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Be Aggressive!: A Gunstar Heroes Tribute Album

Catalog Number OCRA-0042
Release Date Sep 09, 2013
Publish Format Doujin/Indie
Release Price Free
Media Format 2 Digital
Classification Arrangement
Published by OverClocked ReMix / /
Composed by Norio Hanzawa /
Arranged by Chernabogue, DusK, CJthemusicdude, Mikeaudio, Phonetic Hero, ectogemia, DrumJ8, Malcos, The Coop, metaphist, Jakesnke17, Eino Keskitalo, timaeus222, Flexstyle, Main Finger, rebrained, Ivan Hakštok, Darkmoocher, Tuberz McGee
Performed by DusK, Eino Keskitalo, Ivan Hakštok, Darkmoocher, Tuberz McGee
Lyrics by Eino Keskitalo

Tracklist

Disc 1

01 The Dark Empire Rises (Story Demo, Stage Clear) 2:57
02 And Heroes Emerge (Opening) 0:48
03 Loadout (Stage Select) 2:50
04 Lightning Chaser (1 Stage) 3:24
05 Technology's Spiritless Puppet (1 Stage Middle Boss) 3:28
06 Proggy Roadboy (1 Stage Boss) 3:18
07 Boiling Point (3 Stage) 3:19
08 Pursued by the Subordinate of Ignorant Sin (5 Stage Boss) 6:05
09 Till Cornerstones Remain (3 Stage Boss) 3:10
10 Rolling Gun Changer (2 Stage) 3:55
11 Be Aggressive! (2 Stage Boss) 3:12
12 Be Attitude for Continues (Continue) 2:59
Disc length 39:25
Disc 2

01 Guns to the Stars (6 Stage) 4:16
02 Lunar Ecstasy (Option) 3:00
03 Square Zero (4 Stage) 3:43
04 Challenge Accepted! (4 Stage Boss) 2:50
05 Bullet Hell (5 Stage) 3:56
06 Irresolution (Ending) 2:30
07 What's It Gonna Be? (7 Stage 1) 3:21
08 Tri-Formation (7 Stage 2) 4:34
09 Technology's Uncontrollable Disaster (7 Stage Boss) 3:29
10 No Time to Rest (Staff) 3:08
11 Nice Legs (5 Stage Boss) 3:25
12 See Ya Space Cowboy (Opening) 5:31
Disc length 43:43

Album Stats

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Rated 3.75 by 6 people
Contained in 13 collections
Contained in 2 wish lists
Category
Game
Products represented
Gunstar Heroes
Platforms represented
Sega Mega Drive (Genesis)

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Sep 8, 2013 11:20 AM
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Notes

ReMixers:

Chernabogue (1-01)
DusK (1-02, 1-03, 1-11, 2-05)
CJthemusicdude (1-04)
Mikeaudio (1-05, 1-08, 2-09)
Phonetic Hero (1-06)
ectogemia (1-07)
DrumJ8 (1-09)
Malcos (1-10)
The Coop (1-12)
metaphist (2-01)
Jakesnke17 (2-02)
Eino Keskitalo (2-03)
timaeus222 (2-04)
Flexstyle (2-06)
Main Finger (2-07)
rebrained (2-08)
Ivan Hakštok (2-10)
Darkmoocher (2-11)
Tuberz McGee (2-12)

Be Aggressive!: A Gunstar Heroes Tribute Album
Comments from album directors Dustin Branscum (DusK), Dj Mokram, and ReMixers
Album freely available at http://ocremix.org

The early '90s were filled with fantastic games, many of them with fantastic music. Much of that music is why OverClocked ReMix was created in the first place. 1993 saw the birth of several great Sega Genesis titles, but one stood near and dear to my heart and rose above most: Treasure's debut title, Gunstar Heroes. Created by a team of ex-Konami employees, Gunstar Heroes features extremely difficult, fast-paced, energetic, and fun run-and-gun shooter gameplay, and some of the most extraordinary music ever heard in a 16-bit game. And despite the critical acclaim of both the game itself and the music, OverClocked ReMix has only seen one remix of that game's music make it to the front page.

Gunstar Heroes remains even today as a very under-appreciated and under-recognized game. Many '90s kids were on the SNES side of the 16-bit console war, and few even on the Sega side will likely answer with a "yes" when asked if they know about it. Even among the remixers who worked on this project, there were those who had missed the game entirely, or discovered it well after the 16-bit golden years.

