ReMix: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty "Electric Gear Solid" 4:06

By Spyder

Posted 2003-09-23, evaluated by the judges panel


It's easy to see (or rather, hear) from the opening to MGS2 why Harry Gregson-Williams was brought on board - Hideo Kojima is probably the most "cinematic" director/creator of games working today, and the memorable, epic melody Gregson-Williams came up with for the opener makes the feel of a Hollywood A-List action flick even more visceral. All right, I have to confess that I've only played through the first thirty minutes of the game (much to judge Digital Coma's dismay), but I did play through the first game. It's a time thing - and my lack of it. Regardless, I've seen the intro and played the first bit of MGS2, and am thus familiar with the main title score. Newcomer Spyder hasn't mucked around with the melody itself with this arrangement, but has instead changed the texture from straight orchestral to a hybridized, crystalline combination of symphony and synth. This ReMix REALLY split the judges panel, moreso than many close calls in recent history, largely because a good number of judges felt that - while the sound quality and instrumentation were present in full force and were high quality - the mix didn't play around with things enough in terms of arrangement, and still relied too heavily on the strength of the original melody, which is used near verbatim. In the end, I personally think these concerns were well-founded, BUT the instrumentation is itself a form of arrangement, as synths percolate in melodic arpeggios not present in the original, and the textural alteration does affect the overall feel of the work. I will state that I feel that OCR encourages more arrangement and interpretation, on average, than this particular mix leverages against its source material. Submissions like these are hard to judge for a reason. I'll quote Beatdrop here: "Okay, right from the beginning, everything sounds pretty good. The FM-ish synths in the intro really fill up sonic space, and although the strings that come in during this area sound kind of blah on the low notes, it still works pretty good. The violin is really not nice on the higher notes, but oh well. Can't expect perfect samples all the time. The synths, while not entirely original, blend in pretty good. The drums kind of lack variation during the middle section of the song, but everything picks up again later. A little repetitive, but not enough for me to want to condemn it. Sounds pretty well equalized, and the arrangement (besides the previously mentioned repetitiveness) is decent." and in contrast, Digital Coma writes: "Basically, this is pretty flesh on a brittle skeleton. Satisfactory variation can be difficult to carry-out, especially with an original track of this caliber, but it's the first step that must be taken when remixing." - I might sound like I'm running for political office, but in a way, they're both correct; we're bound to encounter mixes that split the panel due to weighing in lopsided on the sound-quality vs. arrangement scale. Some of the looped, crystalline, repeating textures Spyder uses throughout, esp. in the intro, are entrancing and put to good use. Would a counter-melody, more harmonic variation/intepretation, or an original solo have made the piece a better ReMix? I would say so, however, we judge what we get. This is a ReMix that takes a great original melody and puts a different sonic spin on it, with admittedly some arrangement going on in terms of instrumentation and pattern-based synths. It's certainly enjoyable, and for many that's the key deciding factor. How much of its enjoyability centers around Gregson-Williams as opposed to Spyder is of course up for debate, but if you put the two pieces side-by-side, they ARE different in a number of ways, enough so that I'd say the panel's end result in approving this is that a good original melody is given some new life. You'll have to forgive the extended pontification - when the panel does labor over a decision, it seems to me it's worth expressing that to listeners as well as other ReMixers, both for contextual benefit and to further clarify what this site is all about. I also put a bit too much vodka vs. Kahlua in my Black Russian tonight, and it's not sitting well with the Kraft EasyMac I cooked up in the microwave. In all seriousness, if you dug the original (or - heavens forbid - haven't heard it), my strong guess is that you'll enjoy Spyder's treatment, regardless (or in spite of) the background I've provided on its history. More good driving music, as well ;) Check it out.

Note: Bryan Singleton wrote in to note that Tappy Iwase originally composed the main melody for the MGS2 title theme, which Gregson-Williams created his arrangement from.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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BONKERS
on 2012-01-08 00:55:03

Man I remember hearing this back when I was like 12!

I had even burned this to a CD at my public library where I first downloaded it, because I didn't have internet at home.

Would listen to it all the time.

The intro still gets me, and I still think the arrangement is pretty awesome despite what anyone says. It has some really great sounding synth work and has a good feeling to it all.

