This song mixtures folktronica, future genres and so-called hardcore, which combination can't be seen in any other realm than the rhythm game scene.
By utilizing techniques such as sidechaining and tapestop, Aoba successfully incorporated both non-grid-snapped groove and four-on-the-floor for melodies, which represents the best of both lyrical-mellow and rhythm-gamey idendities.
Also, Sta liked the epicene and neutral subject of "creature" which is a good fit for the game's characteristics!
Tides of Time is the latest interpretation of loud-but-intimate 00's electronica.
The song is meticulously constructed in multiple intertwined dimensions, from the composition to lyrics, and we especially liked the structured poeticism that the song form goes from two-liner to four-liner/quatrain as the tension builds.
Highly musical and poetic composition that is still great to play with is just what we ordered.
F1055 is a well done representation of Science Fiction/Fantasy motorsport-like thrill and thrust in musical form.
The song features a unique thick combination of an aggressive beat that is more akin to breaks rather than usual drum & bass, future big chords and a rushing rhythm of Chicago Juke.
On a technical side, Sta liked how the riser (roaring pitch-up sound just before the drop) is used as a semi-passing note and a tension, which adds a touch of jazzy impression to the track.
We had more than a few free jazz submissions and had a hard time deciding which one is THE one, since it is not quite possible to add more than a few such songs to the game.
The reason we ultimately decided to pick Quaternion up is this unexpectable musical development from the beginning to the end that gets the most out of the composer's copious musical vocabulary.
The key-lead phrase made out of detached single notes is also fascinating and reminded Sta of a certain Herbie Hancock song (that cowbell also helped).
* Quaternions basically extends the complex numbers. Because it is a lot easier and cleaner representation of every possible rotation than also-popularly-used euler angle, it is often used in 3DCG. The composer commented that he came up with the subject of the song from this Quaternion, which is spherical.
This fresh-and-cool track interprets the most recent hip hop-like beats into future electronic by a bit of curveball but nonetheless interesting approach.
Wonky crunky unstable beats like what you heard in this song is a pretty rare thing for rhythm game because usually such beat obstructs the fun of keeping rhythm, but Glitched World captures a good spot between musicality and gameplay possibility.
This can be said to any other songs we picked for this contest, but the song is also excellent in its use of foley sounds for expanding the soundscape.
* Foley is a jargon for everyday sound effects, named after SFX artist Jack Foley, and more recently weird stock sound effects in certain dance music genres, such as "bed squeak" or "waterdrop".
KOLD updates 90's anime music context into the latest mid-bpm hitech electronic dance. First and foremost we liked the melody and well-shaped words, which hit the right spot between a good sing-along melody and never-blink rhythm game fair.
It is worth mentioning that the song absorbs a low gravity garage-ish sound to the genre pretty well, and is a fresh departure from the usual high-pitched, bleeping hitech dance cliche, while maintaining a good complexity.
Popness and simplicity in the art form are proportionally linked. Kakera is arranged in a 5-piece band structure that can be almost perfectly played live, while you could add as much sound as you may want in today's digital music.
As someone believes in less is more, Sta picked this song for its pop rock geist.
Tone Sphere has been covering the deeper end of music spectrum too, like songs by Cubesato and Tigerlily, and perhaps that is why there are quite a number of experimental/folktronica/downtempo songs submitted to the contest. Sleepwalking is a nicely-done composition in terms of its rather clear visual imagery, motion of the sound and the tempo that goes exactly as if someone is in their sleepwalk.
A bit of sound-nerd appeal was that the acoustic guitar loop in the ending wasn't faded out like it normally should be, so that the resulting "pop" works like a click on the beat!
Artcore is a popular style in rhythm game community, however, it can be a formidable challenge if you want to do it with your own style, unless one has more than enough musical vocabulary and skills to express oneself. F-Rozenette takes a unique approach to the genre with its triple-timed, icy soundscape and original use of instruments, such as legato-harpsichord-lead which is something we've never heard of, but nonetheless sounding so good.
It is symbolic that the song uses transient-shaped, sharp attack for most tracks, while this also-popular "short crash with the kick" is sound designed to have a bit of slow-attack. It is a contrarian take on the genre's cliche that can't be produced without absorbing so much musical context!
Sta also liked that the composer himself did the artwork, so that he can also visually represent the song.
Positive comes with a minimalist philosophy at every corners, from mysterious lyrics to razor-sharp beat, the song successfully mixes both rhythm game and musical identity.
Its musical stoicism for big chords that does not press too many keys at once is an art of subtraction and a magic of multiplication.
While the mix style is hardcore and violent overall, it is interesting to have a not-so-saturated gentle 808 snares - a nice touch in the track.
Instrumental easy-listening pop is in fact another identity for rhythm game music other than just dance/electronic. Wonder Circus represents such DNA.
The way the song turns over its rhythm approach and a little bit of loneliness over the ending - it's how a one night's dream would be like. The circus just won't stay there forever!
The author commented that she wasn't well versed in composing, but lyrics, melodies and musical construction are in fact pretty well done.
Most importantly, such determination to write a song and draw an illustration by oneself to create what she wants to create - a character song for Damsel - is impressive and something Sta can relate to as a creator, so we give this work a special award.
Based on tgm's work, apple will be re-arranged by Sta to fit the gameplay.
Listed below are one of the finalists in our selection process. Although we did not pick your song as the final winner, we'd still love to mention these songs.