The remixer lineup on this album follows suit with that as well. Though the roster includes several well-known remixers, including the only remixer to have ever gotten a Gunstar Heroes track on OC ReMix back in 2002, much of the lineup consists of lesser-knowns. I was ecstatic when I saw the roster filling up with under-recognized yet extremely talented artists in the OC ReMix community, and even more excited when I saw non-posted remixers stepping up and delivering absolutely amazing tracks.

It's been rocky, as I'd imagine it usually is for a first-time OC ReMix album director. But we ended up with a remarkably fast outcome despite that, and at the end of that year-long journey, we had an album that completely exceeded my expectations for what it could be when I made that first post. We've created an album that makes you feel like you're playing a fast-paced shooter as you listen.

I'd like to thank all of the remixers for putting up with our control freakishness and putting out amazing pieces of music. All of you guys are amazing, and as I mentioned above, if people don't know that by now, I hope they will after giving this album a listen. And extra thanks to The Coop for using his awesome spriting skills to create that awesome album art.

Special thanks to Dj Mokram for dedicating so much of him to the album, enduring both his own hectic personal life and my own incompetence. He didn't have to do nearly as much as he did, but he did anyway, because he's a badass.

Thanks much to OverClocked ReMix and djpretzel for starting up this great community centered around an art form that can never get enough love, and thanks to the OCR projects staff for answering all of my noob questions quickly.

And of course, thanks to all the fans of Gunstar Heroes and OverClocked ReMix, for being awesome like fans do. And thank you, for listening.

- Dustin Branscum (DusK)

If that wasn't already clear, I'm a big fan of Treasure. Their will to go against the current and try new things transpires in their games, and rewards those who set foot in their universe. Not long after completing Secret Bonus Point, I naturally set my sights on yet another Treasure title. What I didn't know at the time was that one of the most prolific contributors to SBP and remixing partner-in-crime of mine, DusK, had already set in motion a plan to arrange the music from that game. So I contacted him and offered to do what I do best: hijack and totally ruin projects. xD

Gunstar Heroes for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive was the first effort of former Konami employees turned video game freedom fighters. It's a fast-paced, action-packed game with a futuristic setting, innovative weapon system, solid mechanics and satisfying gameplay. It features an extremely colorful design, full of life and bearing the trademark wackiness that would transpire from their subsequent games. Moreover, the anime-style graphics exhibit a level of expressiveness that wasn't commonplace in traditional run & gun titles of that era, giving the protagonists a wide range of emotions and making the game feel surprisingly humane... despite the fact, of course, that everything on screen wants you dead. ;D

To accompany and illustrate this neo-futuristic package, the soundtrack composed by Norio Hanzawa (a.k.a. NON) sets the tone perfectly. Exploiting every ounce of the YM2612 soundchip to deliver some FM synthesis goodness, Gunstar Heroes contains some of the most complex compositions to come out of Sega's machine, making its music surprisingly challenging, yet immensely rewarding to arrange. We wanted the album to reflect both the futuristic setting and the frantic nature of the gameplay, while staying true to the story, characters and feel of playing the game itself. Translated to the music, it means the aggressiveness would not only be about velocity, but also about design choices. Knowing when to slow things down to inspire uneasiness before suddenly throwing you in an impossibly tense situation, one that makes you feel proud to have overcome, afterwards. This is what the game was about, and what we were aiming to inspire/evoke with the album.

DusK was set on making this an official project, but from my experience, finding people to remix a lesser known game on OCR is more or less a suicide mission. Therefore, I knew the only way to make this happen was to drop all pre-conceived notions of success and go all-in, or simply put: Be Aggressive! I was moved beyond words upon witnessing the willingness of many fantastic musicians to lend their talent to such a risky endeavor (we weren't exactly trying to remix Final Fantasy here), and by their commitment to follow us, not so well-known community members, in our crazy quest to pay tribute to a memorable game constantly overshadowed by mainstream titles.

