ReMix: Ico 'Icon'

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Ico

Newcomer Binster is actually friends/acquaintances with A Scholar & A Physician, at least semi-famous for the SMB Dirty Mix from days of yore. There's manipulations and DSP in a similarly mangling, free-form spirit, so you should be able to hear the connection if that mix is fresh in your mind. For more on all that check the ReMixer's website at www.abandonedsheep.com. This takes the minimalist music of ICO in all sorts of cool directions. Though mildly oppressive mastering may disturb some with sensitive ears or whom accidentally listen at initially high volume, what this mix does at its core is takes a competent, strong electronica mix of ICO and then tricks it out, sorta like misled teenagers do with their Honda Civics, only tastefully and with much better end results. Things begin with the cool otherwordly language from the game and some backwards samples, then go into a hip-hop beat with retro synth bass, a plucked ethnic type motif, and ambient fx. The serious mucking begins circa 1'50", where things are deconstructed rather dramatically, with some nice wound-tape effects. This segues nicely into a break with clippy synth patterns overtop the gradually unfiltered original beat. Then comes a white noise crescendo into some mean, distorted synth that'll growl you into submission. Mix ends by fading out and into more and more reverb in a cool, watery sonic vacuum. In pointing out the mastering but seeing the positive as well, Israfel encapsulated both sides of the panel's comments:

"heh- that middle section reminds me of Secret Chiefs 3 or Mr. Bungle Really cool stuff- nice variety, quite stylish and imaginative all around. The mixing does hurt though- some instruments are much too up front, and everything sounds overcompressed But if you can get past the mastering, there's a pretty good mix here."

Sounds about right. If you're not into the type of manipulations involved, something tells me no amount of revision to the mastering would really help; if you're into the type of processing in the afforementioned SMB mix and solid, aggressive techno with some hip-hop methodologies, I don't think you'll mind too much. Fun stuff.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Flexstyle
on 2013-02-24 17:56:31
This is one of those mixes I look at the date on and go, "Wait, this was done back in '04?" It's managed to age VERY gracefully. Also, LOL at the "overcompressed" complaints in the original jooj-thread. Just sounds like a tasteful master, these days. :lol:
underthesun
on 2011-05-15 00:42:12
This was one of those mixes I listened so much in the past, and then dubstep came. First thing I thought of when I heard those dubstep drops was this song, for some reason.
Polo
on 2009-12-08 18:55:01
If this mix was a piece of land, it would be a dynamic mountain range with many jagged cliffs and impossibly high peaks, but also enough greenery and smooth terrain to keep me hiking on. There are many times when I'm awed, emotionally uplifted, or just plain giddy as I marvel at the off-the-wall textures, effects, and segues. So certainly the high notes, the WTF break at 1:55-2:15, the creepy volume build at 2:51, and the wall of sound afterwards are right up my alley.
A lively pastiche.
OA
on 2009-11-27 12:26:41
Some awesome effects and transitions really drew me into this one. I'm unfamiliar with the source song, but there is a lot of really interesting stuff going on, so either there is some nice melodic material to work with, of you created your own. Really interesting throughout, and great pacing. I could jam to this one all day.
Really good stuff, check it out. :-)
metalsnakejuice
on 2009-09-25 02:47:20
Good god this is awesome and l love the sounds you used from the game.
Good job.
JaDE ARaN HaRuNo
on 2009-09-24 23:09:52
Okay... I heard this today and... I just gotta say...

I FUCKING LOVE THIS SONG OMGOMGOMG BINSTER NEEDS MORE ATTENTION!

I've been working on my OCR playlist for my trip to Florida in October and I heard this again and .... yeah.....

I want more Binster mixes. :puppyeyes:
K.B.
on 2009-01-01 19:20:26
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Every section and every transition is incredible. What's truly amazing to me is how the ICO feeling is kept throughout the remix, since the raw energy makes this the veritable antithesis of the somber source tune. The more I listen, the more I find Castle In The Mist... nearly every layer seems to be working with a piece of the original, just drastically altering it to work within the mix. Wildly creative. Gets me pumped every time.
I wish the explosion at 2:56 (and following section) were made a couple decibels higher; more oomph would have capitalized on the transition. Everything else, of course, is fantastic.
aakapaisiiwa
on 2006-07-13 14:08:59
i love this remix. i'm not a remixer, but in my opinion, this one and tamimi's "nay tomorrow" are at the top of the remixes here <3
Radiowar
on 2006-06-23 22:12:04
I've been meaning to go through all of Binster's older remixes ever since I heard 'Poltergeist Mix' and man...off to a good start so far.
Tons of awesome things about this mix. The buildup to the end is perfect, just like it was in Poltergeist Mix. Loved the use of reverse samples too. Can't wait to hear the rest of your stuff.
binster
on 2006-02-01 05:09:27
Good news, everyone!
I've uploaded the long version of Icon to my myspace page. It's also less harsh on the ears, which is a good thing.
Go to http://www.myspace.com/thabisnit to have a listen, plus I've got some other tracks up there too.
Binster
RoboticNinjaZombie
on 2004-06-18 21:48:09
This song is like a good lego set. Everything builds up perfectly, with a good climatic mound in the middle. I enjoy the sound clips of Ico, as well.
Superb.
ILLiterate
on 2004-05-30 17:13:49
Wow this mix just kicks complete ass
Amazing production, samples, ideas, execution <3
LightCecil
on 2004-05-30 15:34:41
Killer awesome mix.
I like the crazyness that cuts in at the middle section. The tape effects and samplechopping, all of it's just incredible. Even the ear-stabbing static is good when you volume down or cut off the high frequncies with EQ.
The ethnic guitar is just amazing. It might not be like ICO in the ambient aspect, it's making want to play ICO again so I can locate the songs again. I want to hear the original again so I can compare.. This really reminds me of how I felt at the end of ICO.. mostly wanting more.
The use of game sounds is great. Especially in the placement of the one at the end.
Overall, awesome mix 9/10 mostly for the ear-stabbing mixdown in the static. Everything else's just perfect.
Animazed
on 2004-05-30 11:37:30
this rmx is so great... Wow.... Good work
Debotron-6K
on 2004-04-27 16:48:08
Yep. This mix is outstanding.
As for the genre.. it's total porno-funk, + some electronic weirdness in the middle. Haven't heard the VGMix version yet, but honestly I think that this mix is just about perfect.. I wouldn't change a thing about it. I like the weird breakdown in the middle, but maybe because I've been listening to music which includes similar sounding parts for some time now.. Mischief of a Sleepwalker by Sound Tribe Sector 9 comes to mind. I don't think I'd like to listen to 4 minutes of this stuff, but a little insanity in the midst of an absolutely beautiful track is fun and different.
Binster, I hope you continue to make music for us! You've got some serious talent.
....and I really need to play this game sometime. With your mix and SGX's, there are some stellar remixes coming out Ico, not to mention all the wonderful things I've heard about the graphics and gameplay.. and I did see it in the bargain bin at EB once (a while back). I'll have to keep an eye out for it..