Aphro’s Asskicking Anthems – January 2018

What it is, what it is, what it is... shed no tears! After months of silence, your boy Aphro is back with more of them crazy sounds to power your beatdowns. To kick off 2018, our first Anthem of the year is all about style. 

Just in case some of you reading this right now may not know how things go down here, allow me to learn you something real quick. The Dynamek One & Only has been called an "old soul". As such, one particular aspect of that description is that I am eclecticist when it comes to music. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I happen to miss that day in school where they taught us that you can only like one type of music. Sorry, baby, but that just don't fly right with yours truly. Good tunes is good tunes & great music is eternal. That there is what I believe, which is why I made this column to marry two of my great loves: good music & fighting games. That being said, let's gets these tunes to spinning... 

Ahh, yeah... can't (usually) go wrong with anything inspired by the Blue Bomber. If you weren't aware of this upon its release, this prime cut of audio goodness is from the OC Remix library (if you haven't already, you need to check them out) from their tribute album "For Everlasting Peace: 25 Years of Mega Man". This track in particular is by Brandon Strader (another name you should seriously look into). Strader happens to be one of my favorite artists to collaborate on that website. Real recognize real and Brandon is a kindred spirit when it comes to eclecticism. Thumb through his personal library and you'll see just how varied his musical stylings can be. 

On the subject of this song in particular, I enjoy the choice of instrumentation. It's almost hard to recognize that this as a Dr. Wily theme, but that is the case here. Furthermore, that's the beauty of how remixes work: taking something you already know & reimagining it into something equal parts different and awesome. This piece is no exception. Hell, it's actually my favorite off the album. There's an elegance to it, but also a measured intensity that keeps you coming back for more. Choosing acoustic guitar over electric was, in this writer's humble opinion, a stroke of genius because it enhances both the elegance & intensity. From beginning to end, this one's a classic in its own right.

So now it falls to me to perform the other half of this column's task: assigning the music to a character in a fighting game. If I'm being totally honest, this can be a mixed bag of sorts. Sometimes, my job here is as easy as taking candy from a baby. Other days, however, it proves to be quite a harrowing task. Today's pairing falls comfortably in between those two parallels. 

A knuckle sandwich from his restaurant might just land you in the ICU.

There are fewer characters in all of fighting games that most people will agree are either wasting their talent or simply not applying themselves more than Tekken's Miguel C. Rojo. In the immortal words of Peter Gibbons: it's not that he's lazy, it's that he just doesn't care. Truth be told, the only thing ol' Miggy here ever actually cared about was his sister and, unfortunately for everyone involved, her light was snuffed out in the collateral damage of the world wide pissing contest between Kazuya & Jin. Now that he's fired up, there isn't a hell of a whole lot that can really stop him. What he lacks in style & finesse, he MORE than compensates in raw power (Miguel rocks one of the only OHKOs in Tekken franchise history). He is the definition of a "heavy hitter".

Here's the real irony of this pairing, though: both the musician & the fighter represent opposite sides of the same coin. At first glance, Brandon doesn't look like a virtuoso music maker, but he is an amazing artist. Subsequently, Miguel very much so looks like someone who has done the lion's share of ass kicking, but he himself does not have the attitude for it. Thinking of this juxtaposition makes me laugh. One guy has talent & passion, but looks unassuming, while the other looks the part, has the chops for it, but lacks the enthusiasm. In my eyes, there's something priceless in that. I also wouldn't put it past Miguel to be able have a duet with Brandon. That would be something to see/hear...

Until next time... keep fighting the good fight, my friends.

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