The Octavators is a music production company made up of Beyond Z (Joshua Hurwitz) and Vinnie Treux (Vincent Trudel), who have been making beats for the last twelve years. These talented beat makers provide instrumental music for TV shows, musicians looking for backing music to their lyrics, and video games. Their latest project is the soundtrack for the Japanese video game “Super Castlevania IV,” and they deliver the perfect background music to listen to while enjoying the game. As players battle Dracula and his minions, the soundtrack sets the mood and provides a nice auditory experience that will stick with you long after the game is over. “Demon Castle Dracula” has an eerie, spooky vibe, with a slow tempo and heavy bass. The creepy, slinky keyboard adds to the overall scary vibe, and the sound of “bones” clanging together is a nice touch. “Dracula’s Theme” starts out with the creepy sound of a chorus singing, mixed with synthesizers and piano, for am overall surreal feel. The guitars then come in to mix in with the chorus– perfect music for a horror movie. “Forest of Monsters” starts out with a funky drumbeat, and segues into an almost dance/rave type music style. The synthesizers are working overtime in this track, and the tune is both weird and catchy at the same time. Even though all of these songs have no lyrics, the instruments convey all that is being said in the songs– evil, scary, creepy vampires waiting to jump out at you as you go on your quest to destroy Dracula. The Octavators bring it on their latest, “Super Castlevania IV– The Remix Album.” The sound is creepy, the instrumentation wild and weird, and the sound exhilarating. The music sets the perfect mood for the video game, and the songs are catchy.
Today it’s my honor to bring you a production I’ve been slaving over the past month, a collboration with one of my biggest inspirations, MegaRan.
Before I get into the backstory, please take a moment and click the heart button on the track.
For those who aren’t famailar with the teacher/rapper/hero, MegaRan is the wordsmith behind my favorite VGM album of all time, Black Materia.
This track is a remix for the upcoming game Halo 4 for XBox360. Microsoft and 343 Studios started and official Halo 4 remix contest, offering up the stems for three of the songs from the game’s soundtrack. When I heard about a game studio doing a remix contest, I dropped everything and got started. I’ve participated in remix contests before, but the fact that a game studio was putting one on seemed to call directly to me.
Internet to Cutman, a game needs remixing!
The instrumental itself I spent over 40 hours on before even playing it for anybody (usually I boast of lightening speed production times, but for this project I wanted to address every detail and fine tune everything). After that first week, I couldn’t stop listening to the remix, but I couldn’t help be feel like it needed a human element. I shot MegaRan a message, who was just about to start a ten day tour of the west coast tour. I had hoped the beat would inspire him to write a verse or two. And that he did, and so much more.
MegaRan came through with two verses and a hook that amazed me; He outlined a soldiers point-of-view in wartime, using folklore from the Halo universe. MegaRan has a gift of tying the game world to real life, and just like in Black Materia he had crafted lyrics that brought Halo closer to reality then I have ever felt before. We spent a couple days sending mixes back and forth and fine tuning the structure of the song. His experience shined through, and it took me back to my days as a hiphop engineer, working with a lyricist to carve out perfect song.
The finishing touches was in a long section of the track with no vocals and orchestral sample chopping. I had marked the section as “The Journey” in my session, I imagined it was the journey from Headquarters to the battlefield, and wanted to communicate that somehow in the song. I visited The Free Sound Project and found a user who specialized in military sound effects. Licensed under Creative Commons, I took genuine military radio chatter and embedded it into the track.
Over a hundred hours later and nearly twenty different mixes, we have what you can now listen. If you like it, please Favorite it on Soundcloud. You can do this by clicking the little heart button on the track. The awesome artwork was done by Tron Bonne. Please take a moment to share the track with your friends.
“The plan is clear and concise, I’ve got to run with it.”
— MegaRan, The Promise
Behold, a free Chiptune Beastie Boys tribute album. Featuring Chip’s Challenge, Square Therapy, MyLifeIsPixels, Pixel8ter and more, this album samples original Beastie vocals and features new chip arrangements. I’m sure MCA is saying “that’s dope” up in hip hop heaven.
Download the album on Bandcamp.
I recently had the oppertunity to create a unique mix for Complex Magazine’s Video Game section. Following their E3 coverage, Complex was looking for a way to showcase the classic chiptune video game sound. Being the old school hiphop head that I am, I rounded up some of the best mashup artists who had worked with my GameChops instrumentals.
With guys like OhhhREALY and BigGanga0 from YouTube, and DJ PsyQ from Soundcloud, and some beats DJ Grumble and I put together, I set off on a hectic week of mixing, mashing, and mastering. The end result can be heard right here on Complex magazine.
I hope you enjoy the mixtape! I’ve been wanting to do something like this for ages, and I’m happy I finally got the opportunity from Complex.
Instrumental versions of the mash-up tracks can be downloaded on my album GameChops Vol. 1