Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lick Doo

People’s Remixing Competition 210 yet again featured two source selections for participants to tackle. They came from competing consoles: The Mantra theme comes from Faxanadu, an NES title, while Dessert Factory is from Castle of Illusion on the Sega Master System. DjMokram brought out more electro to experiment with for his take on Mantra, which takes on a dark tone and brief rides an accented beat. evktalo remixed Desert Factory with the aid of Pleiade with a tripped out hip hop style with a series of distorted effects. Zerothemaster made his first full song in FL Studio and worked out a lo-fi arrangement that opens up to a session of hard unt-tiss. chroxic rounded things out with an attempt at gabber that comes off as four-on-the-floor with an occasional jump in tempo. 

JHCompo on Tuesday benefitted from the infusion of Luelinks forum regulars who discovered the SolidComposer system; the LLCompo Battle 1 had reached a turnout of nearly 30 entries the previous Sunday. For the JHCompo the theme dealt the stun of a “Heavy Hit” which the participant would have to recover from. MandraSigma got the “Wind Knocked Out” of him, which led to his foray into stomping buzz and synth with a touch of spoken word. Tomapella mellowed out at the thought of continuing in his bruised state, offering a loungey jazz tune and plenty of muted trumpet with sax. rwarman007 started off with a stirring chord of strings as a ebb of piano comes to the forefront alongside an industrial soundscape. Darangen successfully salvaged his rock tune after a DAW crash, ensuring that his shreds could be heard throughout the internet. SherwinBoshi’s entry seems to share elements of electrofunk and dubstep covered in crunky rap phrases.  

dusthillguy delivered a PowerPoint presentation of nostalgic sounds and a final, guttural exclamation. liquid wind broke out the tribal drums for a low-slung rhythm interspersed with piano and electronic riffs. Jarski sent out an entry made in sixty minutes of the compo, promptly shaking the listening party into a head-bobbing state. Kay Faraday urged to fight back, pressing the point using arpeggios of unusual meter, sliding melodic lines and organ. housethegrate submitted some 5/4 of his own in the form of funk rock that settles into 4/4 for the finish. maghikal ushered in waves of pads eventually joined by spaced out snare accents and an ending that cuts off. mu apparently put a glitched out ringtone to an acoustic beat when he made his visit to a “strange tree”. At the end of the listening party SonicThHedgog hurried to get quarters before the “Continue” screen went out, and someone uploaded a Kyuss song from 1994

Thursday’s OHC felt like a rush for the entrants, or at least a long list of puns based on "The Rush" theme. BrandonS admitted to forgetting about the compo, but fittingly rushed out a quick bit of guitarist. starla unwittingly collaborating with DDRKirbyISQ as meshed her track from last week into a new arrangement. Acuity was high on coffee beans as he worked on his track and rose his BooBass to unprecedented heights. Suzumebachi eased back as his broadband allowed him post a meme image and produce his dance music well within the deadline. JackShine's pounding piano tone leads to a flourish of lines and sonorites. Obtuse continued his Famitracker phase and bookended his track with vocal samples indicating the start of a race. Fusion2004 caused everyone to lose the game with his buzzy bass, trance-rhythm chords and gradually speeding tempo. Flaedr had a lot on his plate during the hour and thus only had time for 20 seconds of piano followed by a glowstick-friendly remainder. 

Shael Riley paid a visit with a chip composition that I swore I'd heard before in a keygen, not that I would ever use such a thing. sci cranked up the tempo on his lo-bit stylings, unwilling to transport the pace to its destination. CJthemusicdude incorporated elements of two artists of the arrangement community, Jarski and zircon, just cuz he could. isidor3 debuted on OHC primarily through his guitar and his sample drums including "Lots 'o' Flange". Forty-Two set up sparse ambiance punctuated by bells and flute and ultimately a flurry of hi-hats. DDRKirby(ISQ)'s entry proper featured chiptune soundscapes produced not in Famitracker but in his humble compo of FL Studio. Rayza sampled Alice in Wonderland and ran through the city to a frantic beat as he checked his pocket watch. Arcana ventured in hyperspeed with his characteristically slanted drum intonation and extended synth solos.

