ReMix: Sonic the Hedgehog 3 "Pure Black, or Marbles and Cream?"

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Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Happy Chanukah, Merry Xmas, and... I don't really know when Kwanzaa occurs, specifically, but have a good one of those, too, while you're at it. Rather than inundate you with french hens, turtledoves (which I wouldn't even know what to do with), and maids-a-milking (some ideas), Kris Pretzel is taking time away from Die Hard - best Xmas movie EVAR - to post the latest from Red Tailed Fox and the Prophet of Mephisto. Caio writes:

"It's an attempt at jazz. I don't know if I fully achieved my goal but it does sound jazzy enough to me. I called Prophet when about half of the arrangement was done and asked if he could do a live sax for the song, he agreed and after some really smooth work we managed to complete it. We are pretty proud of it, and we hope you guys can enjoy it."

It might not be traditional holiday music, but it's pretty groovy nonetheless, pairing a jazz arrangement with some synth elements up with Mephisto's gravelly, soulful live sax. Mephisto previously worked with juggler extraordinaire Taucer on Canvas of Dreams, a pairing which produced equally enjoyable results. You've got a moving, well-sequenced jazz kit part, bouncy upright acoustic bass, mellow electric piano that alternates between chords and finishing riffs, vibes, synth-brass circa 1'50" that represents the most clearly synthetic instrumentation choice, and at 2'35" some peculiar distorted synth/guitar that takes a solo of its own. The overall composition is strong, but also relies on and benefits from the dynamic, human sax performance that Mephisto brings to the game. RTF shows that his initial success with Sonic 3 was no fluke, and Mephisto again lends his abilities to create a finished product that's much stronger than it would have been without them. All in all, if you didn't get an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, Range Model air rifle with a compass on the stock and this thing which tells time this yuletide (you'd have shot your eye out, anyway), Caio and Brad have provided an excellent backup gift and a strong, musical mix.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Black_Doom
on 2014-12-27 13:41:17

As some people noticed, this one has some weird room sound. Though, to me it's sound of some old-school films. The sax sounds really sexy. And the percussion work is just gorgeous. I didn't like this mix when I heard it at first, but now I love this piece. It's very smooth and very relaxing. Cool, chillin' take on the quite groovy and funky original.

Liontamer
on 2011-12-02 00:55:52

Damn, how'd I not comment on this? Short and sweet, this is an excellent jazz interpretation of a great theme. I'm partial to the sax performance, as some of the synth attacks (if you will) during that solo sounded a bit too quantized and stiff, but the overall arrangement pieced together nicely and flowed well.

Marmiduke
on 2009-08-29 10:51:44

Some ingredients don't marry as well as possible, but that doesn't marr the quality of the work done here. Both jazz and Sonic music are something I came into pretty late in the game, so they both sit in the same boat with me in terms of how much I can grab onto without a whole lot of prior knowledge. It's largely instinctual, and I instinctually like this.

The mellowing of the theme, while refraining from chilling it out to much and keeping a sunny vibe to it, was a great move and seems crafted to the both the melody and your style of playing. It's clear to see where you guys like to be as artists.

In the end, despite various pieces of this mix not blending perfectly, still regard it as more than just something to have coffee to. It's well-played jazz to get happy about. Who can complain?

OA
on 2008-10-23 11:42:03

Nice sax playing, but i'm glad you have a new mic now. The drums are really well done, and i like the synth solos and the bells.

Room sound sounds really strange to me; the sax has way more space around it. Not sure about that really, but its a fun listen, despite it. :-)

OutLander
on 2006-08-28 22:54:47
this doesn't work in the upper register. i tried it. it sounds too thin.

that said, the sax was LIVE. LIVE sax. too human?

That makes sense.

I know it was live. If it were either all live or all electronic, I might like it better. But the sax just sticks out like a sore thumb to me, and that kinda kills it for me.

prophetik music
on 2006-08-28 21:17:29
This is a good mix. My only problem with it though, is that the sax felt too human.

I also think I might've liked it better if you had played it in the upper register, instead of the middle.

this doesn't work in the upper register. i tried it. it sounds too thin.

that said, the sax was LIVE. LIVE sax. too human?

OutLander
on 2006-08-28 18:17:57

This is a good mix. My only problem with it though, is that the sax felt too human.

I also think I might've liked it better if you had played it in the upper register, instead of the middle.

Zekian
on 2006-01-05 06:43:35

Very nice. I'm not a huge jazz fan, but I still love how this remix feels.

prophetik music
on 2006-01-03 16:31:54
Really nice, I love the feel. The electric piano at 1:01 brought tears to my eye, that's what I wanted to hear.

I do have a respectful complaint, though might also be personal bias for the kind of feel I want from jazz. To me, it feels like it doesn't flow enough. Not at all. Though a better way to put it is to say that it doesn't coax. The recording/fuzz issue is there, and the fact that it is so barely noticeable is what makes it hurt. The acoustics you have going with the sax are just stand-out excellent (in my unqualified opinion), it makes me want to listen to the instrument going around me.. I'm listening in it. (And you did that with a PC microphone?) I love the space its played in, I thank you for it. However its because I am able to take it in so easily that I feel the fuzz when it pops up - and that's okay with that mike - but its also because I am able to take it in so easily that I complain about the lack of coaxing.

