ReMix: Turrican II: The Final Fight "The Desert Rocks vs. Concerto for Laser and Enemies"

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Turrican II: The Final Fight

Oh yes. Mad, crazyfast beats are the flavor and the feeling in this submission from newcomer Awesome-A (sounds sort of like Axel-F, yet...not), who mixes orchestral elements and piano with breakbeat and trance in a very high-octane arrangement of levels one and six from Chris Hülsbeck's Turrican 2 score. First off, I gotta send a quick B-day shout out to the one, the bald, the only Liontamer, aka Larry Oji. Those that follow the site's inner machinations know how instrumental he's become in moving us along with the submission process, etc., so props there. zyko had a bit more to say than usual on this one, and all of it positive:

"this is awesome. the intensity is there. the arrangement is definetly there... touches upon the strengths of the source and exploits the subject matter perfectly. the quality is also superb. i loved this soundtrack... i was working on a collaboration with some of these same melodies so i'm familiar with their potential badassness. its neat how the track begins on a very modern note... the drums and bass and breaks very indicative of modern electronica. the bass is powerful. the orchestra hits are tastefully done. then the track shifts into a section that goes even further back... it now takes me back to the mid-80's and there is no mistaking the power of nostalgia in this section. i like how seamlessly the two seemingly different sections connect so well and give you the illusion and possibly reality that they belong together."

Agreed - it's not the most complex track in the world, but it's well thought-out, unique, and has an unbridled enthusiasm for the source material that I think comes through in every pulse. You essentially get hybrid orchestral/breakbeat up until about 1'30", when a staple trance hook comes in with nice gated reverb and things get a lot (gasp) trancier, quickly. The hook at 1'56" dominates most of the rest of the track, but not without some breaks and excursions that mix things up sufficiently and keep it fresh throughout. In general, any time octave-spanning string runs are flying over a catchy but competent trance motif, I'm reminded of Space Harrier, and I'm a happy man. This tunage bears some similarity to the SH OST in spirit, with it's major-key electronic euphoria, and harkens back to a day when it was all about original sci-fi heroes doing crazy shizzit and no one needed a movie license or the latest and greatest graphics to sell games. Turrican may have been more a computer hero than a champion of the consoles, but I think he fits right in with the best of the more obscure 8-bit legends like the harrier, the couple from Quartet, etc., as does his soundtrack fit with Japanese console tunage of the era. Quote the birthday boy:

"A surprisingly good fusion of electronic work with orchestral elements."

Don't pass it up, even if you've never played Turrican, as it's equal parts good, clean fun and solid, hybrid, creative arrangement. With a pseuodnym like Awesome-A, it's fortuitous that his initial submission live up to any expectations his nick might conjure.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
42
on 2009-12-02 20:17:28

This reminds me of like some early Eighties techno anthem. The energy within this track is amazing. This is also fun to listen to. Dynamics, tempo, and style are all changing on the fly; there's never a dull moment in this track. Also I think I keep hearing the Amen Break somewhere in here, am I right? Definitely a hidden gem that no one should miss.

DragonAvenger
on 2009-11-28 23:54:30

Lots of positives to say about this one. I love the 80's feel that is carrying through this, especially once the trance really kicks in. The melodies are rather catchy, which is great, and the bass really brings things together. Similarly, the drums work very well throughout, always a plus.

Nice meld of styles, transitions are sweet too. Good work.

Marmiduke
on 2009-08-26 09:37:38

It signifies a lot when a medly of tunes I have never heard before sounds so compelling. There is some really great pieces in here, so good that they actually make me a little guilty for being so naive to them.

I like that it refrains from grabbing the Euro-clubbing concept and running with it. The influence and sound is there, but this is a much more involved and interesting way to listen to it than pure rave style.

While I do think the second half of the mix is superior, I think the first half is more interesting and maybe more technically impressive, so some major props are deserved across the board. And it pulls off one of the trickiest things to do in a medly; inventive yet natural sounding transitions.

It is sporadic and wont be to everyone's taste, but there's a whole lot to appreciate here.

Powerslave
on 2008-11-25 11:16:39

This mix preserves the original music that I loved so much from Super Turrican for SNES (didn't play the Amiga version) while taking things in a slightly different direction with a euro club sound. if this had been the type of remix that sounded nothing like the music from the game, it really would have turned me off, but so much of the original music is preserved. I simply love the wind chimes at 1:27 and the different places where it reverts to the synth and bass theme of the first level. It's a really good piece, and I wish you'd do more with the Turrican games since there's so many great tunes to mine from them. The only thing I didn't like was the ending. It pales in comparison to the rest of the song. i would have loved to hear it fade out rather than just end. Still, even with the ending as is, its one of my favorite remixes, if not for the fact that its the only Turrican related track currently on the site.

Awesome-A: A WINNER IS YOU!!

OA
on 2008-01-15 16:11:39

Wow, totally missed this gem the first time around; Awesome-A indeed!