On a personal level, this project embodies two things: passion and loss. I poured my heart into everything, from organizing and recruiting personnel, giving detailed feedback and steering people in the right direction, to crafting promotional material and making sure everything ran smoothly until we reached the finish line. What I didn't (couldn't?) foresee however, was the hand of fate taking loved ones away from me, depriving me from the joy of making music and nearly putting an end to my existence. That's why there's great meaning in the fact that I'm still alive, and standing here today to witness the conclusion of this journey.

Thanks to the Almighty for giving me a fighting chance, DusK for being a badass director and awesome friend, The Coop for lending his many talents to the project, each and every ReMixer who's helped make Be Aggressive! a reality, Treasure for creating video game masterpieces, OC ReMix for crushing my ego and pushing me forward to reach my dreams, as well as all the wonderful people I've met during these four years in the VGM community.

This album is dedicated to all Gunstar Heroes and Treasure fans around the world. :)

- Dj Mokram

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Disc 1

1. Chernabogue - "The Dark Empire Rises"
Sources: "Story Demo," "Stage Clear"

Chernabogue: I was intrigued by a new project that was actively recruiting one year ago. I eventually jumped in before it became official, and chose the "Intro" theme. It was summer, and I was only listening to Hans Zimmer's music, especially from The Dark Knight Rises (hence the title of my mix).

It inspired me to make an action-movie-like arrangement of this intro, with heavy percussion and bombastic orchestra. The little jingle at the end is the "Victory Fanfare" from the game, and as I love to see how VG jingles can sound with an orchestra, I had to add it there!

Introducing the album, the track had to give a warning to listeners: You're going on an adventure, you must fight evil guys and it's going to be awesome. The Dark Empire Rises, so Be Aggressive!!

2. DusK - "And Heroes Emerge"
Source: "Opening"

DusK: As this album was wrapping up, Dj Mokram and I had touched briefly on the track lineup. After a few listens to the WIPs and finished tracks, I decided that the best way to place them would be largely what order most players heard the sources in the game, and listening through the tracks this way gave this feeling that you were playing through the game and experiencing the story as the album went along.

Playing on that idea, I started my remix of "Choose a Path," incorporating the compositionally-similar "Legend of the Gunstars" as a sort of "title screen" for the album. With that title screen concept in mind, I touched only slightly on the source, leaving the bigger remix of "Legend of the Gunstars" to Tuberz McGee.

3. DusK - "Loadout"
Sources: "Stage Select"

DusK: Continuing on the "gameplay" concept, I wrote this remix to embody the player moving through several menus and screens before actually getting into the actual shooter gameplay, which begins with CJthemusicdude's take on "Military on the Max-Power."

The beginning of the track, for the first minute or so, represents the player choosing a character, and deciding his loadout. The beat drops away to a sort of "spacey" take on the source, designed to be the player viewing a zoomed-out G-9 with the moons circling the planet, deciding where to embark. The music picks back up as Professor White briefs the player on the chosen mission, with the outro being the departure of the player to the moon to fight the forces of the Empire and recover the Treasure Gem.

4. CJthemusicdude - "Lightning Chaser"
Source: "1 Stage"

CJthemusicdude: Gunstar Heroes is/was one of my favorite games. The frantic action and explosions are thrown at you immediately at the start of Ancient Ruins, where this theme is played. "Be Aggressive" preludes this level and the theme that follows is nothing short of action-packed excitement. I tried to capture that experience as best I could, since it's of my favorite tunes from this treasure of a game.

5. Mikeaudio - "Technology's Spiritless Puppet"
Source: "1 Stage Middle Boss"

Mikeaudio: With every track I've done on this project, I wanted to relate everything to the game, but at the same time add some further detail to the storyline and the characters involved. With this mix, I wanted to relate it as much as possible to the actual battle with Bravoo Man in Gunstar Heroes, especially when it's a first timer. But I also wanted to expound on the character of Bravoo Man. The first thing I noticed about the original source is that it has this very old horror soundtrack sound, and a very drone like feel. Not many tonal changes in the bassline of things, as its mostly D hammering away in the bass. The track title, "Technology's Spiritless Puppet," is basically a stab at the fact that Bravoo Man doesn't fight with any spirit or soul in him. The mix title also is a bit of a reflection on today's society relying so heavily on technology that we are becoming slaves to it, quite literally as in addiction. Sound-wise, I took more of an industrial approach without going too over the top with the distortion, though there is a good bit of it. The ending of the track was tailored like the fight against Bravoo Man -- it just ends unexpectedly. Enjoy, all.

