mod_shrine and Club Fantastic
Earlier this year, my friend Dylan James, who I was familiar with for his YTPMVs in the past and more recently having been able to work with him on the last Octagon collaboration, had made a tweet where he shared a link to a selection of music he had made for #mod_shrine on EsperNet, an IRC channel for tracker and .mod file discussion, along with one hour compos (OHC). From what I gather, in recent years it’s transitioned more into being only the latter, with OHCs being held every week, and not only limited to music made in trackers such as OpenMPT, but open to anyone using any DAW. Lots of amazing artists and musicians have joined these, such as Tee Lopes, Frums, and coda.
I was really impressed by seeing how many good tunes Dylan had put out in these OHCs, and even made an unintentional “everyday” with one of the songs. I decided I might as well idle in the IRC channel to keep up with the OHCs, though at the time I never had even considered making some my own.
Fast forward to a few months later, Dylan randomly notices I’m in the user list and starts (nicely) bugging me about trying to join an OHC sometime. Despite having made a good chunk of YTPMVs and having attempted playing a couple instruments in the past, I still to this day wouldn’t consider to be versed in any sort of music production, especially compared to everyone in #mod_shrine. Regardless, I decided to take up the challenge and give it a shot.
Half-jokingly, Dylan suggested that along with making a song, I make some visuals for it in that time as well. I figured this may be my best way to make a good first impression, since to both our knowledge nobody had ever made an “.mp4” entry before. My first entry, simply titled “do”, was made for the compo held on June 28th this year, and I think judging from the reaction it made… some sort of first impression.
My excuse is the 'do' sample sounded like '超！' and I just happened to have a mask handy. Also these visuals were made in roughly 15 minutes
Despite placing 8 out of 11, I really had fun with the compo and interacting with everyone during it! I’ve joined several more since then, one of which I made live, and am still participating to the current date. It’s been a nice way to stay in a creative groove and get inspiration for not only music but other creative projects, and has gotten me a lot more interested in music production overall. Everyone who participates is super nice and encouraging, and they all make really good stuff, so I’d highly recommend giving it a shot at least once sometime, because I’m almost very certain anyone who joins once will want to a second time. We’ve since gotten other previous YTPMVers involved and I even convinced my longtime friend KP to join — so go ahead and give it a shot!
From #mod_shrine is where I ended up having the opportunity to participate in what is the second topic of this article: Club Fantastic, a completely free-to-play and high quality set of tracks for play with StepMania, intended for new players and even experienced, featuring several artists from the #mod_shrine IRC channel. It has a self-contained, hassle-free setup, so you can download it right now and get started playing right away!
Dylan approached me about Club Fantastic not long after participating in a few #mod_shrine compos, where I had the opportunity to work with a lot of great people, including Roger Clark, who currently hosts majority of the #mod_shrine compos nowadays and who I previously only knew for his programming streams and, very fitting now, a DDR documentary he had helped produce. Along with producing a trailer for the project with Dylan (which you can view below), I made some art for Can’t You Bounce!?, a song produced by Dylan under the alias team BOUNCE. The first season of the project was released last week to high acclaim from many DDR players, including iamchris4life, the subject of the aforementioned documentary.
A strange string of events brought me to having participated in both of these communities I really wouldn’t have considered before, but like most things I have gotten interested in, I think seeing a friend’s passion in the work they do and then sharing that passion and encouraging me really inspires me to try it out, and eventually it ends up being a new interest. So, along with the whole Club Fantastic crew, I’d also just like to give a special thank you to Dylan and Roger who were both super encouraging through the whole project, especially Dylan for reaching out who without I would’ve not had this opportunity.