Mash-Up Monday: Shakugan no Shana and the Black Knight

It’s that time again, guys! Put on those headphones and crank up that volume as we kick the week off with Mash-Up Monday!

Today, we highlight a very unique mash-up, put together by the likes of Shadowlink4321, who’s renowned for both machinimation and music on YouTube. The two mash-ups featured today are both from the same pair of songs!

Those who follow the works of Bentley Jones just might recognize one of the two songs! He has covered one of the opening themes to the anime Shakugan no Shana, named Joint, on his “TRANS//LATION 2” album. Presented in its original form, Joint is thrown together with Sonic and the Black Knight‘s final boss theme: With Me.

However, there’s a catch! As I’ve mentioned, there are two mash-ups here… And that’s exactly it! The first version of Joint With Me is in fact With Me‘s vocals added to Joint‘s melody, and the second version (found after the jump!) highlights Joint‘s vocals (in Japanese) through With Me‘s background music!

Enjoy~!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vwZtaBSWU

Continue reading Mash-Up Monday: Shakugan no Shana and the Black Knight

Bentley Jones’ ASR Theme “So Much More” to be released as EP in 2010!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faorrs29Pc8&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Bentley Jones fans rejoice! Mr. Brotherton  has been an extremely busy beaver (except when I seem to phone him, then he’s always figureskating with Silver), and has made several important announcements…

Continue reading Bentley Jones’ ASR Theme “So Much More” to be released as EP in 2010!

The Road to Summer of Sonic – Only Two Days to Go!

SOS09-LOGO-WITH-DATEMy bags are packed, I’m checked in online for my flight, and I tell you what – SoS fever is just about to kick in!

Everything is finally beginning to come together – Dreadknux, AAUK, Urtheart and many other staffers have been working tirelessly to bring everything together for the big day on Saturday; it is definitely shaping up to be a very busy day indeed! The stage schedule is packed – there’s just enough time to move things around in between the events going on there, and that is the tip of the iceberg; there will be a whole host of activities and contests going on throughout the day – some of which you know about, and some of which will be surprises!

For those of you turning up ultra-early in the morning due to whatever means of transport you are taking to the event, serial deviantartist Elson “Darkspeeds” Wong will be hanging around nearby – check out his plans on his deviant art account.

If you’re wondering what the special gift is – check out the Summer of Sonic website – yes, it’s a rather nifty artbook full of artwork old and new, of high quality, and surely something very special! There are a very limited number of them, so ticket holders, be sure to get there early to nab yourself one!

If you really can’t wait for SoS, and you want to tell everyone about how excited you are, what you’re going to be wearing (maybe you’re competiting in the cosplay contest?), or just generally want to gab about the event, head on over to the SSMB and join the chat there! Can’t be there in person? Then watch the live feed over at the Sonic Show site thanks to the amazing powers of Discoponies!

Right, I’m off to get my beauty sleep before my long day of travel down to London tomorrow – See you all on Saturday!

T-Bird

SAGE 2008 IS NOW OPEN!

IT’S FINALLY HERE! THE 2008 SONIC AMATEUR GAMES EXPO IS HERE!

We invite any and all Sonic fans to come to the 13th iteration of this long-standing, Sonic community tradition, hosted by one of the community’s original sites, Sonic Fan Games HQ. Play the latest and greatest fan projects all in one place for one glorious week of celebrating not only Sonic the Hedgehog, but our community as well.

Please, hop right into the chat room, look at the schedule, and just read everything there is to read about the show! It’s going to be great!

A word of warning about certain booths: Sunday is usually the slowest day for the booths section, as dead links will be weeded out and some people will be putting up their demos throughout the day, due to time zone differences. Bear with that fact, because it happens every year. Come Monday, everybody should be ready to roll.

Be sure to check here for TSS Staff’s input on all the fangaming action!

With that said…

ENTER SAGE 2008!

