Wednesday, May 28, 2008

3/8/08 CMT II Soundtrack: "Crazy Sketch"

This is the first of four soundtracks from the second Comic Making Tournament: "Crazy Sketch." The soundtrack gets it name because I put a lot of strange and upbeat songs onto it, including examples of non-adult Japanese denpa.

Track list (artist/source - song name):

1. Katamari Damacy - Sasasan Katamari
2. Portal - Still Alive
3. Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me with Science
4. Oingo Boingo - Weird Science
5. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei - Hito Toshite Jiku ga Bureteiru
6. Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei - Kuusou Rumba
7. JAM Project - JAM ga Moettetta! Sailor Fuku
8. Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - Yuki, Muon, Madobe Nite
9. Higurashi - Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
10. Weird Al Yankovic - Dare to be Stupid
11. Lucky Star - Motteke! Sailor Fuku (Electro Otome Chikku Mix)
12. Utada Hikaru - Beautiful World
13. Moon Phase - Neko Mimi Mode
14. Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - Hare Hare Yukai
15. Lucky Star - Motteke! Sailor Fuku
16. Caramell - Caramelldansen (Speedy Cake Remix)
17. O-zone - Dragostea din tei
18. Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - Yuki, Muon, Madobe Nite (Program Hack Remix)
19. Lucky Star - Motteke! Sailor Fuku (Metabolic Syndrome Taisaku Mix)

I tried to order the songs in order of increasing speed and energy, like an artist growing more and more frantic.

Track 1 struck me as a natural opener, as it starts quietly and picks up tempo while being insanely catchy. Track 2 was a hit with the kids, as a couple of them recognized it from the game. Tracks 3 thru 6 were an "intro" of sorts for me. I tend to portray myself as a mad scientist, so 3 and 4 fit into this. 5 and 6 come from a show where the main character is a crazy teacher, making them appropriate.

There are four versions of the Lucky Star OP "Motteke! Sailor Fuku" on this CD, each in order of bombastic energy. 7 is a wacky group song by JAM Project (who I hope to see at Otakon in 2008), which transitions into a pair of slower electronic pieces (8 and 9). 9's out of place in terms of theme, but the sound works well. 10 goes back to the wacky theme, while 11 restates 7 at a relatively stable and steady pace.

Track 12 flows directly from 11, with Utada Hikaru's theme for "Evangelion 1.0" being a great example of more mainstream Japanese dance music. 13 is reminiscent of some of the 60's movie light pop themes, with minimal vocals. I included it as a "lull before the storm," when the CD launches into its most frenetic portion.

Track 14 and 15 are two of the most infamous songs in recent anime circles, with full dance routines dedicated to both. The position of the two on the CD meant they would play in the middle of a given activity. Highly peppy and infectious, they were meant to help wake up any students who may have hit a mid-way stump. 16 and 17 were some non-Japanese dance pieces, both of which have become popular on the Internet.

One thing I like doing with mix CD's is restating earlier themes with remixes. Tracks 18 and 19 accomplish this, with 18 being a more forceful presentation of track 8. Track 19 takes the "main thread" and ups it to its most frantic point, a remix that makes the song even more boisterous than it already was.

One change I'd make to this CD if I use it again (and I probably will) is to include a "resolution" track, something slow and easy at the end. This makes transitioning to later CD's easier, since it gives the ear time to relax.

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