Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Next Generation

The Grand Robot Master Remix Battle at OverClocked ReMix continued on Saturday as the submission deadline for Mega Man Bracket Round 2 was reached. Of the eight people set for the round, six successfully submitted their remixes before the deadline. TheGuitahHeroe’s combination of Bubble Man and Pump Man builds a rising ambiance with arpeggios that leads to a steady dance kick. Sir_NutS took the vocoded electro route with “Total Eclipse of the Sun”, a remix of Heat Man and Shade Man that would make Giorgio Moroder proud. The springing sounds in Brandon Strader’s entry punctuate layers of violins, followed by the inclusion of rock drums, guitars and flute.

Guitaring is also apparent in prophetik’s arrangement of the Spring Man and Splash Woman themes, along with strings and piano eventually accompanied by a funky beat and a bongo-filled interlude. Hylian Lemon continued the acoustic strumming streak with his “Save a Horse (Ride a Transformer)” emphasizing the off-beat for a reggae-like vibe, but switching to a more conventional rhythm at the halfway point. At the end of the bracket PrototypeRaptor unleashed his technorchestral “Hardly Clubbed to Death”, a blend of Nitro Man and Hard Man that could probably turn heads, or at least Rob Dougan’s.

Lazy Sunday Compo debuted at SolidComposer this week, providing a place for entrants who may not be able to attend competitions on other days. The theme was “The Beginning”, which inspired me to record a spoken-word rendition of my song of the same name. Amphibious delivered delay-affected piano accompanied by woodwind, paving the way for electronica. liquid wind’s pads are joined by earthy percussion loops, pan flute and layered with a synth drumkit. Due to a technical error, Steam Dreams uploaded a one-second entry consisting of a segment of violins. Another flub occurred with Xarnax42, who submitted two instances of his ambient entry. swordofdestiny went for moodness in his track “Onto Our Epic Journey” before dropping acid bass and a marching rhythm to go with an extended melody. MandraSigma faced the quandary of segueing to and from dubstep in his attempt to “Race the Sun”.

The Monday deadline for People’s Remixing Competition 195 was met with a larger-than-usual turnout. The Metal Gear spinoff Snake’s Revenge was chosen as the source tune for the round; incidentally an arrangement at OC ReMix is titled “Snake’s Revenge”, but is actually a remix of Metal Gear. Amphibious put up a rock take on the material embellished with synthesizer work and a mellow piano-backed section. Mizu recorded an electronic keyboard entry that picks up speed one third of the way in. Chevamiah implemented Daft Punk and dubstep influences for his remix, displaying vintage e-drum sounds and interplay between various synth instruments. The winner of the previous PRC round toilet goat submitted a bonus entry of trance featuring echoed claps. Gilleece’s track opens with strings, and then adds piano before smash-cutting to a rapid dance beat. marcusg completes the circle of entries with a hip-hop iteration of the tune, “Snake for fun”.

Tuesday’s JHCompo encountered a few website glitches, most particularly lag in the chat window. Despite the problems, the night brought in a dozen participants. I chose the “Hyperdrive” theme specifically due to the wide appeal of futuristic space settings for compos. After my quick read-through of the description, OverCoat initiated the “Warp to Zero!” using a set of emulated Sega Genesis instruments. liquid wind saw fit to make a song about “space cats” reminiscent of eastern ethnic music, lifted up with a drum machine. coda’s frantic “hyperfartX” drew comparison to Metal Gear Solid and features its own vocal narration of the night’s theme. Xarnax42 offered an appropriately spacey tune with dynamic arps and airy pads.

mv mixed roaring engines into his entry, characteristically using a broad spectrum of orchestral components and synths. Clockwerk called upon the “Interplanetary Space Police” with a rolling groove and gradually added electronic layers. ShinnyMetal showed off a lo-bit bassline, distortion and high pitched melodic lines. Jarski’s deliberately-flatted intro opens up to a wealth of un-tiss and chip-like harmonic elements. nysnamovois continued the oldskool video game vibe with his “Hard Wired” entry, which due to a site glitch was followed by over two minutes of silence. After the unintentional intermission, newcomer MisfitBYTE had his moment in the sun by putting up a loosely jointed collection of musical sounds. At the end of the listening party, MattInc fled through a “Wormhole” filled with subtle pads, low thumping and repeating motifs.

Trippycompo on Wednesday featured four entrants and a samplepack. The pack contained a variety of pitched clips as well as a song fragment and bits of percussion. bw offered up a bouncy composition with a song-like multiple section structure. MandraSigma submitted a laidback take on four-on-the-floor rhythm with cascading arpeggio. Storlek made prominent use of the song fragment from the samplepack, stuttering it to generate a tripped out effect. Finally GreaseMonkey’s “slow song” belied its name by being noticeably up-tempo, playing out sustained chords at a flat decay rate.

The theme for Thursday's OHC was "Larger Than Life", and in an unusual move included a description written as if part of dialogue. I used this as an opportunity to do a bit of voice acting for my entry. RAMPKORV's unabashedly obscene song title sets the mood for a minute of tickling the ivories. Forty-Two longed for a one-and-a-half-hour compo, but managed to upload an swingy tune with piano and violins tailed off by ambiance. DarkSim made it to the "Top of the World" with the help of elevated breakbeats. sci's e-piano intro leads the way to a chaotic assortment of styles, beats and a vocal clip. Arcana lays strings and synth to impart "My sadness on the world". In a self-proclaimed return to his roots, cyrilthewolf submitted a rock entry accompanied by an extended rap and metal singing. jarski followed up with corrosive bass and punchy drums. mv chose to express his "Badassery" via the power of chiptunes, slowing down the tempo to a crawl to end the track.

Ever since I’ve started blogging the compo experience, I’ve noticed there's been a new wave of sorts in terms of participants. A significant number of new names have joined the community while others has been absent. People come and go, but the huge amount of talent displayed remains the same.

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