The Arcade Interview with Ben Briggs

Gameboy interviews Ben Briggs on The Arcade show, Saturday January 26th. Ben talks about his new album The Briggs Effect, as well as Nedarpalooza 2012, MAGFest 11, his experience in the community, his new video game livestream, and more.

Creating music since he was 14 years old, he has become a great part of the community — you can check out Ben’s video game remixes on ReMix:ThaSauce, and more of his music on his OCReMix profile.

The show aired live on the 91.1 KLSU FM website, but you can still listen to the full, uncut The Arcade’s interview with Benjamin Briggs, and don’t forget that Ben’s new album The Briggs Effect is also available for purchase!

Get Your Remix On: GameChops’ Powerglove Remix Contest

 

VGM netlabel GameChops has recently presented its very first remix contest for Dj CUTMAN‘s track “Powerglove (It’s So Bad)” featuring Benjamin Briggs, which takes a classic NES sample and throws in “a heaping dose of french electro and gritty automation to create something so good, it can only be called ‘so bad'”. The winning remixes will be featured on an upcoming GameChops release.

Remixes must be hosted on GC Soundcloud dropbox and submitted through the GameChops website on or before the deadline of June 25th, 2012. All genres and interpretations are welcome, but winners will be decided on strength of concept, mixing quality, and goodness of the song itself.

While you can listen to “Powerglove (It’s So Bad)” above, download the remix stems here (or here). Happy remixing!

OverClocked ReMix’s Pilotwings: Take Flight Released Today

 

OverClocked ReMix has just released its thirty-fourth arrangement album in tribute to Nintendo’s game series Pilotwings and the original score produced by the various composers involved throughout the series such as Soyo Oka (Pilotwings), Dan Hess (Pilotwings 64), and Asuka Ito (Pilotwings Resort). The album itself features seven tracks from Indianapolis-based arranger Drew “halc” Wheeler, who humbly takes his time in Pilotwings: Take Flight to combine “nostalgic chiptune instrumentation with modern electronic sounds and production techniques”.

Insert Rupee, a collaboration between Benjamin Briggs and halc, also make an exciting appearance, arranging two pieces from the later installments in the Pilotwings series. It is also worth noting that the album’s concluding track, “Depth Perception,” is OC ReMix’s first arrangement representing the Nintendo 3DS console.

While you can download the album for free at http://flight.ocremix.org, old-schoolers can also get and share Pilotwings: Take Flight by torrent as well. Comments and reviews for the release itself may be given and seen in the official OC ReMix forums here.

Benjamin Briggs’ Diddy Kong Racing: Bootleg Circuit Just Released

Remember when chasing intergalactic pig wizards was the right thing to do? Or how about collecting those elusive amulet fragments? Don’t mind us over here, just fondly reminiscing about Diddy Kong Racing.

Benjamin Briggs has us at ‘hello’ with keen memories of DKR. While we’ve gone on and on about his expressive talents as an upcoming artist within the VGM scene, Briggs’ Diddy Kong Racing: Bootleg Circuit has finally inspired the creative juices in us once more to gush about his latest endeavor with smooth house and disco influences. Even as his first-ever sampled game audio album, Briggs really takes the time to both highlight and complement Dave Wise’s original  arrangements that most gamers have come to know and love about one of the fastest-selling racing games within video game history. For example, “Hi There! (Lobby)” evokes sentimentality of Wise’s thumping cadences but efficaciously transitions into what we’d call a classic “Briggs-esque” twist, leaving the listener with toes tapping and heads bobbing when noone is looking… or when they are. Who are we kidding? “Hot Pockets (Hot Top Volcano)”, another favorite, encourages a major chill-out mood with entrancing rhythms while bringing about nostalgic yet gut-wrenching feelings for that damn volcano stage.

Did we mention that all the tracks have been mastered by Dj CUTMAN? Released exclusively from Dj CUTMAN’s new music label Gamechops, Brigg’s newest EP gives us an exciting preview of what we should expect from this group of artists who are driven by the simple passion of creating music. Diddy Kong Racing: Bootleg Circuit is available on Bandcamp now, which you have no reason NOT to download because it’s free!

 

Benjamin Briggs’ Snake Man vs. The World EP Just Released


Hot snake man action. Only Benjamin Briggs would use these four words to describe his newly released EP, Snake Man vs. The World. Since taking the time out to review his last big release, we know that Benjamin Briggs really shells out big on his releases. This EP is no exception. Initially byproducts of Darkesword’s team-based competition Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet 2011, Mr. Briggs has stuck with a solid Snake Man theme that has remained delightfully consistent throughout the album. Released as-is, we would definitely compare these four new Mega Man remixes to a sexy, hyperactive electronic smorgasbord of awesome beats that we simply can’t get out of our heads.

