It is that time of year again! 2019 has been quite a crazy year for all of us, and the same can go for Newgrounds. For me, 2019 has been rather slow. Every year, I hit a 100-song milestone (100th song in 2016, 200th song in 2017, 300th song in 2018), but that is not the case for 2019. I have yet to hit 400 songs, and there is actually a reason for that. A lot of people said that I needed to focus more on current projects I have on hand and focus on the composition and sound design. This year, I have done less than 60 songs. I have also reached 150 fans this year, in which I am very grateful for that. I hoped to reach 200 fans this year, but I guess that can wait. If I do hit 200 fans, I may do a special song.
I actually had somebody ask me early in the year about my sound design for my music. I actually have no specific sound design in general, but I do have specific sound design for certain situations such as Lost in Space, early 2000s EDM, and Touhou music (which really depends). For cinematic/orchestral music, I have a set sound design for most of the time. It is just a matter of what theme I am basing a certain song on, which distinguishes each of my cinematic songs.
Enough with the rant about 2019, let’s jump to the highlights of what I have done for 2019. Instead of doing a single “Top 10” for this year, I have decided to split it into electronic and orchestral.
TOP TEN CINEMATIC/ORCHESTRAL SONGS
10. Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil OST - Apparitions Stalk the Night Cover (Rumia's Theme)
We start the top 10 with a Touhou cover, which shouldn’t be surprising. It was not until later in the year when I started doing OST covers for Touhou again. This song is rather electronic, but it fits as an orchestral song.
9. Wily Beast and Weakest Creature OST - Idolatrize World Cover (Keiki's Theme)
We go forward to yet another Touhou cover. This one was supposed to come out a lot sooner, but I never had the motivation to do the cover. Despite that, I managed to do an cinematic cover with a bit of rock added into it.
8. Adventurous (for NGRMC 2019)
When I was making this song, I had to remember to not repeat the mistake I made in Joyride to Space (which was my NGRMC entry last year), which was to not overlayer everything. This was actually the first time I had to mix outside of just LMMS. I had used a little bit of FL Studio to level things out (and make sure everything sounded as clean as possible).
7. Nonplussed Emotions
This song stands out from the rest because it has its own unique style. It has that cinematic feel and ambient atmosphere, but also the drums add an interesting twist (sort of like a fast jazz, but not quite because of the song’s main design). Oh… I almost forgot something. This song’s drum design was somewhat inspired by its prequel song, Mixed Emotions (which is a very bad song when you compare it to my current music). The half-time feel was a rather nice touch to the song. I don’t think I have ever made a song like this before, and I hope I make a similar song next year.
6. Journey to an Unknown World
Not a lot of people have heard this song, but there is a reason why this song is on the list. The drum design in this song has never been used before, and its design only occurs in only this song. Although the song repeats the same thing 4 times, it keeps its energy throughout. I also had done something in this song that was quite new to me, which is the countermelodies. I have never done a distinct countermelody before, so this was quite new to me.
5. Other Side of the Door to the Dark Room
Even though this starts out as an electronic song, it is meant to be an intense cinematic. This was done early in the year as a challenge to see how well I can do an intense cinematic song with the skills I had the time. I placed it so high because of how much it still stands out from the rest of my music at the end of the year.
4. Unidentified Fantastic Alien (Heian Alien Cover)
Why is a cover so high up, you may ask? This cover happened to be my best cover at the time (and probably still is). I really enjoyed making this song, and a lot of people enjoyed listening to the song. This just also happened to be my longest song I ever made this year, in which I am very sorry for that (to those who hate long songs). Personally, I love long songs. They are good for road trips (also good for passing time). This song builds up and keeps its momentum throughout until the end of the song.
3. The One Who is Held Most Dear
This one is the most recent on this top 10. This song was in quite a strange situation. I had planned to get this song done a lot sooner, but this song wound up getting uploaded close to the end of the year. It was also planned to take over a month to make, but it only took less than 2 weeks. However, this song still maintains its energy despite the downsides it has.
