ReMix: Marathon "Neo-Pacificist" 3:24

By tycho

Arranging the music of one song...

"New Pacific (Reprise)"

Primary Game: Marathon (Bungie, 1994, MAC), music by Alex Seropian

Posted 2005-07-07, evaluated by the judges panel


Long before there was Halo, or even Oni, there was Marathon, arguably Bungie's first hit, also a Mac exclusive, giving Apple advocates something to chew on whilst the PC crowd answered the call of their ids and evangelized Doom. Craig Hardgrove, alias tycho (no relation), sends us our very first ReMix of a mac-exclusive title from the days before the sexiness of iPod, OSX, and the return of Steve Jobs, from a game that was critically acclaimed at the time as being a "smarter" alternative to Doom and which represents an important milestone in an important company's rise to fame. Since the odds of Bungie making a mac-exclusive title today are, shall we say, rather slim, it makes the Marathon series all the more exotic and elusive to most gamers. Craig's a self-proclaimed member of the Bungie fan community and even has an interview with Marathon's composer, Alex Seropian, on his site. He was very upfront in his submission email:

"My attempt with these remakes is to enhance the original, not totally reinvent them"

I'd say OCR's ideology is somewhere between an enhancement and a total reinvention, leaning towards the latter, but depending on the nature of the enhancement, mixes which are structurally closer to their respective sources are on occassion posted, so long as the enhancements qualify under some definition of rearrangement, encompassing instrumentation, additions, subtractions, tempo changes, etc. Larry was the initial and sole voice of dissent in feeling that the approach was a bit too conservative; there's definitely legitimacy there, and not every mix of this nature, relative to the source, will (or should) pass through the panel so unscathed, but in this instance the repetition of the original was mitigated somewhat and the sonic upgrades significant enough to become aspects of arrangement themselves. Mr. Anna of Locke offers:

"this is tough one for me, because while it follows the general structure of the original identically, it has a very different feel to it. the drums, bass, synth sfx are all additive, yet they reserve subtlety.

i really like the ep improvisation that's going on, i wish it wasn't so subtle. this is very well put together overall and the additions fit like a glove. that's gotta count for something..."

The scene vibe is all about the downbeat, electro-jazz trip groove, with a bevy of beautiful, organic, layered percussive elements augmenting the fairly minimal melodic motif of three rising notes followed by... three more rising notes. Yes, it's pretty minimal from a purely compositional perspective, which is why the plethora of sweeps, patterns, and undulations tycho's added in are what make the difference. I especially like the searing, downward synth "yawn" at 0'36" - as Shariq puts it:

"The interpretation is pretty expansive in terms of texture; the original is so sparse; this really adds a lot of meat to the song. It's similar, but different enough."

Definitely mood music - the type of thing you could have on the background while performing any number of lascivious *or* innocuous duties, as the situation dictates, and which would be unintrusive but not uninteresting. Is it safe?? Perhaps just a little, but what it lacks in melodic/harmonic substance it makes up fairly admirably in sonic/textural ambiance.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
avatar
evktalo
on 2014-06-03 03:02:01

This is definitely a sweet little chill-out track. The delayed electric piano sounds good, and there's a lot of neat percussion padding other atmospheric sounds and effects going on. Well built, inspiring and enjoyable!

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Marmiduke
on 2009-05-20 04:42:06

Nice. I love it when a mix makes absolute perfect sense to me. There is nothing overly complex to listening to this, despite the music actually being deceptively dense.

Funnily enough, this reminds me of the sounds of a flowing river (not a space station crawling with enemies) in that 10 seconds is all you really need to "get" where the sound is coming from, where it is heading and whether you like it, but you could listen to it for hours.

I also think this channels some of the early djpretzel tracks, as well as some of McVaffe's stuff. And I think we all know there is no better company to be compared to.

Fantastic, understated and ultra-cool electro-ambience. I like.

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OA
on 2009-04-01 14:15:31

Ultra laid back and groovin, there are some nice textures filling this out and a solid chord structure with bass and pads. Great electronic sounding percussive textures. This is perfect for looping, which is exactly what i've done for the past hour. Really nice stuff.

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42
on 2009-01-08 22:20:55

Smooth, Jazzy, Dark, Atmospheric yet light-hearted-ish.

It is noticeably repetitive, but to me this seems like it'd be the background music for a cave level, so it can be forgiven.

This is music worth downloading and studying by.

