ReMix: Star Fox "Space Cowboys"

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Star Fox

Jordan takes a break from more traditional trance for this airy, lighter Starfox ReMix. As someone who's been accused of using some piercingly high pitches (rightfully so, though they don't bother me so much), it's good to see I'm not entirely alone, as this piece is very keen on the treble. Mixing is spacious and the mastering seems to have accentuated the already lofty frequency spectrum. This works, though, because the arrangement itself is floaty and spacious, with sort of a polished, synthetic buoyancy to it. Full of delayed arpeggios, bouncy, percolating synth fx, and delays and filters aplenty, the percussion for this track is also not driving but rather organic and while not minimalist, certainly wouldn't qualify as heavy. You've actually got the reprise of the familiar title screen in here as part of the boss/credits theme - in this context, it's not quite as adventurous and melodramatic, but more relaxed and laid back - picture Fox chillin' out with Falco (Slippy wouldn't be invited), cold Killian's in hand, having set their starwings to auto-pilot for the ride back home. Good vibe, very smooth and like I said, a change of pace for bLiNd but handled ably. Good shtuff.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Marmiduke
on 2011-09-19 01:55:44

I would have loved to hear that epic theme break through a little more than it does. Not quite enough of a dominant melody for my tastes, but the mix captures a spacey, celestial sound in a pretty interesting way, so its a decent trade-off. Percussion is impossible to ignore in this one, as it tries to hog all the attention. I would say that it is too bright, to be honest, and that the same mood could have been achieved with slightly less caustic sounds. The balance is a bit all over the place in terms of foreground and background, chaos and calm, however overall its been managed into a pretty cohesive track.

This is far from my favourite Blind mix, but I can appreciate its technical merits all the same.

Pachi Risu
on 2009-11-12 20:08:39

A good remix, but some embellishments here and there would have been nice. Grats.

OA
on 2008-10-08 11:25:10

Pretty bright but not painfully so; I love the source on this one, and this is a really cool atmospheric mix of the theme, where the soundscape is the star, and the melody is just floating around in there. The in game effect was actually well used and improved the track, and that gated synth sounds awesome.

Personally, I'd liked to have heard more melody, but this is still a great track to just chill to. Nice work.

Arek the Absolute
on 2005-08-20 15:06:00

Awesome job sir blind. Very very nice.

For some reason, the music really just touched my heart. The emotion the ambience portrays...at least to me....it just...I don't know...I got a little teary eyed .

Pip is uh.....
on 2005-03-13 22:04:38

Very nice. This stands well with Meteorave as some quality mixage. I think comparing this mix to Metorave takes away from this mix's charms. Nice ambient and above all trancy. Good work!

The H(8) of '06
on 2005-02-03 03:16:54

You did a very excellent job elaborating the ending credits song of this Star Fox track. The original track captured the moment of the multi-colored words scrolling across the screen, but this track in my mind-listening to it just makes the credits pop RIGHT out of the screen and into your face! The "come in, Corneria" voice-over adds such a great effect to the remix. The radio static really does the trick in that part as well, I love it! I haven't played either Star Fox, or '64 in such a long time, I could swear it came from the N64 game - either way, nice touch! Very beautiful elaboration to the original number. :D

NeOmega
on 2004-09-14 01:17:46

Sometimes the lonely remixes are good enough to grant another thank-you.

skawttieboy
on 2004-07-25 18:10:53

just listenin to this mix, and overall I like it. Granted it's nothing like the other "Space Cowboy" songs I've heard :coughstevemillerbandcough: ;) ;)...but for Starfox, this will do quite well!

Liontamer
on 2004-01-22 07:17:44
Yea the high treble was ear blistering on vg fequency because of the low quallity stream. It really aint that bad tho, i went for that spacious sound intentionally.

Yeah, sorry for the stream being lousy like that, yo. I'm working on getting something going with Shoutcast later in the year, so I hope WMRE'll pull through on something other than RealPlayer for the webcast.

This one was very nice work, and the final, tweaked version is gonna be excellent. I might as well pimp my review of the track from VGMix to give my full view on how much I enjoyed it:

The source tune "Ending" was pretty heavy on the percussion for an almost regal sound, but this mix steers very far away from that. bLiNd has some good fluttering note effects fading in from the start. The bassline is indeed very subtle, and I thought the airy choir synth in the background also gave the track a great sense of atmosphere almost immediately, thanks to the right amount of reverb on both. The bass could feel more beefed up as compared to the WIP bLiNd let me check out, though I find that this subtle bass pad now allows the track to have a more space-like feel as opposed to a dance track, per se. (I still could have gone for a fuller bassline. Oooh, I see MkII potential on beefing up the bass alone.) Very nice reverbed/arpeggiated electrosynth notes make up the backing for the melody at 0:31, and this is the meatiest addition of bLiNd's in his remixing of the original track. Also introduced at 0:31 was a clap; I tend not to like claps and kicks because they usually tend to sound exposed or fake no matter what a mixer does, but for some reason, I thought Jordan did a great job on making them function well within the track. For those of us who are getting low bass presence when listening to this track, the clap synth does a nice job of filling out the low mid-range to compensate.