6. Phonetic Hero - "Proggy Roadboy"
Source: "1 Stage Boss"

Phonetic Hero: Third time's the charm, right? I had two previous starts on this track, and the more I sat on the source, the bigger problems I had remixing it. I had a brain blast at work for a progressive take, so I ran with it. Took forever to get it finished up, kept saying I'd get it done and then didn't... but I snuck in right before the cutoff date, and the end product is kinda cool, so I'm glad I stuck it out.

7. ectogemia - "Boiling Point"
Source: "3 Stage"

ectogemia: After listening to the original tune several times and deciding that the composer was clearly having fun with it, just going nuts and doing whatever came to mind, I thought I'd take the same approach!

As always, I worked a little bit of chippiness into the mix while maintaining an overall modern soundscape. I really like the diverse blend of sounds I put together here, and I think it does the frenetic, ADD nature of the source and the whole soundtrack the justice it deserves.

8. Mikeaudio - "Pursued by the Subordinate of Ignorant Sin"
Source: "5 Stage Boss"

Mikeaudio: With this Smash Daisaku theme remix, I wanted to bring a feel of persistence, a drive. This character is constantly pursuing you in the game over a cause that he himself doesn't quite understand. So my goal was to put much hope, emotion, conviction, and feel into the song. The song has 2 different sections: one is in 4/4 showing more of his persistent nature, and then at 2:53 it switches to 6/8 giving more of a familiar ground resemblance to the original source, and more into his character personally. The title for this being "Pursued by the Subordinate of Ignorant Sin" was inspired by how devoted to the cause Smash Daisaku was and to his leader, Dr. Grey. But also how blind they both were to the reality of Golden Silver. As far as the sound of the mix goes, I went with something more towards the electronic side rhythm-wise, but everything else was tailored after rock. The only exceptions are the intro, which is more jazz and electronic, and the section around 1:27 with strings, pads, and bells which is a variation on the second half of the source. Enjoy.

9. DrumJ8 - "Till Cornerstones Remain"
Source: "3 Stage Boss"

DrumJ8: The passion and enthusiasm of the project directors drew me to this project. I think the greatest challenge for me was taking an already aggressive source tune, and attempting to create a remix of it within the "aggressive style" guidelines. My goal was to transform it and create something that was my own. Early on after I received some feedback, I started getting ideas on incorporating time signature changes, so I had fun with that.

I'm grateful to Dj Mokram and DusK for the helpful feedback and the opportunity, it was fun!

10. Malcos - "Rolling Gun Changer"
Source: "2 Stage"

Malcos: Gunstar Heroes is definitely one of my favourite games from the Mega Drive. The replayability value made it very addictive -- there was so much choice in that game, something quite ahead of its time. The sound design, the animation and the soundtrack make it very memorable -- whole days were wasted playing this game.

The "Rolling Chaser" track is used a few times in the game. I remember during the board game stage being transported to this room with a wobbling amoeba in it -- it seemed to be wobbling in time with the track.

I've covered this track once before (more than a decade ago!) and so I had a second opportunity to interpret it. I wanted to make this remix energetic, but I also wanted it to have a slight quirkiness to it, as well as a touch of abrasiveness.

11. DusK - "Be Aggressive!"
Source: "2 Stage Boss"

DusK: "Theme of Seven Force" was by far the most pulse-pounding, energetic track of Gunstar Heroes' soundtrack. Being an album director, I was put into the advantageous situation of being able to hear all of the other remixes, and ensure that my remix of "Theme of Seven Force" followed suit. I feel I achieved that in the end. With a nice, fast tempo, extremely aggressive guitar work, and synths that really build and add to energy throughout, I created a track that doesn't let up for even a second, an embodiment of the album's original vision.

12. The Coop - "Be Attitude for Continues"
Source: "Continue"

The Coop: I remember picking this game up from a Kmart back in the day, having found it on their rack where they sold some used Genesis titles. Decided to buy it since it was pretty cheap, and loved it. Years later, imagine my surprise when I was asked to join this project, only to have to step down because of a project guidelines issue, and then get asked to come back a little while after I thought my musical involvement was over with. Bit of a wild roller coaster ride, not unlike the game I was remixing.