SAGE ’08: Previews, Mecha Madness Release, LeeBro

It must be that time of the year, being that the few days before SAGE are always filled with last minute hype videos for just about every project. I am well prepared to wait and let ’em all pile up, rather than flooding this here front page, devoting a single news post to a game’s preview video.

With one entire day before the show (which starts at 12 AM EST, by the way), SFGHQ members Aylingling, Nitemare, and Shadow5561 have released preview videos of their SAGE demos of Sonic Zenith, Super Mario Kingdoms, and Sonic Unleashed Advance, respectively. You can check them all out in the links below:

Check out Sonic Zenith in action!

Check out Super Mario Kingdoms in action!

Check out Sonic Unleashed Advance in action!

In other news, SFGHQ member, Streak Thunderstorm, has jumped the gun and has released the SAGE demo of Mecha Madness early. You can access his SAGE booth, which has the download to the demo, at the following link:

Mecha Madness’ SAGE ’08 Booth

One last thing to be on the look out for is the ever-updating schedule, because we have added two new guests to SAGE: Lee Brotherton and Eric Iwasaki, a developer from Naughty Dog studios (Crash Bandicoot series). Times have yet to be set in stone, but they are confirmed to be guests in the SAGE chat room. Special thanks goes out to SSMB member EXshad for annoying the living shit out of us until we got him into the chat room schedule.

When the show begins, we will have the entire front page staff reviewing all the games with playable builds. You read correctly, I will not be the only one doing SAGE reporting. Please check back throughout the week for more SAGE 2008 coverage (100% free of pretentiousness and the word “first”).

The Sonic Show: Episode 2-3 available for download!

Hey, Sonic Show fans! Are you ready for another episode of TSS’ chart-topping podcast?! Well, here it is! Season 2, episode 3 is a “Summer of Sonic” special episode, so this go-’round is not your traditional offering of Sonic Show goodness, as it mostly acts as an archive of all the media Jay (aka Disco Ponies) and other expo-goers managed to film at the event.

However, there are a few non-SoS skits in there, so there are some surprises to be had in this episode! Featuring:

  • Exclusive Summer of Sonic coverage and footage! Featuring all the concert numbers by Richard Jacques, TJ Davies, and Lee Brotherton, T-Bird’s Quiz Show, and more!
  • An exclusive promo video for the re-opening of the Sonic Cage Dome!
  • The SAGE 2008 Promotional Video!
  • What’s going on as SoS U.S.A.? Our cameras dropped in on the show!
  • RedHedgehog doesn’t have an episode this time, but they show up to announce a new contest! What is it and what is the prize?
  • Slingerland’s Corner at the Olympic Games

With the Olympics in full swing and my love for attention, I shoved a Corner segment out the door. Fun fun fun. RedHedgehog will return to its usual antics next week, as well. We really hope you enjoy all the SoS coverage in this episode, though. The audio quality of the concerts is really good!

GET EPISODE 3 HERE!  GO GO GO!

Episode 4 will air on TSS on September 5th. Be on the look out for brand new content and higher production values?

Download HIS WORLD (Blue World Prelude)

During the Summer of Sonic’s live performance featuring Richard Jacques and TJ Davis, Lee Brotherton pulled a rabbit out of the hat and surprised everyone with a brand new version of HIS WORLD. Nice, slow and chilled out, LB’s awesome re-interpretation of the Zebrahead classic features brand new lyrics, and is the official theme song to the Summer of Sonic convention. How cool is that!?

Because myself and Rory did our dare and sung the DK Rap on stage, we get to share a high quality MP3 with you of the theme song. Download it off of our media server now, and bask.

HIS WORLD – Blue World Prelude ~THEME OF SUMMER OF SONIC 2008~ (TSS Media Portal) – 6.1MB
Right click and select ‘Save As…’

Summer of Sonic Registrations Close

The first ever Sonic the Hedgehog convention has had to close registrations for attendees – because the event has proved too popular.

