With Street Fighter IV doing the rounds (and going a few rounds) and a couple of places in the video game remixing community releasing Street Fighter tributes, we figured there's no better time than now to guide you through some of the absolute best Streeties-related musics.
We'll kick things off with Reuben Kee's Ryu for Four Pianos, which is one of the older tracks on OverClockedReMix. Rather than throwing his copy of Fruity Loops at a solo arrangement to liven it up, Reu simply integrated another couple of takes and the resulting ballad is beyond fantastic. It alternates between a remote, meditative pace and face-busting intensity, which is pretty damn Ryu if you think about it.
jdproject – The KEN Song: Vocal mixes are a double-edged sword, which is a pretty stupid analogy for me to be using because this article is meant to be about Street Fighter, not Soul Calibur or Samurai Shodown or any other fightin' game that actually has swords in. Anyway, the lyrics in this are kind of cheesy, but it's got an infectious inspirational vibe and you probably won't be able to stop yourself singing along. Just try not to do it when others are around – they'll laugh at you for singing about a character from Street Fighter. The bastards.
Next up is McVaffe, who I'm going to give his own section, just for being so damn awesome. He's made:
And – Jesus, and! – he's even managed to combine the various grunts and squeaks that constitute a match between Chun-Li and Guile into proper music, book-ending it with a pumping rendition of SFII's China theme and wrapping the whole thing up within the space of two minutes!
His best effort, though, is undoubtedly this rendition of Makoto's theme – smooth jazz piano and driving jungle beats that result in manic karate craziness busting out all over the place. Utterly gorgeous.
Getting back to remixers who aren't McVaffe, Gecko Yamori's MessatsuGou-Techno is more or less Akuma in musical form – a frenetic whirlwind of Raging Demon-inspired techno that will please your ears and kill you with cheap aerial fireballs. It's also excellent, although it wouldn't have killed Gecko to make it that little bit shorter.
Rayza – Guile (R.A.H. Mix): Two techno remixes in a row? How indecorous of me! I didn't even ask if you liked techno! You will after listening to this, though: it's Broomhead and glowsticks, you can't not love it.
Oh, and seeing as we have to link you to CHM's home page for that, you may as well pick up his rockin' rendition of the SFII end theme, On The Way Back Home, while you're there. The quality of the track is pretty rough – it hasn't been polished for hosting on OCR or wherever – but it's also the best rendition of the source material that I've heard. And I tend to get rather picky when it comes to this track because I didn't think you could improve it.
Remeber how I mentioned in the intro that some Streeties tributes have recently popped up? Well, okay, here's the part where I link to them. First up, we've got an albumful of Sagat. According to official Street Fighter canon, Sagat spends most of his time doing one of two things: 1) repeatedly kneeing people in the head, and 2) laughing while hugging his man-tits. However, in this album, Thai Guy attempts to reveal another, softer side of everyone's favourite Muay Thai champion. The result is a decidedly pensive experience which recalls the Buddha statue in his Street Fighter II stage: thoughtful and relaxed, not really in a hurry to go nowhere, just happy being all enlightened and shit.
August was also Street Fightin' Month over at the Dwelling of Duels and it saw ROCKtendo's first placed entry making more of the SFII continue screen theme than you'd imagine possible, zyko delivering a musical kick to the ovaries and DrumUltimA crafting a venomous dis track that captures perfectly the rampant homoeroticism that pervades the series. All in all, a rousing success – even if bjkmenu's entry made me want to punch him in the face.
Finally, there's Blood on the Asphalt – the incredible collaborative SFII Turbo remix project over at OCR. Standouts include one of the most thoroughly rockin' renditions of Ken's theme that mankind has been treated to, and a T. Hawk mix that is so damn Mexican that listening to it will cause your MP3 player to instantly sprout a sombrero. I'm not even kidding. A tiny little sombrero accessory, right there on its head – BAM! – magic.
And as if magic MP3 sombreros weren't amazing enough, even more astonishing is the fact that BotA contains a bunch of vocal mixes that are really, really good. The utter dejection Shael Riley manages to wring out of a fictional army veteran without turning it into a total /wrists session is impressive, while José the Bronx Rican flawlessly nails both the source material and personalities of Dee Jay and Vega – though I'm a little puzzled as to why the former's track is more "Latino" than the latter, what with Vega being particularly Spanish. Oh! Speaking of José's Vega mix, here's a sprite-based music video for it:
Is it possible to end on a better note than that? No. No it is not.