ReMix: The Great Giana Sisters "Synthpop Mix"

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The Great Giana Sisters

From newcomer EzpRado comes coverage of the C64 classic, Great Giana Sisters. This submission required my intervention as tiebreaker, so the panel's decision is well worth reading. Essentially, the piece's detractors felt that it was, quite simply, a little too "vanilla" - that the instrumentation was too ordinary and the arrangement relatively straightforward. The piece that was brought up in a comparison/contrast context was AmberTrance, because its original decision conversation covered some of the same issues. Since the panel itself was deadlocked and I cast the deciding vote, I'm actually going to quote... myself:

"It's not genius, but there are some nice details that I feel adjectives like "average" and "mediocre" don't accurately describe, like the stuttering, distorted FM synth around 1'11" that Larry cited; the production doesn't jump out and grab you, but it's also far from being what I'd call weak. I think most are correct in saying that this lies somewhere around the bar which we've set for submissions, but I'd tend to say there's enough attention to detail, general technical competence, arrangement, and energy to put it slightly above the bar, rather than below it. I was tapping my toe, and I didn't balk at any one particular transition for being unacceptably hackneyed, even if it was something I've heard before dozens of times."

Larry writes:

"The track does feel a bit too samey after a while despite EzpRado attempting to vary things up. The synths, the beatwork, etc. dragged after hearing them used so much, IMO negatively affecting the replayability of the piece. The emergence of new sounds and writing ideas, like the ending section from 4:13-4:44, should have been used earlier in the track to keep things fresh. Could have been stronger and introduced more ideas into the picture over time, which holds it back a bit, but what's here is fairly good. By my call, you squeak by."

Squeak by indeed; however, I'd imagine that most listeners will enjoy this mix just fine. Whether or not the average visitor to this site will like a given piece of music, however, is not an aspect of the evaluation process. EzpRado probably neither desired nor expected his mix decision to be so divisive and hence warranting of all this procedural focus; he just put together a pretty decent Giana mix and sent it our way. Chances are, especially if you dig the game or plain old fun electronica, you'll care less about what we thought and more about downloading and digging this mix, but due diligence requires full disclosure, plus it gives me something to write about ;)

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Liontamer
on 2014-03-02 21:12:01
Recently dove into some C64 and Amiga retro gaming and pointed a friend to one of my favorite remixes. I was very disappointed in the description blurb. The entire writeup is a downer. Why write several paragraphs going on and on and on about how a song almost didn't make the cut and how bad it is? It's almost unbelievable. You ought to consider differentiating the internal discussions full of negativity, from what you decide to place in your outward facing descriptions where users land.

If you think THAT was a downer, try http://www.remix64.com/track/ezprado/the-great-giana-sisters/ :lol:

Also, it's more implicit than explicit around here, but if it gets posted to the site nowadays, the track is good and worthwhile. I thought the writeup conveyed that, while we got into the details with analyzing this one, the arrangement and production standards are (purposefully) separated from the ability to enjoy the music. And that the right side won out in terms of adding it to OCR. :-)

djpretzel
on 2014-03-02 21:06:04
Recently dove into some C64 and Amiga retro gaming and pointed a friend to one of my favorite remixes. I was very disappointed in the description blurb. The entire writeup is a downer. Why write several paragraphs going on and on and on about how a song almost didn't make the cut and how bad it is? It's almost unbelievable. You ought to consider differentiating the internal discussions full of negativity, from what you decide to place in your outward facing descriptions where users land.

Generally speaking, I do exactly that - cover the best aspects of a piece and don't dwell too long on the negatives. In this instance the vote was close and the panel was divided, and it seemed worth pointing out how even completely enjoyable tracks can sometimes be close calls, because we're looking at a few different things when we evaluate submissions, not just whether people will like them. It's important to communicate - in small doses, and in representative cases - how our process really works, and brushing that under the rug in this instance would have felt downright dishonest...

Incidentally, we've historically gotten more complaints that mix writeups are TOO positive, so you're actually representing a minority opinion relative to the other feedback we've received. That's cool, and I'm glad you bothered to chime in... I don't really agree that the writeups are too positive, and I think I agree even less that they are too critical, but it's something I'll think about based on your comments, which are appreciated.