Citing problems with fitting the current number of named attendees into the 200-strong Dragon Hall in London’s Covent Garden, the organisers behind the event has has to warn that entrance may involve a waiting period, or those entering may have their time limited if they intend to stay all day. The aim is to let everyone have a fair chance of experiencing the event and seeing evertything the show has lined up, it was announced.

Summer of Sonic 2008 has risen in popularity since its announcement in June 2008, gaining attendance interest of almost double the capacity of the venue’s hall space and earning coverage across respected gaming websites such as Eurogamer, Computer and Video Games and Destructoid. Special Guests announced so far include Sonic the Comic writer Nigel Kitching and Dreams of an Absolution star Lee Brotherton, with more guests expected to be announced.

Attendees will be able to meet, greet, experience live performances and play games with one another, including contests and the first ever play at Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Entrance is free, with the costs of staging the event funded by members of the Sonic community and support from SEGA Europe. The convention will be recorded and the Summer of Sonic website updated, for those unable to attend to experience the event as well.

Summer of Sonic – Registration CLOSED – Summer of Sonic

Where In The World Is Jun Senoue? Why, planning for ‘Sonic Next’

Sonic Unleashed is kicking all sorts of arse, and it’s just round the corner. Has you thinking a few things. Things like, “OK, this is like the third game in a row that Jun Senoue (a person that for some reason TSS strikes a similarity with Ken Watanabe) hasn’t had an involvement in the soundtrack. What gives? Is he gallivanting with roadies on stage or something?”

That’s a good question, but fear not! Rather than sitting in a palace garden reminiscing about Cherry Blossoms (maybe), we have it on good authority that Jun may be busy preparing for the next Sonic the Hedgehog title, and our sources tell us that Lee Brotherton (Sonic Rivals, Silver’s theme in Sonic 06) and Richard Jacques (Sonic Chronicles, Sonic R) is to meet with the Japanese rocker soon to discuss possibilities (maybe ‘Endless Possibilities’?.. Oh God, that joke really will get old very quickly).

According to our super-secret-squirrel, this new Sonic project is very likely canon and not a spin-off – Jun’s involvement only reinforces that. But still, such a project is eons away; given the usual time frame for Sonic games, we’ll probably see this one in late 2009 or 2010 unless it’s continuing to use the Hedgehog Engine. It’s just nice to know these things though isn’t it?

So for now enjoy Sonic Unleashed, safe in the knowledge that Junny Baby is not out, and that as clockwork SEGA are planning the next game in the franchise. Can you imagine a possible soundtrack involving Senoue, LB and Jacques though? Epic. If there’s a God, He better well make it happen.

Dreams of an Absolution Star to attend Summer of Sonic

Lee Brotherton, the artist-otherwise-known-as Bentley Jones, the remixer-previously-known-as LeeBro, will be attending the Summer of Sonic convention when it takes place on the 9th August. For those who haven’t really been paying attention to this site or Sonic fans in general, LB is the guy behind the aural delight that is ‘Dreams of an Absolution’, Silver’s theme from the eyesore that is Sonic ’06. And people go crazy for his man chest. They like the song a lot too, but no doubt its his chest they all want.

He will be at the very first Sonic convention throughout the day, chatting to people like an unimportant person and then popping on stage for a Q&A session like an important person. Those who have registered their interest in the Summer of Sonic event can log into the website now and post in the Comments section of the relevant news item, where you can write any burning questions you have for the remixer-cum-popstar.

Due to his recent health problems (as mentioned on TSS a while ago), it’s unknown yet whether he will be up for a performance on stage following the Q&A session. The organisers (read: me and AAUK) are looking into it, but don’t put a line under anything yet. Last thing we want is someone’s voicebox bursting out of their throat or something. Mind you, that’d be a hell of a headline, huh?

