ReMix: Trenches "This Ain't No Bloc Party! This Is World War!"
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We're proud to be releasing today another free orginal game soundtrack, following up February's publishing of Kaleidoscope with the original score to the iPhone/iPod Touch game Trenches, by Kenneth and Troy Keyn! You may know Kenneth better by his handle, Abadoss - he's been around a long while and has some great ReMixes to his name, and I'm glad he approached us about releasing this original soundtrack for free, through OC ReMix. Please help us seed the torrent, as that's the sole means of distribution at this moment.
I admit I'd never heard of Trenches before he told me about it, but then again I don't own an iPhone or iPod Touch. It turns out the game has some really impressive production values AND has sold well over a million copies, earning rave reviews from numerous media outlets in the process. Coincidentally, I actually bought an iPod Touch 32GB TODAY, and plan on checking this game out, but now you don't need one just to enjoy the soundtrack! Abadoss writes:
"Trenches brings together music reminiscent of the European nationalist composers - prevalent in the years leading up to World War I - with electric guitars and modern percussion. My brother, Troy Keyn, was initially approached about composing the soundtrack on Trenches on his own. Troy decided to bring me into the project because of my experience with orchestration and because it would be an incredible opportunity for me in my career pursuits. Michael Taylor, CEO of Thunder Game Works, charged us with the task of creating a soundtrack that would enhance the game, without sacrificing substantial and meaningful composition. I am responsible for the primary composition and orchestration on all tracks, except "Awaiting Orders" - which Troy composed - and "Promotion" - which is just a drumroll. Troy recorded the percussion and guitars and is responsible for the final sound production. I used Finale 2009 to compose each track and Garritan Personal Orchestra and Finale's built-in MIDI SoftSynth for the orchestral samples. Troy used Sonar for recording and final production."
Pretty cool, eh? Kenneth has a strong theory background and the writing here is elaborate and rich, and fits the context well. There's a good mix of orchestral and rock, and what I like especially is that there are challenging intervals and a level of complexity that you might not expect for a handheld game. While it's fairly short, everything has substance, and I think Kenneth & Troy did a great job. To celebrate the release and go along with our second publishing of a free original game soundtrack, we've also got a couple of mixes, which also happen to be our FIRST iPhone/iPod Touch mixes. First up is Josh Whelchel, who writes:
"Abadoss asked me to sit down and have a listen to his soundtrack to the game "Trenches," in the hopes of having me do a remix for the debut release of the soundtrack on OCRemix - a task I was happy and honored to tackle. Coming from a background in indie and iPhone game scoring myself, I was excited to hear what he had put together for this cute and simple game. I was pretty impressed with the result, an experienced use of orchestration was apparent along with effective soundscapes and catchy material. He managed to hit the nail on the head in recreating the "World War I" atmosphere without being too aggressive or abrasive for the game's genre, a balance that is often hard to achieve. Two tracks stood out to me above the rest, however, namely the score for "Der Scharfschütze" and the obvious "Engine of War" mode.
So I set to present these two melodies in a story that allowed for a little more freedom and intensity than the game itself would have been, and decided to tell a musical story beyond what the original implementation would allow. So we have a mix of nostalgia, groove, and, obviously, war."
War... war never changes. What is it good for? Quite a bit, in the game industry at least. But I digress; those are some great words coming from Mr. Whelchel, who's a talented indie game composer (and ReMixer) himself, and his mix reflects the respect he has towards the source material. The mix title makes me think of a certain Talking Heads song, but the feel is dark, brooding, even Elfmanesque, before drums & bass break in and create a really excellent genre mashup. Sometimes when orchestral gets paired with rock or electronica, that means strings and timpani - and that's about it - but here there's a full range of winds (oboelicious!) & brass as well - a full plate of parts - and the interweaving of them all is handled rather deftly. Great, dense stuff from Josh - check it out, and check out the full Trenches OST as well!
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