ReMix: Streets of Rage 'Drop and Roll'

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Fun. Not the type of fun that involves too much thinkin', granted, but sometimes that's what's called for. Big Beat, like death metal, fills a genre void by offering a form of musical instant gratification that might not be refined or have subtle gradations of tone and timbre coloration, but which essentially focuses on kicking posterior with volume and rhythm in copious quantitudes. Newcomer tefnek intros this Streets of Rage Stage 1 piece with some goofy synth squelch fx action, but the beat drops and rolls ala the title quite quickly, and it's clearly identifiable as Big Beat via not only the volume but the general groove. There's a good variety of synths here, the beat is sliced and diced, there's good fills that break things up, a slick bass slide around 0'46" that segues into a nice digital aliasing synth fx riff, and some wah guitar playfulness joins the beat stew further in - in essence, you've got a lot of tradeoffs to funky, pattern-based solos, layered over some thick drums. The ReMixer does an excellent job of making the genre successfully extend to five minutes without feeling awfully repetitive, one of the common pitfalls of the style even on shorter tracks. All that being said, there was a fairly divisive split on the judges panel, as though the mix is five minutes long and doesn't repeat itself sonically too much, from an arrangement perspective the original isn't being built upon compositionally to great lengths. Of course, the original itself was very groove-based and pattern-oriented, but it was still felt that more could have been done. In instances like these, what I've personally sometimes done is brought in another melody from the same game and used it as a chorus or break. Not the same thing as turning the piece into a medley, which would be covering the songs more as discrete units, but instead I'll sometimes mix the pieces into a new whole. I've seen others do this as well and it often adds a bit more to a piece where the sonic end is covered but the arrangement needs more beef. Perhaps that would have made this a clearer pass for the judges panel, but even without it, for the genre, this takes the original and without adding too much compositionally does certainly effectively transmogrify it into very convincing big beat. It's often difficult to extricate problems one might have with a genre at large from problems one has with a specific mix in that particular genre - in fact, it's one of the most challenging aspects of evaluating ReMixes - and that may or may not have been an issue here. The benefit of the doubt is an important concept, however, that should always apply. This might not have enough arrangement of the original for ya' to consider it truly exemplary, and that might be something the ReMixer should work on for future submissions, but in the meantime my strong suspicion is that you'll enjoy this for what it is and be too busy shaking your booty to care :)

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
knux199112719
on 2010-03-25 13:24:35
Wow, looking back, this was the first remix I had ever heard on this site. Now, while I just actually became a member, I have listened to music from oc since like 2002, so I know what goes on. But this song just started the addiction for me. My friends and I would just sit there on sunday afternoons just playing the crap outta streets of rage for the genesis, and this remix captures the energy and straight action of the game perfectly from start to finish. This may not be as crazy musical and emotional like some of the fantastic FFVII remixes, but it doesn't need to be. This is what this site is about: creating a new, updated version of the song that is very different, but still captures the energy of the game and what it feels like to play it. Great Job tefnek, I am a long time fan!
42
on 2009-12-26 23:35:25
This mix starts things out right by setting up the energy for the rest of the track and preparing the listener for the groove that comes next.
Normally I like my tracks to be atmospheric/emotive/evocative of something, but, while this isn't the case here, this has a nicely varied sound scape and gobs of grooviness.
This isn't exactly a groundbreaking or earth shattering track, but it is very, very good and worth a listen.
OA
on 2009-12-02 11:03:21
Nice filtered intro really grabs your attention, and then the bass and drums are kickin'. They are almost a little overpowering, as there isn't much room for anything else, but this is a distinctly rhythm-heavy track. They drop out for a second after a pretty sweet break, and then it's back into cruising mode. Synths are good, but really the star of this is the drums. I'm glad they aren't on autopilot throughout, and there are some great processed stutters and breaks. The bass sounds a little cheap in places where it's exposed, but it's a minor detractor. This is good stuff.
MechaFone
on 2008-04-14 02:13:13
Holy. Cheese. On. Rye.
The funk that comes in after the electro voice announces 'Stage. One.' is fantastic. I have loved this song since it came out, it tops out among my top ten songs. tefnec really nailed it on this song. I love the percussion, the beat, and..and...I just can't stress how incredible I find this song to be. Please download and groove.
Audity
on 2006-10-29 21:27:58
Ugh, don't listen with headphones, please. Headache!!