Snake Man vs. The World is available now for free on Bandcamp, but feel free to donate to Mr. Briggs as a token of your appreciation. We’ve also included a few of our favorites from the EP for your aural pleasure below.

 

 

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!!

Threshold of a Dream Review: Written Whilst Listening

DISC 1 – MAIN ALBUM

1. Theophany – Full Moon Cello (The Tail Cave)     5:49
Peaceful at first, befitting the intro track to the album. Bells or something come in at about 0:20, and then the main intstrumentation at about 0:28. Strings at 0:46 elaborate on the basic rhythm already created. More strings at about 1:09. The mood is set quite beautifully by the strings and bells. Quick breakdown like in the source at about 2:10. Drums come in at about 2:25, along with bass a few seconds later. More breakdown at about 3:00, this time distinct from the source. Main melody returns at 3:40 for a second, then violin comes in at about 3:45. The melody takes a life of its own at about 4:09 with a beautiful fashion. At 4:28 all the instruments come in for a truly beautiful buildup to the finale, which begins at 5:10 or so. It all ends suddenly and only bells and bass remain at 5:29 to end.

2. Benjamin Briggs – Lucidic (Koholint Island)     3:23
The artist formerly known as chthonic makes his mark known immediately. Buildup until 0:32, when some nice peaceful and semi-ethereal instrumentation come in. Briggs’ basic style comes in at 1:16 or so, and demonstrates his love for this soundtrack (seriously, listen to It’s My Turn to Dream and you’ll see what I mean). Main melody returns at 1:50. Breakdown at 2:10 or so, with more of his style and touch. True remix comes in at 2:38. Fadeout beginning at about 3:05, with spacey instruments to end.

3. Level 99, prophetik – Threshold of a Dream (Title)     3:14
Stevo’s acoustic sexiness begins the track immediately, with a rain sound effect backing at first. Violin comes in at about 0:48, adding to the beauty. Shakers at about 1:10 add to the atmosphere, and the guitar evolves into an electric one at 1:29 to truly amp up the listening experience. Drums appear with it, and a nice remix breakdown comes in at 2:09 or so. A truly atmospheric and beautiful peace, with the finale beginning at 2:57, consisting of the rain and the violin.

4. Iggy Koopa – Oceanfront View (House)     2:23
Piano begins immediately. A beautiful track, reminiscent of Shnabubula‘s work on Voices of the Lifestream, is found here. A short one, but a classic.

5. prophetik – Animal Counterpoint (Animal Village)     5:00
Here there be electronica; reminiscent of an odd 80s space movie soundtrack, part of the melody comes in at 1:24, after an odd effect that repeats. The instrumentation chosen is eccentric, but it fits the village the source tune plays in. It keeps building slowly but surely, until 3:25 when it starts to get a bit intense. This track is a bit strange, but in a purely enjoyable fashion. The source is recognizable, but it’s hidden under all the bizarre music. The song ends suddenly at 4:57.

6. Ten19 – The Wind Outside (The Egg)     4:20
A bizarre and creepy source track gets an upgrade here, with spooky sound effects that sound like they came from the Shadow Temple in Ocarina of Time and ambience that chills the spine. 1:11 starts the main melody. 1:52 brings in a break with heartbeats or something… 2:11 heralds the return of the main melody. More melody comes in at about 3:15. Ambience from 3:50 to end, with melody.

7. The Joker – Evigilo Inserpatus (Dream Shrine)     4:26
A beautiful soundscape comes in here, with echoing piano at about 0:25. Drums come in at 1:04, complete with echoing. Powerful ambience comes in at 1:20 or so, creating a dreamscape with the soundscape. Somewhat haunting effects are interspersed within the track to accompany all the music to give a complete package here. Breakdown at 2:50, shattering the dream, albeit momentarily. Everything returns at 3:17, bringing with it a dark feeling that ups the ante considerably and gives the song itself that much more emotion. Breakdown at 4:00 until end.

8. Benjamin Briggs – Climb My Mountain, This High (Tal Tal Heights)     3:40
Chth’s second track on the album (he changed his name, I’m still calling him that) is just as great as the first. Giving a mellow feel to the track with his champion chiptune expertise, the music comes in right away, and explodes at 1:03 with raw chippy power. A pretty sweet breakdown begins at about 1:22. The song has its own energy, infectious in its old-school style and sound. Briggs took the source, got an idea, and ran with it. Good thing too; this track is awesome. The main rhythm comes in at about 2:45. The music is drowned out by the bass from 3:15 to about 3:35, when it stops.

9. Sound Test – Spare Key (Key Cavern)     3:55
A haunting track, consisting of piano and space age sounds. Main melody comes in about 0:50. There are some nice breakdowns along the way, with what sounds like the boss theme thrown in at about 2:10. It sounds like a bunch of radio sounds are thrown in too, which adds to the atmosphere. Raw power comes in at 3:10, and ends suddenly right on time at 3:52.

