ReMix: Sonic & Knuckles 'Lava Reach'
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- Game: Sonic & Knuckles (Sega, 1994, GEN)
- ReMixer(s): Jivemaster
- Composer(s): Howard Drossin, Jun Senoue, Masaru Setsumaru, Masayuki Nagao, Sachio Ogawa, Tatsuyuki Maeda, Tokuhiko Uwabo, Tomonori Sawada, Yoshiaki Kashima
- Song(s): Hidden Palace Zone, Lava Reef Zone: Act 1
- Posted: 2005-07-13, evaluated by the judges
Who's this bloke? Some guy from down under who's been relatively scarce in the last several hundred days writes:
"Hello DJP and OCR! This is Jivemaster. It's been 2 years! That's a long time to be away...
This is a remake of an unreleased mix I did back in 2001 that I wasn't overly happy with. I always wanted to do more with the song, but at the time ideas were scarce. Times went on and it was forgotten.
Anywho, I was rummaging through the depths of my unfinished remix archive and saw this in all its poorly recorded glory. Since I've been absent from OCR for the last 2 years, and my last Sonic mix was back in 2002 (shame on me!), I thought it was about time to release something again for all the people who have enjoyed my stuff in the past and for those new to OCR who may be saying "Jivemaster? Who's this Jivemaster fellow?!?". The people at OCR have been spoiled rotten with some fab Sonic stuff as of late, I hope they enjoy this too."
Sadly, as a new face from the past reemerges, we say farewell to one who's been with us for quite some time. Judge Israfel, aka Michael Dover, after leaving once and then graciously returning when his time freed up, is again stepping down, this time probably for good. Sucks to see him go, especially so close to fellow veteran of paneldom Malcos, and everything I said for Stephen holds true yet again - Mike's been an invaluable addition to the panel, in particular when music theory and more technical aspects of composition were under discussion, has similarly been a calm + collected voice of reason during more incendiary discourse, and just plain brought a LOT to the table. His music's been a personal inspiration to me to play around more with ethnic instruments and peculiar juxtapositions, and his approach to evaluating mixes always favored innovation and creativity. There's no denying that with both Malcos and now Mike as well gone, the panel has a different flavor to it, but newcomers Harmony and Shnabubula appear to be carrying the torch very admirably thus far. Nevertheless, a humongous thanks to Mike for his musical and critical contributions to this site, which have incalculably improved our standards and vastly widened our horizons.
Hopefully, as Jivemaster has managed to rectify with this mix, Israfel won't disappear for too long without showing up again in some form or another. Here, Joel Bird (one of the best "real names that sound like they could be fairly groovy mixer names, too" out there) gives us a remake of a remake, going back and retooling a previous Sonic and Knuckles mix into something he could palate submitting. The mix was actually close to being approved by the panel when he again went back and based on feedback made some last-minute changes, and the result is something that resembles his old style with a newer sheen and some edgier stuff (3'02") that reminds me a bit of Beatdrop. Jive responded to misgivings about the ending and some production stuffs, but even before that, Jesse offered:
"The instruments do sound a bit cliched. i've heard them all before. with that in mind, i also feel like there were great textures and instrumentations. I wasn't a huge fan of all the leads, but overall the dynamics and the arrangement are well-planned and gripping. There's plenty going on but it never gets too crowded."
With zyko adding:
"the breakdown around the 4 minute mark and on is very key. could have possibly saved the track for me and kept my attention from dwelling on the production."
There are some cliches, and I'd say an overuse of filter-sweep envelopes, but it wouldn't be Jive without filter-swept synthtronica actionz, things remain interesting for a good majority of the six-minute-plus playing time, and there's actually some bits that aren't as standard JM, including guitar-shreddage circa 2'01", more aggressive, distorted synth at 3'01", and the more elaborate layering of mixed drum kits w/ alternate processing. All in all, it's a fairly logical evolution, not revolution, of JM's sound, and packs a good deal of varied electronica into a near seven-minute wingspan. So here's to hearing more from Jivemaster, and Malcos, and Israfel, too, while I'm at it, and enjoying Joel's latest piece.
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