What: Demoparty Music Competition
When: 07.08.2010 (dd.mm.yyyy)
Get the entries from Scene.org
After Assembly 2009 I expected that the 'old great masters', GRiMM and Aikapallo, are going to strike back after being exceptionally left out of the podium. And there they are again, conquering the top positions with very fine songs.
This year the overall quality was very high. The number of entries was much higher than last year, too - which led to a very cruel preselection process. There were many memorable songs, and a large bunch of very promising material that was techically good but lacked some progression.
Let's skim through my favourite picks of the competition. The pieces are not in any kind of preference order. If I had to name my very top favourites of the selection, they might be 'Oh! A whoa!' , 'Hideout' and 'Believe in it'.
As We ARRR the Pirates by Cap'n Thrill, placed 3rd
Of course I can not be objective about my own piece, but I do still list it in my favourite picks. Even though the piece is quite generic in its own genre, it's not that generic as an Assembly music compo entry. It has its problems as well as good things, and I must say I am surprised by the outcome. For me it stands as a good reference for the sufficient amount of brute effort. A dedicated blog entry about this piece is on its way.
When There's no Beer by Aikapallo, placed 2nd
This narrative song is like a tribute to Skaven's songs 'Catch that goblin!!' and 'The Goblin Returns'. This piece is all about a good show well executed.
The Apocalypse Will Arrive On a NES Cartridge by GRiMM / Meridian, placed 1st
What a ridiculous name! (By saying that I mean I like it.) At the prize ceremony, GRiMM stated that Mega Man 2 was an important source of inspiration for the song. And there you have it - everything you'll ever need for digging out inspiration. Other Mega Man games will do, too, as MM4 taught me everything I needed to know about music when I was a kid. That is, however, a different story. This piece is like a remix of a collection mix of Mega Man tunes. The soundscape is left very dry, but that way the realistic instruments seem to match better with the NES 2A03 chip sounds.
Oh! A whoa! by Yolk / CNCD, placed 12th
This song makes me smile a lot. I love it. It's fresh and bizarre. Generally I don't like this kind of music, but excellent songs do force out exceptions about preferences. Many have complained about the low quality of the vocals. I think the lo-fi factor fits to the overall attitude. The build-up phase may be a tad long. I'm surprised to say this, but this one is my top favourite out of this year's entries.
Believe in it by 1nsane, placed 7th
Whoa, what a rhythm! With that very edgy mastering and daring soundscape, this song is brutal! If you had turned this into a fierce pirate battle song, you would've dropped me from the podium for sure. Even though this is a masterpiece, it kind of did not stand out as clearly as I expected. Although being a 'demostyle' piece, it misses a theme. Please add a theme, PLEASE make a pirate song with the same techniques! It would be so BAD!
Hideout by Byproduct, placed 6th
What a killer song! Outrageous melodies and arpeggios, stylish dark atmosphere, edgy sound texture and a raging flow. There's nothing else to say, really.
Old Man Belmont by Signal, was the best of the large bunch of non-preselected songs. Jury ranking: 14th
Signal has had bad luck over the years. Many of his very good songs - like this one here - have been among the best non-screened ones. This song is a very nice honor to the Castlevania video game series. (Simon Belmont appeared in the first Castlevania games.) I love the whip sound at 0:35. Maybe there could have been some more subtle sound effects? The final part is very good but short, I would've added some more highlight parts with the chuch organ. Without the screeching highlights, however, this piece could fit wery vell in a Castlevania game as gameplay music. My fast music entry C A S T L E M A N I A shares the very same genre with this piece.
Requiem by artz - not preselected, jury ranking: 24th
The most beautiful piece in the competition. It has a somewhat haunting atmosphere and dark shades in it. A requiem is a piece of music composed to honor a dead person. Whomever this piece might be dedicated to, it really does serve as an honor.
The Majestic Enemy by JPT - not preselected, jury ranking: 32th
This song reminds me of Vangelis's massive masterpiece Conquest Of Paradise. Very cinematic, well arranged and well processed material. Nothing's wrong with this one, but it would have needed more striking high points to stand out in the competition's huge mass of songs. 32th jury ranking still isn't that bad. While the Signal's piece would really need a game, this one is craving a movie.
Ugly by Castor - not preselected, jury ranking: 16th
This song has very good vocals. Overall the sound is very soft. The sound is completely ok, but maybe a little more crisp touch would've made it stand out better, or at least made the vocals more audible? I'm unable to hear all the lyrics clearly enough, but could this piece - by any chance - carry a message to Timbaland?
That's all about the Music Competition this time. The general Assembly 2010 report is on its way.