0:47 features the familiar melody of Hirasawa's "Ending" coming in, and there are already too many layers of music to digest, and I mean that in a good way. The mixdown is done so well that everything sounds incredibly clear. The melody's got excellent reverb on it as well, so again I was feeling this techno mix fit like a glove into the space atmosphere. I also liked subtler elements in play, such as the synth providing a high-end off-beat at 0:51/0:53 ("tsss...tsss tsss") and the panned, arpeggiated notes starting at 1:04, that show bLiNd's attention to detail. Jordan moved into the chorus of this remix at 1:18, while the addition of a second, more-percussion intense background accompaniment for the chorus at 1:36 created a lot more depth here that was duly noticed.

I like the transition at 1:54 featuring a voice sample from the game, "Come in, Corneria". A nice job here of referring to Star Fox's in-game action and enhancing the space feel of the track. (It is in fact directly from the SNES game, not the N64 game.) The melody comes back at 2:08, but this time with an airy synth lead, along with a second airy synth that excellently plays delayed notes off of certain parts of the melody. A little more meat is added to it at 2:24 with thumps from the bass pad. Hearing the chorus again at 2:41, there's a lot more power displayed in it. I'm not sure how bLiNd managed to achieve that effect; there may by two lines of harmony simultaneously playing together. In any case, there's a lot of longevity in this mix, as nothing ever truly repeats for over 75% of the track. Subtle but noticable changes in the background during the chorus (as compared to the first instance of it at 1:36) managed to prevent the track from ever feeling repetitive for me. The chorus section at 1:18 repeats at 3:28 and connects to the melody's closing fadeout as it effectively serves as a circular closure for the mix.

Trance mavens like FFmusic Dj bLiNd have been criticized along with their genres as being one-dimensional, but just as much as Haroon has incredible original game music that is fundamentally different from his standard trance, Jordan also has the chops to tackle music that's not strictly trance. Some would argue that techno doesn't stray too far from anything trancey, but I wouldn't hazard to say "Space Cowboys" is an excellent space/electronic track that offers a new dimension in bLiNd's work. Overall, the production quality is top-notch, with proper EQing and mastering that provides a very clean sound and an easily accessible atmosphere. Along with bLiNd's eventually forthcoming Chrono Cross "Another World" mix, I believe Space Cowboys will succeed in making you look at bLiNd on another level. As an example of reworking an existing piece of game music to give it new life, I honestly believe this is a must-have.

bLiNd
on 2004-01-21 15:51:44

Thanks for the comments :)

Shion
on 2003-12-10 17:23:39

I don't notice any problem with trebles. Instead I would prefer more of those hidden sub frequencies :D

Very spacey, fresh ambience. Yeah ! 8)

bLiNd
on 2003-12-10 13:59:05

Ok...the only people that say its not listenable because of the treble is fray and xelebes. Ive showd like 30 mixers i know and none of em had that problem. Maybe your winamp EQs are wackd out or you listen to your music too loud, but like i said ill tweak it for the final release. Check out the reviews on vgmix.com, not one said it was too trebley.

Fray
on 2003-12-09 22:10:59

Gaaah... treble... hurts...

Well, that's what the equalizer is for. Still, my god man... Those are some freaking BRIGHT sounds. I have to adjust the hell out of this for it to even be listenable.

Other than that, this sounds wonderful. The melody is a lot clearer than some of your other work, and it's well-treated throughout. I love those harmonies around the 3 minute mark -- great stuff.

There's a lot of musical variety too. The drums are nice, and there's a good feeling of musical motion throughout the piece. There's a very subtle, well-done voice over at around the 2 minute mark. Everything is really great in general. This would be one of my favorite bLiNd pieces -- which is saying a lot -- if it weren't for the rather sadistic mastering in this one.

For anyone else having trouble with the treble (wasn't that a Star Trek episode? wait, no...), I reccomend using whatever EQ you have to cut everything above 3kHz by a good 9-12dB.

--- Edit (I always try to write reviews before reading what anyone else says, otherwise I get too easily biased) ---

and BTW i will probably fix the bass pad issues (up the volume a little to balance the sound), up the vox sample, and cut some high frequencies for the final star fox project. Glad I could get different views from vgmix and OC here to fix it

Cool, can't wait to hear the final version :) Like I said, this is really excellent stuff.

bLiNd
on 2003-12-07 17:41:18

Yea the high treble was ear blistering on vg fequency last night because of the low quallity stream. It really aint that bad tho, i went for that spacious sound intentionally. There is actually a lot of bass in there too, I know this because I have 2 12'' subs in my car that i test my mixes on plus my monitoring headphones have a very full spectrum so it was carefully mixed. Glad you guys are diggin it, just a nice experimental song for me :)

EDIT: oh actually if you listen to the older version of temple trance here on OC (not the remaster) you'll see WAY more treble than this track

and BTW i will probably fix the bass pad issues (up the volume a little to balance the sound), up the vox sample, and cut some high frequencies for the final star fox project. Glad I could get different views from vgmix and OC here to fix it

Xelebes
on 2003-12-07 16:22:41

The treble, agreed is high. By at least +3dB than it should be. The problems begin about 1.5 kHz and above. It's really shrill, way too bright. This is coming from someone who can't stand Judge Jules' high leads.

For the content, it's actually pretty good, I'm loving those pads. The lead is ok, if the treble was dealt with and the bass is pretty good. Composition-wise, I dunno, I have never listened to the original but I'm gonna say it is cool..