Flexstyle continues in his quest to make enough amazing music such that I can replace my entire soundscape with stuff that makes it sound like I’m in a game from the Mega Man X series. And I love him for it. This album was something I mentioned a while back, but I hadn’t had time to sit down and give it the nerdy listen it deserves. The entire album is freaking gorgeous, but my notes on my favorites from it The Chilloniq mix of Neck Deep is a sprawling, ambitious remix project that wildly succeeds. The future bass & breakbeat fusion not only works, but needs to be a new genre. But of course, if you’ve been playing the home game, you know I think Flexstyle’s created more than 1 new genre of music by now. Stand With Me has a great little synthy retro feel to it. The vocal work is definitely a highlight here, especially if it means he comes out of his shell & sings more.
The Oasis remix is big, and reinforces the idea that this dude has the composition & remix chops to stand outside of the convention world. Solar Eclipse keeps that rambling vibe going with a plucky, uptempo melody that would probably be good for speed run practice. Revolution is a dope little jam that speaks to a developing sense of authentic signature sound, so again, more please! Perfect Getaway brings in some turnt up guitars and is totally the title track of the album for a reason.
Summer Silence pulls the energy down a bit and gives us a nice little ambient tune that makes me think of Kyoto. Which is weird as I’ve never been to Japan. Fluid Motion ends up being some fun liquid drum & bass, which y’all know I’m a fan of, so frankly, the 5min the track weighs in at isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Which is why he follows it up with some buzzsaw-infused D&B that sounds quite a bit harder than the previous track. Boh Boh indeed.
The rest of the album is a sweet little collection of originals, heavy guest featuring & a couple more remixes that are totally worth your time. Any time Flexstyle remixes Ben Briggs, sit up in your chair & pay attention please, as his Methods remix could get dropped at a side stage at Ultra today and I wouldn’t even blink. A super positive bompin electro track, plus a couple more for your trouble. AND A FREE BONUS PRIZE FOR YOU!
Bonus Mix! The more Flexstyle plays out live, the more I need to hear him. This is one of my favorite mixes of 2015 so far. Playful, bomping ridiculous vgm beats that I could dance to forever. At some point I’m going to be cool enough to throw my own convention party and if it gets him doing more vocal work, I’ll shout it from the rooftops. The build is no slouch either, and I can’t wait for him to team up with Rameses B or get a release signed to Monstercat.
(So happy to be posting this! Flexstyle has been one of my favorite artists innovating in the dance music space for years now, and I’m honored he agreed to talk about his work & ridiculous new album, which I’ll be yammering about shortly.)
1. Tell us about your new album Perfect Getaway! What can your fans expect from the 15 track extravaganza? More than just 15 tracks, actually! There are 15 tracks officially on the digital album, but there are also a couple of bonus tracks included as well with some Oasis remix contest runners-up. Aside from that, this may be the most eclectic album I’ve ever released—certainly stays true to my name and mission of being flexible in the styles that I create! This album contains both original and remix work that I’ve completed over the last few years. It contains appearances by video game remix superstar and entertainer extraordinaire Ben Briggs, versatile EDM and VGM cohort Jamison Randall, my good friends Airdrift and dmGuillotine, and many more. In short, expect more of the same, but different! DnB, downtempo, trance, vocal synthpop, electro, progressive house, dubstep, trap, and breakbeats all make an appearance.
2. How did you join OCRemix and start doing VGM remixes? OverClocked ReMix is probably the main “home” I have as a musician, and I started participating over there in…I want to say about 2008? I got my first posted mix on the site in early 2010, I believe, after a couple of rejected mixes and a lot of participating in various competitions and events. That’s pretty much the best way to get posted over there, by the way, is to keep trying and keep participating in the community. I’ve always loved video game music, so it was only natural that I found the site and started participating. I think it was after seeing a writeup in a magazine that I actually first heard about it—might have been Computer Music or something like that. So, to properly answer your question, I don’t really remember exactly how it was I joined up, but it was definitely meant to be!
New Grimecraft! For your Thursday night, I’m bringing you some retro future bass by the one and only. This tune has deep feels and a swaying bassline that deserves its own mix. This kind of lazy, but exceptionally produced bass rocks back and forth in a hammock under the VGM-inspired melody. It’s got the odd Pikachu sample, and I think I detected a “Hey, Listen!” in there somewhere, which, would be infuriating, if they weren’t used perfectly. It’s not in a hurry, and doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t. Kudos to Maltine Records for picking him up, and check out the rest of his EP here.
Flexstyle, a little known OCRemix DJ/contributor, was let loose at Saboten Con a little bit ago, and we’re all better for it. Opening the live party mix with a PrototypeRaptor electrohouse banger, this guy immediately declared he was not fucking around. Mixing into a remix of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE level music ever, really could not win more points in my book. The Ben Briggs remix does the Flying Battery Zone (Sonic & Knuckles was a damn triumph) justice and then, there’s Bloody Beetroots! I don’t know where this kid came from, but this is the first time I’ve been convinced I wanted to go to a con in years. If the tunes sounded like this? I’d be 100% down. A particularly wonderful Green Day remix helps transition the mix into original music (but not without dropping a sweet Chemical Zone Remix, with a taunting DDR sample if I’m not mistaken) half of the mix. This is another area where Flexstyle shines. The tunes are expertly produced and pushed together. I can’t wait to hear when he starts integrating his trance & bass tracks into his live mix.
Bonus set! They let him back on the decks, which is a decision I couldn’t support more. I’m not sure how to describe this. This is Nerd Rave music. This is what I wished every chiptune show was ever. Frankly, I’d just listen to 4 hours of electro, deep house, trance & glitch remixes of video game music. If you want to play synthed out West Coast bootlegs of Sonic 3 music, I really would pay you money to do that. Is that possible? This mix even brings in electro swing, which is wonderful. I think this kind of stuff can bring a lot of introverts out of their shell. It’s easy to hear something you recognize and it’s complicated enough that it’s not doofy big room anthem shit. If Big Room is the frat in the EDM scene, this is the Anime club. And man, they look like they’re having a lot of fun.
(Check out my latest guest review for Old Timey Hedgehog, your source for geeky goodness. http://www.amazon.com/Hedgy-Times-Issue-Magazine-ebook/dp/B00D47CEDM This was a big one :D)
I have been waiting for this remix project for probably close to 15 years. One of the first places I discovered new electronic music was www.overclockedremix.org, one of the perennially under-valued resources for video game and chiptune music online.
Coming at you again with another 25 tracks that dropped in the last month, I think you’re going to like the collection I’ve put together here. A bit more trance heavy than last month, which is always a plus for the trance people out there, some really deep dubby stuff, a few chilled out tunes, a track off that sick Arkasia EP I raved about a week ago, a track by Flexstyle that can only be described as Trance-Hop and a few choice tunes from MixMag, who has been killing it lately when it comes to their Soundcloud stream.
Also at the end is my favorite mix of the month, the magnificent Luvstep IV done by Flufftronix & Dirty South Joe. It’s one of my most favorite mixes of the year, and if you don’t know it, get at it 😀
Get at them and post up your favorites in the comments!