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Radiowar
on 2007-04-06 17:13:52

yeah i'm feelin this

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Zipp
on 2006-02-05 23:37:13

Yes, smooth and smarmy it is. However, it is also rather boring and not great for anything besides ambiance. There's no "voice" so to speak. Not actual singing, that's not what I mean. I just mean there's nothing that really happens, no instrument to speak to you and tell you something, a story, as so many of the remixes here do.

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undinesfire
on 2005-08-03 16:59:46

This is smooth. I like it a lot :D

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Liontamer
on 2005-07-17 12:07:08
Released in vgmix under name "New Pacific (Reprise)"

Here under name "Neo-Pacificist"

So is there anything else changed besides the name?

Thanks.

Nope.

avatar
ckain
on 2005-07-17 11:39:46

Released in vgmix under name "New Pacific (Reprise)"

Here under name "Neo-Pacificist"

So is there anything else changed besides the name?

Thanks.

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Liontamer
on 2005-07-12 00:19:23
Okay, here's an on-topic thing:

Once again, in the judges panel commentary and so forth in the editorial/introduction, I'm struck by the disconnect between what this site purports to be about - "remixes" - and what it actually is. What we have here is the literal definition of a remix... and yet it was accepted only grudgingly, because OC "Remix" is more and more about creating new works that only sample or are inspired by the existing music.

That's great if you're an artist, I suppose - it gives you lots more room for personal creativity - but (and this will probably make me unpopular) I'm strictly a consumer and a fan of game music. I come here to find interpretations of music I already like. If a song is completely transformed, I have to wonder what's the point of connecting the new work with the original, except to note inspiration?

Perhaps a rename of the site is in order, to better reflect its actual content.

EDIT: I'm not saying people should stop making new stuff. I'd just like there to be a bit more acceptance of songs that "merely" rearrange what's already there in fun and interesting ways.

Plain covers/remixes are a dime a dozen. Read the FAQ. Read the submission standards. THAT's what the site is about.

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DaFoamBeast
on 2005-07-11 23:25:00

Flame wars aside...

I liked it (The song).

Very smooth.

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StClair
on 2005-07-11 14:36:59

Okay, here's an on-topic thing:

Once again, in the judges panel commentary and so forth in the editorial/introduction, I'm struck by the disconnect between what this site purports to be about - "remixes" - and what it actually is. What we have here is the literal definition of a remix... and yet it was accepted only grudgingly, because OC "Remix" is more and more about creating new works that only sample or are inspired by the existing music.

That's great if you're an artist, I suppose - it gives you lots more room for personal creativity - but (and this will probably make me unpopular) I'm strictly a consumer and a fan of game music. I come here to find interpretations of music I already like. If a song is completely transformed, I have to wonder what's the point of connecting the new work with the original, except to note inspiration?

Perhaps a rename of the site is in order, to better reflect its actual content.

EDIT: I'm not saying people should stop making new stuff. I'd just like there to be a bit more acceptance of songs that "merely" rearrange what's already there in fun and interesting ways.

avatar
bloodydust
on 2005-07-09 13:54:56

i hated marathon. i don't know, something about it just pissed me off.

i disagree with you guys who say it's better than doom. have you seen what they're doing with doom lately?

i'm sorry, but marathon tries to be like system shock and fails miserably.

that said, the mix is nice.

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BreakbeatBeatnik
on 2005-07-09 12:05:13

Finally, a Marathon remix at OCRemix. 3

Very chilled. Very peaceful. Very lazing-around-on-a-space-station music.

Kinda reminds me of the Acme Station level from Marathon Infinity.

Well, except for the life-sucking lack of oxygen and the hostile alien troops on board.

Marathon Trilogy for life. Best shooters evar, IMHO.

PEACE OUT!

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SILVERWOLF
on 2005-07-08 21:22:53

Nice Chill mix with lots of ambience. Good for when you're surfing the net or whatnot.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Marathon (Bungie, 1994, MAC)
Music by Alex Seropian
Songs:
"New Pacific (Reprise)"

Tags (4)


Genre:
Ambient, Hip Hop
Mood:
Chill
Instrumentation:
Synth
Additional:

File Information


Name:
Marathon_Neo-Pacificist_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
4,172,813 bytes
MD5:
bf2cbcd9a40aff2f4d9ec713c038ca79
Bitrate:
160Kbps
Duration:
3:24

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