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OA
on 2009-12-01 15:02:27

Interesting start in the intro- I wasn't sure where the track would go. My guess was that it'd either it'd pick up hard, or keep the midtempo feel, and it didn't really do either, and opted for something in between. Interesting that it did so, because I think it would have been more effective choosing a side, rather than trying to join them together as such. It seems like the old school judges were similarly torn on the weak arrangement VS nice samples, so maybe it's this mix's destiny to forever divide people.

It's competently done, but not super creative.

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Liontamer
on 2006-12-25 20:52:25

I can see why this split the panel at the time, though I probably would have leaned against it had I been on it. I liked a lot of the instrumentation ideas here, but felt they could have been pulled off more strongly, plus the arrangement being so conservative was the main kicker here. Still, for it's time, a very cool track and still a unique approach sonically.

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HourGlass
on 2006-10-18 16:13:54

This was the first remix I ever downloaded from this site. That being said, this is still one of my favorites out of the hundreds I have. Good work.

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cc2k
on 2006-10-15 08:24:56

Om My God! I love this. For the first 30 seconds I was liking it, then you hit me with the introduction of the cello, and then the techno. I love it so much, actually, I am going off to listen to it again!

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darthseb
on 2005-05-23 16:35:01

This remix wasn't exactly subitted the other day, but i thought, because i liked it, that i'd dig this thread up and show some love.I don't know how this guy does it, but the music feels movie-style. It's awesome.

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Super Metal Mario
on 2005-05-04 21:15:14

I think you need to make more Metal Gear mixes I love the tracks to metal gear as it is but you really bring them to life.

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Chulainn
on 2005-04-14 10:40:40

Good remix. I liked the change from techno to classical, the abruptness seemed... well, right for the piece.

Nice.

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codderz
on 2005-04-13 07:46:30

I am HOOKED on this remix. I can't get it out of my head. I play it at home, I play it at school. Nice one! :D

I've just had an idea. You should e-mail this at konamijpn.com. You never know. It might even appear in the next game!

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Paranoyia
on 2005-02-06 16:11:50

Wow - it's even better than the original! ;)

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Being
on 2004-11-18 21:11:50

One of the most original and fun ReMixes on this site. The clash between techno and the strings was fabulous to say the least, and better yet it still keeps that militaristic feel to it. One of the best pieces of music on this site.

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FreedomForTheMasses
on 2003-12-18 16:18:40

I LOVE THIS MIX :P Pretty cool considering it uses the original techno notes and stuff,(which is the best part of the original) Keep these kinda mixes coming :twisted:

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Spyder
on 2003-10-19 00:12:00
I found it to be a very weak remix at first, but lately it's been growing on me. :wink:

There's something about that theme that makes you keep coming back.

Hehe ~ burnt that mofo onto a CD w/in days of the remix on the site.

Yeah, I guess it kinda gets better the more you listen to it. I'm rather tired of hearing it myself, but that's just me. ;)

As for more remixes, I'm not sure I want to go through another 9+ month ordeal in the queue, but I have quite a few newer ones around the net. :)

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solid_blue_ico
on 2003-10-17 12:49:48

I found it to be a very weak remix at first, but lately it's been growing on me. :wink:

There's something about that theme that makes you keep coming back.

Hehe ~ burnt that mofo onto a CD w/in days of the remix on the site.

Still I do agree that it could have been stronger, but since it was a dare, it's

not like you could have used the equipment you wanted to. :twisted: It is pretty good for a dare.

Hope to hear more from you, Spyder ! (^^!

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Spyder
on 2003-10-11 13:09:49

Hey DS! Long time no see. :)

Yeah, it's a decent remix I think. Not bad considering I did it using only matrix controllers in Reason 2 (as a dare from a friend.)

I see some people don't like the samples, and to them -- I agree. I don't warez samples, so that puts a roadblock on getting quality violin patches. ;)

I'm glad all of you enjoyed listening to it,

-Spy

P.S. Darkside, you know my aim name. :P

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Konami, 2001, PS2)
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams, Norihiko Hibino, Rika Muranaka, Tappy Iwase
Songs:
""Metal Gear Solid" Main Theme"

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File Information


Name:
Metal_Gear_Solid_2_Electric_Gear_Solid_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
5,984,891 bytes
MD5:
6208960b9aca8432c145d4195e524dfd
Bitrate:
192Kbps
Duration:
4:06

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