**TRACK DESCRIPTIONS AND GAME LIST FURTHER BELOW**
This is a collection of tracks I've recorded through the year 2019 for Dwelling of Duels, a monthly video game music remix competition. A theme is picked each month and you have until the end of the month to arrange and record a cover based off of the theme. Songs are presented anonymously and voted on to choose a winner. Despite that, the competition aspect of it usually takes a backseat to improving your skills and interacting with others in the community.
For various reasons, I was in a creative slump before 2019. It wasn't that I didn't have any ideas. It may have been that I had too many ideas and no focus. It could have also been general depression. But for whatever reason, I made a commitment to myself to enter this competition for the entire calendar year. I wasn't sure at the start if I would release these as an album or not, but as I continued I was proud of how some of these tracks turned out. I didn't care about winning, although I did a couple of times.
I was also fairly hesitant to upload these here. This is more of a collection than an album. These are more snapshots of where I was and what I was doing throughout the year than they are a coherent concept. But a few of my friends thought they should be heard by more people, so here they are. Presented in chronological order, varying in genre and style, without regard to flow, structure, or even mastering. I hope you enjoy them.
TRACK RUNDOWN: Title (Game)
01: Skate Free or Die Hard (Skate or Die 2: The Search for Double Trouble)
Recorded for "Brevity Month" in January 2019.
Brevity Month is usually a "free month" theme where you can choose any song from any game, but your submission has to be one minute or less. It's usually the default theme for January as it's the month after MAGFest and most people in the community are recovering from that. The track used was from Level 1 - The Streets.
02: The Northern Hemisphere is Melting, And We're All Going to Fucking Die (Donkey Kong Country)
Recorded for "Snow Month" in February 2019.
The theme was any game music taken from a snow level. It did not specify I had to use icy or cold imagery or texture though. Source track used was Northern Hemispheres.
03: Dear to the Heart (Final Fantasy 7)
Recorded for "Uematsu Month" in March 2019.
This theme was any game music composed by Nobuo Uematsu. This was the first one I got first place on.
04: Marxism (Kirby Super Star)
Recorded for "Free Month" in April 2019.
This was the boss battle theme for Marx in Kirby Super Star. For those that are really into remixes keeping their original time signatures, I recommend against counting and following along on this one.
05: See You Space Harrier... (Space Harrier)
Recorded for "Daemon9623 Month" in May 2019.
This month wasn't a competition. It was a tribute to a Sean Babbit (Daemon9623), a friend and member of the DoD/Shizz community who passed away in April 2019. Everyone was encouraged to submit good music in memory of him. And it had the largest turnout of any month in the past two years. Source used was the main theme.
06: Subspace (Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyō Tōitsusen)
Recorded for "Treasure Month" in June 2019.
The theme this month was any music from any game published by Treasure Games. The game I chose was some Yu Yu Hakusho game that was never even released in the US. It was basically an excuse to sneak in a cover of the best anime opening theme ever made. Other than that, source used was the battle stage "Subspace 2".
07: Your Princess is in Another Castle (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, et. al)
Recorded for "ZeldaRedux Month" in July 2019.
This is a giant medley encompassing various Hyrule Castle and Ganon themes across multiple Zelda games. This theme was called "ZeldaRedux" because it is the 2nd time in DoD history we've had a Zelda theme. I've been sitting on the idea of doing a long-form suite like this since before the release of my 2012 Zelda album. I'd like to do two more long form tracks to "complete the Triforce" one day. Also, this was the other time I made first place this year.
08: Creep Colony (StarCraft)
Recorded for "Free Month" in August 2019.
This was my take on Zerg 2 from the StarCraft soundtrack. For the swarm.
09: Ken Grizzard and the Lizard Wizard Presents 'Kenagon Griffinity' (Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball)
Recorded for "Tornado of Solos Month" in September 2019.
If you have no idea what the hell is going on with this track, just know that this is a concept mash-up and that I'd recommend checking out the album "Nonagon Infinity" by the band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard for better understanding of what I'm doing here. Also, I don't make any claims of being a vocalist. The theme "Tornado of Solos" is where a single track from a single game is chosen and everybody has to do a cover of that track--focusing on peforming solos with their lead instrument. I was just on a big King Gizz kick that month when I decided to do this mash-up. It was probably the only way I'd have fun doing a track from a random sports game I've never played.
10: Luigi's Beach House (Luigi's Mansion/Super Mario 3D World)
Recorded for "Trick or Treat Month" in October 2019.
The theme this month was to take a spooky song and make it fun or to make a fun song and make it spooky. I turned Luigi's Mansion cartoony horror ambiance into surf rock. Sources used were Luigi's Mansion main theme and the ghost house music from Super Mario 3D World.
11: I'm Thinking (About Thos Beans) (Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine)
Recorded for "Master System Month" in November 2019.
While this game was originally released for the Genesis/Mega Drive, it was ported to the Master System so it counted for the theme. Source used was the credit music.
12: Smiles and Tears (Earthbound)
Recorded for "1994 Month" in December 2019.
The theme this month was to cover any game music from a game released in the year 1994. 1994 has good games. 1994 also has Earthbound. I don't know why I didn't cover Smiles and Tears on my 2014 Earthbound album, but whatever I did it here. I have to give jmr credit for the Dilbert 3 sample used in the end. If not for that it would have been the original "I Miss You" or "Epstein Didn't Kill Himself" or something else jarring and out of place.
I'd like to thank my friends that encouraged me on this project, specifically Timothy, Jeff (jmr) and Mikhail (streifig). I'd like to thank the DoD and Shizz community for being super nice, welcoming and accommodating. I heavily encourage others to participate in Dwelling of Duels, whether that be as a listener or a performer. And, as usual, I'd like to thank you for listening. I hope to take the momentum of last year and put it towards a more focused concept on my next album, whether it's a cover album or original music.
Dwelling of Duels Website: dwellingofduels.net
Cory Johnson on Dwelling of Duels: dwellingofduels.net/artists/cory-johnson/
Dwelling of Duels Discord: discord.gg/RqRAMFY