Saturday, July 7, 2012

Welcome to Earth

Battle of the Bits had a small handful of battles in the past few days, not the least of which was the seemingly pleading “Submit Anything II”. As a result the combatants upload highly varied product: Jangler sent out a MIDI while LittleTheremin submitted a text file, gyms put up an MP3, and so on. Sonic Zone Remix Competition entered the final countdown as it got to the last to remixers standing: Amphibious, who unwittingly got in a minor controversy regarding the previous round, and Gario, whose vocoder vocals apparently put his entry over the top. 

Dwelling of Duels called up its denizens for a Free Month, which promises to bring in a variety of remixes because of its lack of restrictions regarding source material. SDCompo concurrently allows a wide swatch of VSTs for entrants to use in addition to the sample pack; in particular SQL8 offers emulation of a 1980s synthesizer. This is in aide of the optional theme for the round, which is to generate a nostalgic sound. Elsewhere at OLRmageddon the theme of the month was settled: for “Password” the participants could arrange any video game tune that originally appeared alongside a password screen. For bonus points the arranger would have to use unusual time signatures. 

JHCompo on Tuesday celebrated independence by way of its “Break Away” theme. Starting things off was my vocal narration accompanied by a recording of “Stars and Stripes Forever”, which thankfully did not last forever. Immediately following was dusthillguy taking a break from his pastiche of zany clips to provide some elegant guitar twanging. Duosis appeared with another of his sample-based dance track, this time infusing his drum and bass with New Orleans brass. Rob appeared from hiatus to deliver a brief foray intro pounding trance filled with pitched vocals. Finally nikola threw together an assortment of instruments for the sake of liberty and freedom. 

Thursday’s OHC fell into an unexpected area as the “Out of Their Element” theme provided two images: a fish out of water and flower growing from the pavement. With that in mind Aru Azumaya introduced the round with a narration of his own, included the foreward “See attached materials.” The first musical entry of the night came from Draconiator, who neglected to look at the theme before submitting his dance track. Zovi followed that up by making one of the biggest taboos in music production: using FL Slayer for guitar work. Blastron seemed to lean toward the fish by naming his track “Shallow Water”, expounding on a riff for the duration of his song. 

Duosis also referenced water his entry, although the composition itself consists of a chopped-up sample of a lullaby cover of a Metallica song. IXI came out of compo remission and wasted no time working out lots and lots of bells. At the end of the listening party, munchi made multiple uses of his song description: he announced that he intends to remix various entries from OHC past to celebrate the upcoming 200th round; he also made a point of mentioning that he is now in a dubstep/electrofunk group, and that a new single would be out soon. If one thing is certain, it’s that compo pages can be prime real estate.

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