Friday, August 31, 2007

Video Killed The Radio Star (Again)

I love OverClocked Remix. As a fan of video game music, it's always fun when a homemade remix turns up and completely changes the way you think about the original piece.

My favorite type of remix is the type that includes vocal work; lyrics just add that little extra something that can make an already-great remix even better. So I thought I'd share the ones that rule my playlist:

The Ken Song by jdproject: This one caught me completely by surprise - what could you possibly do with a Street Fighter 2 theme? But Joe Darwish transforms it into an energetic, ultra-catchy pop-rock affair, and I just adore it.

Dreaming Still by pixietricks: Jillian Goldin is one of OCR's best vocalists, and her remake of Noriko Mitose's "Radical Dreamers" is a huge improvement over the placid original theme. The last thirty seconds or so always confuse me, because the sudden swerve up-tempo comes out of nowhere, but it's still excellent.

Dragon Song by Harmony: Despite being unfamiliar with the source material, I find I can appreciate Brandon Bush's solid vocals and masterful piano/guitar work on their own.

Journey's End by pixietricks: Another one by Jillian Goldin, this time remixing the Gagazet theme of "Final Fantasy X" into a love song that perfectly captures post-game Tidus and Yuna.

Smooth Steel by malcos: A while back, OCR held a Vocal Remix competition - the "Metal Man" theme from "Mega Man 2" was revamped, and various vocalists submitted their own lyrics/vocals. Though Jillian Goldin won the competition, I've always preferred Stephen Malcolm-Howell's version; he does a lot more with the arrangement.

Summoner's Love by DragonAvenger: There's something delightfully appropriate about DragonAvenger remixing a "Final Fantasy X" song; her voice reminds me quite a bit of Rikki, the Japanese folk singer who performed "Suteki da ne" for the same game. DragonAvenger takes the Besaid theme - a very laid-back melody to begin with - and threads her voice through it quite seamlessly. It does get a bit repetitive towards the end, but I like it nonetheless.