Thursday, May 26, 2011

Demand and Panic

Saturday’s 2DC was an example of a compo round that existed purely out of demand. During the mixing stage of last week’s OHC, people expressed interest in the two-hour competition that until that point had sat in hiatus for weeks. After being repeatedly notified by name in IRC, Dyne fulfilled the request and created the Saturday round. The theme for the night was “Metal Dragons of the Apocalypse That Never Was”, a partial reference to the concurrent nonexistence of the Rapture. liquidwind submitted a moody mixture of low drum pounding, gritty bass and plunking lead riff. MickRip’s nimble guitar playing was complemented by his overdriven vocal, funky drumming and extended solo. ShrackAttack brought in arpeggiated lo-bit sounds supported by strings as well as harp lines. jarski signaled the end of the world and the listening party with a head-bobbing tune centered on filtered synth bass.

At OverClocked ReMix, Saturday was also the submission deadline for the Mega Man Bracket of the Grand Robot Master Remix Battle. Out of the 16 entrants signed up for the bracket, 14 successfully submitted tracks by the end of the mixing stage. TheGuitahHeroe delivered a pulsing dance rendition of the Wind Man theme, with Bubble Man serving as the breakdown. The subdued intro in Gario’s “Windswept Bubbles” leads to a snare-propelled arrangement with occasional gating on the melody. Starphoenix sent along an unfinished WIP due to technical and time constraints; his “Shocking Sewer” eventually pairs down to an unaccompanied lead instrument. Enigami similarly entered a sparse entry for Shade Man and Fire Man featuring violins, bass and a drum part. Anti-Syne threw down “Bombs Away!” melding the Heat Man riff with a four-on-the-floor beat and giving Bomb Man the lo-fi treatment. Sir_NutS chose an 80s synthdisco route as he ventured on a “Journey to the Sun”.

Chickenwarlord offered vocals with his “Ocean for Two” containing romantic lyrics such as “you’re not just another fish in the ocean…” Brandon Strader put aside his usual guitar and voice for a sweeping orchestral arrangement of Splash Woman and Wave Man. Draconiator’sSuncoils” goes through a shuffly dance beat covering the Solar Man and Spring Man themes. A rush of wind precedes SilvernixSP’s “Hard Breathe”, a combination of synthesizers and acoustic drum samples. prophetik took a “Spring into the Inferno” bringing along chugging guitar and acid bass. Hylian Lemon’s “Air Friction” is an up-tempo merger of Hard Man and Air Man that takes a chilled breather two-thirds of the way in. PrototypeRaptor laid down some electro-house with his “GroundBased” entry, additionally evoking the ghosts of chip’s past. The bracket rounded itself out with BlackPanther’sDirtBike” riding across of a field of breakbeats.

The Monday deadline for PRC194 pulled in three entrants for the round. The source tune chosen was from stage 4 of the NES game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. toilet goat submitted heavily reverbed piano, drum riffs punctuated by high string lines and continued with electronic lead work and guitar shredding. marcusg starts off with unaccompanied melody using delay effects and eventually puts in the Amen break to bring the Turtles to the jungle. The third and final track came from chroxic, who admitted to being short on time and sent along a lowpass-muffled entry that unfurls to become a danceable rhythm.

For Tuesday’s JHC, I chose the “Let’s Wrestle” theme as a tribute to the recent passing of "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Following my spoken-word entry, coda melded orchestra hits with guitar chords in his tribute to dog wrestling. A familiar clanky sample clip pervades MandraSigma’s aptly-named entry “46 Second KO”. OverCoat’s entry description wonders (in Spanish) why he decided to explore house music for a wrestling theme. CFX Music delved into electro and ambient crowd sounds for his track along with seemingly incongruous baseball stadium organ. chunter submitted a marred render of his piece, unintentionally creating rhythmic glitch effects in the process. mu danced it up with his “shiba” using vocoder and compressed synth. Andy Kelley also used crowd sounds for his electronic entry, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the Lipps Inc song “Funkytown”. Finally irrelevnt showed off an avant-garde mixture of voice clips, extemporaneous drumming and various other instruments.

Trippycompo took place on Wednesday, based on a “refridualpack” given out to the entrants. The sample pack consisted of various snare-like clips and looped electronic tones, one of which resembled a distant ship horn. Despite the small turnout that night, a listening party went on for the two entries submitted. MandraSigma uploaded the dancey, staccato-filled “The assiest castle”, reflecting his thoughts about the track when he composed it. Not to be outdone by Mandra’s self-deprecation, null1024 stated that he “felt tonedeaf composing” his tune titled “time is an issue”, which holds a consistent groove until the tapestop-like ending.

OHC on Thursday featured “The Avalanche” as a theme, as well as a noticeable typo in the description that was quickly rectified. DDRKirby(ISQ) had to leave quickly and submitted an industrial tune in ten minutes. He unwittingly created an overture for the vocal narration of my entry “Don’t Panic”, in which I chuckled as I recalled the theme typo. Jakesnke17 brought about pounding percussion and strings, ending with ominous rumbling and a solitary deep note. dusthillguy's track joins together slappy bass with a hihat pattern and e-choir for a laidback piece that opens up halfway through to relentless arps. RAMPKORV's entry-that-must-not-be-named contains layers of bouncy piano, electric burbling and vocal muttering. Arcana also had to compose in a hurry due to attending a conference, displaying 30 seconds of synth elements.

sci's track is a trip-hop-induced foray through random segments including my reading of the word avalanche. Flik broke out of compo dormancy and uploaded an ambient composition, wondering "how does this go again?" melody similarly appeared after a significant absence with a piano-laden bit of funk. Rounding out the trio of long-time-no-seers was ProjectSpam joining in with a sung tribute to the "Rain In Alaska". Usabell generated a weave of vocal harmonies building to a forceful beat that quickens as the song continues. bjkmenu showed up to sing and strum his entry for an appreciative audience. Rising pads and wind effects flood CJthemusicdude's track before going into drum-centric middle section. jarski tossed in a frantic dance number with a climatic cymbal crash. Acuity's somber-then-pumping "Haunted Snowslide" served to notify listeners of the entrant's impending departure until July. mv fittingly appeared as the final tune for the night with a minimal and evocative submission, "The Cold End".

I recently read a book about the art of memory and how visual imagery can help with storing events in the mind. Now that I think about it, my fondest compo memories are often associated with things I see in my mind's eye. Invariably I imagine smiling faces and laughter when competitions are on; they never cease to be fun.

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