Sooner or later these guys were going to turn up in our Musical Showcase feature. Their work is some of the most listened to music in my library, video game-based or otherwise.
OverClocked ReMix is both a community of remixers and a curated repository for rearrangements of video game music. A non-profit entity run by David ‘djpretzel’ Lloyd, it aims to pay tribute to and highlight the finest musical compositions in gaming. Since its inception in 1999 OCR has received widespread acclaim from within the industry, recognised by many influential composers, featured by numerous press publications and even used by developers. After hearing OCR’s 2006 Street Fighter album Blood on the Asphalt, Capcom hired the group with Lloyd at the helm to compose the reworked soundtrack for 2008’s Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.
OCR’s reputation is well-earned. It’s produced thousands of quality renditions, rearrangements and remixes spanning countless genres and styles from hundreds of original compositions. I’ve by no means heard everything they’ve ever hosted online but every single track I have has been of a remarkably high standard, so much so that many professional composers would do well to take notes.
So what tracks or albums would I recommend you listen to? The excellent SSFII Turbo HD Remix album isn’t a bad place to start given the ubiquity of Street Fighter in the gaming subconscious. Some of my absolute favourite numbers include this remix of the Corridor of Time from Chrono Trigger, this slow groove from Streets of Rage II and this mournful mix of Legend of Zelda tracks by Mr Pretzel himself. Speaking of Nintendo’s fantasy epic, the recently released tribute album 25YearLegend is also fantastic.
Other than that, it really comes down to your favourite games. OCR’s site is super easy to peruse and has YouTube links for every track so you can listen before you download.
Oh, and did I mention? Every single track is free. Unless you’re against the idea of fan-made renditions (and assuming you enjoy your game music… why are you reading this article if not?) there’s absolutely no reason not to give OCR’s music a shot.