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Reviews for an Artists Catalog - ReMixer: Children of the Monkey Machine


tweex
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As a musical artist, I find that the best way for me to appreciate another artists work is to view all their work collectively. You hear growth, evolution, redefinition of sound, improvements, and so much more! These can be the very things that are missed by listening to one track here, another there, etc. So, what I am beginning is a new review procedure in which I will review all the remixes from one person collectively before moving onto the next! Whether the artist has one remix or fifty is irrelevant!

Make no mistake, this is not a favorites thread. The OCR artist is chosen at random (based on the randomization feature of the iTunes playlist). Not only will you, the listener, discover avenues of the music that you didn't realize before, but you also honor them by reviewing their entire body of work! I encourage anyone to follow along with the random artists that iTunes provides me or perhaps you can spend a little time honoring a remixer that you've become fond of!

I'll update this thread when I move onto another remixer so those of you who are following along can keep up!

Let's have some fun!

The list (in review order):

1. Franz Keller (complete - post 9)

2. Darangen (complete - post 4)

3. Quinn Fox (complete - post 13)

4. Rimco (complete - post 15)

5. K. Praslowicz (complete - post 19)

6. Trenthian (complete - post 21)

7. Steffan Andrews/Spekkosaurus (complete - post 22)

8. AeroZ (complete - post 23)

9. JigginJonT (complete - post 24)

10. AE (complete - post 31)

11. Nekofrog (complete - post 35)

12. DrumUltimA (complete - post 39)

13. Steve Pordon (complete - post 41)

14. Vurez (complete - post 42)

15. Unipulator (complete - post 47)

16. Ziwtra (complete - post 48)

17. goat (complete - post 51)

18. Children of the Monkey Machine

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Darangen

Final Thoughts:

There is no shortage of rock when it comes to Darangen! However, I did hear quite an evolution concerning the style of rock. It seemed to begin in more of a classic rock area but it moved over more into the metal side of things. However, the change didn't seem to be jarring (even if it was, that's not a bad thing). The production quality of the tracks certainly improved over time with the most recent posted mix being the most polished! It's easy to hear influences from CCR and Allman Brothers all the way to more metal sounds from Metallica and even some pop rock like Matchbox 20. A wide variety of rock, but rock non the less :). It would be great to hear Darangen collab with someone who specializes in a completely different genre (orchestral, ambient, trance/techno, etc) as I'm sure the results would be fabulous! Good work from a man named Darangen!

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I suggest summing up your observations on the remixer somewhere (like in this thread). Gonna be a mess trying to find your reviews on the tracks when there's a dozen more reviews more for each of them.

I agree.

Or post your reviews somewhere else and have a link so we can see all the reviews in one place :D

A great idea btw... will be interesting to see what you think of certain mixers development, and the task of reviewing every track by DJPretzel... over 70 posted remixes or something :lol:

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The people have spoken! I will comment on each mix, and then I'll do a short review of the entire catalog/artist here in the forum. Since I announce each artist in a new post, I'll put my "final thoughts" in the same post that announces them (if that makes sense)!

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Franz Keller

Final Thoughts:

Franz has a very specific electro sound. It's not too aggressive but it's not ambient either. The phrase that would best describe him would be "gentle house/trance" I think. His sounds, while some might say are a little dated, are phenomenal for the time that he composed them all as his mixes are all almost 10 years old! For the most part, the tracks seem to be short in length but they also appear to get right to the point! Good stuff from Franz and here's to him coming back to OCR to grace us with some new mixes!

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Darangen has also done a great job of integrating other songs into his mixes, though if I do recall, that has been a point of controversy in the past. I appreciate a lot of Darangen's music, and his songs do a tribute both to the vg source and the song he draws inspiration from, as the source melody and composition is integrated into the sonic stylings of another track. "Collision" on the Voice of the Lifestream album was inspired by David Crowder Band's track "Do Not Move"; Darangen's song literally sounded like David Crowder Band was playing the North Cave Theme" Very cool!

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Quinn Fox

Final Thoughts:

Chill, Chillier, Chilliest. The man has a wonderful ability to create tracks that just want to make lounge in an arm chair with glass of wine, close your eyes, and just lose yourself. For the most part, QF's tracks resembled one another in this regard and production value increased consistently as his new tracks were released. However, there were some experimental tracks in his collection that took Quinn in a very different direction! Some attempts were better conceived than others, but it was amazing to hear him step out of his comfort zone and try something off-the-way different. Quinn is one of the old schoolers we seemed to have lost, but with any luck, we'll be lounging on our couches with a fresh glass of vino, chilling to a new Quinn Fox track in the future!

