ReMix: Halo: Combat Evolved 'Insurrection'

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Halo: Combat Evolved

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.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Sari Uchiha
on 2011-01-24 14:21:28
Great remix! Loved it from beginning to end! Sad there arent many for Halo...
avaris
on 2010-03-18 22:22:09
Love this mix. The intro is pure sublime. Each sound choice is goes well with the composition, and the minimalism of these choices allows for the nuances in each sound to really shine through. Kudos on the mix good sir!
42
on 2009-03-26 17:27:35
Ahhh.....this is just so good.
I like the intro; it reminds me of The Siege of Madrigal somewhat.
Its classically/cinematically orchestrated but its got a wonderfully rich groove going on too.
This is absolutely worth checking out.
OA
on 2009-03-25 10:54:41
Pretty cool stuff, the percussion keeps it moving, but its not super driving. Samples were pretty good, and though it lacked a massive melodic hook, there was a lot of good harmonic structure to maintain interest. THings started picking up a lot about 1/3 through with a cool repeating string motif and some soaring horns, that completely stopped at the halfway point, only to start building again. I wish that transition would have been a little smoother, but it didnt ruin the track for me. Overall this is a pretty nice track, featuring a lot of good textures and tone colors, and pretty competent use of quality samples. The percussive elements are really what makes the mix though.

Check it out. :-)
Sephiroxas
on 2007-02-01 11:59:54
I loved this song so much, that I made a video to Halo out of it. Halo Homage. Ill provide the link in a second. I HAVE COPYWRITED YOU AND OCRemix. So I hope theres no issue. I just though you would like to see whats become of your song

Homage to Halo

but this song is outSTANDING.
I get it stuck in my head all the time.
Its beautiful
Deo Smash
on 2006-07-24 00:51:05
Ill say I never was big into Halo. But the main reason I DO enjoy Halo, more than its multiplayer, is the opening music. You did an excellent job at remastering the score. I hope your talents will inspire remixes and hope to hear more remixes from you in the future.
Xx~~Zangetsu~~xX
on 2006-01-09 20:29:32
:twisted: L0V3 thi5 f1ippin R3MiX!!!!!!
1337 H4X0R!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :twisted:
R5X??!?
on 2005-10-07 16:16:47
This mix carries a powerful element to it, much like soundtracks heard in many action movies where the climax is hit...or about to be it.

Syncopation is applied tastifully which makes this piece icredible to hear to my hears. The use of the percussion with the strings makes this piece feel like a scotish battle piece...reminds me slightly of Mel Gibson in brave heart. Incredible job
Blake
on 2005-08-19 18:06:28
This is really really good. I really digged the string intro and everything keeps progressing from there. It never got boring, with parts always coming out at you and the awesome and active percussion. Overall, very very epic. Ive noticed ReMixers with good samples may sometimes just have a little whole note here and a little horn riff there with nothing goin on in the background, but this arrangement was very well thought out as every part was obviously given individual attention. Krispy you are teh awesome. :P
Zodd
on 2005-06-27 15:20:25
Man, i cant believe that someone did this great song, won say better, cuz nothing better then the original stuff, but extremely well done version of that.....I just love Halo OST (and games) but this was the only song besides Super Green Xs "Ecco The Dolphin 2 - Drift" that made me listen to the same song more than 10 times in a row.....
Well, Im not a music expert, but i did some tunes in Audition...it ralaxes me sometimes, when im not drawing or photoshopping and i do know that u espent some time on it and congrats, its very good
Bass Clef Man
on 2005-06-24 12:48:14
Very nicely done, a great mix of the Halo Theme. The drumline used is definately different than what the original was going for, but its a very nice change-up. My only real complaint with the remix is that it seems to be a little long... I think it should end with the drum beat at 4:48, and not go into the (in my opinion) awkward fade out. Love the quiet opening with the piano though.

/clap Good job altogether Krispy. 8/10.
Snooper_1989
on 2005-06-06 08:13:14
Thats another one to my favourite lists, its awesome but some parts kind of jarred me from the feel of the song temporarily.

The begining strings were suited for the drums but felt a little weird when they first started and same with chorus when it came in... Im not sure if it was a chorus or not but it all evened out eventually.

It got to the end it all faded out and I was like fantastic! :D But then there was a second or so with strings right after the fade and it kind of made angry, not at you though... I just loved the ending it was perfected with style and then that there was just... Jarring or something...

All in all, it was awesome and I love it.

9 / 10
BumRush
on 2005-05-24 06:33:14
Wow nicely done but i dont know if this would be the best piece to remix since it is already kickass, but what do i know i dont know how to create these wondeful creations we call remixes :wink:
King of Hearts 13
on 2005-05-23 23:44:54
Its nicely done. I like it. But if I had a choice, I think Id rather listen to the original. The whole idea of the theme is to be kicking ass and taking names while youre listening. The remix is too close to the original for my preferences, but then again, Im not sure how you could improve it. Plus, I wish the samples in the remix were better...but then it would be really close to the original.
StClair
on 2005-05-23 15:18:09
Maybe Im not "hardcore" enough for this site, but I actually prefer remixes like this ... ones that are, literally, a remix of the original track with personal variations, not almost entirely new songs that happen to include bits and pieces of another buried somewhere in the mix.

(If so, can someone point me to another site more suited to my tastes?)