Rise Up To The Music! A Review of DjjD’s Uprising

And now, with her inevitable return to the realm of reviewing, it’s Taylor Brown, alias Mirby!! Ahem. DjjD, alias Jakesnke17, he of the perfect end quotes, asked me to review his upcoming album for him. This would be okay, if it weren’t for the fact that he asked me back in February. It’s June now, and after a couple of months sans headphones, a vital device in my trade, I’m fully equipped and ready to clear the backlog of albums that came out in the intervening time. First up, it’s the truly long awaited review of DjjD’s album, Uprising!!

1. “Upon The Edge” 3:04
Starts out pretty nice. Nice rhythm, and some distortion comes in at about 0:15. I can’t help but groove to this song, and I’m not even a minute in yet! I hope the rest of this album is this epic. Slight slowdown at about 1:17. Rhythm returns at 1:45 or so. Some new melody comes in at about 2:22. Slowdown at 2:44 to prepare for the end twenty seconds later.

2. “Waves” 3:10
Oooh! Distortion! Sweet chippy distortion!! More headbopping ensues. Minor explosion at 0:38, and everything begins to return at 0:44, and builds from there. More instrumentation at 1:14 or so. More instrumentation at 2:00 or so. The end begins at about 2:36, and building begins at about 2:44 until it dies at 2:57.

3. “As Time Goes By…” 4:18
Nice echoing effects used here for the intro. Some humming comes in at about 0:15, more instrumentation at 0:30. Drums at 0:50 or so. Calms down at about 1:20. Some instrumentation returns at 1:48 or so. This is a beautiful track right here. Drums return at 2:13. The backing tracks complement the main part so well. Another slight breakdown at about 2:58, only to build back up slowly starting at 3:10 or so. Not by much though, as the final minute is quite mellow.

4. “Timeshift” 2:36
Drums kick in right away, no pun intended. Nice choice of instruments here. More instrumentation at 0:46 or so, and more at 1:01. Calm spot at 1:10 or so until 1:15, when instruments return. More calmness at 2:00 or so, continuing until the end.

5. “Just Hold On (Snkermx)” 4:26
Starts out right away, with drums activating at 0:10 or so. Some chimes kick in at about 0:36. Vocals at 1:20 or so. Definitely not Jake singing, and if so, that’s one hell of a talent he’s got. Small breakdown at about 1:55 until 2:14 when instruments return slowly. Chippy effects at 2:26. Harder drums at 2:32 or so. There’s a nice backing melody starting somewhere in the early 3 minute range. The finale builds up at 3:58 or so, and culminates at 4:18, with a fade to silence.

6. “Brazil (Snkermx)” 3:23
Solid drums, and the main melody really takes effect at 0:38 or so. Small breakdown at about 1:08. This track jumps around a bit between heavy  backing beats and nothing there at all. There’s also a melody strongly reminiscent of Metal Man’s Stage throughout. Slow fadeout starting at 3:06 until the end.

7. “Creepin’ Through” 4:00
Big backing beats begin this song. Instrumentation at about 0:22. Some melody starts at 0:38. More at 0:53 or so. After a small breakdown, melody returns at 1:38 or so. Small breakdown at 2:06. only to return and build up. Percussion returns at 2:18 or so. More melody returns at 2:53 or so. The end begins at 3:35.

8. “Future” 2:02
I see this track name and think of the Future stages from Crash 3, such as Future Frenzy. Starts at 0:10, with percussion at 0:22 or so. After a brief intro to a beat, everything comes together at 0:52 or so. A brief track, but a good one with a solid structure. The end begins at 1:48 for this one.

9. “Futile” 2:27
What’s futile? Reviewing this? I sure hope not! Anywho, beat starts out immediately, and some slight instrumentation at 0:14 or so, and builds in volume. Main melody at 0:38 or so. It all explodes musically at 0:52, only to briefly break down from 1:10 to 1:18 or so. The end is surely near at 1:54, and suspicions are confirmed at 2:07.

10. “All Robots Destroyed” 2:25
I was expecting a Mega Man game clear jingle, to be honest. Instead, there’s a track with an industrial jungle feel to it. Main melody at 0:31 or so. Some backing ambience at 0:48 really rounds out the soundscape, giving it a nice rich sound. Slight breakdown at 1:44, heralding the impending finale. Which starts at 2:04, with fading.

11. “Club Named – Chill” 1:48
And now for the shortest track on the disc. This is a very calm, chill track, as one would expect from the title. Some percussion at 0:54. More backing ambience at 1:10 or so. Slowly ends for the last ten seconds.

