ReMix: Halo: Combat Evolved 'Insurrection'
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Krispy's last posted ReMix was back in 2002, which is like a decade in Internet-years, so it's been awhile. Kris returns with a ReMix that covers Halo and even a little Halo 2 as well, and shares a title in common with one of the numerous, flawed, Next Generation-casted Star Trek films. First thing that strikes me here is that sonic quality has improved dramatically, with a pretty rich assortment of piano, ethnic percussion, ensemble strings, horns, choral patches, orchestral percussion, and more. While the choral patches stick out as being exponentially less believable/more synthetic than everything else, the overall production is pretty enveloping, dynamic, and clean. Arrangement is more additive than alterative, as the ReMixer notes:
"I know the original is quite cinematic to begin with, but I thought I would put my own little spin on it while staying true to the original Halo feel. My attempts have proven all to successful as people claim that my mix hardly deviates from the original at all, although a quick listen will show that I have integrated my own theme with the original and rearranged alot of the executions to make it all one smooth transition."
While testing the limits of what constitutes sufficient arrangement, the mix certinly isn't a rip and is well-constructed and pleasing to the ear. The integration of Halo 2 is rather seamless, and if you're overly familiar with Halo's OST you should be able to spot where Kris has put his own spin on things, but nevertheless it would have been nice to have seen more interpretation. Larry called it out on this aspect, in particular:
"The new ideas for harmony were good, definitely the highlight of the track given the new instrumentation choices, but you didn't take enough creative liberties with the melody or the structure."
However, directly addressing the same issue but reaching a different conclusion, Mr. Ansari writes:
"Anyway it definitely sounds like it's straight out of Halo; it has the same sound to it; but I think that like Dan mentioned, the composition is really good, and I think it's varied enough and plays with the source subtly. Conservative, yes, but not a cover."
They eventualy resolved their differences by arm-wrestling each other, as all manly men of integrity and civility do in this modern era. Speaking of Mr. Oji, I have to give a personal shout out and express major gratitude for all the work he's put into the radio show VG Frequency over the years - he just wrapped up what may become the final episode, and to gratuitously paraphrase Jim Morrison, it's been a long, strange trip, but one with innumerable highlights that brought something new to the game music remixing community. At any rate, it's good to see a face from 2002 (albeit late 2002) back in 2005, and while Mr. K's mix isn't breaking the arrangement innovation bank and cracking the vault of interpretation, it stills sounds A. different enough to listen to back to back with the originals and not feel like you're experiencing massive deja vu (i.e. glitch in the matrix) B. pretty slickstuffs sonically and easy on the ear and C. enjoyable, and that's easy as 1, 2, 3, as pre-mutation Michael Jackson once sang. Cool.
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