ReMix: Earthworm Jim 2 'Invertebrate Retreat'

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Earthworm Jim 2

Dan's been working on this one for awhile, and has come up with something very singular and different, relative to his own past works as well as OCR's canon, with a trip-hop/hip-hop/rock stew that's quite emotive. Tallarico's original is transmogrified into a different beast, with textured, very well-produced drums (which are relatively on-tracks but have some tasty fills), layered, expansive ambient pads, Vigilante's wailing electric lead, and Dan himself on vocals that vary in intensity from quiet desperation to strained angst very effectively. Good, serious lyric as well. There's a considerable level of detail in this mix, and very refined stereo separation - in these aspects especially, the mixer has reached a new level and really produced something that is enveloping and transporting. The mood is definitely downbeat, with a delay that gives the vocal a distant, despondent vibe and the aforementioned bluesy rock electric augmenting the more strained portions with a nice call-and-answer riff motif. The feel is very modern, airplay-ready, cold-yet-hot, bottled angst, and works well. Now comes the your-mileage-may-vary comment - while I think zyko's lyrics and rapping are good overall and well-executed in this mix, I don't particularly think it works contextually with the overall mood of the piece, which I perceive to be a bit too serious/somber/what have you to be juxtaposed with more the more enunciated rapping. Clearly, however, others totally disagree with me on this, and many on the panel had no such qualms. Judge zircon writes:

"Man, this is great stuff. Using vocals in a mix is often tricky, but this one just nails it. As Larry and listeners of VGF should well-know, Dan B's voice is pretty amazing, and this proves it. Of course, zyko pulls his weight too with some superb, chill rapping that fits in perfectly. Nice recording and processing there too. Lyrics works well."

However much your mileage does vary on this aspect, overall the piece is quite an accomplishment. It's a unique, vocal mix with well-integrated guitar work that's also not too shabby (...at all) in the synth, percussion, and production departments. Jesse pulls off some of his most dynamic, professional soloing too, with a gritty sound that adds organic electricity to the cooler electronic landscape Dan's paved - the last minute, especially, when he duels himself on either side of the stereo spectrum, is rather special. Larry exudes fanboy-like adulation, and rightly so:

"The instruments layer together very nicely, the lyrics are very well thought out with strong delivery, and the production is generally crisp and clean. This was hugely expansive arrangement work, and nothing short of A-grade from 3 top names in the community that show pride in what they do. Props to Dan for working hard on this mix in the past few months and enlisting Jesse & weed in helping to bring it to what I genuinely consider superlative status. You'll loop it. And believe me, you'll love it."

And if that doesn't qualify as a celebrity endorsement, in OCR terms, I don't know what does. Very ambitious work - very impressively executed.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Snow Taradien
on 2012-04-07 01:14:05
This is without shadow of doubt, one of the best mixes on site.
10/10 for sure.
Crulex
on 2010-12-29 11:38:40
Wow! That's the only thing that comes to my mind after hearing this. Those vocals sold this ReMix and I can just imagine hearing this anywhere. Nice mix of rock and rap. I'm definitely impressed by this one and I enjoy the ReMix of the song itself. One of the best vocal mixes I've heard on the site so far. As the cows would say, "Well done".
Snow Taradien
on 2010-11-09 20:56:04
Absolutely amazing. An instant favourite.

However, the echoing effect can get a tad annoying when listening to it on Earbuds.
Holy Land
on 2010-10-01 18:48:13
This was such a classic. Everything falls in place in this.
Diggin' the vocals and overall weirdness.
OA
on 2010-08-27 14:38:23
Really classy stuff, I am surprised I hadn't heard this one before. Great production, performances, and lyrics. Everything just clicks together like some legos, and it really shines. A very good collab, nice work, gents. :-)
zyko
on 2010-03-25 00:55:15
Namo;655694 wrote: Can you guys post the complete lyrics to this? I'll give you a cookie! :3