12. “The Storm is Rising…” 3:00
Hard beats here kick this track off. These are some heavy drums! The storm must be rising because of this rain dance here. Some ambience at 0:54 builds up slowly, and the drums lose volume at 1:03 or so. This is a very ominous-sounding track. I’m visualizing some people going to kill some other people in a thunderstorm right now due to this track. More instrumentation at 1:47. Very intense sounding. Returns to the percussive start at 2:25, and continues until the end.

13. “Terror and Relief” 2:46
I’m relieved that the rain dance is over. No rain, so something must’ve gone wrong. Eh, no matter, this next track is good. After an ambient beginning, some instrumentation kicks in at 0:32. Drums at 0:42. Some more orchestral stuff at 1:05 or so. Some melody at 1:26. The end starts to build at 2:25 or so.

14. “Deserted” 3:13
This song sounds very nice. I’m enjoying the instruments chosen for this. After the base is laid down, some melody comes in at 0:55 or so. If I was ever deserted somewhere isolated, I’d want this song to play mysteriously out of thin air. As background music. Breakdown at about 1:58. It all returns at 2:12 or so. The framework for the final seconds is set down at 3:01.

15. “Unknown Path” 2:52
Is the unknown path that fabled left turn at Alberquerque? Nice melody to start with here. Some orchestration at 0:32. This song just builds up, until 1:10, when it really begins. The percussion in this track is nice. More orchestration at 1:52. I don’t even know if orchestration is a word, but if not then it totally is now. The end begins at 2:10 or so, and slowly builds up until 2:36 when it all comes crashing down.

16. “Serene Chaos” 3:06
This sure starts out serene, but where’s the chaotic scramble of dissonance? Instruments kick in at 0:42. Sounds like something’s coming later in this song, the way the orchestration is building up. It slows down at 2:09 or so, but it still has a sense of something impending. Okay, I am dissapoint. There was no chaos in that song! REFUND! I DEMAND A RE-oh, wait. I didn’t pay for this because DjjD sent it to me. Next song!

17. “Forest of Life” 3:43
This has a nice natural feel to it. Some melodious chiming starts the song off, with orchestration at 0:20. Slight breakdown at 0:58 or so. It’s a true breakdown at 1:38, when the notes themselves become choppy, and are replaced by their 8-bit equivalents!! Talk about a downgrade, but in this case I think it’s a real boon. Chiptunes make everything better! And happier too! 2:35 kicks the instrumental bits right back up to their full-fledged selves. It starts to fade out at 3:36.

18. “Fall Has Come” 2:36
What fall? The fall of the Roman Empire? The Ottoman Empire? The season? No idea, but it’s fodder for a fantastical track. Melody at 0:32 or so, with orchestration at 0:45 or so. Percussion at 1:02. Slight breakdown at 1:48 or so. Some orchestration sends this track off, starting at 2:10 or so.

19. “Driven (Remix)”    4:51
Wait, my media player lists this as by Geeky Stoner! No matter, I’ll review it the same. It’s a nice track, with a solid beat which really kicks in with extra percussion at 0:32. Slight breakdown at 1:04. Speaking of geeky stoners, I know quite a few of them. Myself included, heh. Slight change-up at 1:20. Make that a chippy change-up. Another breakdown at 2:25 or so. Some melody returns at 2:45 or so. It explodes with more distorted effects around the 3:15 mark. And quiets down at 3:45. Beeping at 3:54, and percussion at 4:00. This just marks what become the eventual fade at 4:40, which isolates the beeps for the finale.

20. “Think ‘Bout It”    1:59
CHIPTUNA!! Perfect for a bonus track, and the main melody is epic. You don’t even have to think ’bout it to know this. Okay, that was bad. Slight breakdown at 0:58 or so. Chippiness returns at 1:15 or so. This is the funnest song I’ve heard in a while, but the Pixel Perfect LP may change that. The final begins at 1:48 in much the same way as the previous track.

Well, it may have taken me a while to get around to this, but I think it was well worth the wait. I promise that after this, my reviews will be more timely and current. Anyways, this was a very well done album, with that surprise guest track by Geeky Stoner. The tracks are beautiful, and will surely find their way onto my MP3 player as they should to yours as well. Great work by DjjD, and Geeky Stoner as well for his track. The next course is a double helping of halc. Yep, it’s another double review, this time of halc’s Pixel Perfect LP, fitting since his EP was in the other double review, and his directorial debut with The Sound of Speed, OverClocked ReMix’s Sonic the Hedgehog album. Until then, game on!!

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!


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.


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.


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!!