The source tune I chose is a very short loop outside of its intro, which really didn't leave a lot to work with since it doesn't really build up to anything. But, I gave it a whirl, choosing to go with a more retro "80s anime ending theme" kind of sound, along with a quickened tempo, while trying to keep the song from repeating too much. I think the end result turned out pretty good, and hopefully listeners will enjoy it.

Disc 2

1. metaphist - "Guns to the Stars"
Source: "6 Stage"

metaphist: Gunstar Heroes is an amazing game with amazing music. Seriously. It doesn't get much better than this for the Genesis. I never owned this game back in the day because I was on the SNES side of the war, but I remember playing it for the first time in the video game room of the Innoventions attraction at Epcot - come to think of it, playing Gunstar Heroes there is one of the most specific memories I have of that place!

This mix represents a big step forward for me. This is the type of source material that I usually would never attempt to remix - when you like something so much that you don't really want to mess with it? Yeah... I happened to stumble into the project thread when "Good Night, Baby!" was the last track left. I wondered if I could really do a good job on it, but something told me to just go for it and see what happens. The result is what I consider the best track I've done to date. I really just wanted to channel that epic feel that the original gives... it really tells a story in my ears, and I did my best to elaborate on that with my own style while maintaining the magic.

And a special thanks to Mokram and DusK, for putting this album together. It's long overdue, and I'm glad I got to be a part of it!

2. Jakesnke17 - "Lunar Ecstasy"
Source: "Option"

Jakesnke17: I made this track in FL Studio 10. Lots of effects were used and I think it came out quite well. I was going for an aggressive vibe, but what came out instead was something smooth and groovy, with an extended arrangement at the end of the tune. I hadn't ever played the game before, so my knowledge of what the game was about was very little. That aspect, I guess, allowed me to really approach this song from an unusual angle. Hope you guys enjoy. :D

3. Eino Keskitalo - "Square Zero"
Source: "4 Stage"

Eino Keskitalo: I had given Gunstar Heroes a spin some decade ago, but really got to know the greatness of its soundtrack via following the Be Aggressive! project. Such excellent music, such an excellent project concept… and what a kick-ass preview! "Dice-Dance-Days," a superb track among many superb tracks, was left unclaimed for the longest time and I decided something should be done.

Likely inspired after collabing with Twobeers McKeg on the Shell Shocked album, the finished track is full of guitar. I'm a crappy player, so it's (almost) all recorded in bits and pieces, and edited together like a musical Frankenstein's monster. A huge learning experience for me.

The arrangement largely follows the excellent original. The structure is pretty much the original ABCDE, looped twice and a longer stretch of the A part in the middle. Even the drumming and the bassline are pretty directly transcribed from the original during the first half. Most of the parts from the source are used in the arrangement, but their balance is different from the original. There is also plenty of new material (especially on guitar).

An obnoxiously detailed walkthrough follows:

0:00-0:19 (intro) - The intro uses the ostinato from the original's A part (0:00-0:14) played on the chippy synth, plus the chromatic ascending/descending parts that play after each two bars.

0:20-0:36 (A1) - The part that properly corresponds to the original's A part. Ostinato is doubled with the guitar on the right. The chorused guitar panned wide is based on the bubbly synth line in the original, although it's been rhythmically shifted a bit (after recording it, actually). I've simplified the bassline by having it stick to F#, since I couldn't figure out how it actually goes. There's a small original guitar lead melody.

0:37-0:53 (B1) - Next up is the B part from the original (0:15-0:28). The synth plays the main lead in the middle. The sound is drawn from my Roland SH-201, then it goes through some tracker effect mangling, and finally through an amp simulation. The bells play the bells from the original in the distance. Most of the rhythm guitars don't come directly from the source, and I'm quite fond of the little figure that comes up at the end of this part (and again in the next part).

0:53-1:09 (C1) - C part in the original (0:29-0:43). Hey, it's almost distortion free! This part was fun to figure out. The chord progression is carried by the wide-panned chorused guitars. There's about five synth tracks making up the sound -- I think I was inspired by a live Yellow Magic Orchestra video that was posted on the OCR forums just when I was about to work on the part. The main thing was to highlight those awesome syncopated chordy "stabs" in the first half of this part. I tried to make sense of the busy-ish source here, but also kept it loose enough in the interpretation department. Even the quick bell runs are in there, quietly to the right.

