THIS COLUMN IS BY AWESOME DUDE GATAS BRILHANTES
(YOU CAN THANK HIM HERE.)
After an extended hiatus, the Trousers are back – clean, pressed, and smelling fresh! Come closer, friend! Place your ear next to the crotch of these wondrous pants and listen for a while. Do you hear the music? Do you hear the radness gurgling within? You do? Excellent! Then yank down that zipper, friend, and prepare yourself for the most vigorous earfucking you’ve ever had! Prepare yourself for ... A TROUSERFUL OF MELODY!
Anyway, since I particularly enjoyed Patch’s coverage of chiptunes in the Trousers a while ago, I figured that was as good a place as any to start a new instalment. So ... WHOOSH!
USK – PICOPICODISCO
I might have mentioned in one of my forum posts that I'm not a musician, so I wouldn't know whether this album is considered technically spectacular or what, but to me, PICOPICODISCO is what chip music is all about: candy-flavoured clouds of adrenaline.
she – Pioneer
I've listened to this album dozens of times and I still can't pin down a succinct description of it. Perhaps I'm just an inarticulate bastard who's happy that Lain has crammed rockin' beats and dreamy ambiance into a broom closet until they've sorted out their differences. Whatever. I love it to bits.
virt – FX3
I previously only knew of virt as a remixer and creator of vgmix – after listening to this, I instantly wished I had taken notice of his 8-bit stuffs earlier. There's a fantastic narrative structure to this album, rather than it being just a collection of bleeps and bloops that happen to sound awesome at 120bpm or whatever, and while it's dominated by sheer rock energy, it occasionally slips into a very awesome funk groove. To cap it off, each track is far more intricate than you could possibly imagine chip music to be – and when combined they form what is surely the soundtrack to the greatest 8-bit title never released.
While you have virt on the brain, you should also check out this little Metal Gear ditty, a mildly schizophrenic composition that neatly captures the 'essence' of the games on which it's based. When Kaufman really starts to rawk out, you honestly believe there's little he can't do with that axe of his, thus making the watered-down, faux-gravitas Gregson-Williams interludes even more intrusive. Ultimately, though, it's completely unlike Metal Gear in that the moments where you're shouting "OH MY SHIT THIS IS THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER!" substantially outweigh the more irksome aspects. And it never disappears completely up its own arse.
Speaking of which: it seems that practically every instalment of the Trouserful includes a remix from OCR that attempts (and fails) to do the imaginary orchestra thing. Clicking on the front page of the site today, I espied a track named Afternoon Tea with SnappleMans' Mom and, knowing how rocking SnappleMan's mixes tend be, I figured it would be in the same vein and instantly downloaded it – gee golly, was I in for a surprise!
Thing is, this track is just so consciously affected, it seems to me that the remixer is in fact taking the piss out of the same orchestral wank sessions he appears to emulate. Maybe I'm wrong: maybe the composer is sincere in his intention to provide a soundscape befitting an afternoon spent drinking Earl Gray and nibbling on scones. In which case I'd say it's perhaps a little too bombastic and rousing to be entirely appropriate, and I'm sure that if the "ladies" that previously graced our store placeholder page were about, they'd agree, too.
Now, while it's a tradition (or an old charter, or something) that the Trousers attempt to cover predominantly newer mixes, I believe that it's an insult to the audience to presuppose prior knowledge of every remix ever released before yesterday and focus solely on latest tracks. So, I'm gonna take this opportunity of front-pagedness to stuff some of my favourite mixes down your throats. You'll thank me later, promise*.
goat – Scourge of 1961
You may have seen speed-runs in which the original Castlevania is completed in around fifteen minutes – but have you ever heard it completed in twelve? In this wanktastic rock opera, goat takes us from the main gate of the demon castle and all the way to the inner sanctum of the Lord of the Undead. And then on to the credits. Fuckwin epic.
Dan Studnicky – Forest Fire
Pure synth goodness. I've never played U.N. Squadron, but there's no way in hell it could be half as fun as this mix.
Rexy – Reign of the Mana Sword
I'd love to wax lyrical about this in a vain attempt to convince you to check it out, but as a twenty-odd minute long piano arrangement, it's a bit beyond my powers of persuasion. Would it help if I told you it was absolutely fucking gorgeous and managed to capture that inimitable essence that made Secret of Mana so awesome, before Square spunked the series up the wall?
Jormungand – Dark Star Scherzo
Another Mana piano arrangement; this one is rollicking and slightly menacing at the same time, kind of like spending a day at a seaside carnival knowing that the rides haven't been serviced to keep costs down and are thus liable to burst apart and severely maim you at a moment's notice.
Justus Johnson – Icy Peaks
Mournful string arrangement of a theme from the Touhou series. No amount of hyperbole and excessive swears can convey anything better than stating that it is quite simply one of the most beautiful tracks on all of OCR.
My, what a perfectly delightful way to round things off! Wouldn't you agree, Sailor Moon?
Now get listening.
* Gatas' promises aren't actually worth the pixels they're comprised of, but you can have this for taking the time to squint and read through such a patently ridiculous disclaimer.