: Bloodrayne: Betrayal, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword[/EXPAND]

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!!

 

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:

No Song Left Behind is a collection of newly polished and remastered chiptune-house style tracks produced over the course of 2010-11. These were all written for various albums which never saw the light of day (a testament to my inability to write house music, and more importantly, to stick with it :P).

Rather than let them continue to stagnate on my hard drive, I’ve decided to release them together as a free 3 track EP. A token of thanks for the amazing support and response towards Zero-G. As always, all donations are lovingly appreciated! Enjoy!

Previewing some of No Song Left Behind briefly, we have to say that halc’s work takes the ‘chiptune-house’ style to another level, proving how much he has progressed as an independent artist over the course of the last few years. Although deviating from Zero-G’s chill vibes and Trending Topic EP‘s dubby in-your-face presence, halc’s unassuming yet fluent transitions in “Bicycle Rights” get will get your head bobbing involuntarily. As you preview some of the EP below, you can get No Song Left Behind for free on halc’s Bandcamp (be sure to check out his other albums while you’re at it!).

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.

Pro Tip: Get In On zircon’s Production Workshop Tonight

 

In his most recent Facebook update, award-winning sound designer and audio specialist Andrew Aversa has just announced that he will be hosting a free production session today, February 16th  for those who are interesting in learning the finer aspects of audio production and sound tuning:

This FRIDAY at 9pm EST, I’m going to do an experimental 1 hour long live production session. I’ll work on a track, take some Q&A, talk tech and just generally have a good time. If it goes well I’ll probably do both freeform sessions and maybe more structured classes focused on Q&A, at a low price per ‘seat’ (like $5-10).

Better known by his exhaustive involvement in the VGM community as zircon, Aversa has arranged and collaborated on over twenty accepted submissions and projects for OverClocked ReMix since 2004. He has also 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.

With zircon’s substantial experience with video game music and sound, we would like to urge aspiring professional composers and remixers or even those interested in exploring the scope of sound design to take advantage of this exciting event (can we just mention again that it’s free?). The production session will be hosted on Livestream.