1:10-1:26 (D1) - D part in the original (0:44-0:58). I told you I kept to the original structure! The rhythmic line in the original is played by the guitar on the right (much lower in the mix than the original) and the lead is played by a bunch of layered synths, main body drawn from the SH-201 again.

1:27-1:34 (transition) - The short transitional mayhem E part from the original (0:58-1:02). Sounds like I didn't bother to transcribe the synths from the original here, just keeping the drums+bass and adding rhythm guitars on top. Then we go back to the A part with the ostinato on the chippy synth and the chromatic lines.

1:35-2:25 (A2) - It's a long stretch of the A part from the original, reinterpreted. The drums start deviating from the original arrangement from here on. Lead guitar plays original stuff over the chromatic lines and the occasional chorused guitar line. At 1:52, it appears that the melody of the B part fits into the part quite well. At 2:08, the ostinato returns on the rhythm guitar to the right, and there's actually some original writing on the bass!

2:25-2:41 (B2) - The B lead melody is varied up and played by two synth sounds, and there is again original guitar lead writing going on. Even the bell is still there, slightly varied, though the part is pretty full.

2:42-2:59 (C2) - Same deal as before (no copy-pasting on the synths though, quite proud of that chippy synth line, though it's mixed quite low), with added guitar solo. The drumming is different, with some start-stop -style fills and a double-time bit.

2:59-3:31 (D2) - Pretty much the D part before, with drum (and even bass) variations, played twice with a (slightly murky) additional guitar in the middle during the first half.

3:32-3:41 (ending) - The bridge from before played twice, with altered bassline on the second go, to wrap things up.

A big thanks to Rondo and Pleiade for borrowing me essential gear for recording. Thanks to Henna, on whose acoustic I came up with a part or two. Thanks to Pirjo and Pihla, who may have played some of the guitar noises in the beginning. Most of all thanks to Dj Mokram and DusK for excellent feedback and steering during the process, raising awareness of a brilliant soundtrack and running a tight project overall.

That's all. Cheers!

4. timaeus222 - "Challenge Accepted!"
Source: "4 Stage Boss"

timaeus222: Probably one of the most fun ReMixes I've ever had the pleasure of working on. There's some incredibly complex processing going on here, especially on many of the basses. This is also the first song on which I've tried granular synthesis (the intro bass).

Stereo separation played a huge role in making this work. It wasn't until a few months ago that I learned how to shift a sound to the back of the listener's head (when wearing headphones), which helped quite a bit at the climax. I wonder how well that translates to speakers... :P

5. DusK - "Bullet Hell"
Source: "5 Stage"

DusK: When Dj Mokram unfortunately had to drop this track, I knew that it needed to be done the kind of justice that only he could have done it. Knowing full well I couldn't do that myself, I picked it up anyway. Dj Mokram's vision for the track involved orchestral elements meshing with futuristic-sounding synths, and I tried to bring a bit of that into my track along with a steady rock sound.

I really feel like I did a good job on this one. I was heavily inspired by Mass Effect's music (especially that part between 2:20 and 2:58), and I really tried to bring some of that 80s/90s sci-fi aesthetic into the track using carefully-placed and modulated yet often vanilla-sounding synths. As far as the metal instrumentation, I tried to give it a sort of 80s hair metal feel, but with a modern metalcore twist, a lot like Blessed By A Broken Heart.

Enjoy. :)

6. Flexstyle - "Irresolution"
Source: "Ending"

Flexstyle: As with most remixes I've done in relation to OCR, I've never played the game. However, when Dj Mokram approached me about contributing towards the project, I agreed, having created a track for a previous album project of his, the Dynamite Headdy album. However, just as with the last project, I promptly put everything off until the very last minute, at which point I discovered that free time is a thing of the past for me and I could only turn in something short. Nevertheless, here we are! I wanted to give the source a bombastic, '80s-styled synthpop sound, and this is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it!

7. Main Finger - "What's It Gonna Be?"
Source: "7 Stage 1"

Main Finger: When DusK first asked me to appear on the album, I knew what I had to do. In fact, he told me what to do when he said, "We don't have anyone on the roster yet that can bring the wub, and we both know you can bring the wub, so if you're interested in bringin' the wub, the thread's right here." And so I brought the wub. But, with my short attention span, the wub soon turned into face-melting metal, then glitch-ridden drum 'n bass. But with Dj Mokram's constructive feedback ("Please DO NOT slow this piece down to a crawl like this. EVER."), I was able to keep the whole thing from going off the rails and make a versatile hybrid of genres that somehow manages to stay cohesive.

