ReMix: Wizball "Transformation"

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Wizball

C64 classic Wizball had some good tunes by veteran composer Martin Galway, as we saw with d0d0's coverage from oh so long ago. Newcomer Ocean submits a ReMix of the same track that's similar in terms of genre and tempo, but a little more electronic and perhaps a bit edgier. Both are great mixes of a catchy theme, but since we're focusing on this newer incarnation: beginning with a single, pitch-bended note that sorta hangs in space, an arpeggio gradually fades in, and the hanging note finishes out a melodic phrase, then more of the pieces of the puzzle come in, with the full-on at about 0'58", featuring dueling drums - the initial, cleaner breakbeat style electro drums to the left, and hard, distorted drums center-right. There's some groovy percussion tradeups with a backwards fill being the most salient, and the bass blends in nicely with the downbeat as the lead synth dominates the melodic space. Also, you gotta dig the bass slide lead-ins, with that great "wwwwrrrRROOORRrrrwwwmmmm" sound to em. Things end tastefully on the main underlying synth pattern. Much like d0d0's mix, this stays pretty close to the original, and it adds a similarly styled breakbeat, but as mentioned it's got a different texture & feel to it and more of an emphasis on the lead solo synth over the other synth elements. Good first mix from Ocean.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
BLAHMASTER
on 2016-03-01 12:01:47

Dig this mix. The instruments feel very "aware" of each other, if that makes sense. The original source sounds more like they're fighting for dominance.

Rexy
on 2011-12-31 09:08:19

One of those strange dreamy tracks, though pretty.

Likewise, I was skeptical when hearing the opening almost mimicking the original, though when the pads came in it managed to capture more of this dreamy quality to it. As the rest of the instrumentation came in, it manages to capture the uplifting quality pretty well. Plays close to the early portions of the theme though, but it's something that works and captures the spirit of the game rather well.

What did need work though was the mixing. When the drums came in, I could sense there being absolutely no headroom, and it's often more prominent when it's in full reaction with the moving bass and additional snare textures. Perhaps some more careful equalisation on the individual parts of the kit might've helped, as was any way of fighting off any clashes between the bass and the kick drum (most likely by changing pitch on the kick?).

In spite of that qualm, it stood up well for 2003 and is a decent representation of some undercovered C64 coverage. Should be worth checking out if you're a fan of the game, and apparently I have quite a few connections with those :wink:

DragonAvenger
on 2009-12-01 21:11:55

I was skeptical with the first note, but I have to say the rest of the mix had me pleasantly surprised. Way to take a risk and run with it.

Lots of good things going on in this. Bass really rocks the mix, and supports the main synth quite well. Going back to that synth, I would have not imagined that a long, flowing note could really sustain a mix. The drums and quick moving arpeggios really add a nice contrast, and in the end this makes quite a good combination.

This one is a good find.

Marmiduke
on 2009-07-31 22:29:04

There was a big risk taken with that looooooooong synth that completely dominates your entire aural capacity for a while, but thankfully it is completely justified by what comes next.

The lead is pretty fascinating because, perhaps from the in-your-face intro, it seems to have its own consciousness, twisting and writhing through the percussion. That sort of immersion is pretty rare, especially when we're talking about synths.

The mix itself is satisfactory, but it doesn't exceed its novelty. That's fine though, because it's just as enjoyable as it ever could have been otherwise. It's very C64ish, and that's a big win, in my eyes.

A noteworthy effort and very much worth at least hearing once.

OA
on 2007-01-23 13:28:29

That opening synth is fantastic; so much character! Melodically the lead doesn't do much, it simply swoops around here and there, but it is very effective and with all the sustain it has, it makes it's deliberate note changes that more effective.The drums are a bit subdued, but I think should they be more prominent, the mood that the song has caputured would be lost. The arpeggios are pleasant and unobtrusive.

Basically, this mix has a lot of parts that play nice with each other, and though it doesn't develop a lot, a distinct mood was created.

Normally a mix like this wouldn't be my style, but I really enjoyed this one. Recommended.

Shwenky
on 2005-09-12 20:46:20

Much better than d0d0's remix, in my opinion. Great job!

jordex
on 2005-03-10 00:43:23

Wow, how long can you hold that note for?

Actually the song is quite sweet

The drums are crazy and the reverse kicks at 0:56 are just plain awesome and again at 1:40

This is some wicked techno for you, too bad it's the only song here by that artist

Corporal Eschebone
on 2004-08-21 19:13:20

Heh, this mix certainly has a lot of good-tasting meat on it. Excellent driving synth. The mix has little pieces of industrail in here, and everything works pretty well for the final product.

d0d0
on 2004-05-01 15:07:39

Ghah! I had to write a review of this :)

This tune kicks my ass... mmm. where to begin. The verb on the intro note is perfect, the subbase woooOOOooommms like a erm... woomy thing should... The whole sound is very warm, the atmosperic synthstrings really fill a gap well. I love the way the melody and the drums are upfront without stepping on each others toes. The reverb on the bassdrum (usually something i hate) is great and adds to the warmth... Structurally more to the point and stylistically more punchy than my version was, I have one small reservation. (tiny one tho... about the size of a freshly hatched goldfish) the distortion on the drums sound slightly loose for my taste, but thats a matter of personal preference rather than an actual criticism as it all sounds great. 10/10.

Fray
on 2003-06-19 00:11:47

I've had this mix for a while now, and it's only grown on me. In fact, it's really become one of my all-time favorites. I love the distorted percussion, the just-grating-enough-to-be-interesting pitch bended note in the intro... If I ever save the world, I want this track to be playing :)

Xelebes
on 2003-03-15 22:03:55

I love that beginning synth... it is now etched into my repertoire for classic music technique

sgx
on 2003-03-13 16:25:00

Sweetness. Love the beats man. The bendies are nice too. Love the backwards drums at 142 about. Tight stuff right here.

Scotty B.
on 2003-03-13 11:38:46

Very nice mix!!! A little breakbeat never hurt anyone. :)

As a side note, I have a SidStation, and the 4 available patch banks just aren't cuttin' it for me. I mean, some of them have a few nice patches here and there, but for the most part they're useless. So, I'm going to make my own. Thing is, I'd like to make the classic instruments a la Hubbard and Galway. Does anyone know of a site that shows how those instruments were programmed? I'd really like to make some banks of different composers' instruments. I'm sure I could actually take the time to figure them out, but I don't profess to be that patient. :)

Thanks to anyone who can assist.

binster
on 2003-03-13 08:50:12

Nice remix. Good reworking of the original tune. You can't go wrong if you start off with that .sid chip "bwwwooooooooooowww!"

Binst

djpretzel
on 2003-03-13 03:59:47

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.