Special Guest: Lee Brotherton – Summer of Sonic

Lee Brotherton out of Hospital, Recovering

Dreams of an Absolution star Lee Brotherton has just come out of hospital following surgery on his back. According to his official blog, the singer says that he discovered a lump which ended up being a tumour – which was rather quickly removed. But even now he’s out and about he won’t sit down – word has it that even though ‘LB’ is taking it slow, he’s still preparing for an assault on the Japanese market (as in breaking into the J-Pop charts, not an actual attack on some fishmonger or anything).

We wish him all the best and a swift recovery. Those who are keeping an eye on his lavish pop persona, Bentley Jones, will find some footage of him recording in bandages on youtube soon. He’s such a trooper, that boy.

Bentley Jones’ Official Website

New Dreams of an Absolution Remix

We like BentLEE Brotherton-Jones. We’ve spoken to him and everything. He’s not quite high on our list as Richard Jacques, but he’s responsible for some awesome tracks in Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic 06 so that’s enough for us to stalk him on occasion.

Formerly Lee Brotherton and now going under the pseudonym ‘Bentley Jones’, the Remix Factory starchild is releasing a new solo album, due soon. We’ve been sent a sneaky recording of a brand new remix of fan favourite ‘Dreams of an Absolution’, taken during an Open Studio Day promoting the album.

Listen to it by clicking here

The recording was taken from an insider’s phone while Bentley previewed the track. The album will also include a remix of ‘Open Your Heart’ which you can preview on…. erm… ‘BJ’s website, bentleyjones.com.

We’ll be chatting to good ol’ Bentley soon, so keep an eye on this space for a catch-up about the remixes. Thanks for the tip, ‘Joe Schmoe’!

New Sonic City interview with Bentley Jones!

Formally known as Lee Brotherton, former Remix Factory member Bentley Jones catches up with Sonic City for an exclusive interview discussing Sonic, his new album and previous works.

You can locate the interview here.

Bentley seems to have greatly enjoyed working on previous Sonic titles and would do it again in the future if he had the chance, also adding he would enjoy working on other game projects too broadening his horizons.

Bentley Jones composed Silvers theme ‘Dreams of an Absolution’ which can be heard in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ for both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 platforms.

Thanks to Urthy for the link and Spunodi for the heads up!

Interview: Return to the Remix Factory

UK based music production studio Remix Factory have come a long long way, but you wouldn’t think that one of the main areas they’re making waves in is the Sonic community. The studio, who are all pure Sonic fans through and through, first made an impact making two remixed tracks for Shadow the Hedgehog.

Now studio head Lee Brotherton (aka LB, who has actually dabbled in amateur Sonic remixes under alias ‘LeeBro’) has a much bigger role in producing new tracks for the Sonic series. Including work on Sonic the Hedgehog and upcoming Sonic Rivals, LB also has a solo album via Remix Factory coming out, and is pushing for a UK release of the next gen OST. We sat down and had a chin-wag with the dude and play catch-up.

  • Visit the Remix Factory website to find out more about their upcoming projects!
  • Check ‘Music’ and ‘Solo Projects’ on the site for a brand new Dreams of an Absolution remix!

TSS: LB from Remix Factory, it’s a pleasure to speak to you again. It must have been fun working on the new soundtrack, especially now you have a bigger part to play. Can you give us a little commentary on your work for Silver’s theme, Dreams of an Absolution? How you approached it, the process of the track, what was most difficult about working on it…
LB: It was a lot of fun, but very hectic. Especially doing ‘Rivals’, album promo and other remixes simultaneously. The meaning behind DOAA was actually first-hand experience from something I was going through at the time – which was completely unintentional – but with a little extra spin I managed to make it very relevant to Silver and the general game plot of ‘changing the past’ . I wanted to write it in a way that was relatable as a song so if someone heard the lyrics they wouldn’t instantly assume it was written for a character from a video-game.

TSS: You’re credited to doing Silver’s theme, but has Remix Factory worked on any other pieces for the game’s soundtrack?
LB: For ‘Sonic’ I’ve done some more production work (as DOAA wasn’t produced by myself) but I can’t talk about that just yet. It’ll be a pleasant surprise.