Bren's majestic horns gave way to his sequenced guitar-like leads and ear-catching chord progressions. Shadix scored an episode of "To Catch a Predator" complete with siren-filled dance interlude and a passing airplane. Hapi-San raised the tension with frenetic percussion and repeating motifs for the daily commute. HarryNilsson'sGhost decided to cook a casserole instead of participating the compo, but soon became worried that he would be left out and thus wrote a tune about the whole ordeal. jarski felt he lacked time but nevertheless pushed out a pulsing track with flares of brass. starla continued her return to compotune creating by submitting an overdriven set of lyrics and touches of harpsichords. munchi interpret the rarely-spoken aftermath of Super Mario's death as the plumber dash upward to the pearly gates. Finally MandraSigma danced and gasped along a gauntlet of kicks and snares and didn't slow down.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Life Without Autotune

On the cusp of SOPA-related Internet blackouts, JHCompo on Tuesday brought everyone involved to a higher plane of existence with its “Meditation” theme. Newcomer davidisaaclewis went right to work building ambient howls indicating the utterances of a monk. Obtuse launched an 8-bit excursion given away by its rigorously conformed waveform shown on the SolidComposer page. jesm04 explained that his trip hop track “Drown” symbolizes the immersion he associates with a  meditate state. MandraSigma’s vocoder expressed “I Am Thinking” along with rapid stuttering bongos and a burst of gain. WVI took my vocal narration style to X-rated territory for his entry, but exported it as a nearly-inaudible recording. 

housethegrate’s laidback blues rock was a natural fit for the theme, and thus was of “The Watercourse Mind”. B-Type made a rare appearance and preceded his rap with a film clip that he admittedly squandered time searching for. coda perhaps reached the zenith of dog-named compositions with his arp-filled “doga”, a contraction of dog and yoga. liikwiid pondered the place in the middle of sleep and awake via a drone sprinkled with sharp, delayed strums. zebra made use of silences punctuated by metallic groan as he ventured to find “illumination”. irrelevnt wish for a new computer, but nevertheless resonated with friends of wood and various guitar sounds. MaxVdub plugged in his Rhodes and worked out a pop song that moves into a faster rockier section about “Deliberating”. 

ProjektZero returned offering an entry featuring multiple movement culminating in admission that he “Can’t make you go away…” Shadix put up a pastiche with his “Intermediate Metroid” sending off waves of granulation that lead to a wall of tribal thuds and piano. Kay Faraday channeled his inner guru by way of sitar and a formant synth emulating the sonorous wailing of a Middle Eastern singer. SonicThHedgog took the “Longest Shortcut” by first laying thick keyboard chords and then wubbing away to a beat and throwing in random shreds. Coming in late to the party was mu who created a moody electro piece pulsing along with guitar riffs before fading out.

Thursday’s OHC pitched its theme with grand verbosity summing up with the phrase "What once was great is now gone." Following my "Once Great Introduction", dusthillguy deftly noodled some chords and melodic lines, possibly whilst cocking his guitar in different directions. Obtuse summoned his inner funkateer and made the listening party bounce thanks to his basslines and violin sections. JackShine used piano to convey the fall of Icarus, and used the moment to announce his compo hiatus. zorg whipped together a quick foray into electric riffing due to the purported pain of handling instruments. trenthian's organ and guitar layered together with strings and steady drums coupled with cat meows. 

Forty-Two's entry is probably what harmonious phones would sound like guided under pads and the occasional distant bell. elsalluz showed off the result of his musical studies with theoretical breakdown of his arpeggio'd composition. Fusion2004's entry drew comparisons to The Sims, with a discussion that led to the nonsequitur "sandwich house". Arcana at one point confessed that he randomly pressed button while he made his slow tempo track deciding "To Go Out with a Whimper". sci made a brief track, seemingly drained by an unseen force but still displaying his distinctive style. Inevitably, an anti-SOPA message came about from ignious64 in the form of a song created in FL studio. 