2. A Dreadful Space Journey (for AIM 2019)
A lot of people enjoyed this song, and I can say the same. For this song, I decided not to go for the “heavy lows” as I usually do, and people liked my interesting twist on my sound design. The suspense was my main focus for the whole song rather than just sound design (while that was still a very important focus). I also focused mainly on the atmosphere more than anything else other than what was already mentioned.
1. The Haunted Dimension
We conclude to the top 10 cinematic songs with The Haunted Dimension. It was very hard for me to decide whether or not this song was better than “A Dreadful Space Journey”. This song deserves the top spot on the top 10. It is one of my only unfeatured songs to get over 750 views within the calendar year (or any given calendar year, for that matter). It also became my first frontpage for any original song that I have done. This is by far my favorite cinematic/orchestral song I have ever made on Newgrounds. I hope to top this song in 2020, so let’s see what 2020 brings us for cinematic music!
TOP TEN ELECTRONIC SONGS
10. The Numerous Feelings in my Head (collaboration with TheFantasticZ)
We start of the top 10 electronic songs with a collaboration with @TheFantasticZ. This set a new tone for the TFZ+JK collabs. It is quite different than what we have usually done, and it also keeps a pretty decent reputation. Although there are people that do not like the song, I am still putting it here. It has three different drops (which was a first for TFZ+JK collabs): a house/dance drop and two dubstep drops.
9. Matrix Heist
We go forward to a dubsteppy song with an electro swing feel. I used to (and still) listen to this song all the time when I got bored. It was a very interesting song because I experimented with layering different instruments together and see if they produced a different (but still very clean) sound. The second drop is my favorite part of the whole song.
8. Turn it UP!
This was originally an experiment of the VST “ToneZ” that @T0NIT0RMX had made. I was going to scrap it, but then it changed my mind when I made the first drop. This song was my first bass house and first big room song. Yes, it is both.
7. Feel the Beat (Dude, Take a Chill Pill Multi-Genre VIP)
This was a rebuff of my old song “Dude, Take a Chill Pill”. It was also my first VIP song I have ever made. I wanted to do 4 different genres (normal trap and hybrid trap should be okay) while still keeping the energy of the song going. The drops are (in order): psytrance, dubstep, trap, hybrid trap.
“Ten” is the shortest song name I have ever come up with. This song is called “ten” because it has ten different melodies (1 and 10 are the same), but there are no drops. I started this way back in January 2019 and I finished it in October.
5. Get Ready to Fight!
This song has a rather low rating (3.69 at the time of this post), but it has also gotten a great reputation for its state. It was a rather unique song I made out of randomness, and that is pretty much it.
4. Crazy Dance Machine
This song holds a couple of records that were previously held by my older song, Dubstep Machine. Original held by Dubstep Machine with 440 plays, Crazy Dance Machine had broken the record for most plays in a 4-hour period at 500 plays. Originally held by Dubstep Machine with 660 plays, 750 plays on the first day! It had also broken the record for most plays in a 72-hour period with 850 pays (Dubstep Machine had 800). It sadly did not break my all-time record for a one-week or two-week period (Dubstep Machine had 3,000 plays on the first week and 12,000 plays in 2 weeks). Anyways, this song is a psytrance-hitech fusion that I had wanted to make for a long time.
3. Time Moves On (collaboration with TheFantasticZ)
This song was a collaboration with @TheFantasticZ but with an interesting twist. TheFantasticZ did the composition, and JordanKyser did the sound design. It was up to both of us to decide what else to do (there was not much to do other than composition and sound design). This is the most powerful TFZ+JK collaboration that we have done.
2. Trapped Space
This was (at first) a random song to get me back into making music, but it turned into something much better than I had expected. The song itself represents the combination of suspense and intensity. It was also a trap-dubstep combination (not necessarily fusion) that had a primary focus on sound design while also favoring cleanliness.