"Decision" was a natural song choice for me. It's practically made of Genesis wubs already! It also has some incredibly odd melodies and rhythms that I knew would give me a fun challenge to work with. And the fill that ties the loop together was so good, I couldn't help but sample it.

8. rebrained - "Tri-Formation"
Source: "7 Stage 2"

rebrained: "Tri-Formation" is a rather liberal breaks/dubstep hybrid revolving around the original's 6/4 bassline. The track is expanded into three parts – labeled Hammer, Dragon and Runner by the neat machine voice – and each take a shot at musically representing the guard device's different forms.

I can't really say much about the game itself as I was a Nintendo kid growing up, but I happened to buy it from Wii's Virtual Console a few years ago. Can't beat it even if my life depended on it, but it's a welcome challenge like all retro games.

9. Mikeaudio - "Technology's Uncontrollable Disaster"
Source: "7 Stage Boss"

Mikeaudio: I went for something more about the character of Golden Silver, i.e. his title as the great destructor. So the track is aimed more towards introducing him and his portfolio of destruction. In the storyline (the real Japanese one), Golden Silver is thought to be the god of ruin, though in reality he is just a very powerful robot. And so the title "Technology's Uncontrollable Disaster" was appropriate, as it does describe Golden Silver. The title again also has a second meaning, again the subject matter being the augmentation of technology while the human factor is being diminished more and more. And because of the way society functions as a whole, once something gets out, you can't take it back (in this case, our technology-fueled lifestyles). The approach for this mix was more on the side of heavy metal with a bit of modern electronic elements, mainly synthesis techniques that are popular in electro house, drum & bass, and even some dubstep. The reason being that electronics are the voice of Golden Silver, while the other elements of the song are the stage. To further bring out the qualities of the theme, I used drop G tuning, and, to capture the bottom heaviness without it being over distorted, I used a guitar amp head in a bass cabinet on Guitar Rig 3. Enjoy.

10. Ivan Hakštok - "No Time to Rest"
Source: "Staff"

Ivan Hakštok: I've never played Gunstar Heroes, but after this album project was announced, I checked out the soundtrack and thought it was pretty cool, so I decided to claim a track. The source for this is called "Heroes - Reprise for Yellow," and I decided to make it sort of an 80s rock song with the most prominent instrument being the synths, which I think worked out quite well.

I haven't got much else to say, I'm always struggling with words in these submission comments (seriously, it takes like 2 hours to write them xD).

Now, let's get to the source breakdown:

0:00-0:10 - a small intro
0:11-0:34 - based on the 0:59-1:14 part of the source
0:35-0:37 - a small interlude
0:38-1:08 - verse, based on the 0:29-0:44 part of the source
1:09-1:24 - chorus, based on the 0:45-0:59 part of the source
1:25-1:39 - guitar solo, background synth is the same as in the intro, based on the 0:59-1:14 part of the source
1:40-1:54 - 2nd part of the guitar solo, no source used
1:55-2:25 - synth and piano solo, the synth in the background is playing the 0:29-0:44 part of the source
2:26-2:41 - 2nd chorus, based on the 0:45-0:59 part of the source
2:42-2:56 - outro, background chords are the same as the chorus, but the synth is playing the line based on the 0:59-1:14 part of the source
2:57-3:06 - ending, based on the 1:15-1:22 part of the source

I think that's more than enough source. Hope you enjoy the song. :P

11. Darkmoocher - "Nice Legs"
Source: "5 Stage Boss"

Darkmoocher: Ehh, I'm trying to shorten these background stories for you folks, but I've gotta give a lengthy story to how this came about, because I think it's pretty funny:

In stark contrast to the Kid Chameleon track I resubbed recently, which shows what happens when I give into perfectionism and literally take years to work on a song, this Smash Daisaku arrangement is an example of what happens when I have very little time but a lot of focus and drive to work on something in one sitting. I'm not very big on shmups, but I was/am a Sega kid, so I'm familiar with some non-Sonic classics like Vectorman, Cool Spot (LMAO, product placement), and, here, Gunstar Heroes. 2012-2013 was a bit slow for me with music to the point where I've had to push aside many original music projects due to work and IRL nonsense, but I often waltz around the forums seeing what's going on with everybody else... and I just kept coming back to Be Aggressive... and in these last few months of wrapping up the album, I kept noticing how there was no Smash Daisaku track (there was at one point, but I guess life happened to the poor chap as well)..... aaaaand it came down to the very last few weeks and I noticed how there STILL was no Smash Daisaku track.

