ReMix: Columns "Main Theme (Blue Square Mix)" 4:10

By Rayza

Artist Links
Arranging the music of one song...


Primary Game: Columns (Sega, 1990, GEN), music by Tokuhiko Uwabo

Posted 2002-11-17, evaluated by djpretzel

Rayza's last ReMix was in June of this year, with an excellent Tecmo Cup ReMix. Now he returns, again with a ReMix from an unmixed game, this time Sega's Columns. This was one of many Tetris clones that inevitably followed that game's huge success, but it was one of the larger and more memorable ones at least. Being a Capcom / SF fan, I liked Super Puzzle Fighter, which of course came much later, but Columns was good for what it was at the time and had an interesting Roman motif going on visually. This is some good techno with a bit of an 80's flair to it - bouncy synth bass, good house beats, interesting rhythmic relationships between some gated comps and arpeggio-patterns, and a high and floaty monoglide synth lead. There's an unexpected and groovy transition at 2'16" to an ascending minor pattern that's a bit darker that cuts out to gated synth that gradually fades out as the lead fades back in - well executed passage. This is actually a bit more traditional electronica than we've seen from Rayza in the past, but no less coherent and fluidly constructed. I could have seen the addition of an original counter-melody or some variance on the chord structure on one go-round, personally, but I think we needed some Columns mixage, and I think Rayza's answered the call - perhaps not as memorable as his Top Gear, Tecmo Cup, or Tinhead ReMixes, but enjoyable and recommended to those who've been waiting for Columns to get some deserved attention.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2011-12-06 07:25:37

One of the first games I ever played on the MegaDrive was Columns. I'm so happy to see a remix of it here. The arrangement is pretty good as the source doesn't have much to it. Nothing particularly amazing here, but still solid and enjoyable. It will certainly bring a smile to those that have played Columns.

on 2009-10-14 07:53:02

As a fan of the game i must say that you have done a great job. Please we need more columns mixes.

on 2008-03-04 12:25:20

I think Rayza did a good job on making the theme itself interesting. The gated synth is really nice, as is the sliding synth, but man, the source is boooring. :-(

The mix itself is decent enough, with a breezy house feel, and works very well as background music.

Some setbacks to it are that a few of the pitch bends travel into dissonant territory, and the track as a whole sounds like it's on autopilot; there isn't much progression as a song. You can skip to any section and it'll sound pretty much like another.

Good homework music, but it doesn't translate well to active listening, IMO.

on 2006-04-18 07:30:29

I think this was the very first mix that made me look for this site, and now I'm permanently attached to it! Amazing work, Rayza! Thanks for so many musics you added to my playlist!

on 2005-12-10 21:29:36
I like the little sound bite at 2:50 :D

hehehe, I think it too :wink:

I hope someone can "rip" that sound..

It will sounds cool like msn "ping" sound :lol:

on 2004-08-29 21:40:44

I just felt compelled to point out that every time I hear the intro and outro of this mix, Duran Duran's "Rio" begins playing in my head. Which is not a bad thing in the least. Kudos to Rayza for this awesome mix!

on 2004-08-22 15:39:58

Niiice remix to one very memorable theme. Everything fits and doesn't seem repetitive at all. Keep up the great work, razya!

on 2003-12-01 21:29:35

wow, i just listened to this 3 times in a row, excellent mix, everything about it is great, keep up the awesome mixes Rayza, i loved ur sonic ones too

on 2003-10-02 19:19:47


I haven't heard this song in SO LONG. I was wondering if I would recognize it... in case it's not obvious, YES. I DO. Such an amazing theme...

On to the mix.

This isn't really as "refined" as it could be, but most of that is in the intro. Of course the intro isn't bad, but the snare is a lil muddy, and the bass sounds not so great on its own (same with the hat). When the pitch-bending synth comes in I was still not sure about what was going to be going on with this ReMix. As soon as that synth comes in at :30, I knew what this was going to be all about, though :D. Great use of absence of percussion, and the shuffling beat that comes in is perfect. Like the bass, the pitch-bending synth sounds just mediocre by itself, but it's perfect in the mix.

This could easily be modified into something much more hardcore/trance that you could dance to rather than just bob your head to, but that wouldn't necessarily be a change for the better, just a different version. This easily has more than enough appeal to compete with a Dance piece of the same type but slightly different. Phased gated strings are really nice to listen to :) and the sound effect actually sounds very professional and fitting. Piano is fine... could have been used in a more funkish aspect, but it doesn't really do much anyway, so the usage is fine.

Ending with the sound effect is a little bit off to me. I think it would have been a great simple delay-out, but this is a style choice that I can live with. Maybe delay on the sample itself would have been a good idea? It just sort of cuts off a little too quick, even though it does go slowly.

:D amazing mix altogether, though; the perfect use of techniques from other genres, but in a genre of its own (which I will define as "Dream Dance" temporarily).

on 2003-07-11 09:01:20

It's pretty good considering the orignal was an orchestral-ish piece. I like the jewel sound effect. It was in the right spot.

on 2003-06-24 05:45:48

Its pretty good...

I think the beginning sounds like youre wandering in part way through the remix though, no proper introduction.

Its also a little repetetive for my liking...I think that good as it is, it should have been shorter.

I do, however like the part where in game sound effects are used as precussion, I thought that adds a nice bit of flare to it and wish it was used more...

So all in all its pretty good.

Not mindblowingly amazing, but also not appalingly bad.

Nice work :nicework:

on 2002-11-21 22:42:08

Thanks all for the comments. I don't think I've had this many reviews on any of my songs. :) I thought a lot about how I'd do this mix and how I wanted it to turn out but its always a different end product. I like it, and I'm glad you all do too. Thanks again.

The sound byte was done by using Total Recorder and recording a minute or two of the demo when there was (luckily) no music playing, then just cut it out to a little clip.

on 2002-11-21 19:53:20

Aw man, I wanted to remix this! Ah well... I don't even have the equipment to anyway... Still, great remix. I've always been a fan of techno, and I think the Columns theme fits well in that category, even though it doesn't sound at all like a techno song in the game. Speaking of the game, Columns an extremely addictive puzzle game... It's probably the only game my parents loved.

Infernal Monkey
on 2002-11-20 18:44:21

Holy crap I love this ReMix! I've alway's enjoyed the Cloumns theme, even from back in 8-Bit days. This has done the mighty Columns great justice. I like the little sound bite at 2:50 :D

Keep up the great work!

on 2002-11-18 03:10:09

yea i first heard this in the WIP forum and was like i dont care how cookie cutter anyone says it is.. its addictive and enjoyable. good for my playlist.

The original itself is catchy, and this trance remix justifies it well. Great job on the technical note also.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Columns (Sega, 1990, GEN)
Music by Tokuhiko Uwabo

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