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Announcement + The Future of OC ReMix


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I tried to keep this brief, but as you might know, that's not my forte.

FIRST, the facts...

On October 28th I informed staff that I was stepping down from my role as president/admin/owner/etc. of OverClocked ReMix, and on November 1st I also stepped down from the board of Game Music Initiative, the 501c3 non-profit organization that funds OCR. In short, I no longer feel I have the bandwidth to do these roles justice and to not only maintain, but advance, the missions of both projects. I will be working with Shariq Ansari (DarkeSword) to transition my responsibilities and ensure continuity of operations. The (excellent!) mix posted on Halloween was published without my direct involvement, subsequent posts up to the milestone #OCR04500 have been superbly executed, and I am confident that staff will continue the work necessary to operate - and evolve - OCR in my absence. I will be even less available than I have been, lately, so I apologize in advance for any lack of responsiveness.

THEN, the feels...

Where to even begin?

It's hard to encapsulate over two decades of history; omissions are inevitable. What began as a neat side project I started in my parents' basement in 1999 snowballed into something far beyond my wildest expectations, due to the blood, sweat, tears, and unbridled, rampant creativity that thousands of you have contributed. Much of this happened before social media was even a thing and before the platforms/services we now heavily associate with the modern internet had come into being; it was a frontier, and we were on it, and we took it pretty seriously because we knew how amazing VGM is, how creative arrangements could effectively convey and explore that vast musical landscape, and how a small fandom communicating via email, IRC, & forums could collaborate to build mighty, new things. We took it seriously, often too seriously, but we ALSO played more than a few rounds of Shaq-Fu at conventions, made some truly ridiculous (but always musical!) joke mixes, and developed internal circles of lore with our own memes & jargon.

NOT in strictly chronological order: there was some drama with now-legendary composer Jake Kaufman; VGMix entered the fray; we added a judges panel so it wasn't just me making stuff up; we released our first community album; the unmoderated forum birthed its own sort of... subculture; the site itself evolved to be database-driven and not just two giant dropdowns sorted by game/date; we posted mixes submitted by composers George "The Fat Man" Sanger and Jeremy Soule; we met/interviewed Hiroki Kikuta and Nobuo Uematsu; our album trailers by the incomparable José the Bronx Rican started blowing minds; we started appearing in person at Otakon, PAX, MAG, others - much love to all for having us; we bumped into Leeroy Jenkins at ROFLcon and gave him a hoodie; we started hosting from our own server and managing the technical side of things ourselves; thanks to Mr. Shael Riley (among others!), we got to remix the music for an actual Street Fighter game (!!); we released fifteen more albums...

...and then we turned ten, on December 11th of 2009.

Quite a first decade, and I missed hundreds of things I shouldn't have. Hundreds of firsts, some tragic lasts, and millions of memories that can't quite be conjured by words.

In 2011, we stood up for Fair Use at World’s Fair Use Day, an event organized by the non-profit Public Knowledge.

In 2012, we launched our kickstarter for Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin, it was taken down, we talked with Square lawyers directly for a couple hours and made the non-profit project structure clear & contractual, and we relaunched a successful kickstarter. That's not always how those things go!

We launched Game Music Initiative in 2016, creating an official 501c3 charity to formalize the finances around OCR and potentially support other VGM-related projects, too. On a related note, I’ve absolutely loved seeing OC ReMixes featured by charity speedrunners Games Done Quick (GDQ) - it’s exactly the type of thing I always wanted to see, that synergy.

Things do start getting a little quieter from then on out, and I think there are a ton of reasons for that, but it has been an incredible and improbable journey that I wouldn't have missed for the world. Thank you ALL for making it possible; OCR was always yours, I aspired only to stewardship of something I wanted to exist for everyone.

FINALLY, the future…

It's time - some would say past time - for OverClocked ReMix itself to be ReMixed.

That's the point, right?

Infinite permutation; endless possibility.

You don't always know the day, month, or even year when your influence on something starts holding it back, or when the waning amount of time and energy you can dedicate becomes a liability. That type of certainty is often elusive; it can be a difficult diagnosis to even contemplate, and you need to look for & listen to signs. In addition to just being too much of a single point of failure for OCR (sorry, engineering mindset), the last year I've been asking myself whether it was time to let go, and I think the answer is sometimes in the asking. I have been stretched thin, like butter scraped over too much bread, and that's when you leave the Shire.

Beyond representing what I genuinely believe is best for the future of OCR, I absolutely confess a personal wish to redirect reclaimed time & energy to my family and my own music. Being a husband to my wife Anna and being a father to our daughters Esther and Sarah is my meaning; I have always put them first, but now I can put them even MORE first. Esther just started learning trombone, so in a few years, expect a collab! Sarah is building her confidence learning piano & makes me proud every day. I want to write new music for them, and with them, and that requires more time than I've had.

I believe the principles that have driven us - embracing all games & all styles of music, emphasizing interpretation & creativity, offering both curation and critique, and providing a non-commercial platform for those who seek it - are truly timeless, but there are many ways to honor them.

I look to the new leadership/staff to galvanize, streamline, diversify, and re-imagine, within that immense space.

I'll be leaving them with some ideas of my own; please let them know yours. I ask the community to support them, embrace change, provide guidance, and be patient; I believe it will be worth it!


- djpretzel


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It's funny - from an OCR fan's perspective who has been listening since ~2001 but not submitting music to the site until 2019, I kind of saw djp as this VGM Morpheus, the leader of a secret circle of super cool musicians/programmer people. I guess that's what the early Internet was like to a kid before social media. But obviously people are just people who are pulled in this direction and that throughout the chapters of their lives. Still, it was a surreal moment to finally see my first OCR mix posted 4 years ago with a cool writeup from the man himself. That was very exciting and very validating, even more validating than getting approved by the judges panel, if I'm being honest. A full-circle moment for me. I always appreciated the care that he put into his write-ups for each ReMix, going back the early-mid aughts when I started downloading every other track this site would publish (sometimes I would read them and not even listen to the song because I liked the writing that much).