DDRKirby(ISQ) had such a positive response to his electronic track that a listener beckoned him to inquire about joining the MAGFest XI performer lineup. BrownPony explored "the past" with an incomplete yet moving series of synth staccatos. Zovi ran into a problem with the upload size limit, but display his dissonance and irregular meter through an external link. BrandonS reminded people that Bill Cosby is still alive, using clips of him coupled with Brandon's layered work and additional vocoder. Acuity's delay-piano set the mood for a session of glitch-hop underscored by synth buzz and danciness. Flaedr made a straightforward piece and referenced the previous "fzfzfz" theme in the process. 

Hapi-San's orchestral tune supports the concept of being uplifted, and later the weight of being let down. munchi snatch an older coda entry and incorporated into his work, but not before shortening it. scibot9000 put down some glitch effects, possibly due to erratic programming. LuketheXjesse's "Angel of Death" is fittingly a cover of the Slayer song "Angel of Death", forgoing vocals in Luke's version. After a lengthy hiatus and a few near-attempts, the compo organizer starla submitted a song; a piano-backed ballad topped with her reputable vocals. MandraSigma sent an astronaut to the lunar surface using frantic e-funk laced with samples of himself singing. At the end of the listening party there appeared moremunchi offering a practice session of rushing sweeps.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Being Duosis

People’s Remixing Competition 209 benefitted from a rebound of attendance following the holiday season. This was perhaps due to the dual source selections; entrants could choose to remix either Sonic the Hedgehog 2 or Bahamut Lagoon for the round. sggod89 went for the latter game, infusing the material with hard rock sounds and flourishes of orchestral toward the end. DjMokram also trudged along the Desert Land Daphira displaying his arrangement skill with a rare electronic take on the tune. The only Sonic 2 remix came from evktalo, who mostly worked with the MIDI file to create his entry. The Soundevotion Competition had a smaller-than-usual turnout of two entries; Shadowbane put together his industrial track between Christmas festivities and his own birthday, while chunter composed a light affair with guitar treatment. 

JHCompo on Tuesday offered a chance for a “Clean” start in its theme, or the option to get dirty. DJ Sombrero made his return to with his signature blend of latin riffs and electro, wondering in Spanish why he had to wash up the place. liquid wind debated the value of “shampoo vs conditioner” by way of frantic piano ending on a 3-4-5-1-8. MandraSigma made sure his chip music had been thoroughly cleaned before applying breakbeats and choir. Kay Faraday settled on family-friendly television programming intercut with snow static between channels. Finally SonicThHedgog broke out the keyboard-and-guitar style reminiscent of the Sonic Adventure games, but not before attempting to game the system by facetiously asking for more time.

Thursday’s OHC had a slight mishap as the organizer starla inadvertently left up “fzfzfz” as a theme. This was shortly changed to “Hit the ground running”, but not before a group of entrants had settled on the former. After my "Running Introduction", dusthillguy made an intro of his own taking my vocal and taking it in a different direction. CJthemusicdude cranked up the jungle beats and ended by reiterating DHG's direction, albeit more intensely. LuketheXjesse's metal offering had a description that broke the compo page due to a unending line of "fzfzfz..." Acuity took the theme to mean a noise channel, which he incorporated into a pounding chip tune. frkygp picked up the torch immediately after with an 8-bit dance session of his own. JackShine apparently caught word of the previous JHCompo theme, and showered partway though the OHC round to create some electronic.

Forty-Two clarified that he was indeed following "fzfzfz" and submitted a sequel to his "Lonely Technology" using lush arpeggios and ambiance. Fusion2004 applied gymnastics to his composition with swelling strings that lead to blips and a steady snare. BrandonS improvised a meta-song about composing a song for the compo, gradually altering the intonation and tone of his singing as he went along. Suzumebachi made his first submission since upgrading to broadband Internet; he surprised himself as his electro track sampling my vocal had uploaded within seconds. Bartekko presented a slightly detuned treblestep piece that could be categorized as both fzical and runny. Duosis sampled the "plop plop fizz fizz" Alka Seltzer jingle to create a brief interlude. Flaedr similar sampled vocal clips, but with a manic amount of pitch shifting via Melodyne.
General Mumble was one of the people thrown off by the changing theme, and thus settled on a remix of Queenstons and Casey Lalonde. Shadix discovered a seabed of music narrated by a genteel accent that gives way to lo-bit upfront harmonies. Arcana interpreted fzfzfz as a lost radio signal for an onset of bloops and bassy thuds. sci's opening field recording lends itself to heavily reverberated harmonic elements. Foozogz presumably felt obligated to participate for his fz-like namesake and thus served up a rushing sweep and frantic beats. A pair of  DDRKirbyISQ entries followed: one based on the theme, and the other a demo reel accompanied by a newsletter. The night ended with Destroid modifying the formant of my voice, and MandraSigma going "Free for All" with a breezy synth excursion.

