Dance of the Poltergeist

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Let´s shake your feet and do the Polkageist, yeah. Sometimes you can also bang your head ;)
My (this time for real) submission for the first round of the NGADM 2014.
It´s my first experiment with chiptunes, mixed with a bit of trance ... and polka of course.

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This is a NGADM round 1 review.

Your Score Breakdown:
Production: 24/30
Composition: 24/30
Instrumentation: 13/15
Originality: 9.5/10
Interest: 10/15

Your Total Score: 80.5/100 or 8.05/10 or 4 stars

This track was da shit bro, in a good way. I really enjoyed the "polka" elements (sounded almost a little more ragtime to me, esp. with the syncopations). Definitely reminds me of Steampianist. ;)

One of the best parts of this piece is the flow. I felt that out of all the entries, this one had top-grade flow between ideas and parts. Everything felt like it happened for a reason and that it made sense, however strange the piece. The diversity also made the apparent lack of a contrasting section more tolerable.

I felt that the sounds fit rather nicely. However, it should be noted, I know very little about chiptune, 8-bit, or trance. The mix was acceptable, but not mind-blowing. Since you are just starting out with stuff like chiptune, I feel with some more time, it will improve for sure. Keep experimenting with different blends and textures you can put together and contrast! I really liked the trance components, and I think you could do even more awesome work if you explore more ways to blend between trance and other genres.

(this is what Ragtime is btw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgda3qc8S0A, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8IM5-wUdng)

Azhthar responds:

Thx a lot for the detailed review. Glad you liked the ideas. I´m also glad you liked the sounds I used because after Step´s review I was a bit unsure and experimented a bit with different chipsounds. Actually I did not find any other sounds which fitted better to that piece than the original ones I used but I definetely understand that these sound quite raw... Yep, I sometimes like to mix genres a bit. You are right that since this was my first experiment with stuff like chiptunes I definetely should learn a lot here productionwise. For the ragtime ctually I don´t really agree or maybe I don´t see what you mean. I have always the feeling that polka has more of an offbeat feeling while ragtime is more a backbeat... The tonematerial is also a bit more blues related I guess.

This is an NGADM Round 1 Review.


ZipZipper makes a good point. Why didn't I pair you and ZipZipper/steampianist in the same group? Your style and theirs are so similar! To begin with, I don't have much to critique in the composition department. You've got quite a likeable main motif and sweet alternate/counter melodies, all supported by a backbone of very suitable accompaniment and chords. The rise in tempo at the end was very fun to listen to, and changed the mood very proficiently from haunting and eerily enticing to tense, before the unexpected yet intriguing switch to the major key at the end. I'm also quite a fan of your transition to the faster section. It's not easy to transition to different time signatures or tempos, but you seem to have nailed it here.

So yeah, nothing particularly wrong about the composition. When it comes to the production, on the other hand, I was extremely disappointed. The sounds you used are terrible. I'm not sure if you wanted to make a chiptune-like track but these are less chiptune sounds and more raw synths being bitcrushed, which gives them an unpleasantly harsh tone and makes the track very tiring to listen to. During the faster section and the part right before it with the heavier drums, the mix was very harsh, cluttered and stressed, with little dynamic range. I mean, I have nothing against bitcrushing and creating harsh sounds, but there's a difference between using them tastefully and using them so badly that the track just sounds downright unpleasant and messy.

I had to dock a lot of points for the production. Your compositional ideas are great, but you need better sounds and mixing thereof to really do them justice.

SCORE: 7.1/10

Azhthar responds:

Hi Step! Thx a lot for this nice and detailed review. Glad you liked my composition. Yep, it´s right ha I have a tendence to these grotesque stuff. I realized already some while ago that the producion quality in this track wasn´t very good and it anoyed me already ;) I should stick to stuff I´m more familiar with and i was wuite stupid to try a chiptune in that competition. At least I hope that some people got a smile listening to this because there should be much more electric polka in this world. Maybe I should have stuck to my firs submission but since in my group were two of the top three tracks I guess that wouldn´t have changed very much. But it´s nice that steamy and jip passed this round so at leas there will remain some circussy stuff in this comp ;)

Jeez, this song just screams 'Dark Humor' and proudly displays it too. The use of all these samples hand in hand are particularly characteristic in nature and this totally sounds like something out of a silly SNES game. good job and good luck ! :)

This is a really fun piece, and it's got this big ol' dose of personality that your audition piece has too. It makes your music immediately identifiable. And you seem to have a great talent for coming up with catchy melodies, I may be singing this to myself all day!

Good luck!

Azhthar responds:

Cool! Glad you like it. Yep I got a tendence to twisted circus music and grotesque stuff like this ;) Wonder what the others in our group are going to do...
Good luck for you, too!

Interesting, I wonder why you didn't get paired against me and Steamy. I guess I have to check what you auditioned with...well careful! If you keep up with this sort of music you'll probably will end up with us in the next round hahahaha. I have to say I enjoyed your previous entry before you changed it, but I definitely love this one for obvious electric polka reasons. I think there could have been more development with it, I mean the major key change at the end could have at least gone on as equally long as the minor key theme. Maybe have the solo part occur at the normal tempo and then suddenly get back on the speedy track to end it with a bang. I mean, the speed up really made it fun. Anyways, yeah you're definitely someone new I need to follow. You're one of few here who is adept at making wonky weirdy tunes hahahaha. <3

Credits & Info


3.39 / 5.00

Aug 16, 2014
9:20 AM EDT
Video Game
File Info
5.1 MB
2 min 34 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.