Thursday, September 15, 2011

Boxing Around

Punchfest made its triumphant return this past week after an eight-month hiatus, as its theme brought about a fair amount of entries. For “The Rip-offs” the participants had to remix music from games that lifted ideas directly from other titles. auriplane sent along a solemn mixture of acoustic and electric strumming for his take on Battle of Olympus. Obtuse delivered a jazzy rendition of Darkwing Duck complete with a keyboarded flute sample, dollops of piano and organ. LuketheXjesse approached Bucky O’Hare using heavy guitar chords before laying down the drums, buzzy lead and a surprise ending for good measure. Prince of Darkness’s guitar works over disco rhythms in his Gunstar Heroes remix in a rollicking manner despite complaints in the listening party about the bass.

bjkmenu prepared a batch of “Turd Soup”, his arrangement medley of Diddy Kong Racing that opens with a synth chord and continues with shreddage inter-cutting portions of the original tracks. Tibone’s brief Rad Racer rendition was aptly described by a listener as “love making music” as a form of acoustic un-tiss. Snappleman adhered to a chippy soundbed as he arranged Neutopia before smashing into a rockier version as well as a dash of MJ near the end. Demonstray remixed Brain Lord in e-piano fashion garnished in lead guitar and sparse drumming, but picked up the pace later with a bit of chugging. Finally M-H forwent a conventional buildup or intro to dive into a remix of Lagoon, cooling off with some tom roll action.

People’s Remix Competition 202 featured two source tunes to remix, as the previous round ended in a tie for first place. Entrants could choose to arrange Mega Man Battle Network, a Star Fox 2 track, or both in the same entry. The tied winners were also allowed to participate as long as they remixed each other’s source tune instead of their own. OneUp fitted Mega Man into a dubstep format, making use of voice clips and sparse snare patterns commonly associated with the genre. chroxic used the lack of canonicity of Star Fox 2 as an excuse to interpret it as he saw fit; he worked in vocal samples in his moody, frenetic remix, anchored by growling electronic bass. Obtuse remarked on how the source composition affected his “big synths”, riding out the sonorities without percussion for almost half the duration until the kick drum drops. marcusg to had little time develop his arrangement and wished to have a harder sound, but submitted an otherwise distinctive rendition of that picks up steam near the end. Zerothemaster, a first-place entrant of round 201 opted to join, uploading his plucked and fittingly spacey version of Star Fox 2 with snippets of dialogue.

For JHCompo on Tuesday I selected “For a Cause” as the theme, perhaps as a nod to the events of ten years ago and how they prompted wars that are still fought today. nikola served his duty by presenting militaristic drums and horns before transitioning to a more dance-oriented vibe along with choir. Obtuse incorporated a bevy of soldier chatter and gun sound effects accompanied by synth chords and rumbling bass. Jarski stated that he made his entry on a “crappy laptop”, but nevertheless put up an effective DnB track featuring a shape-shifting low end. Newcomer LoneStar fired up his drum machine to make a headbobbing beat centered on the titular “Pew Pew” effect. mv revealed his “Unspeakable Truth” by way of cinematic orchestral befitting an epic battle. Mirby appeared near the end of the compo submission stage, but worked out some keyboarded riffs and an unexpected whistling session.

StatusD uploaded his first JHCompo entry and put a Korg Emx-1 to use for his track, centered on an unusual time signature considering its electronic dance roots. SonicThHedgog’s tune ruptures at the start, establishing the somber mood with solo piano and leading to a rush of strings signifying an ascent to “Black Ops Valhalla”. MandraSigma appeared with a hooky pop song about peace, pressing the matter by repeating “PEACE” several times; the second half changes gears with a uptempo drums and a series of grunts. At the end of the round, youngstrizzle presented a rap operetta about knights embarking on a journey to “conquer in the name of the kingdom.

Thursday's OHC used "Hope" as the theme for the night and I recorded my hopeful introduction, after which doctor Arcana provided a status update as his entry. Acuity was similarly unable to make to compo, and his ice-themed track was uploaded courtesy of DDRKirby(ISO). dusthillguy submitted his characteristic pitched vocal samples and spastic structure running just over half a minute. frkygp's methodical thuds and lo-bit kick and clap made for a decidedly dark take on hope. ancara22 made his first OHC entry putting together piano arpeggios with flute and soft strings. jarski again noted the failings of his laptop, but managed created a brief, competent dance tune. nikola went for evocative synth ambiance that ends in a major mode. Mirby continued her extemporaneous style, throwing in more whistling that could probably reach a cab driver a mile away.

sci looked to his trusty chips for his entry, presenting his harmonic construction by looping it multiple times. ItsMatt explored dense industrial with "Is All Hope Is Lost [Rads Mix]" referencing a world in the wake of nuclear war. zorg's alliteration bordered on obsession as he latched onto the letter D; his gentle composition is complemented by percussion partway through. General Mumble send along a orchestral-turned-electro cue that captured the hopelessness of being stranded miles away. CJthemusicdude took on a multi-faceted production, part of which included a sample of Cornel Campbell's "Boxing Around" per my request. siebensus4 submitted strings and filtered rhythm, thus declaring "I Try The Other Way".

Shadix took the opportunity to plug an upcoming event with his entry, though he did offer a song for critiquing. MandraSigma could have actually been "In Awkward Darkness" considering he left his description blank and uploaded a 32-second tune. Usabell on the other hand put forward inspiring words and a lush, expansive soundscape. DDRKirby(ISQ) turned on his Game Boy and subequently tore up the listening party to save the world from chaos. Rounding out the entries was Forty-Two who admittedly rushed the track out, but served an climactic blend of e-piano and pads.

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