Posted 2013-09-09, evaluated by djpretzel
While ALSO the answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, forty-two happens to be the number of our latest arrangement album, Be Aggressive!: A Gunstar Heroes Tribute Album!!
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Treasure's legendary run & gun classic, and we've got a badass album of energetic & powerful mixes to help you assert your enthusiasm! Grab the individual tracks & read more at gunstar.ocremix.org, and please help seed the torrent! Album director Dustin Branscum (DusK) writes:
"The early '90s were filled with fantastic games, many of them with fantastic music. Much of that music is why OverClocked ReMix was created in the first place. 1993 saw the birth of several great Sega Genesis titles, but one stood near and dear to my heart and rose above most: Treasure's debut title, Gunstar Heroes. Created by a team of ex-Konami employees, Gunstar Heroes features extremely difficult, fast-paced, energetic, and fun run-and-gun shooter gameplay, and some of the most extraordinary music ever heard in a 16-bit game. And despite the critical acclaim of both the game itself and the music, OverClocked ReMix has only seen one remix of that game's music make it to the front page.
Gunstar Heroes remains even today as a very under-appreciated and under-recognized game. Many '90s kids were on the SNES side of the 16-bit console war, and few even on the Sega side will likely answer with a "yes" when asked if they know about it. Even among the remixers who worked on this project, there were those who had missed the game entirely, or discovered it well after the 16-bit golden years.
The remixer lineup on this album follows suit with that as well. Though the roster includes several well-known remixers, including the only remixer to have ever gotten a Gunstar Heroes track on OC ReMix back in 2002, much of the lineup consists of lesser-knowns. I was ecstatic when I saw the roster filling up with under-recognized yet extremely talented artists in the OC ReMix community, and even more excited when I saw non-posted remixers stepping up and delivering absolutely amazing tracks."
Co-director Dj Mokram adds:
"Exploiting every ounce of the YM2612 soundchip to deliver some FM synthesis goodness, Gunstar Heroes contains some of the most complex compositions to come out of Sega's machine, making its music surprisingly challenging, yet immensely rewarding to arrange. We wanted the album to reflect both the futuristic setting and the frantic nature of the gameplay, while staying true to the story, characters and feel of playing the game itself. Translated to the music, it means the aggressiveness would not only be about velocity, but also about design choices. Knowing when to slow things down to inspire uneasiness before suddenly throwing you in an impossibly tense situation, one that makes you feel proud to have overcome, afterwards. This is what the game was about, and what we were aiming to inspire/evoke with the album.
DusK was set on making this an official project, but from my experience, finding people to remix a lesser known game on OCR is more or less a suicide mission. Therefore, I knew the only way to make this happen was to drop all pre-conceived notions of success and go all-in, or simply put: Be Aggressive! I was moved beyond words upon witnessing the willingness of many fantastic musicians to lend their talent to such a risky endeavor (we weren't exactly trying to remix Final Fantasy here), and by their commitment to follow us, not so well-known community members, in our crazy quest to pay tribute to a memorable game constantly overshadowed by mainstream titles.
On a personal level, this project embodies two things: passion and loss. I poured my heart into everything, from organizing and recruiting personnel, giving detailed feedback and steering people in the right direction, to crafting promotional material and making sure everything ran smoothly until we reached the finish line. What I didn't (couldn't?) foresee however, was the hand of fate taking loved ones away from me, depriving me from the joy of making music and nearly putting an end to my existence. That's why there's great meaning in the fact that I'm still alive, and standing here today to witness the conclusion of this journey."
HUGE kudos to Dustin & Mokram for making this happen and seeing it through; they're right, it's harder to achieve critical mass with less popular titles, and even though GH has a large cult following, it still reduces the number of artists familiar with and/or willing to lend a hand to a tribute album. This game and its soundtrack really deserved an homage, they made it happen, and I'm proud of the community for stepping up & chipping in! Up first with the flood mixes is CJthemusicdude with an upbeat, anthemic electronic arrangement featuring trance & chippish elements for a frenetic, galvanized ride:
"Gunstar Heroes is/was one of my favorite games. The frantic action and explosions are thrown at you immediately at the start of Ancient Ruins, where this theme is played. "Be Aggressive" preludes this level and the theme that follows is nothing short of action-packed excitement. I tried to capture that experience as best I could, since it's of my favorite tunes from this treasure of a game."
GH definitely pulls no punches and starts you off right in the thick of it, so it's appropriate our mixflood do the same ;) Chris conjures a lot of electricity & momentum, here, and provides an excellent introduction into the aggressive, no-holds-barred world of Gunstar Heroes and our 42nd album, Be Aggressive!
on 2015-12-21 14:55:38
This remix is great. Parts of it sound like something new that was produced and inspired by Gunstar Heroes, while at the same time, parts of it sound like it came straight out of the Genesis. I love all the build-ups and how they captured that “wait for it” tension, and then BAM, the music is action packed again.
on 2013-09-28 15:16:01
What a blast!
Relaxes for a while at 1:30 then kicks up again. Love the outro from 3:00.
on 2013-09-13 10:57:27
Pretty good synth work here. Good amount of energy for a trancey electronica ReMix and I believe this is the first of many tracks on this album to do justice to the game. Well done.
on 2013-09-09 14:07:31
I very much love the bass here. At times the instrumentation is actually reminiscent of the original GSH sounds.
on 2013-09-09 13:08:15
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