ReMix: Double Dragon II: The Revenge "Mean Streak on Main Street" 6:03

By Protricity

Posted 2004-11-05, evaluated by the judges panel


Protricity, aka Ari Asulin, has been submitting (excellent, often downright amazing) ReMixes to the site for a long while, and has also served as a member of the judges panel for quite some time, going beyond the "call of duty" and handling resubmissions, standards issues, and other aspects of the submission process besides voting on mixes. Let there be no doubt he has made a significant, positive impact in doing so. However, some recurring personality conflicts between him and other members of the judges panel, as well as myself, have finally resulted in his being removed from the panel. We tried repeatedly to work things out but in the end I think this was a preferable path that will be less stressful for all involved. I'm writing about this openly, even though it represents internal discussions amongst the panel, for two reasons. One, I think Ari's contributions and presence have been significant and consistent enough that some explanation of his recent removal from the panel should be provided, and secondly, to emphasize that though I think this action was necessary, it doesn't begin to dent the beneficial influence he's had over myriad aspects of OCR for, as I've said, quite some time.

Moving on to greener pastures, let's talk about his latest mix, from Double Dragon 2. Ari's got a thing about samples; he prides himself on not necessarily choosing the best and the brightest samples in the world, but making sure his sequencing - which would sound good with almost any soundset - fully capitalizes on those sounds he does use. This mix is no exception, with a slap bass that's Seinfeldian in its believability and a lead guitar that's signature Prot - flamboyantly sequenced, with slides, trills, the works, but not something you could envision being actually played by a guitarist. Quite a bit of soloing here; more than many other Protricity mixes. Also some nice mechanically precise acoustic drumming... with the all-important COWBELL factor, so you know it's good. Most of the mix has an upbeat, unabashed jammin' 80's feel (dig the happy organ) - carefully sequenced and refined, but at no point do you forget that it's synthetic, across the board. This feel is something you're either gonna dig or not, and of Ari's mixes this piece most demonstrably illustrates that style. For my money, in this particular instance, his more-than-competent sequencing could have been paired with a wider, more refined soundset and the result would have been a better ReMix, but as always there's a LOT of music packed in, even at six minutes. The appendix at the end makes it sort of a medley, although really this segment is transitioned at 4'14' with some guitar strums like more of an extended outro. Not as keen on this bit, but the bass here is pretty monster, and doubled up with a lower synth, on a minor key motif that almost sounds more Castlevania than Double Dragon. Doesn't have too much to do thematically with the sheer jamfunk of the first four minutes, but I'd still rather it be there than not at all. Great stuff, overall; perhaps not as classic as the bulk of Ari's more recent subs, but still comparable, funky, and tightly programmed.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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timaeus222
on 2013-04-19 15:08:17

Bleh, the square lead is fine. The arps and solos were extremely creative. Maybe the bass is a little boomy, but otherwise the arrangement is off the charts.

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OA
on 2010-04-30 11:55:10

The samples aren't amazing, but the arrangement is really nice and varied. The transition to the strutting second theme was pretty well handled, and when the synth bass comes in, it gets really good. Cool beats, a lot of great soloing, and some strong transitions make this a pretty solid track all the way through.

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Polo
on 2009-07-01 08:05:49

Detailing my two favorite qualities about this mix...

- Allowing different synths+notes to play in the same placeholders is really mood-satisfying. Crafty case in point: stage 2 is played first by the organ at 0:40 and then by the buzzy synth at 1:01. It revives the feeling of anticipation from atop a building, then carries it to a more relaxed, plan-in-the-works mindset, readying me for what comes next.

- It seems the boss music decided it was too tough for the initial flow, so it waits for it to settle down before emerging in an underground cage fighting circuit or similar badass setting. Here we're treated to lotsa blips, a heightened tempo, and a bass that says "you lookin' at me? You better watch your back!"

These factors make an already bouncy mix all the more groovalicious, so props to Propstricity.

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Jaybell
on 2007-10-11 20:40:16

I never played DD2, so there's no real nostalgia for me =/. I will say that I love the last section, where it gets all funky-like. The meh samples weren't really an issue, although there's no denying that they are "meh", prot makes really good use of them here.

But overall, it doesn't really strike me as "amazing". Probably because I haven't heard the source? Heck, the only reason I listened to this was the title, which is the best title of any OC Remix, ever.

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nardman
on 2006-03-04 10:26:25

The guitar at the beginning was excellent. The organ-like instrument is what kept me though. i give it a 7 out of ten

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Frostmanblues
on 2005-02-25 02:20:25

Mmm,mmm,good. The guitar at the beginning really gave it a flavor that kept me hooked until it changed to another section of the Remix.

It may be my imagination, but I swear I heard that little sound effect the NES version uses whenever a Double Dragon character executes a knee strike. I noticed that the BGM of the first mission is "missing", I wonder if it could've changed the beat of the Remix if it was included.

