Saturday, June 23, 2012

This Is What Happened

As the summer swelters on, some music competitions rose up while others cooled off. Battle of the Bits continued its trend of blunt and direct names for rounds with “You Did Not Get This Far to Not Rock Out”. One track from this battle had a revealing title: “I first submitted before this compo started”. On the other hand, Svetlana ran the less descriptively titled “OHC#00898” and submitted the track “short-and-stupid” to it for good measure. Meanwhile the Swapalbum project was underway recruiting participants. Unlike most compos, the goal in Swap is to pass along works in progress to multiple people, each contributing to the track until it is complete.

Sonic Zone Remix Competition rolled out another batch of remixes as it reached round four of the Sonic Bracket. The road to glory became narrower as the tournament funneled to two entries: Amphibious and Xenon Odyssey’s track opens with mellow Rhodes action, and then opens up the soundscape to acoustic drumming, synthetic riffing and undulating saxophone with piano. Rexy and Phonetic Hero began their collaboration with the familiar chips of the past before laying down the beats amid a swarm of in-game sound effects. 

JHCompo on Tuesday lumbered into the “Land of the Dinosaurs” introduced by way of a narration backed by the Dinosaurs TV show theme song. dusthillguy was the first musical entry in, and he delivered his usual flurry of eccentric clips and instruments. ProjektZero return from hiatus to recite the definition of an extinction event, coupled with layers of rhythmic tonalities. mistermv also came back to the party, rousing up a sonic shrill leading into a cinematic score. Roseweave submitted what at first seemed like a straightforward track, but trolls its way into the entirety of George Clinton and The Goombas“Walk the Dinosaur”. At the end of the listening party SonicThHedgog played along on his guitar until he met his unfortunate demise to the jaws of a T-Rex. 

Thursday’s OHC settled on the teachings of ob-li-di ob-la-da as “Life passes you by”. In a rare display for OHC, the theme was accompanied by images: they consisted of time lapse photography of moving vehicles. natsukashi started things off with a description that seems scientific but at best contradicts itself; the song trips its way across a field of breakbeats an ambience. LavenderHarmony sent up a lavish orchestral take on the theme, noting that it could have benefitted from an intermediate section between the first and second halves. IXI took a moment to reflect on the meaning of time, but then put his thoughts aside for the sake of groove. 

An unofficial sub-theme for the night seemed to be abundance of pianos: seventhelement battled his ailing computer to get his keys going; A2Z dipped his ivories into heavy delay and deep pads; Misael.K ran what sounded like an ambulance siren throughout his tinkling notes; and DucksUnlimited sang over a recording of The Beatles’ “In My Life”, known for its sped-up piano during the song’s bridge. Duosis used gratuitous samples of Five for Fighting’s “100 Years” and capped it off with an obscure Ali G clip before finally putting into some electro. Finally jarski sent along a bonus track perhaps best described as he put it: “wind scene dnb remix”.

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