10. Dj Mokram – Fierce Melancholy of the Woods (Mysterious Forest)     4:30
What sounds like a pan flute starts the track with the famous Zelda theme, and then piano comes in with what sounds like the Ballad of the Wind Fish. Strings come in at about 0:48 with what sounds like Tal Tal Height’s main rhythm. The flutes come in at about 1:10 with the main mysterious groove of the forest. At 1:35 the flutes come in, and there’s a beat that adds drama and energy to the track. The strings come in with force at about 2:10, with another melody at 2:30. The same raw energy he showed on Essence of Lime is present in this track. Peace comes in at 3:20. A cool rhythm comes in at 3:55 or so, and kicks off the finale of the track. The end begins at 4:20.

11. Artem Bank – Liftin’ Them Pots (The Bottle Grotto)     4:10
Ambience kicks the track off, and the main rhythm on bass comes in at about 0:32. Piano comes in at 1:20. Guitar comes in at 1:57, adding to the atmosphere of the track. More intstrumentation comes in at 2:30 or so, building the raw emotional energy already present in the track. Some cool guitar comes in at about 3:00, and continues until about 3:35 when the music calms down and the ambience carries the track to its end at 4:05.

12. prophetik – Facies Templum (Face Shrine)     4:50
As with other tracks on this album, ambience kicks the track off, this one interspersed with strumming. At 0:39, saxophone comes in. 1:18 shows the start of the main track. Mr. Burr demonstrates his skill with the wind instruments. 1:58 shows some piano that really elaborates on the feeling of the source, which always was a bit melancholy and somewhat spooky. Sax returns at 2:38 or so. A very mellow listening experience can be found here, beautiful in its elegance and simplicity. More atmosphere comes in at 3:50, and even more at 4:08. Tears almost started to flow; bravo, Bradley Burr. Bravo.

13. Dafydd – Sköldpaddsklippan (Turtle Rock)     4:07
The track begins immediately with the main rhythm. Drumbeat comes in at 0:30. The track continually builds up until 1:17, when some power appears behind the basic rhythm. Bass beats back the track up. The bass vanishes at 2:30, but the main rhythm remains intact. Strings come in at 2:40 or so, with a building sense and then piano at 2:57 or so to show off the main part of the track. 3:28 brings back the part of the track the played for the majority of it and plays that until the final ten seconds, which add a finishing touch to the track.

14. Xenon Odyssey – Sunrise in Mabe (Mabe Village)     4:08
A basic piano rendition of this beautiful source. This mix is just as beautiful as said source, so something was definitely done correctly. The Ballad of the Wind Fish appears here as well, starting at about 2:10. Fitting for this album, as that was basically the main musical theme of the game.

15. Lashmush – Beneath (Shadow Battles)     3:30
The final battle mix starts out with menacing ambience. Some nice beats come in at about 0:50 that do nothing but add to the menacing feel. 1:58 brings in more menace. The ambience present in this track actually reminds of a few tracks from the Crash Bandicoot soundtrack. 2:40 brings in more feel to the track. 3:20 brings in a roar that is just scary..

16. Rexy – The Feather’s Reflection (Eagle’s Tower)     5:19
A nice piano rendition by Rexy, the thing she is known for the most. 1:28 brings in more of the source. 2:28 shows another part of the main rhythm. The track continues to build and expand into something more awesome and more beautiful, just like with Mario’s Hazy Beach Holiday. It slows down at 4:03 or so. It goes back to basics at about 4:40.

17. prophetik – Voices of the Deep (Catfish’s Maw)     3:09
Bells come in at 0:20. Ambience plays throughout, and whistling comes in at about 0:50. More instrumentation comes in at about 1:10 or so. Everything keeps building, just like in the previous track. A very mellow track on the whole here.

18. Sound Test – The Vision of the Wind Fish (Ballad of the Wind Fish)     6:09
A very odd beginning, with vocals and crazy ambience. The sounds used for the main melody (one of my all time favorites) is ethereal and awesome. There is a lot going on here, and it’s all good. A drumbeat begins at about 1:55 and carries the track a bit further. 2:27 brings in a different style of music, reminiscent of Joshua Morse almost. There’s even a running water sound effect that’s present in two of his tracks (that I know of). His voice comes in at 3:35 or so, and describes the game’s finale. Some awesome electronic sound effects accompany this, and bring the ballad back in. 4:50 or so shows the credits theme in a chippy happy rendition. More vocals at 5:40, heralding the coming end of the track. They end at 5:57, and the water sound effect comes in with seagulls cawing.

