Learn. Create. Compete.
Compo is a slang word for "composition competition" commonly used by the arrangement community. It is derrived from the demoscene competitions by the same name.
Contrary to this, compos are less of a competition and more of an excerise in composition abilites. Each compo has it's own unique format and guidelines and while some are as short as 1 hour, others can last anywhere from a month, to a few months.
It's important to remember that the primary purpose of compos are to hone your skills and abilites by working within, sometimes very constricting, guidelines. These techiniques have proven essential to the growth of countless musicians.
Remember: the only way to lose a compo, is to not participate.
Recent Compo Rounds
Source: Ape Escape - Coral Cave (PS1)
Ima hit you hard with the nostalgia. This was one the games that takes me back so long, one of the finest PS1 games.
I'm obviously talking about Ape Escape, which was very innovative at the time, because it had a unique idea. Basically you had to catch monkey's to complete a level, with each level being expansive and well though-out. You had multiple tools at your disposal, as well as villains to fight at the end. The game is made by Japan Studio and has undergone many remakes, mostly in updating the graphics, but with some remakes adding new tunes, and minigames. Only 3 games were made tops, with the rest of the games being spin-off's or games with multiple characters from different franchises. I don't know why they stopped at Ape Escape 3, maybe something killed it i don't know, but i will say when i was young i was playing this a lot, it's a fun game for sure.
But why focus on the game? The soundtrack is among the finest in the PS1 catalogue. Perfectly unusual blend of cartoony melody ideas, synthetic percussive ideas, and the most obviously, jungle breaks. Rich in Techno and Jungle, but also rich in light-hearted fun in some areas. A lot of the tracks are super simple, mostly looping 1-2 bar phrases, while some go for more heavy melodic ideas. The more i talk about it, the more i would love to put every song on here, but alas i can only choose one.
The music was done by Soichi Terada, who (Except for the second game) has composed pretty much all of the games in the series. What's also interesting, is that he wasn't even a composer at this point, he was a producer making electronica albums for his own record label, Far East Recording. So this game was a turning point into VGM. All in all, you have to check this dude out, he's so good. I had a hard time picking one track from the game, but in the end i choose to go with Coral Cave. Very relaxing, but also very simple. Only 2 chords are used throughout the whole piece, with the main traction coming from the dynamic melody. Creativity will be needed for this one, but that's good, as music doesn't always need to be expansive (The Bomberman round showcases this well). Hope you do this one justice.
GAME: Ape Escape
Source: Coral Cave
So here's the video:
And as expected from me, my own MIDI:
Compo: MnP (Meat 'n Potatoes)
Congratulations to Souperion for winning the last round! As a result, he get's to choose this month's MnP source! Here's what he had to say about his pick:
"Bonds of Sea and Fire" from Xenogears. I've never played the game, but a friend directed me to the song. It's another beauty by Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger/Cross, among others), delicate and delightful." - Souperion
GAME: Xenogears (PlayStation 1)
SOURCE: Bonds of Sea and Fire
Deadline: 7th July @ 1PM
Closing Date: 9th July @ 1PM
Vote Ends: 16th July @ 1 PM
MnP ARCHIVE - made by Trism
Source: Battle Garegga (Arcade) - Underwater Rampart
"I feel like a Shmup is in order. Shmup meaning "Shoot-em-Up". This one in particular is from Battle Garegga, which like with a lot of Japanese shoot-em-up's were insanely difficult, and insanely fast. They are often referred to as "Bullet Hell" games, because of this reason. I've played this game (Albeit, with a few modifications to make it easier lol) and it's still difficult haha. Battle Garegga was released in 1996, by the company known as Raizing, (which shortly after became Eighting), and it's known for a forward approach, meaning you just go straight into the game-play, no holds back. Anyways, i shouldn't ramble about the game, it's the awesome soundtrack i need to talk about.
The music was composed by Manabu Naimiki, and primarily follows an electronica score, but in a way, where it feels very melodic, and in parts, jazzy. As you progress, the music get's faster, to where the last few stages, are pretty intense and full-on. The track i'm presenting to you, is called "Underwater Rampart", which is the 2nd stage theme. You'll notice the interesting name there, as this is a slight nod to Underground Resistance (The 90's techno outfit). In fact you might as well call it a cover of Jupiter Jazz (Performed under their alias, Galaxy 2 Galaxy),from the chords to it's beat. The difference being, that Underwater Rampart has more atmosphere, and less jazz. Also the arrangement is ever so slightly different. Those who are familiar with Cowboy Bebop might recognise the song i'm talking about.
It also happens to have a shit-tonne of remixes, with 80-percent coming from the original composer, and those who worked on the Saturn port of the game (Shinji Hosoe, Ayako Saso, Hitoshi Sakimoto and a whole lot more remixed the Arcade soundtrack, Just google in the game, to find out the rest of the composers.) Even with it's sheer abundance of remixes (There's also a 2016 remake, which features another remixed soundtrack, as well as a commercial album of remixed material lol), from different people, it's still not even recognised on OCRemix, so no actual remixes exist of this, outside the composer and arrangers themselves. Hopefully you guys can fill the void.
The tune is amazing, the chords are really interesting, and there are changes to make this an absolutely ripe song to remix! I hope you have fun with this!"
Game: Battle Garegga (Arcade)
Source: Underwater Rampart
As always, here's the video:
And my own custom made MIDI: