ReMix: Axelay 'Kick My Axe'

ANNUAL FUNDRAISER!! Help us take OCR to the next level by supporting us on patreon

Sponsors: Bart Verbeek, Cynical Brit, Matt (aka Antidragon), Michael Beauchamp, Wesley "Bahamut" Cho.. + hundreds of supporters! Thanks!!

downloadDownload MP3
4,707,422 bytes, 3:52, 160kbps
Stream/preview on YouTubePlay ReMix
streaming preview on youtube

Latest Albums

Latest ReMixes

Axelay

Very professional submission from Midee, with assistance from guitar-meister Prozax as well, from Konami's Axelay. Our last Axelay ReMix was back in July of last year, when po! gave us a nice hip-hop take. I already covered a bit about the game (and how it essentially humbled me) there, so check it out for the history. This mix is far from hip-hop - a rock arrangement that mixes synthesized elements with fantastic electric guitar and bass and dynamic acoustic drums. Besides a slight audible hiss at the very beginning, production and mixing are first-rate stuff, with balance and edge kept in harmony and brilliant usage of various reverbs for true depth. Check the synth delay break at 0'40" before the guitar takes off on the lead melody for a great example of timing. The lead often doubles up on itself, and the strings back the melody and take the lead for some sections like 1'18". At 2'13", check out the funky little shuffle with a rim shot that the drums do - little details like these make a world of difference. The piece ends on a suspenseful run, with organ riffage and some excellent hits a' plenty, including some badass dissonance on the strings. Interesting, somewhat understated ending considering the controlled chaos immediately preceding it, but a wild ride nonetheless. In particular, the attention paid to loud-soft dynamics is impeccable, and makes the mix all the more enjoyable. Highly recommended.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
supernintendosp
on 2013-04-21 20:23:39
A lot of passion obviously went into this track. The 90's rock guitars, the opening, the...wow, you OC-ReMixers are amazing.
You get the feel of a journey as you're three-fourths through the track, and then, the boss music gives you a little bit of the creeps at the end...probably a good thing as the boss enemy is a spider-bot.
I'd love to see the entire game of Axelay remixed with this exact kind of music by these guys. It would make an epic album.
OA
on 2009-12-11 17:02:40
Interesting and cool use of guitar textures as opposed the super wall of sound i've grown accustomed to with recent guitar subs. My first introduction to this there was Scaredsim, so my expectations are a little biased towards his arrangement, but this one stands up really well, despite the slightly conservative approach. The use of 2 themes works out very well, and the break between the two was well handled. Nice playing throughout, and production was clean and not forced. A big plus in my book.
The ending was a little abrupt- i'd have preferred a more dramatic finish spread out over a little more time, but really this is a solid mix. Nice work!
Marmiduke
on 2009-11-22 00:08:16
Superb choice of sounds and contrasts here make something that might have been an unjustified, lazy-sounding mix into something with some real worth. My stance on covers isn't wholeheartedly supportive, but there's something to be said for those select covers that bring the original music into an entirely new perspective by giving it a burst of professionalism.
Of course I would have loved some arrangement. It's something that I do listen for and always come up short. That being said, the original melody actually doesn't need the support of good arrangement since it retains interest the whole way through. The collaborative effort here is so sweet to listen to, but there is a small concern that it wasn't used to its full potential.
But like I said, I'm not going to be too hard on it for not exploring that potential because what is here definitely isn't broken. It's just a case of a whole lot of work being put into production, and very little being set aside for personalising it. Samples have held up well, and the performances are excellent. For that reason, I'm willing to give it a free pass. However, all dazzle and no creativity gets old fast. I hope this position on 'remixing' stays a relic of the past.
madmallard
on 2009-07-07 03:40:33
sfried;282102 wrote: I guess the track was to capture the essence of old 80's sci-fi shows. The strings bring out that "epic" feeling witle the guitar definately adds to the flavor. One of my favorites. Yes, it can feel like "BAD ANIME BACKGROUND MUSIC" at times, but when the song is good, what's to complain?

I really identify with what your saying. It almost feels like a lost style of composition in this day the way it stands out. I would even say it lasted into the very early 90s too, this very strident, driving leads and guitars.
Its a bit of cheese. But I like cheese. And I like those who like similar cheese. Like that rock organ-sounding thing, and the suspense stuff around 3:00. This is a fun track. :]
This mix does lose a bit of direction at the end, but one has to understand the source material when its composed to old shooters/shootemups, whatever you want to call them. The boss is coming up, after all.
And I don't get the hate on clean mixes like this. As a musician, being able to perform the original work is a unique endeavor all of its own. People can talk all they want about it just being a cover, but I really feel those who try to isolate it that way aren't seeing the whole picture. As though there is somehow less creativity in performing than composing/mastering.
Oh midee? I came around a little late, do you have an updated version of this somewhere else since VGMIX went X_X?
Echo
on 2008-05-16 03:50:36
I didn't get to play Axelay until last year, and I finished it a couple times even so the music really got to me. What's different in it to most game soundtracks is that the bass stands out on some tracks really nicely, and this remix no different in that. Guitar playing is great here and I like the overall sound of everything. There's nothing too surprising though, but enough difference to the original to keep it interesting.
sfried
on 2007-06-11 20:39:24
Zandar The Weeble;2584 wrote: The strings gave the heebie-jeebies when I first heard them, they screamed "BAD ANIME BACKGROUND MUSIC" at me and I almost lost it.

I guess the track was to capture the essence of old 80's sci-fi shows. The strings bring out that "epic" feeling witle the guitar definately adds to the flavor. One of my favorites. Yes, it can feel like "BAD ANIME BACKGROUND MUSIC" at times, but when the song is good, what's to complain?
Now someone should do the ending music in this fashion. That would fantastic.
Adam_Slight
on 2006-11-08 01:39:26
Still remains as the best mix on this site.
Or one of.
watkinzez
on 2005-10-22 00:02:58
Funny, Prot's experience with this mix is very similar to mine. I loved this one a lot when I first got it, so much that it persuaded me to check out the game to see what it was like. I was astounded how similar the original was to 'Kick my Axe', which dissapointed me sonewhat. The song is very well done, high production values all round, and does work as a cover and upgrade as such. I guess this is just a different approach to remixing. Either way, I still love a good cover, and in that sense this one hits the spot. The talent is easily spotted in this well made mix.
Liontamer
on 2005-10-03 16:11:37
meccaneer wrote: My major complaint is that it covers the boss theme on that level too. In my book, that's a huge no-no. Why? I dunno. I don't think it's fair to cover and remix two songs into one.

Um...yeah. No fair, apparently. :roll:
meccaneer
on 2005-10-03 00:34:22
I'm not a huge rock fan; guitars always just sound like there's a dude with long hair holdin' them. This is no exception. However, despite Axelay's inherent coolness, this remix is probably how the game designers originally meant this song to sound. For real. And the violins and organ are a fantastic touch. My major complaint is that it covers the boss theme on that level too. In my book, that's a huge no-no. Why? I dunno. I don't think it's fair to cover and remix two songs into one.
Other than that: very professional.
Corporal Eschebone
on 2004-09-05 10:20:07
Solid rock by Midee, prozax and Jeremy Johnson. Keeps the spirit of the original and only improves on it in every respect.
Edit: Although, like Protricity and Riku said, you can't just improve on the original - You have to arrange it beyond just a transition and original instrumentation. Even an occasional changed or added note for the better would do. I s'pose the ending and the notation were the only things not improved on in this track. Still high-quality though.
Protricity
on 2004-09-05 01:09:03
Midee wrote: Well I originally going to make an Axelay kumbia megamix :roll: , but I decided that prog rock in the exact style of the original would work best.
A lot of people have accused this song of being just a cover, but I always felt that it was a full-on arrangement:
1. It's two songs melded together with an original transition section.
2. Original instrumentation.
3. Yes, all the same notes are there. I made a point to hit every note exactly. Why? Because I can, and I like paying homage. It is a fairly complex piece and I wanted to show off (swing dick) a little.
When I make arrangements, I make them as if someone was re-releasing the game, and needed arranged music for it. Doing the music in any other style than that of the original would be blasphemous to me. Would I have added more to it if I had done it now? Maybe, but even without more original sections, I still feel this is a real arrangement, and not just a simple "upgrade".

So, you can do the 'why mess with the original when its so good?' + 'homage' thing if you want. Its well justified. Only problem is that this is after all a remix site with certain ideals. Thus, as my ideals are the same as those of this site, I am somewhat dissapointed that this is more or less a cover in my mind.
To me, its like entering a baroque style orchestra competition with a rap song. Your song might be awesome rap, might be a beacon to all other rappers in existance, but it simply wouldn't fit in a baroque environment.
I hope you can understand this analogy in that I'm not bashing the song or its quality, rather just saying its really not much of a remix. I respect your skills, and I think your recent lifeforce song totally kicked ass. Now that was a full on remix.
Anyway, to drive the point home, like riku said, the ending sorta just dies. Thats where the original ends too before looping. If your song was truely a rearrangement/remix, it wouldn't just end, and you'd put in a more satisfying/creative ending.
Riku
on 2004-09-04 22:26:35
Well, wa sit your intention to make an utterly mangled ending?
What the hell happened there, I first listened to the song, but stopped about midway through to move it to my 'Misc' folder (since I download songs to a 'potential' folder before actually deciding to keep them) and I thought 'I like it, sounds cool' and besides, I wanted to save at least 1 song from the A section, and this was the only one I liked enough.
Then I moved it and listened to it again and at the end I was like 'wtf was that?! Is the song broken?'
For me, it just dies after the violin thing. =\
Midee
on 2004-07-06 16:16:05
Well I originally going to make an Axelay kumbia megamix :roll: , but I decided that prog rock in the exact style of the original would work best.
A lot of people have accused this song of being just a cover, but I always felt that it was a full-on arrangement:
1. It's two songs melded together with an original transition section.
2. Original instrumentation.
3. Yes, all the same notes are there. I made a point to hit every note exactly. Why? Because I can, and I like paying homage. It is a fairly complex piece and I wanted to show off (swing dick) a little.
When I make arrangements, I make them as if someone was re-releasing the game, and needed arranged music for it. Doing the music in any other style than that of the original would be blasphemous to me. Would I have added more to it if I had done it now? Maybe, but even without more original sections, I still feel this is a real arrangement, and not just a simple "upgrade".
Protricity
on 2004-07-06 10:44:35
So I always liked this song, but recently I listened to the original soundtrack. It was very disappointing to discover that this remix is scarcely anything more than a cover. Its basically the level1 and boss1 music put together with live guitar. Everything else is note for note with minimal changes.
A fine upgrade, but alas, nothing more than an upgrade.