As for the song itself, I always end up liking this, and then not liking it. Probably need to be in the right mood. But one thing's for certain is that I was really enjoying until the cool voice effect happens after the silence. Upon first listen, a year ago, hearing that voice effect, I said to myself, "This is awesome." But today I thought it was mixed too low or soft, or something else needed to be present, or a range filled, given the level of range throughout the rest of the song. Anyway, besides that, I mainly wanted to say the first 40 seconds or so are better than the rest, for whatever reason. Now excuse me while I listen to this some other day on speakers and not headphones so I can actually make a clear judgement on the rest of the song.
Really reminds me of when I burned a CD of all his originals and listened to that to and from work/school. Pretty...neutral experience. I like the concept quite a bit, but sometimes (more not than often) I get too overwhelmed. Something to stress, though the remixer is probably all too familiar with this, is to make sure huge samples aren't the only thing that sounds good; have worry later that something can be improved. Like with the bass in the first 40 seconds. It becomes the "voice effect" line, which becomes something else later. However, I think that bassline in conjunction with the percussion is what makes the first 40 seconds better than most other parts. As if some part is being left out. [u]Go listen to tefnek's originals: para bellum and love song.[/u] the ending to love song especially has the most amount of things going on you'll ever hear, all while sounding insanely nice. Then go check out the rest of his songs.
zircon
on 2006-05-11 08:53:28
JamesL: tefnek is alive and well. Check out www.tefnek.com for his originals, which are awesome to a magnitude I can't even describe. Him and I did another collab as well (from Streets of Rage 2) which you'll be seeing sometime soon, and he's going to be featured on the Final Fantasy 7 remix project. ;)
Azure Prower
on 2006-05-11 04:52:35
Heh, it's funny. After getting a new computer. Thought I'd download some old favourites like 'Airborne' and 'Waste Water Wipe Out'(clash of my two favourite artists). Then thought, hey, why didn't I ever download his previous works?
I did just that... And wow. Where have you been all my life? All his remixes are flawless in my opinion.
Any ways, I just wonder what happened to Tefnek after his last remix submitted?
skamanbill-chan
on 2006-05-10 11:54:23
that was a really badass mix....i liked the way you kept the original form of the song without "remixing" it too much... 5/5!
Liontamer
on 2006-05-10 02:52:54
Glad we have this mix here. Thanks go out to Ariel Asulin, the originator (and king) of groove bias.
tgfoo
on 2004-05-13 10:40:27
What can I say that hasn't already been said? Awesome beat....wait, that's been said....Kick ass mix....wait, been said too....oh well, I love this. This gets the Smackahoe Tribe Seal of Apporval....oh, I don't have a seal....screw it. Just listen to the song. It rocks.
Kamikaze Noodle
on 2004-05-12 17:28:19
Whoa, this is so Big Beat it hurts. But in a good way. The synths chosen fit perfectly for their assigned tasks, and mad kudos go for the nice use of digital aliasing.
One small note for the people questioning the judge's hesitation of posting this: The song may be awesome, but you have to ask yourself "How much awesomeness is the result of the remixer, and how much is the result of the original composer." And in this case, it was close. Although if the judges had refused this track it woulda been a damn shame.
Although Big Beat may have been absolutely hated by every pioneering electronica artist of the 90's, it's cool to see someone keeping the dream alive. Don't stop, tefnek. :nicework:
Streets of Rage bum
on 2004-05-12 16:46:49
yah baby!
this is a really really fun mix, non stop funkn' beats. I even love the little voice goin "Stage 1" to let the nonSOR players know where this tune originated from. this is one of those great mixes where u let someone listen to and u say, ya this is a track from an old Genesis game! and of course the foolish simpleton says "whoooa, no way dude". Just shows HOW MUCH can be done with the right remixin skills, and the right source material (thanx to Tefnek and Yuzo for this music :!: )
AstaL
on 2004-05-12 16:30:39
This remix kicked my ass!!! way to go man! this is one of the most energetic songs i've ever heard! the guitar is the best part. i have a feeling i'll have this song on loop for about a week. please mix more streets of rage songs tefnek!
Speed Demon
on 2004-05-11 12:33:19
I agree - AWESOME stuff!! Excellent first mix of the remixer!! :)
CykoticZZ
on 2004-05-05 19:58:28
this is very impressive. sometimes i think i can hear 4 or 5 instruments going. then other times i hear 20. its like an eye-opener.. but for your ears. Keep it up tefnek. you definately have an ear for making an awesome song ever better.
3:50 - 4:10 is my favorite part.