19. prophetik, Fishy – House of Frogs (Richard’s Villa)     3:48
Some pretty beautiful guitar starts out the song, along with some nice saxophone. A nice ending to the album; great collaboration between Burr and McCormack. Cain breaks out a solo at about 1:50 that just sounds awesome, with Brad accompanying in masterful fashion. Some awesome double woodwind action at about 2:45 or so. These play until about 3:19, when simple acoustic guitar takes over until the end.

DISC 2 – BONUS TRACKS

1. Sound Test – The Beginning of the Tail (The Tail Cave)     4:21
Our second Tail Cave remix comes from Sound Test, who quickly became the zyko of this album. It’s pretty nice, and mellow. Drama starts to build at about 0:59. It calms down at 1:37, and more odd instrumentation comes in. Everything starts to build again at about 2:33, and is replaced by more ambience. Crazy music comes in at 3:20. It crashes at 3:50, and ends suddenly at about 4:15.

2. sloopygoop – I Don’t Know Who I Am Anymore (Player Select) 7:56
The longest track is, quite fittingly given the game of origin, a chiptune. Great work considering the short source. The ZELDA activated salsa remix comes in at about 0:50. 1:18 brings on sloopygoop’s own take. 1:35 adds more to the track. 1:57 throws in another style, and 2:00 brings in a very odd take on the track, which is quite dramatic. 3:00 brings in a circus version in its happiness and eccentricity. The director’s comments are quite accurate in that this is “generally just eight minutes of awesome.” 4:15 brings in yet another style, after demonstrating it in waltz tempo. 5:06 is the mark for yet another change of style, once again using the salsa remix already present in the game. It calms down at about 5:45, with an almost straight copy of the source, and 5:57 expands it once more. 6:28 brings about a return to the source. It slows and stops at 6:45, and is silent until 7:03, when it kicks back in with a very basic and simple remix of the source that plays until the 7:40 when it starts to fade.

3. Obtuse – This Cave Is Creepy (The Tail Cave)     3:56
The final Tail Cave remix is from Obtuse, alias Andrew Struve. The rain sound effect works, and the instrumentation works for the creepy vibe that the title portrays. Thunder roars at 0:50, and some violin comes in to back up the creepy feeling. The tension continually builds up until about 2:09, when everything pretty much stops, and more of the melody is explored. More thunder at 2:57, with basic melody explored thereafter. Violin returns at about 3:20, and the song ends with a high note at 3:47 or so.

4. prophetik, PriZm – Villa (Richard’s Villa)     3:37
The original version of House of Frogs is right here. As with the remade version featuring Fishy, the beginning starts out beautifully. PriZm’s guitar solo at 1:36 is definitely different than Fishy’s, but classic PriZm instead. Very reminiscent of his work on Summoning of Spirits; certain parts of Final Destination, in particular. The dual woodwinds at about 2:35 are just as beautiful. Very basic guitar at 3:10 until the end, just like in Fishy’s version.

5. Mustin – Inception (Shadow Battles)     4:06
The title of this track no doubt refers to the connection between dreams and the recent film of the same name. Very funky; would fit in on an album with Mysterious Groove on it. Excellent work by Mustin; no surprise there. Chiptune sounds at about 1:11 work with the track. A phenomenal remix right here. A bit of a solo begins at about 1:40. 2:20 brings in The Egg’s melody for more elaboration. The funkiness is prevalent throughout the track. Some ambience comes in at about 3:05, but only for a few seconds. It returns at 3:15, and vanishes again at 3:22. It returns once more at about 3:26, and fades for a quick false ending at 3:37. The song ends suddenly at 3:56.

6. Miku – Eagle Tower (Eagle’s Tower)     3:44
A beautiful piano rendition similar to Rexy’s work on the album proper. The main melody comes in at 0:22. The source is continually built upon in elegant fashion. The main source returns at about 1:50 in all its beauty. Everything slows down at 3:10, and continues in the same manner until the end at about 3:39.

CONCLUSION
Given the album’s long history (having originally begun in 2002 with an attempt to remix all 96 tracks present in the game’s sound file, then dying shortly after, coming back again again in 2005, dying again in 2007, and reviving one last time in 2008), one would think this album might never have been completed. Instead, it has become the Zero of OCR’s albums, persevering even through death to come to its completion. And it’s a good thing it has; the 19 tracks on the album are phenomenal, all staying within a restriction and doing it with style and aplomb. A phenomenal listen; all tracks are covered equally and in grand fashion. The six bonus tracks are a real treat, as they give an insight into the album’s history with two tracks that were replaced in the update, two that competed for the first track spot, and two that didn’t meet the restrictions but were too damn good to leave out. This is a must listen for both fans of the game and the soundtrack, for fans of the musicians, and for fans of remixes in general. Stellar work from all involved, whether they’re OCR regulars or total newcomers to the scene. It’s an album full of firsts, and all involved have made their mark, and much like Neil Armstrong’s footprint on the moon, it’s not going away any time soon.