I close my eyes at that start and feel that excellent space in which the sax is played.. but it breaks. The sax doesn't softly lure.. it plays and stops. It gets better later on too, but I'm already hurt heh.

However, I do love this piece. I really have to go out and find more jazz clubs.. You guys have taken the level I enjoyed the least in Sonic 3, because of the music I enjoyed the least in Sonic 3, and made it a non-coaxing heart breaking joy to listen to. I guess I'm hearing what this could have been to me, and venting about that.

So despite my rant, this gets a proud place in the growing collection of Sonic jazz mixes that get played when other people are around hehe. I wouldn't have complained if it wasn't this nice.

just to point this out, this wasn't originally done to be a smooth jazz piece. you want smooth jazz? i'll get you some of what i've done, if you want it. this was done to be more upbeat - the sax parts are similar to what i might find as the head to a slower chart on a set of bebop stuff. just fyi.

Defend
on 2006-01-03 14:00:17

Really nice, I love the feel. The electric piano at 1:01 brought tears to my eye, that's what I wanted to hear.

I do have a respectful complaint, though might also be personal bias for the kind of feel I want from jazz. To me, it feels like it doesn't flow enough. Not at all. Though a better way to put it is to say that it doesn't coax. The recording/fuzz issue is there, and the fact that it is so barely noticeable is what makes it hurt. The acoustics you have going with the sax are just stand-out excellent (in my unqualified opinion), it makes me want to listen to the instrument going around me.. I'm listening in it. (And you did that with a PC microphone?) I love the space its played in, I thank you for it. However its because I am able to take it in so easily that I feel the fuzz when it pops up - and that's okay with that mike - but its also because I am able to take it in so easily that I complain about the lack of coaxing.

I close my eyes at that start and feel that excellent space in which the sax is played.. but it breaks. The sax doesn't softly lure.. it plays and stops. It gets better later on too, but I'm already hurt heh.

However, I do love this piece. I really have to go out and find more jazz clubs.. You guys have taken the level I enjoyed the least in Sonic 3, because of the music I enjoyed the least in Sonic 3, and made it a non-coaxing heart breaking joy to listen to. I guess I'm hearing what this could have been to me, and venting about that.

So despite my rant, this gets a proud place in the growing collection of Sonic jazz mixes that get played when other people are around hehe. I wouldn't have complained if it wasn't this nice.

Geoffrey Taucer
on 2006-01-02 19:29:21

OMGSEXYJAZZ!

Fusilliban
on 2005-12-29 19:00:42

This is really nice. There's a particular synth in there that I'm not so hot on, and the sax recording is not the best (the playing still owns), but by and large I really like this piece, and I sort of want to go dig out Sonic 3 now.

Mr. Fox
on 2005-12-26 08:37:27

I wanna thank Brad for making the nicest sax coffee around here!!!

Rexy
on 2005-12-26 03:34:57

Call me the black sheep all you want, but I don't think this should have been direct posted. My reasons are elements of slightly weak production work and not quite enough interpretation that I have seen in previous direct postings in the past. That doesn't mean for me to knock it senseless altogether, because some of the ideas that managed to come around held much potential.

I also did a write-up for it on ThaSauce to promote all the mixes that come out on VGMix every week, so I think I'd fish that out too. It was part of the stuff I pointed out for the week of November 19th-25th.

Red Tailed Fox - Sonic the Hedgehog 3 "Pure Black, or Marbles and Cream?"

It’s been a while since we saw Red Tailed Fox re-emerge towards the site; I especially enjoyed both variations on his Sonic 3 mix “Aquatic Pressure”, and even here this recent mix fails to disappoint. Here, this track covers the “Marble Garden Zone” BGM, complete with some strong lead sax coverage as applied by the Prophet of Mephisto. The feel to the source is generally strong all the way through, as well as holding enough creative variations in the musical progressions to make sure it has its appeal to its wide audience. The tech work is generally pretty good on both fronts, which I Feel has helped in pushing their techniques towards their limits; however I have to side with much of the comments sent in for the track already and say that the drums were a little bit weak in terms of their sound in spite of their strong arrangement. But still, this is a nice comeback from RTF and a very neat collab between him and the Prophet. If you like either of their works, it’s worth the opportunity to dive into.

Don't get me wrong, this is a great song to hear into. It's just that I have a lot of heavy doubts over its direct posting onto the site, like a lot of mixes I've seen over the past few months or so.

Please don't argue about it here. If you really have to, use the PM button. :?

Triad Orion
on 2005-12-26 02:27:09

Marble Garden's theme sounds so much better on a sax than it does in the game with whatever annoying instrument they used. I don't think this one is as good as Aquatic Pressure, but it's truly an effective remix, and the sax really gives it a human feel. The recording for the sax is a tad too fuzzy. A little fuzz is okay and adds to the humanity of the piece, but it's a little too noticible. The quality of the sax itself, though, is quite good, and I applaud Mephisto for such good execution.

The mix keeps close to the source material, effectively jazzes it up, and adds a great human element to it with Mephisto's sax. Red Tailed Fox's synths do a very good job backing it up and produces a solid ReMix that's definitely worth a look.