There are so many great details, and each element has it's chance to shine. I am completely in love with the gated synth + horn combo that comes in as the second theme begins. Amazingly beautiful.

I do have to say that I wish a few of the synths were a bit crisper, and that the percussion cut a bit more, but they are minor complaints when the rest of the song is so strong.

Beautiful arrangement, very strong production, and some great source material. I strongly recommend this one, give it a shot, guys.

Amru
on 2007-05-03 16:16:48

First, I want to say that I love this ReMix as a whole, it freakin' rocks!

But I must say that the bridge from 0:59 to 1:28 was truly, absolutely amazing. This is how I imagine freedom sounds. To throw off all the chains tying one down to oppressive obligations and to know that you can never again be made to bow in servitude, to have run the race, just crossing the finish line to find oneself surrounded by the cheers of your most trustworthy friends. This is what I imagine that feeling is in music.

My most profound and heartfelt thanks, Awesome-A :grin:

RimFrost the Tourianist
on 2005-10-25 01:39:58

German ravegroove thumps mixed in with one of the finest shooters ever to grace the old Amiga days, creates a brave new sound ..mayhaps too complex listening for some ,though maybe too simple for other sets of ears. Nevertheless a worthy yet quite obscure effort to force my nostalgic feelings to surface.

Chris Huelsbeck should be very proud of this 8)

Witchfinder
on 2005-09-27 07:01:14

This is a f**king TUNE! I may even give it the honour of being my mobile-phone ringtone.

Shwenky
on 2005-09-11 13:02:05

Wow. I agree with Xelebes about the Happy hardcore part. It's softer, and without those cheesy vocals. 9.5/10

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2005-04-18 05:19:44

Wow! Though of the techno genre, I'd say this contains progression/nuances/subtleties that should make it enjoyable for even the hardcore classical afficionados!

Very happy song, though in the second half it gets a nice tense line.

I LOVE that little woobly sound at 0:33.

The chord change at 2:40 is perfect.

You avoided the fadeout at end of song, nice.

This, sir, is a work to be proud of.

Now, some things I think could use improvement... 3:19-3:41, and continuing on from there with backup, is a synth that could use some variation, particularly in the attack and sustain (i.e. changes in volume, slight pitch would do the trick).

3:51-3:54 I think could use a little extra drumwork, maybe just some sixteenth or thirty-second notes with two different pitch of tom-toms or something, HI-lolololo-HI-lolololo, would add a nice subtlety to build it some and let it off in the next part :)

ProjectSpam
on 2005-03-12 22:17:47

This remix is just pure genius, and one of my favorites. The intro is fantastic and sets up the song nicely, what with its bombastic beats and what have you. The transition at 1:30 is fabulous, and the Desert Rocks theme is one of the catchiest in all of gaming history. Gotta love these orchestral/electronic hybrids. My only nitpick is its ending, which I'm not overly fond with. It leaves me unfulfilled. However, this is awesome work from Awesome-A , and I really hope he continues remixing.

icycrispcow
on 2005-03-10 16:48:52

The only problem I had with this was that in the middle section the trance synth was exposed enough for the wobble effect to make a noticable pitch fluxation that was kind of hard to listen too. Other than that great work.

Corporal Eschebone
on 2005-03-09 07:18:34

I just about pissed my pants when I saw a brand-new Turrican 2 mix on the main page. I've never played the game, but after Mark7's mix introduced me to the awesomeness of the soundtrack and helped me recognize the name Huelsbeck through my journeys over the Internet, I came to appreciate Chris Huelsbeck as a god.

I loved the combination trance/80's vibe that certain sections have going for them. That melody was what made me love The Desert Remake, and it'll definately make me listen to this song with religious frequency.

Nutbustin' work Awesome-A.

Rexy
on 2005-03-09 02:12:14

Can't say that I'm familiar with the source material, but this is pretty damn good in its own right. :) This mix has got a wide range of atmospheres throughout, from the mentioned happy hardcore portions at the start towards some more climatic Ratchet Clank style progressions from around 0:38 to 0:59 to what can be shown to be what I feel is the main pulse of the piece from 1:31 onwards given the upbeat synths all around it. I see this as a mix full of surprises, so that's also great to know.

One thing that has seemed to quirk me about it is that to me it sounded like two mixes sellotaped at once, given the vast differences between the opening and the rest of the mix. I also thought the synths that came in at 1:31 felt a bit dry for my taste, but that's probably just me. They in no way dampen this mix as a whole. Excellent work all around.

I may sound a bit geeky saying this, but has anyone tried singing Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" alongside the music at 4:12? That's what that area reminds me of, in a good way of course. :P

Xelebes
on 2005-03-08 23:45:57

Um... while not at all trancy, rather softer form of happy hardcore, which is good as I was just listening to a DJ Tyco set. This song would actually sound very sweet in a happy hardcore set actually with it being a very nice and obvious throwback to 80's dance music.

Bery nice, be it slightly compressed and trying to go through a lot a bit too quickly and so on but nice.