Friday, April 29, 2011

Voice of a Generation

A week went by without a 2DC round, followed by a lack of turnout in the month's ORC. A single entrant managed to submit an entry in PRC192, however; beckett007 put out an arrangement of Laboratory Ruins from the Batman NES game. His take on the source features a lush orchestral sound punctuated with a constant synth riff from the original. The track would not be out of place in an actual Batman film score. Beckett himself stated that reworking the video game track into a "cinematic style" was a challenge to him, although a welcome one. The high production values caused someone from the PRC forum thread to surmise that the remix "successfully scared away all competition".

The drought of participation in PRC struck me as particularly disheartening, considering the quality of the work generated specifically for it. A number of OverClocked ReMix arrangements originated from PRC: Showroom Dummy's mix "Pixelated Tales" took first place back in PRC119 and later made it into the annals of OCR. jmr revised his Super Mario Galaxy remix from PRC141 and went on to become a posted ReMixer. diotrans similarly polished her PRC156 entry and submitted it to the site, then created a music video for it with the help of members of the community.

Tuesday's JHC featured not one, but two self-disqualified entries composed prior to the start of the round. Dash clarified that his track was not created for that night, but felt that it fit the "Becoming a Machine" theme. The composition itself melded minimal synthesizers with acoustic drum sounds. dusthillguy offered a somewhat disjointed mixture of guitar strumming and spaced out percussion for his "Penis life 2". OverCoat humorously claimed that I selected the JHC theme deliberately to play to his strengths, as he previously released two cyberpunk-themed EPs; he inevitably served up an industrial entry. Pez busted out the iOS app Nanoloop to create a chip tune on his birthday.

Jacob developed a three-part composition: each section represents a phase in a transformative operation, culminating in a funk-laden outro for the "fun results". ProjectZero's track uses layered, distorted vocals along with harsh synth textures and glitch effects to express the absence of humanity. A series of motorized sounds fill the aural landscape in irrelevnt's "soul of what machine?" with an undertow of bass guitar, pads, rhythmic patterns and Vocaloid singing. mv's defiant entry description reflected what he composed, a blend of mellow electronic and militant orchestral music. The second disqualification of the night was from Smokie, who admitted the track was written beforehand and originally about zombies. The listening party ended with a brief entry from MandraSigma fitting the theme well with its mechanical style and continuous striking of snare.

OHC on Thursday featured "The Ultimate Power" as a theme, and I put together "The Ultimate Intro" as a response. My spoken-word entry recites the compo round description as well as comments starla made shortly after it was announced. When my narration method was referred to as a gimmick, I quickly responded that I "am
the voice of the compo generation". Judging by my recording that night, that voice seems a bit sleepy. Kaxon produced a miniscule piano piece attributed to "getting distracted". Relative newcomer Tomapella brought out a quirky collection of synth sounds via soundfonts. Based on chords suggested by starla, bjkmenu uploaded his signature improvisational guitar and vocal stylings.

Draconiator succeded in breaking it down with an uncannily familiar vocal phrase repeating throughout his tune. Arcana delved into a track combining string sections with a minimal groove. Bren deftly presented more than one reference to video games in his entry whilst maintaining his knack for chord progressions. sci's dance entry worked in a flurry of vocal samples alongside lo-bit melodic lines. Flexstyle conveyed power though a frenetic drum and bass entry in his "Power Trip". Fusion2004 took the opportunity to record himself singing amongst orchestral jabs.

CJthemusicdude put down a sound effects-filled intro, Super Mario rap, human beatboxing and piano noodling. A marching drumline comes to mind when listening to Forty-Two's take on the theme, accompanied by an effective backdrop of keys and strings. Usabell showed off his prowess yet again with a medley jumping between different genres of music. Jakesnke17 easily exhibited "The Power of Groove", prompting a listener to "wish there was a club where they only played Jakesnke17". mv interpreted the theme as the power of resurrection, taking a breather partway into his entry to display a series of pizzicato violins.

DDRKirby(ISQ) evoked a sense of mystery before throwing up a flash of 3-4-5-1-8, 2 Unlimited's "Get Ready for This" and several other surprises. jarski submitted a breakbeat track boasting lack of melody while td244 went for the superhero route with a bombastic film score-like composition. An eerie sense of foreboding rises in ShrackAttack's track, meant to represent a powerful tyrant whose days are numbered. Suzumebachi returned from compo hiatus with a nostalgic work driven by vintage keyboard sounds. MeteoXavier entered OHC for the first using various elements of an orchestra. Finally Acuity resubmitted his entry, revising the vocal for his dubstep.

When I sought out advice for my writing, I came across a striking quote from Ray Radbury: "You must write every single day of your life." I guess I owe it to myself to use the power bestowed to me by some crazy old Asian guy.

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