WillRock

OverClocked ReMix Artist Reviews

4 posts in this topic

Yeah, I know, this has been done before, but now i'm doing it so THERE. 

I've been wanting to listen to an artists full collective works on ocr for a while to document their growth, also so I can analyse their style and hopefully use that info to improve my own :)

I'm going to be picking artists from random but depending on the length of their collective works, it might take me longer than others to finish my full review. In many cases I may split my reviews into multiple parts.

Any feedback anyone has on how I decide to approach this is welcome, I am open to any suggestions to make things a little easier in terms of reading.

Without further ado, LETS DO THE THING!  

Remixer list

1: Prince uf Darkness - Review

2: PrototypeRaptor - Review

Upcoming - Avien

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Prince uf Darkness

 

Prince uf Darkness has been absolutely killing in Dwelling of Duels for the last few years, having 14 first place wins in his 31 entries, 8 of which were Alternate entries! In other words, if he enters he’s pretty much guaranteed to do better than you through sheer awesome, and statistically, he has the highest number of wins on the site. So… his music is impressive right? 

 

Well, lets see what we have on ocr. I admit, his first 2 tracks took me aback a bit - Not to say they were bad - I was familiar with PuD already, and basically was expecting jazz/metal fusion. However, his first two tracks are a little rough around the edges production wise - his first track “The Hot Pink of Blues” is a very chilled out jazz rock piece. A somewhat understated track, altho it features a really nice virtuosic keys solo from Shnabubula, who is a completely nuts guy in his own right. His second track was “Hell March to the Apocalypse”, which is a highly ambitious heavy metal/orchestral fusion. Both of these tracks are great in their own right and come highly recommended, but the production on these two tracks are slightly lower than his later offerings. 

 

This changes with “Sonic Gargles with Garden Marbles” - the funk influence gets more pronounced and the production is tightened up some. This was the first track I heard from PuD and while I found it impressive, it didn’t really put him on my radar yet. 

 

At this point, the evolution becomes apparent, as his style gets a little more focused and his production tighter in general - I appreciate the complexity and fusion of his styles through his ocr tracks, and as he keeps getting mixposts, it just keeps getting better and better. However, the first time I really see his style come together is “I Need Scissors! 61!” from Metal Gear Solid 2 - this is, imo, where the highly virtuosic style of jazz/prog metal fusion really comes into play and he starts to really stand out. Crazy solos, rhythms and arrangement quirks aplenty that could give Dream Theater a run for their money. 

 

However, I expect in terms of source familiarity, most people will immediately flock to “Prancing Dad” which is, you guessed it, a remix of Dancing Mad, and one Winged Angel. It is 11 minutes and it is, imo, THE Dancing Mad remix to go to. Its as good as the Black Mages version. I believe to be one of ocremixes greatest tracks ever, both in terms of its atheistic and its execution. Staggering stuff. 

 

Then he tackled Tim Follin’s Solstice theme… which imo, is bold because Tim Follin is a genius of composition, and while PuD is good, I guess I just have a block where Tim Follin is concerned that you can’t really remix his music and outdo it. My reasoning here is that he is a composer that really pushed the hardware - he used it to its LIMITS. I consider Tim Follin to be a pioneer of chiptune and when remixing you can lose some of those creative ideas that comes from the limitations - which can be distracting. I'm not bashing PuD for remixing it, I'm just pointing out the challenges of remixing such a style of composition. This is coming from a BIG Tim Follin fan however, and this still has some crazy soloing and some nice little breaks in the middle thats both creative and surprisingly welcome. I have to say, tip of the hat for giving a go - he’s the one composer I am too intTIMidated to try and remix. In-tim-idated? no…? Never mind. 

 

Moving on, PuDs last two tracks really emphasise the fusion aspects of his style best, with TMNT and Street Fighter remixes. These two also come very very highly recommended. What I will say here is that eventually an artist hits their stride and perfects their craft, which is what these last 2 tracks are. They are tracks made by a person at the top of their game, who knows exactly what they're doing.  That said, what makes PuDs stuff interesting - the evolution is there. His tracks start off with a bit more variety but slightly more standard genre-wise, (quite interesting in their own ways however!) and eventually fuses these genres into a whole, recognisable trademark style. Even so, ALL his tracks come recommended - the creativity, complexity, and polish of these tracks are far far beyond what ocr usually tend to offer imo, and he stands out by a mile. 

 

My main critique is that his music might be a tad too progressive for some - the tracks at points sacrifice memorable melodies for guitar and synth wankage…  but when you’re this good at it, i’ll forgive it, and you should always stick to your strengths. Another minor nitpick is that his endings are sometimes a bit abrupt, but when you’re nitpicking and not pointing out major flaws, you know you’ve got a good product. For Progressive Metal in general, PuD is pretty much king, the Jazz/Funk (and sometimes classical) influences just add a little bit of textural flavour to the proceedings that serves to colour his music and give it that extra creative spark.