For a while I had been secretly composing for compos under the name Duosis. The reason for this was to see if feedback for my work would differ than that of music submitted under my usual name. It also allowed me to explore methods of production that I normally would not have tried. After a creating few entries, I focused on polishing the existing material as well as creating new tracks specifically for an album. That album is The Duosis Sessions, available now at my music page.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Start This Again

The start of the year came with an assortment of music ensuring a bright 2012. Dwelling of Duels ushered in a battle between Nintendo and Sega: participate could choose to remix game music from either company for the round in time for a listening party at MAGFest. The turnout totaled twenty-five and leaned more toward Nintendo in amount. This past week also brought in another round of the Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet. The source selected was the Wily Stage 2 theme from Mega Man 9, and a total nine entries were submitted.

JHCompo on Tuesday occurred on the cusp of MAG festivities, as particularity evident by the elation of the entrants. I chose “Rescue” for the theme, leaving it open for super-heroism if the composers saw fit. cjthemusicdude followed my brief narration with synth-hop piece of his own, citing busyness for the shortness. Jakesnke17 experimented by creating a solo piano composition, much to the surprise and delight of the listeners that night. MandraSigma described his entry as more embarrassing than his pop song “Peace”; in “Awkward Hero of Old” a thin voice yelps “I'll save you... Or whatever. nikola embarked “On an Adventurous Mission” sailing the seas to rescue a damsel with the help of woodwinds.
coda’s track comes off a cross between Superman and Indiana Jones with a majestic flair of orchestral brass. Evil Shrubbery melted synth bass with guitar shreds, and coincidentally ended with a speed up as coda did. Newcomer Argh! admitted to copying and pasting much of his electronic track, taking advantage of the established groove. SonicThHedgog took a page out of Daft Punk’s book by submitting a pounding house track with Moog riffs. Finally Kay Faraday did his best to salvage his “Sinking Ship” but nevertheless put up his synth-laden tune before it sank. 

Thursday’s OHC followed up on "The Finale" theme of previous week with "New Beginning". dusthillguy made a quick entry due to setbacks, but managed to put out his distinctive style of quirky instruments. JackShine marked his new beginning by way of supersaws that sound like bells and constant arpeggio. Scootabag was asked in the listening party whether name referred to a "bag of scoots"; his answer came in the form of a flower encoded in 8-bit. elsalluz uploaded a Wild Arms WIP described by the party as "organy" and it began, then opens up to an orchestral arrangement.  

sci's cryptic description set the mood for this warm, slightly detuned instruments. djtuBIG-MaliceX gave up on the idea of a new beginning and declare "There is no change' accompanied by loungy drums and heavily reverberated keyboard. Arcana put a timer on his start to a new way of life, scoring a lush soundscape punctuated by pizzicato strings. CJthemusicdude suffered another pitfall as his creativity was sapped, thus settling on trance. DDRKirby(ISQ) fired off a blast of chips that rocked the dance floor and took to ambiance in the same track.

Forty-Two washed ashore with flutes and percussion instruments and remarked "I dunno", perhaps echoing the opening scene of Inception. td244 wrote a somber piano-centric piece and ushered readers of his description to go on. Acuity was at an airport due to a delay on his flight, and took the moment to server up some blips with punchy drums that come in halfway through. Jakesnke17 made another go at the ivories, this time joined with strings, oboe and brass. At the end of the night munchi fought the boss, and ran out of quarters as the "Continue" music reared its head.