Thursday, October 18, 2012

OCR in the Car

Amid all the chaos, music can be one of the great calms in my mind. And the time I get to listen to it most is in the car. Which is probably why I love driving so much. My husband hates driving, because it tends to bring out the worst in people. Perfectly nice neighbors sometimes turn into road-raging warmongers. But as long as I can blast my music, I'm okay with that.

When I'm in the car, I've discovered that I kinda need heavy beats and a strong melody. Things like progressive trance would really appeal to that beat, but it's classically-oriented songs that hold the strongest melodies. So where to get the best of both worlds? OverClocked ReMix

I've always loved video game music, but good ol' NES stuff was really limited on presentation. In fact, it's only been the last few years where real orchestras have taken the place of synth ones. So it should come as no surprise that people want to represent their favorite games through upgraded sound. And that's where OCR comes in. I needed a new mix CD when I started taking my husband to work every day, and searched OCR for the best. Remember, heavy beats, strong melody.

Coming in at #3 is a remix from Banjo-Kazooie. Heavily influenced by Mario64 but with its own silly twists, Banjo-Kazooie took a bear and a bird on a journey to save a girl from an evil witch. And the area Mad Monster Mansion seems highly appropriate for Halloween.

#2 is from one of my newer favorites, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. The series takes the gamer on a set of turnabout murder cases, with a few supernatural elements. This song comes in as Phoenix puts pressure on lying witnesses...

And #1 must come from the greatest game series of all time, The Legend of Zelda. Link's Awakening is an odd duck in the family (similar to Majora's Mask) where Link is whisked off to a foreign land and must gather all of the magical instruments, which together create this song, the Ballad of the Wind Fish.

Does this style of music appeal to you? What do you like to listen to while driving?



  1. I don't drive yet, despite being a twenty-something, but I don't think I'd be able to listen to any music once I learn. Music in general is so inspirational to me, I'd likely get too distracted by my characters if I did!

    Loving the songs you shared, btw! Never heard of any of them before, but they all have a techno-like vibe to them that I really enjoy. You're right about #3 feeling appropriate for Halloween, which is probably why I enjoyed it the most. ;)

    1. Do you live in a big city? I hear that lots of people in New York and such never get a driver's license. But around here you pretty much have to have a car. Or two. Stuff is far away, and the public transit isn't the greatest.

      Video game soundtracks make up most of my collection, particularly what lives in the car. I can listen to it as loud as I want and no one can hear it but me--although the bass in my car is ridiculous. I turn it WAY down and it still vibrates... But I kinda like it that way.

    2. I live in a city, although not one as big as New York, so I can still get around through other means. Still, it'd be nice to learn to drive someday so I don't have to rely on anything or anyone else.

  2. I like listening to lots of different stuff in the car. Silence is okay too, especially when I'm fired up about an idea I just had.

    OverClocked ReMix is a really cool site and my first source of any kind of techno or electronica. I loved it. And since I loved video games too, it was a natural fit. I like that even with the heavy elements of techno, OCR songs still maintain the catchy melodies of the best game music. Those melodies are something other techno music tends to overlook.

    To be honest, I listen to more straight video game soundtracks these days than OC ReMixes, though. Video game music has really shot up in quality recently.

    1. No kidding. I don't need remixes for most new stuff. I can just buy the soundtrack and ta-dah, it's like OCR on expert difficulty. The original soundtracks to Bastion, Persona, Xenoblade, and Shatter have all been amazing to have in the car.