 

I strongly recommend “Prancing Dad” and "Casiopizza vs. TMNT-Square", but you can’t really go wrong with any of this. Its highly polished and VERY constant in terms of quality. Some might say Prancing Dad is the highlight but the original source is a masterpiece in its own right. As far as taking what he has to work with - he always knocks it out the park. Dream Theater Fans eat your heart out!

DaMonz and Ivan Hakštok like this

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Nice overview of Tony's work, Will; fun read! Looking forward to more. :-)

WillRock likes this

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PrototypeRaptor

 

I remember when PrototypeRaptor hit the VGM remix scene on ocr. It was around 2010ish i started hearing the name, people were going on about his mixes and how they were the best produced things ever, and that he was some sort of EDM God etc. He now is known as somewhat a breakout talent who got known for his original music outside of ocr as well - props to that sir.

 

So, looking at his first remix, I can tell he was still grasping his style when he got his first mixpost. Endless Skies is an enjoyable, if not slightly underwhelming first mix, since while the kick is strong, it’s set under quite a chill backing. Remove the slightly overwhelming kick and the intensity is all but gone, which makes this track feel a little disjointed perhaps? Still, its a first ocremix and still an enjoyable one!

 

“Barrel Roll” a Kirby remix (jk its star fox herpderp) is more Trance like than his previous mix, and has an excellent buildup which builds and builds… and ends up being somewhat anticlimactic. The writing itself was fine, but I felt the dynamic constract between sections wasn’t quite enough. Even so, I still consider this an early mix where he was still grasping his craft. 

 

His next mix, a Phoenix Wright jam, shakes things up with some epic downtempo triphop, which is a REALLY nice change up from his last mixes. Great string work, and showed some versatility! 

 

Dark Matter comes next, and this is where I feel he really started to get GUD. This kirby remix hits HARD. The production is sublime, and the energy is frantic, carried by drums so in your face it’ll melt from the pressure. I’d say this is one of the most “evil” sounding mixes i’ve heard that manages to be CRAZY without getting too out there. Its a really nice balance between frantic and controlled that I love.

 

From here, its pretty much home runs. C.H.E.E.T.A.H. sports a stupendously funky slap bass that takes centre stage away from the drums. At least until it drops. And that critique before where I said about that anticlimactic build? Well, here, there isn’t a build up as such, but the drop isn’t anticlimactic. The production and feel finally jell and its great to see how he improved. Specifically here, it serves to really push the dynamic contrast between sections effectively and make the track that much more enjoyable when it kicks in. Great stuff.

 

Enter the Chemical Plant Zone mix. I think most people are in agreement - this is one of the all time classic ocremixes. It successfully takes the groove that made the original so good and gives it a modern flair.

 

Devil’s Advocate is another highlight - and something completely different - an orchestral remix! (yay for more variety) and altho the production isn’t quite as polished as his EDM music, the arrangement and humanisation/sample quality is top notch. The mix is almost frightening and quirky all at once - I’d like to see PrototypeRaptor tackle some Banjo-Kazooie in this style. 

 

What follows is perhaps the most disgusting dirty remix ever - Zeldas underworld theme, turned into brutal dubstep. I personally am not one for dubstep this pure but if you like your music with a bit of dark grit to it, check it out. 

 

This is followed by The overclocked plaid muffins Kirby Ska Buffet - where he handled the brass arrangement. I have to say, the versatility on display here is slightly surprising - Usually when I hear an artist branch out, they still keep a common core aspect in play. PrototypeRaptor however, doesn’t seem to do that. He goes from Dubstep to orchestral to Ska in a heartbeat. Not to say he was the core arranger here - that goes to Stevo Bortz - but he did a sizeable amount of arranging if the write up is any indication.

 

His next mix is a  one-winged angel mix with his trademark dark EDM style - complete with vocoded vocals! IS THERE NOTHING THIS MAN CAN’T DO??? Also, I swear i’m hearing huge inspiration from “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell in here. 

 

To rap up, every single remix PrototypeRaptor does has something unique about it. Be it funky bass, vocals, or a completely different style all together, tackling sources that are both challenging, and arranging them in a way not exactly expected - open your heart as DnB for example. This is all done with the highest professional polish, and yes, I can say, this mans rep is well deserved. Not to mention, i’ve just realised I’ll never be this good. I am going to go and cry in a corner now, as i’m sure so many of you have done when realising you can’t do music this well either. The envy is strong. Anyways - Happy new year folks! See you for the next review.

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