However, I cannot whine about it being that I am happy to hear a Remix of a great,great videogame, I am pleased :)

EDIT: "First" mission, referring to the "Second Mission" from the Arcade version, remember that the NES version used the music from the second mission (arcade), in its first stage of the console adaptation.

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Protricity
on 2005-02-25 01:00:45

Theres really no such thing as an 'spc700' chip sound. That is to say, incomparable to the uniqueness of the nes/sega/c64 chips.

As for '16-bit sound', every song on this site sounds 16-bit. Thats cause they all are 16-bit songs.

One could say, perhaps, that there is a 'low-fi' sound to the samples used as they are all indeed very small wave samples (some 8-bit), some under 20k, but thats about it. I guess, yea one could also make the claim that anything using a square wave sounds 'nes'. Well, whatever.

Its best to get the terminology right or people will just be confused in the end, or you'll just look silly.

My decision to use low quality samples pretty much comes from the manipulative nature of small samples. You can do so much through them, take them into realms of audiomation that simply can't be done with anything else. Beyond that, I also like to show how low quality samples are most certainly not any runner up to expensive, flashy, high fi librarys. All that matters in the end is the artist. Everything else is just makeup.

As for personal agendas, not sure what you're talking about, but keep it off the review forum.

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Liontamer
on 2005-02-25 00:01:08
Sounds a lot like music coming straight from an SPC700 chip, and I wouldn't be surprised if the SPC would've been able to play something very close to this.

See? I told you, man.

Very nice 16-bit style vibe going on. I couldn't quite remember what game some of the sounds reminded me of when Ari was on the air for VGF talking about this, but if you people check out some of the stuff from The Follin Brothers Spider-Man The X-Men: Arcade's Revenge soundtrack, you might see how something like the synth electric guitar in particular gave off that old-school SNES vibe.

Of course the NES-style sounds were solid as well, so this was a good hybrid of game music sound styles. The expansive work done in the arrangement was hot as well. Some stuff to bitch about in the judging decision on it, like dat slap bass goddammit, but I was just glad to see that someone else noticed that SNES/SPC similarities that I thought the mix had. Now, I must go back to having some sort of "personal agenda" against Ari, which basically consists of me shrugging my shoulders while Ari insists I have a "personal agenda" against him.

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Burnov
on 2005-02-24 23:31:27

This remix sounds like it belongs right in the game. Just hearing it brings back a lot of memories. It's cheesy sounding but, it's just done so well it fits. It works. It's fun to listen to.

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Demko
on 2005-01-27 04:39:04

Great job!!! :D

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Corporal Eschebone
on 2004-12-13 18:49:13

Actually, the fakeness of the "square wave" [as is apparently the technical term] is what I like most about this specific mix. Sounds a lot like music coming straight from an SPC700 chip, and I wouldn't be surprised if the SPC would've been able to play something very close to this.

Certainly, a catchy and memorable melody is essential to keeping the listener's interest with this kind of sound, and Prot pulls this off nicely. I can't get the segment from 2:01 - 4:10 out of my head. Very nice.

I personally didn't like the section from 4:20 on, but that's a personal opinion as it still continues the technical execution of the rest of the mix.

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Protricity
on 2004-12-11 17:59:03

So, anyone wanna explain how a square wave can sound 'not fake'? or is this really just baseless banter?

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A-RoN
on 2004-12-11 16:44:34
This sounds very electronic... the fake sounding kind... an extreamly un-natural feel to it....

That was the point.

I have to agree that it does sound fake, but no matter what, it's very interesting. Really, I don't care if something sounds realistic, as long as there's been some good technical EQing to a point where my ears aren't bleeding, and as long as there's been some good,emotional, different or wacky things done in the arrangement. In other words, this is good in a fake different sort of way.

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Sinewav
on 2004-12-11 00:17:33
This sounds very electronic... the fake sounding kind... an extreamly un-natural feel to it....

That was the point.

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jordex
on 2004-12-08 22:53:29

I agree completely... That you're an idiot

There's no clashing whatsoooever and that change around 4 minutes is sexy!

Sources Arranged (4 Songs)


Primary Game:
Double Dragon II: The Revenge (Acclaim, 1989, NES)
Music by Kazunaka Yamane
Songs:
"Boss"
"Mission 2- At the Heliport"
"Mission 5- Forest of Death"
"Mission 8- The Double Illusion"

Tags (4)


Genre:
Pop
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Electronic, Synth
Additional:
Time > Duration: Long

File Information


Name:
Double_Dragon_2_Mean_Streak_on_Main_Street_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
6,201,197 bytes
MD5:
ddf6bc36d59ba7fcabfdd7b1112786ee
Bitrate:
134Kbps
Duration:
6:03

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