ReMix: Bionic Commando 'Advance with Caution'
5,054,464 bytes, 4:09, 160kbps
Streaming preview on YouTube
This classic theme from Bionic Commando really needed an orchestral makeover - while the 100th mix posted here was my own (dated) electronica take on the immediately recognizable melody, it's more than flexible enough to be variously reinterpreted, and orchestral is perhaps a more natural setting in which to do so. Star's taken a breather from his own electronica leanings of late to give us this arrangement, which begins with an appropriate military snare shuffle, timpani, and some cool metallic chromatic percussion, then moves into a melodic, cinematic build before bringin' on the core theme at 0'29", covered by brass. Nitpick, but the string and percussion samples sound a notch above the brass being used, so there's a bit of a disparity when it's first given the spotlight, or when it's particularly exposed, but like a good cologne, the arrangement masks any real umbrage this might cause. There's an abundance of counterpoint and supporting parts added, the additional percussion is excellent and fitting, and portions like 2'36" give the action-hero style of the original a more serious, dramatic flair with flowing, legato ensemble strings and embellishment. Love the relapse into the introductory percussive riff and swells towards the end, and the cliffhanger ending as well - stylized in a good way, and effective. Star might not have been the first name to jump into my mind if I heard someone was doing an orchestral arrangement of this piece, but as it turns out - perhaps unsurprisingly given his consistently impressive track record - he's just the man for the job. Capcom never did fully realize the sequel potential of this game, but hearing its classic score rejuvenated and interpreted into a dynamic symphonic march is the next best thing. As the nice work guy intuitively says: "Nice Work".
Maybe a little less brass that i'd like to hear, but my personal preference doesn't change the fact that this is a really good mix.
- OA on May 4, 2009
- Gario on January 30, 2009
- Lucentas on January 29, 2009
I love Salzman's bombastic approach here and the old-school military march sound that really keeps a building energy as it proceeds. High production all round, but then, I'm even a fan of djpretzel's Bionic Commando mix, which has had its production disheveled by time. This is big, badass and bold, and a personal favourite from the site.
By the way, did I hear a blatant cue reference to John Williams' Duel of the Fates in there?
- Marmiduke on December 29, 2008
- a_d on December 9, 2008
- Streets of Rage bum on August 12, 2008
- Djinn on February 10, 2007
0:00 - Nice military-style drum opening.
0:22 - Main melody. The tone of it here comes out sounding very Metal Gear Solid-esque, very cinematic.
1:14 - Nice staccato (I think that's the right term) on the drums--comes out almost like the ending to an action movie.
1:52 - Back with the drums. Now it sounds rather like a James Bond theme.
2:36 - A temporary pull-back from all the military sound to give you room to breathe.
2:50 - Back to the military drums.
3:20 - Another pull-back.
3:37 - And back to the military drums for our ending.
I don't have to tell you Star's work is consistently impressive, and this mix is certainly no exception. If you're of a mood to feel like you've just shot down the bad guy's helicopter in some big-budget action movie, this is for you. However, as much as I love Bionic Commando and Star's stuff, the loud, bombastic nature of it really isn't my thing. On an artsy level, it rocks, but personally...meh.
My iTunes rating: ***/*****
- L. Adam Bell on April 15, 2006
- meccaneer on October 2, 2005
One of the things I liked most about this track was that, whether intentional or not, it was orchestral without being photorealistic orchestral. Therefore, it kept some of Star's trademark electronic style even while going into the orchestra to produce kind of a Final Fantasy 7-ish electro-orchestra sound.
- rebirth9283 on October 1, 2005
- Digital_Adhesive on April 18, 2005
I think my gripe is the same as DJP's. Apparently he identified the over-synthesized buzz sound as "brass", I would definitely second a version with a nicer sound for that as it doesn't fit at all with the other instruments used. In fact it's so obviously out of place, I can only assume that Star meant to do that to remind us how 8-bit this stuff sounded back on the NES.
You know that equalizer thing that Winamp and some higher end stereos have where you can make the music sound like it's in different environments (e.g. music hall, outdoor, small room, etc.)? I can definitely tell it has one of those applied, and it's kinda neat since it sets this piece apart from most all the music posted which sounds very direct. But on the other hand it seemed a bit much. Not sure how much control Star has on this, but I'd keep a little of that effect, but tone it down some.
Oh, and go listen to DJP's remix of this same song. I'm not sure "reinterpretation" expresses the degree of difference in quality of the two pieces. :D
- CasualT on April 3, 2005
- Kemusabi on February 13, 2005
Pretty good. Now I'm wondering if his next mix will feature Lyrics or not.
- The Instrument of GAWD on February 9, 2005
I like how Star uses a xylophone without making it sounds stupid/cheesy. That can be... difficult. For reference, it starts at 2:06 or so and even manages to sound epic at the climax, 3:05.
GREAT anticlimax at 3:19. I think it could have ended here a little better than it does with the actual ending. Ah well, just an opinion :)
- Nobbynob Littlun on February 3, 2005