Very happy to hear that there will be no retirement from music. Even if that wound up being the case, the existing djp catalog would speak for itself. Some of those ReMixes were parts of my formative years of being a music listener, and years after I go deaf from mixing my mids too loud I will still be humming them in my head. I can recall listening to "Love Hurts" on a burned CD on the school bus in I think 9th or 10th grade. I think he set the standard for OCR music in terms of creativity and quality (along with a few others) very early on, which helped OCR legitimize itself. 

So, thank you for all of that.


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I'll be honest. It's been a loooong time since I've logged in here, but I had to post something for this announcement. Huge thanks to you and everyone else that made and makes this place amazing. OCR was a huge part of growing up for me, and played a big role in my own musical endeavors. I would certainly not be the musician I am today without its influence and amazing community. Thanks for everything you've done, and take a well deserved break and spend the time doing the things you love. I look forward to what OCR brings in the future. 

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Wow David. 21 years I've been coming to slash lurking on this site. Downloaded every SINGLE mix posted on this site between mid-2003 and mid-2009; like Hu said above, OC ReMix was absolutely the soundtrack of my high school and college years. I bought my first MP3 player years before the iPod to store more mixes than a CD could hold. This site has always been home to some incredible artists, and oh the memories. I remember when Jillian Aversa was Jillian Goldin. I downloaded Shariq's first mix the night it was posted... I was floored by Relics of the Chozo, had it on repeat for weeks. I remember unMod and I was there when it shut down. Years and YEARS of reading the Coop's 'Twas' every Christmas lol... Good times and bad lurking about for 2 decades.

But I want to say in no uncertain terms that I think you, David, personally, have done some incredible work to not only legitimize game music as the art form it is, but to create a place where hundreds could find like minded people to hone their craft with. Danny Baranowsky, Big Giant Circles, Brandon Strader, Joshua Morse, Andy and Jill... the list of folks composing or involved in audio engineering and games specifically goes on and on. Not that any of them wouldn't have been successful without what you created here, but you were responsible for planting the seed that began this amazing community.

I'm still not a musician, doubt I ever will be. But from the moment I downloaded your very own 'Sunken Suite' in 2002 and heard what could be done by musicians who loved a song as much as I did? That changed my life David, in some small way, it really did. Thank you for that. Thank you for 24 years of sharing your best with us, thank you for what you've created and the legacy you've started. Here's to you, your family, your free time and your next mix. We'll be waiting for it. Cheers brother. :)

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Wow. I can't believe after all these years of discovering OCRemix that I would come across this particular post. My whole memory and experience with OCR starts with DJPretzel and it always has. It's incredible to think about how many lives you have touched and transformed through this platform and video game music. I have always enjoyed your mixes, and this might be one of the few times I have gone out of my way to log in just to respond. This is such a bittersweet post, but I am very happy for you and wish you nothing but love. Time with family is precious, and I am glad that you get to do that. Thank you for creating such an amazing environment for all of us. Thank you for the music. Thank you for existing. Big, big love to you.

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I have been active just recently in this community, but some of my first experiences on the internet involved looking for video game music. That's how I discovered Overclocked Remix. It was amazing to discover a different take of songs I adored, and started listening/downloading the crazy remixes I found here.

In the meantime, I grew as a musician and almost 20 years later I am here, contributing with my own remixes, so I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating/supporting this amazing platform, which inspired that kid to get better at music and put one day his songs on the platform.

Huge thanks, djpretzel and I hope you succeed in whatever you do next.


Astral Tales

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I'm coming out of the woodwork to give a salute to the insane amount of time and energy you've poured into this site. 

I'm not even sad to see you go. you deserve a break, and it sounds like we'll still hear from you.

wishing you the best. 

and to those who are taking up the torch: i think this site is in good hands. :)

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As a father of 4 wonderful kids, I relate a lot with that last part. Being able to share this passion with them and to see them thrive through that, You might be the proudest man on earth writing those lines, eh?
Even though I just came by pure curiosity and was just wandering around bit by bit, I can see and feel how much work has been put into this and I feel the need to tell you how impressive it was just to discover it.

Godspeed. Thanks for all of this.

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Thanks for everything Dave! Like many others have said, the music from OCR was the music of my high school years, and it's amazing to see how many artists and listeners have been inspired by your project! I'm glad to have been a mixer and project director under your guidance and I can't wait to see what OCR will become in the future. We owe it to you to keep it amazing :D


Thanks again for all the hard work, sweat, tears, years, everything you have put into this, even when it wasn't always easy. 

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Been a huge fan of OC Remix for a super long time. I remember hearing about this randomly through another forum and the radio station from another forum as well...

I am constantly lurking even today.

Though it is sad to see one door close... It is also bitter sweet to see OCR transition and open another door. I hope to enjoy OCR for however many years that I am able to and the new mantle to whomever it is chosen for would allow. 

Thanks for the music and what you have accomplished as your tenor of OCR. ❤

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I haven't posted in probably 15 years, but I've been listening to the music since I first found OCR back in the early 2000s.  Still listening!  I have every song that was available in torrent form.

You've done an amazing job taking a videogame remix site and making it something more.  You deserve to retire.

Just gonna say that that in a certain corner of the web, that part of that Unmod subculture still exists.  Though we are much older, wiser, and have kids of our own these days.  Kids that have been listening to OCremix since the womb.

Edited by Syl
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