ReMix: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 'Reich Lake'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
Mazedude meets Sonic? You betcha. The prolific and consistently inventive Chris Getman expands his repertoire of games, companies, and platforms with the Sonic 2 ReMix of the version ported to the Sega Master System (and Game Gear), which had a totally different soundtrack from its 16-bit brother (father?) and which Mazedude has chosen to arrange. Chris composed quite a write-up of his own explaining exactly how this happened, and I'd be remiss not to include it here:
"Let's see here... well , I've had various requests to do something from Sega, over the years. Personally, I never really played Sega, so I didn't have any pressing desires to make anything. However, so far I've tackled NES, SNES, PC, Gameboy, Playstation, and Arcade, and I'm proud of my diversity in that regard. So, eh, what the heck, I decided to see if I could find a Sega tune I liked enough to remix.
Everyone tackles Sonic at some point, right? :) I went to Zophar.net to see what I could find, and after going through the Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 soundtracks, I found a track I really liked. "Aqua Lake Zone", from Sonic 2. The way it was composed reminded me a lot of a neo-classical piece by Steve Riech, entitled "Music for Mallet Instruments, Voice, and Organ", so I wanted to make a remix of it in that unique style.
I've always liked the odd blending of instruments that Steve pulled off in that tune, as well as the kind oftrance it puts ya in. I wanted to see if I could do that with this Sonic Remix. I think I did pretty well; the instrumentation consists of Marimba, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Glock, Choir, Church Organ, Hammond Organ, some synthy percussion to help carry the piece, and... Pepsi Bottle. :) Notice also that there are NO crash cymbals, lead synths, or transition swell/woosh sounds.
Now here's the funny part; finished with my Remix, I went to Overclocked to see if anyone else had tackled this theme at all. But, to my confusion, I discover that every Sonic 2 remix on the site is based off of themes - that weren't in the original soundtrack I downloaded! Befuddled, I go to Zophar.net to investigate. Heh, turns out every remix on the site is based off of Sonic 2 for Sega Genesis, whereas the soundtrack I downloaded was from Sonic 2 for the Sega Master System and Game Gear.
Well, I never played the game, so I'm not positive if I do the tune justice or not, but it was fun to make, and that's the important part for me. It's experimental, yes, considering the orchestration - but you'll also notice - the song is almost 5 minutes long. Those 5 minutes seem to go by very fast. Looks like I accomplised the trance-inducing style I was going for, atleast in my ears."
While I'd like to interject my two cents and note that I'd imagine, were he exposed to more of it, Chris would find there's dozens and dozens of unremixed Sega tracks that are beggin' for some well-deserved love, it's nevertheless quite groovy that he's chosen this subject matter, and also that he's managed to incorporate Steve Reich's style into the mix - and name into the mix title, for that matter. This is a bit more reserved and restrained that typical Mazedude fair, which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on who you are, but is nonetheless a unique take on a unique track. Recommended.
the addition of a choirish pad and some cool drum loops makes it more unique, and the repeating pattern gets pretty hypnotic.
Overall a good mix, and cool that Mazedude tried out a track that he enjoyed without playing the game itself. :-)
- OA on December 22, 2009
I found this to be a rather enjoyable piece, very laid back and soothing. The combination of beat and percussion/mallet really helps to create a very lush, rich atmosphere along with the main synth and background choir.
Nice Work, 'Dude. :nicework:
- Sir_Downunder on December 17, 2009
It's refreshing to see Mazedude restrained here; though he is a notorious genre-hopper, this is one of his most accomplished sounding ventures away from the sound he is more synonymous with.
- Marmiduke on June 28, 2009
Honestly this gives me a bit of a Kikuta vibe in places. Reich is usually not my bag, but I think the catchy percussion (both marimba and synth drums) keeps the repetition from becoming monotonous. And I've always admired Mazedude for paying tribute to games and composers most gamers wouldn't be familiar with, all while making it sound awesome. Great work, Chris!
- Dhsu on May 1, 2009
Keeping a constant, short-measured melody going for the entirety of the duration of the song without making the listener bored or annoyed is no small feat and borderline genius. I don't think anyone else around here can get away with that and still achieve success.
Beyond that aspect, this song is actually very complex with what it does in terms of texture work and ambience. The constant melody actually works as a tension artifact in place of swirls and artificial build-ups or crashes. The instruments are both familiar and outwordly, but extremely interesting and entrancing. The arrangement is not quite as complex as what we've come to expect from Mazedude but it's the little details, and the constant morphing of the atmosphere that makes this song so unique and great.
One of my favorites from the site. I recommend it to everyone I know, regardless of whether they like videogame music or not.
- Sir_NutS on April 30, 2009
I have some memories associated with this mix (and with the source tune) which make it all the more special to me, but DAMN! Even after all this time, you have such a chill, atmospheric groove going in this song, with tons of background depth and awesome chime runs flowing over that main mallet loop.
Definitely gives me that underwater, spacey kind of vibe, but it's got the sweet groove pounding along with it which gives all that depth some context, some structure, and some pure, head-bobbing rhythm. Reich Lake is for sure near the very top of my favorite remixes.
- Antipode on October 11, 2008
But I digress. This piece certainly does the mood of the level from which the music originates justice. Super swell. Now, if only someone would give the Bridge Theme from Sonic the Hedgehog 1 on the SMS a go...
- Pod on June 12, 2006
- Liontamer on September 23, 2005
- Jillian Aversa on September 23, 2005
- Navi on August 31, 2005
- Andrew on March 8, 2004
- Simoom on March 8, 2004
- Hadyn on March 8, 2004
- Internet on March 3, 2004
Now. Is this or is this not Aqua Lake zone from Sonic 2 GG? (yes, I know, it was on the master system, but all I have is the gamegrear version.
I'm probably gonna plug up my HH now and indulge in some vintage Sonic
- archlyn on February 29, 2004