TSS: What was your approach musically when you understood that Sonic the Hedgehog was to be a ‘back to the roots’ kind of game? How did the atmosphere, story and ambiance of the game help direct your work on the project?
LB: Well, as you know, I’m a huge Sonic fan so I’d already seen early footage of the game when they asked me to work on the soundtrack and knew the music had to match the gameplay excitement, anticipation and plot intensity and drama that a rebirth to the series would inevitably have. Coupled with my personal excitement and anticipation for the game made things quite easy. (And yes, I’ve already noticed the similarity in the bridges of DOAA to the original Green Hill music too!)

TSS: When we last spoke to you on the Shadow soundtrack, your nature of work was very remote, working on tracks and using the grand ol’ Internet to send copy to Jun Senoue. Did you work on Sonic the Hedgehog in the same way, given that you created original pieces for the soundtrack and had a lot more involvement in the project?
LB: Believe it not, yes. I did eventually meet the team when work had started but before and long after then it was all done online. It was slightly crazy because I was using SEGA USA to help communicate with SEGA of Japan but on the odd occasion when I couldn’t quite understand what was being said I had to e-mail America again for them to translate! But it was all part of the fun, we had a giggle. Another issue though was the deadlines – try syncing up with San Francisco and Tokyo when it’s a sleepy Sunday afternoon in the UK and you’re still recovering from a press party and a chest infection… ah memories…

TSS: It seems you’re pushing for an official UK release of the Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack. This will no doubt please a lot of fans if this turns out to be successful – what exactly are you guys doing to help bring the OST over here and do you think it could happen?
LB: I work very closely with a lot of labels here in the UK and when I mentioned the idea to SEGA they basically said ‘why the Hell not?’ It’s tough because I’m honestly not sure how certain labels will view the marketability of a project like a Sonic soundtrack. The response I’ve had so far has been incredibly enthusiastic so who knows, it’s very possible but I’m not holding my breath just yet.

TSS: We understand Remix Factory is releasing their own album soon too, would you like to tell us more about it? Will it all be remixed material or some original compositions too?
LB: Haha! It’s a common misconception. The Remix Factory album is basically my album as a recording artist. The reason it’s going under the Factory name is because it’s partially collaborative. It’s all brand new original material – aside from the odd couple of covers. It’s just been promoted in Europe and Asia and now (finally) has a confirmed release for next year. The new artist website has been implemented so that people can find out more about the Remix Factory album and follow its progress towards release.

TSS: As an overall package, what is the best thing about the soundtrack to Sonic the Hedgehog? Do you feel it’s a set of tracks that effectively captures the personality of the series?
LB: That’s a difficult question because, as you have said before, it’s slightly unfair to compare ‘Sonic’ to the rest of the series since it’s supposed to be a rebirth. However it’s incredibly hard not to. The best thing about the music is that it captures the look and feel of the new title perfectly, especially the gameplay – in my opinion. Also I was mighty impressed with the production. Haha! I’m such a suck up! But seriously, I really do love the new soundtrack and I’m just so happy it’s being received with the warmth it deserves.

TSS: Finally, what’s your favourite Sonic soundtrack and why? And what’s your favourite track on the StH soundtrack? We have a massive favouring for Wave Ocean – The Inlet and the White Acropolis tracks.
LB: In terms of composure I’d probably say ‘Sonic 3 and Knuckles’ – it’s a classic! But soundtracks on a whole I’d say ‘Sonic Adventure’ – but I have a sneaky feeling the new ‘Sonic’ soundtrack might rival it. I love the Wave Ocean track too, but my other favourites are the final boss from the last story and one from the vocal collection – which you’ll have to wait for because I’ve had my wrist slapped for saying
too much about that already!!

TSS: I guess you’re not going to talk even if we tortured you Casino Royale style eh? Thanks for speaking to us LB, great to catch up.