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Rimco

Final Thoughts:

Rimco is another one of the OCR old schoolers. With his mixes being posted in 2000 and 2001, he really takes us back. His sound is interesting and moves in a direction that is very different from my personal style. He seems to use synths and instrumentation, rather than percussion, to drive his mixes. While they all sound somewhat ambient, they all have a firm foundation in a rhythmic pattern and it still drives or grooves it was through the track! His production value, when considering the time, is very very impressive. We really need Richard to come back and do another mix for OCR as I know his material would be great. In the meantime, find a Rimco track, sit back, and lose yourself to the lush soundscapes of Rimco!

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K. Praslowicz

Final Thoughts:

Simply put, KP is grungy and edgy. His music a little edgy too. I kid. I kid :)! The garage band esque sound is undeniably present in almost all of his tracks. KP uses an interesting mix of synthteic elements combined with a grungy rock guitar. THe drums, while never super driving or powerful, typically guide the track rhythmically! Unlike some of the other artists I've hear, KP's production value didn't grow significantly from his first mix to his last solo mix. However, his most recent track, in collaboration with Beatdrop and COMM, is fantastic. It took the best elements of KP guitar and combined it with the talents of those two other men. On the whole, it was interesting to hear KP's work. I would be interested to hear something he's done recently (in the past year or two) and see how Kip has grown as an artist and a producer. Good stuff from a man named K. Praslowicz.

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K. Praslowicz is what got me into OCR

I found his Shadow remix on Napster and thought it was pretty kickass.

He used to be on the #ocremix channel but it's been a while since I've seen him. It's also been a while since I'd been in #ocremix! Has he been in there at all in the past 4 or so years?

Here's his music, plus original material:

http://anthelia-den-cae.net/the-music

I actually get a bit nostalgic when listening to the originals, it's some fantastic stuff

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Trenthian

Final Thoughts:

Wow. What's there to say here? Trenthian knows his craft well. There is definitely growth from his first mix to his most recent track, but Trenthian started way above the bar from the beginning. The tracks, while having some similar ideas, instrumentation, and other production elements in each mix, each mix had a very unique sound that evolved with his growth as a composer/producer that lead up to a great mega sound for his most recent track! Each arrangement that he has done is phenomenal; the dynamics and attention to detail is superb and sets a great example for all OCRemixers out there; I know I've come away with some great ideas. All his tracks include a hot beat, synths, and orchestral elements, but still each track is it's own creation and stands alone. It's no secret why Trenthian has been part of the OCR Hall of Fame for a long time. Great work from a man named Trenthian!

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Steffan Andrews/Spekkosaurus

Final Thoughts:

If someone is looking to see how an artist can grow over time, go no further than Steffan Andrews. It's hard to believe that a guy who created a mix that had a hard time keeping a straight tempo is the same guy to brought us Black Wing Metamorphosis (and was the coordinator of the whole track, non the less). Steffan has gone from mediocre production artist to glorious orchestral arranger, programmer and composer. He is the bar that orchestral minded people, like myself, try to reach daily. Steffan's body of work has been almost all orchestrally based. The inclusion of different artists, and by association, different genres, is what I believe made BWM as popular as it was! Be sure to visit his site to hear some of his recent work as, I assure you, it has only gotten better. Steffan, we plead you to come back and give us another godly track! Excellent work from a man named Steffen Andrews!

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AeroZ

Final Thoughts:

If you want catchy chiptune leads, groovin' beats, and the occasional cello cameo, then go no further. AeroZ is one of the best for taking the classic 8-bit sound and immersing it into a fully polished and produced sound. However, while production quality is great, it's the arrangement that really shines for all of Sebastian's work! His attention to dynamic shifts in his pieces is flawless and each track feels like it moves along naturally. AeroZ came into OCR with a good understanding of production techniques, so there is little "change" in comparison to most other remixers, which is a tremendous achievement in and of itself. Likewise, his arrangements were solid from the beginning, but after listening, I can certainly hear how he has matured as a composer and artist! However, the one "drawback" comes from the fact that his tracks do sound very similar: same concept of the 8bit lead with a lot of funky/jazzy elements. I would really like to see (and hear) Sebastian step outside of his comfort zone and try something out of his normal genre. Hell, it would be terrific to here him collab with someone who works in a very different style of music. Hard Rock and Orchestral are two that come to mind. However, his sound is solid, his production is great, his arrangements are glorious, and he plays the cello. What more can you really ask for! Great job from a man named AeroZ!

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JigginJonT

Final Thoughts:

When Jon came onto the scene, he was creating ambient/ethereal music and piano arrangements. Even though he has given us no shortage of piano mixes, he's also gone out and tried some very indie sounding rock pieces. It's phenomenal to hear how his work has progressed over time and it wasn't an overnight change. Through the years, Jon has perfected his craft. His mix for the VotL project still remains one of my favorites to this day! Jon's ability to arrange a piece for solo piano and produce a mix for a full band has improved radically since his first mix in 2003. He is an extremely talented multi-instrument musician and loves to throw it into the mix, so to speak. The more you listen to his pieces, the more you find yourself being drawn in! Excellent work from a man named JigginJonT!

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