ReMix: Mega Man X4 "The Father of All"
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The open-source email client-using, Mega Man X-loving Shariq Ansari writes:
"This is the first time I'm using Mozilla Thunderbird (http://www.mozilla.org/) to write a submission email.
This is a remix of X's theme from Megaman X4. I don't think X gets enough credit or coverage as his partner Zero; maybe it's something about the long blond hair? Whatever. X is cooler.
This remix is inspired by McVaffe's awesome Street Fighter III remix, Makoto Jungle Jazz (one of my faves). I sliced up a drumloop, added some strings, rhodes, and a cool glassy lead to make a jazzy, laidback-yet-upbeat take on the theme. It's called 'The Father of All,' in reference to the fact that X is the template for nearly all of the reploids."
Is it geeky to reference reploid templates in one's mix title? Probably. Do we care? Hardly, when it means more mellow mega mixes from Darkesword. You can hear the McVaffe Makoto influence primarily in the tasteful usage of retriggered breakbeats, not usually a staple of the ReMixer's own style, as well as the general jazz vibe, though overall it's a bit mellower and favors electric piano and bells over acoustic piano. I like what zyko had to say:
"the arrangement is fantastic - keeps things fresh as its constantly changing the melody up. the beatz are fresh and the tempo change was bingo.
interesting thing. the strings save the lead and its funny considering how weak the strings are but its one of those cases where the combination sounds great whereas on their own, they appear to lack quality. i really don't like that glassy lead honestly because it sounds very frail and would have left the mix sounding kinda empty but the strings somehow give the piece a boost by presenting a very nice atmosphere for the lead to sit in."
The extended solo that really takes off at 1'33" but begins before then and does some nice runs actually reminds me of something I'd do - use the electric piano, a polyphonic instrument, for a highly monophonic but quicksauce solo (see a certain CT mix for more info) - in my case, it's because I'm just not a trained piano player and tend to use both hands on a melody line of significant complexity (we work around our limitations), but honestly I don't see anything wrong with it - piano, electric piano, organ, etc. all work well enough on essentially monophonic solo lines. Chick Corea or Joey DeFrancesco might scoff, but it's all about what works and what's right for the song. The one thing I think that was present in McVaffe's track that could have helped here is the alternate processing (bitcrushing, etc.) he applied to the breaks and the way he even alternated to a different break at one point - in this instance, the drums are functional, and set the stage, but with a little of that type of extra mojo, they could have come into their own a bit more. Regardless, this is definitely one of Shariq's livelier + stronger works; when I talked with him he seemed pretty upbeat about it, as well he should be. I just got done washing my Mustang, and I can think of a dozen excuses to burn this and take a spin with it, as it's good drivin' musics, too. Excellent work.
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