they're available on the remix details page under the lyrics tab but here you go, anyway :
danny B:
One more time, I find myself
Up to my neck, buried in silt.
Too many times, the world requests
that I relieve them all from distress.
Doesn't anybody see my corporeal state?
I've got no reason, to save anybody but me
Once again. Here I am.
I don't give a damn. My strength's all I am.
And now that hell is at its worst,
I've got no choice left but leaving your dead corpse.
No kind of weapon, no kind of plea,
not even substance abuse can bother me.
Suppose that I did it, imagine my feat.
Victory reached, but still evil replete.
And I would be anything but discrete -
My invertebrate retreat.
zyko:
My invertebrate retreat repeats until it's murderous.
My raptastic, elastic journey into wordiness
is ferverous, but I can't bear to say a word of this
or my surliness will be hurtin' a lack of finesse.
I confess, I've been susceptible to duress.
I contest, I have long bested the fuckin' rest,
but I'm still chest-deep in a test,
and in that sense, I've willed myself into cardiac arrest.
The fate that's been given me - I abhor.
The faith that's long lost now grows in your very core.
So consider me a forlorn form of apocalypse,
and in defense I'll bury every single metropolis.
With anonymous heroics, the world's no longer operant.
Bitch, there ain't no stoppin' this like I'm a form of Optimus Prime,
it's time I lit the bomb and started droppin' this.
Crash course in taxonomics on your false promises.
danny B:
And now I'm gone and forgotten,
Everything inside me pushes me to realize.
I never was anything but a slave to circumstance and bad fortune,
It's time to decide.
Return to forbearance?
A cycle complete.
Your invertebrate retreat.
===============
now about that cookie... :)
Namo
on 2010-03-16 04:48:49
Can you guys post the complete lyrics to this? I'll give you a cookie! :3
avaris
on 2009-12-04 11:22:04
F'N AWESOME!
This has to be one of the sickest songs on the site. All of the artists made some kick ass contributions to this one. The simplicity and the execution of the song really make this one an OCR classic for me IMO.
Sir_Downunder
on 2009-12-03 22:46:12
Hard to believe such a soulful song come from Earthworm Jim 2 of all places. To honest I thought I wouldn't like this at first, but I was pleasantly surprised by both Danny's voice and Zyko's rap.
Danny's voice was superb. Some of zyko's line a little sloppy at first, but still excellent none the less. Vig's solo at the end really tied this all together.
All in all, a top notch collab from three great ReMixers.
Dafydd
on 2009-11-18 05:31:45
I never knew Danny B could sing... good job!
Marmiduke
on 2009-11-16 02:09:18
It's easy to be distracted by the varied styles of vocals present in this mix, but I think it's strength lies in the attention to what's beneath them. I do see this as a integration of hip-hop into a rock, with equal attention to each side of the spectrum, but I have to say that the rock element comes through clearer and much more enjoyable than the rest. Guitar work is right on the money, and carries with it as much musicality as it needs to, plus more. It truly does this mix a lot of favours.
Daniel's voice never underperforms in my opinion, and for what it is, it does a pretty decent job expressing the lyrics with aplomb. I get a warmer, less angsty Trent Reznor vibe from both the vocals and the music in this one, intentional or not. I certainly don't consider it a bad thing to be compared to. zyko's rapping was arguably pointless, but added some body to the piece nonetheless. While it's not my thing and didn't exactly mesh with the rest of the product, it's competent enough and I'm sure it would have met more success in its own mix. As it is, it's not a deal-breaker, but it's not the direction I would have gone in. Then again, what the hell do I know?
Not a perfect collab, but a pretty interesting one. Vocal mixes generally tend to be more historic and make a bigger impact than instrumental ones, and I have no problem in this recieving the attention it has mustered in and outside the OCR community. There's enough talent in it to deserve it.
ChaosPlayer
on 2009-09-16 01:18:42
This is what my professor from class had to say about this sound track:

"I like this sound track personally not because it's easy to listen, but it coexists the rock & hip-hop universal bond come together into one amazing sound track and lyrics all together."

I'd have to say, I'm not into lyrics in OC selections but this is eye candy to any listner on here. Not only I have used this for music class (Humaties college class), but also my professor enjoyed hearing this and my one page essay about this.

A + must listen. Proud to have found this and given my feed back and used in class for homework:puppyeyes:
metalsnakejuice
on 2009-05-16 07:01:50
Sweet tunes in this mix.
Emunator
on 2009-05-01 01:10:49
Good God, I'm blown away. Absolutely drop-dead amazing collaboration.
I've unknowingly listened to Dan's vocal work before, but I never associated his name to tracks like "Knuckleduster" before. However, when I first listened to this tune I immediately recognized his excellent vocals.
Zyko's rapping started off a little awkward in the first few lines, but I think it worked out as the delivery speed picked up just a little bit. Parts of it reminded me of Sage Francis' style, which works well with Zyko's voice IMO. Even if you're not a fan of zyko's rapping, you've gotta give him credit for being such an experimental artist that's willing to go to a lot of different places with his skill.
Great lyrics all around, as well. That's one problem I've had with a handful of fan-made vocal mixes - the lyrics are quite often extremely lame. Didn't have that problem here.
Vig guitar is great. That's pretty much to be expected. I'd love to have a twin-guitar breakdown at the end with zkyo also chipping in with his signature shredding style, but oh well.
One of the best vocal mixes on the site, I can't believe I missed out on this one until now.
cremdogz
on 2009-03-30 23:33:29
I found this song through a post by someone else on the forum. I don't know where I saw it, but the person said that they listened to this song once a day, and it refreshed them when they heard it. So with that, I was curious, so I downloaded this song.
This song is just a masterpiece, the lyrics by Daniel are powerful, and somewhat soothing. I also liked the rapping bit, it gave the song a little bit of a break to focus on something else, then brought back Daniel at the end to finish it up. I'm no good at reviews, but I had to say something, I loved this song immensely, and who ever it was that posted that message, thanks!