I PM'd Mokram and DusK:

-Jordan : Yo, guys, if you give me 3 weeks, I can make a weird prog-ish thing for Daisaku. "Darkmoocher" is the outfit I use for makin' Buckethead/An Endless Sporadic-type arrangements, and I'll throw in some blammin' horns for good measure. Whaddaya say, homies?

-DusK : Naaaaw, we only got one week. Guess we won't have Smash Daisaku on the album. Thanks anyways, ciao.

-Jordan: O_o

Now, not to give you a pity-party story or anything, but during this time of my life I'm working night shifts, meaning I either have days of extreme insomnia and no creativity or I am very focused but have no time or no energy to record due to being zombified by said day-job... plus, around the last few weeks of wrapping up Gunstar, ISW had a competition for their new super massive reality-warping Juggernaut plugin. I kept thinking to myself "maaaannn...  fuuuuuuck that... you can't make a Gunstar album without Smash Daisaku, and I know I prolly don't stand a chance against the other competitors for ISW's Juggernaut comp, but if by the grace of Zaros they extend the comp deadline, then I will skip sleep for as long as I need to record these babies."

.....aaaaand they extended the deadline. Hilarity ensues.

Now, unbeknownst to me, Mikeaudio was also working on a Smash Daisaku track, but that muhfuggaaa didn't post to state that in the project thread, so how the hell was I supposed to know this, hmmm? Regardless, I think two Daisaku tracks are faaaar better than none, and even though I was kicking myself in the balls trying not to fall asleep at work after skipping rest to work on the ISW track and this remix, I feel like it was all worth it in the end... so, yeah, here's what happens when I literally only have about 1-2 days left to work on something but intense focus to make sure that the muddafuggin Smash Daisaku is geting on the muddafuggin album, ya feel me?

**Oh yeah, also, yet another punchline. I didn't talk to Tuberz at all about this or his track, but when I tossed this to the directors, Mokram mentioned how this reminded him a lot of The Seatbelts (Yoko Kanno), and DusK said this genre "wasn't exactly what we were looking for, but I know the perfect place for this on the album." I'm thinkin, "What the fuuuug is going on with these mofos?" I look at the final tracklist in the project thread OP, and my track is the second to last, right before Tuberz' track which is titled "See Ya Space Cowboy."

.......... 0_0

YOU SEE THIS SHIIITTT RIGHT HERE! That's that psychic link shhhiiit we got goin' on in OCR, mannnn! You muhfuggazzz don't even know how we be doin' these things in OCR!! We go HAM with deez remixez, maaaannnnn!!

OK, last thing for real since I see a man with a cane getting ready to pull me off for taking so long. The ridiculous "I Need Scissors! 61!" remix had a slight influence on my vision for this as it is what I was going for with the mesh between quirky Rhodes/EP chords and melodic guitar lines soaring above an aggressive (heh) drum groove; I just added some Electric Mayhem/Katamari type horns for good measure. And if the solo/second "verse" sticks out to any An Endless Sporadic fans out there, I'll have you know it's NOT a shout out... it's a fucking amplified-up-to-11 megaphone shout out that is purely intentional and not coincidental at all seeing as how AES is one of my top 3 biggest musical inspirations. =)

K, I think this lengthy dissertation is long enough.

12. Tuberz McGee - "See Ya Space Cowboy"
Source: "Opening"

Tuberz McGee: For my track, I tried to be aggressive, and then, realizing that I'm probably the least aggressive person in the Southern Hemisphere, I decided to opt for a different approach.

Maybe I'd been watching too much Cowboy Bebop... maybe I hadn't been watching enough. Either way, there's definitely some influence there. I'd like to thank my cat for recording itself, which is disguised as a guitar slide. Nope. Actually a cat. True story. Legit. 110%.