1. Emotionless Adventure
We end the top 10 with my favorite electronic song that I have made this year. I know a lot of people would disagree on what they think their favorite song by me is, and that is there opinion. There is a reason why this is at the top. The song is actually based on a Touhou character named Hata no Kokoro, who cannot show any emotion on her face, but she can express emotions based on the mask she wears on her head. This song is based on the emotional side of Kokoro, if there ever was one (hence why it is called “Emotionless Adventure”). This song was also made for @LS33 for his Geometry Dash collab with LazyFoox and other creators. I feel very thankful for making this song.
TFZ+JK (collab set with TheFantasticZ)
Right off the bat, I would like to bring up this playlist as an honorable mention. It was, at first, an idea to make Plasma Sword 2 and BRASS 2, but then we decided to make a full collab set that is just the two of us. I know there are accounts (and aliases) of where people devote to make music (and other stuff) together. It is really tempting to do one with TheFantasticZ, but I think it is best to not do that.
Okay… For those who have listened to this song, I would like to mention something. Someone told back early in 2018 if I could make an LMMS song using just as many LB302 tracks as possible. I really did not jump in on the challenge until earlier this year. Apart from the 2 ZynAddSubFX tracks that I had used, I had used 11 LB302 tracks (not including the drum samples that I used). If there is one thing that I love about LMMS’s LB302, it is the easy ability to modulate the instrument.
M A T R I X
In case if you are wondering, I intentionally named this “M A T R I X” and not “MATRIX”. I actually don’t know why I named it that way, but I just saw it fit. This set of songs is somewhat based of off “The Matrix” franchise (but not completely). I don’t know much else to say about it.
Turn up the BASS!
This initially started out with “Turn it UP!”, but it ended being a short set of songs based on the genre of house (with the except of Crazy Dance Machine, which is trance). I tried to be as original as possible with each song, in which I did.
NOTABLE MOMENTS FROM 2019
1. First Frontpage (Remix/Cover FP and Original FP)
Right away, this was the best thing to happen to me on Newgrounds this year. Not only did I get a frontpage, it was my FIRST frontpage (not to mention I got 2 this year). It took over 3 years to get a frontpage on an original song, and I’d say it was worth it.
2. Music on Spotify
It took a long time, but my music is finally on Spotify! However, as of this post, the only music available is “New Beginnings”. I will try to get more of my music there (I am trying to branch out so I don’t rely on just Newgrounds).
3. Finishing of music for Lost in Space
This was the most notable event for me this year. I managed to get my last song for “Lost in Space” uploaded before the year ended. This project started in May 2018, and I am so glad to end it this month. It featured 20 songs, including collaborations with 4 other musicians (@HenyxNATO, @Lamby07, @TheFantasticZ, @TheMajician). As of this post, I am working on Chapter 18 of the story itself.
What to Expect in 2020
1. New Beginnings Vol. 2
This is an unofficial (but planned) set of projects that I plan to do in 2020. The idea is to create a new set of songs specifically under “New Beginnings” for every year from 2019. They will be separate from everything else.
2. M A T R I X 2
Someone had asked me last year after I made Dance Rave about more MATRIX songs. I never really responded, but I guess this is my way of answering the question. I am not sure when I will start, but let’s say I have planned for it to happen.
3. TFZ+JK Vol. 2
As 2019 comes to a close, so will the first set TFZ+JK collaborations. Likewise with New Beginnings, I plan to do a new set of TFZ+JK songs with @TheFantasticZ next year.
4. 2010s Tribute Megacollab
This megacollab is being made as of this post. I plan to have it finished by the end of January (maybe mid-January). Nothing much else to say without giving away too much.
A look back at the decade
I am not going to say much about what I did on Newgrounds in the 2010s, so here is a link to another news post looking back: Felt nostalgic... (looking back at my younger self)
If you read this long post, thank you so much for taking your time! I am also going to announce that my full album of "Lost in Space" will be uploaded on 1/1/20 7:00 CST (GMT-6)!