Clogger
on 2014-03-02 20:41:58

Recently dove into some C64 and Amiga retro gaming and pointed a friend to one of my favorite remixes. I was very disappointed in the description blurb. The entire writeup is a downer. Why write several paragraphs going on and on and on about how a song almost didn't make the cut and how bad it is? It's almost unbelievable. You ought to consider differentiating the internal discussions full of negativity, from what you decide to place in your outward facing descriptions where users land.

WesternZypher
on 2011-01-14 19:21:58

This is enjoyable in it's own right, despite how it compares to judges' standards. It is regrettable the remixer has not submitted anything since.

OA
on 2009-01-19 14:23:28

Straight-ahead fun. It started out a bit slow, and I think it could have used a bit more depth of field, but otherwise this is a catchy and enjoyable mix.

If you are feeling down at all, a few listens to this will definitely improve your mood. :-)

Flare4War
on 2007-03-20 11:23:29

I thought the intro was great. The arrangement overall was fantastic. The "C'MON!!" in the back added a nice touch.

It's a great remix. It didn't seem too linear to me. Overall it reminded me a lot of Rayza's work.

Great track.

Trenthian
on 2007-03-15 18:47:05

This is one of the least pretensious remixes I have heard in a while.

Very listenable and fun. I really love the bounce and the attention to vary standardized and pretty use of tone. I was disappointed when it ended, I was like... WAIT!!! ROLL INTO A 30 MINUTE LONG MEDLEY. But no. I cannot have coital relations with a remix in Four minutes and Fourty-four seconds. I need at least another 15 minutes.

Random Hero
on 2007-03-14 12:16:50

Fun. That's the best description I can think of for this remix. It's just a happy little tune. The one thing that I heard almost instantly is the closeness between the Drum track/loop used here and the one used in the intro of Tiffany's, "I Think We're Alone Now". Now that brings me back... Actually this song reminds me of a couple of 80's songs at different points Though most of the names of those songs exacape me at the moment. Nice.

Ryan

NarutoZer
on 2007-03-13 18:52:08

I liked it. That's all I have to say.

micuu
on 2007-03-13 18:28:01

Beginning isn't great, but as people above have pointed out, once it gets going it gets going.

Harkens back to the style and sound of many of the older mixes on the site, which can be a refreshing change from the overwhelming... well, 'newness' of many newer remixes.

Audity
on 2007-03-13 17:27:16

Really, only the beginning was kind of...bad. As soon as the distortion came in it was about 250% more enjoyable. I was afraid the arrangement was going to be really stagnant, but I'm surprised. It reminds me a little of Alexander Prievert's Bloody Tears Inspired mix. And that's REALLY a good thing. Fun semi-generic electronica indeed.

zircon
on 2007-03-13 15:42:24

Nothing wrong with your opinion on this mix. I just disagree that we've rejected arrangements that were "significantly better" than this. If it happens, it's rare and the production has to completely suck. That or it's just a violation of our standards to begin with (eg. Shnab's chiptunes, while great, are basically against the rules).

PassivePretentiousness
on 2007-03-13 13:23:07
So can you cite those other mixes rejected with "significantly better arrangements"?

http://remix.thasauce.net/

essentially. I'm not even that big of a fan of r:ts. I'm just not a big fan of this remix.

it strikes me as awkward that it seems like the song meets 45% of the site's standards in production and 55% of the standards in arrangement, and it is accepted, where as songs that meet 30% of the standars in production and 90% in arrangement are routinely rejected (or vice versa, in fact).

My criticisms don't stray that far from half the panel or even your own, zircon. I've reacted kinda harshly towards this because it contains so many defaults that *I* can recognize, which means something because I don't know crap. If this viewpoint is wrong and I'm missing something, fine. But it's still the way I see it right now.

Thin Crust
on 2007-03-13 09:41:08

Wow, I wish that you could upload songs to ddr and make your own step pattern to them. This would be the perfect song to do that with. Yes, I play ddr. As stupid as you look on it, it is a great exercise, a great agility workout, and its fun. Song was really catchy and I am not a big techno kind of guy.

zircon
on 2007-03-12 23:45:22
I don't think I've heard that kind of base on ocr in about three years. You could actually say that about half the synths used. That doesn't make it bad per se, but I have no idea how it passed in comparison to umpteen rejected mixes that had slightly worse production and significantly better arrangement.

I also don't agree with djpretzel's compliments regarding the stuttering. The synth is too quiet to hear the effect properly, and it only compounds the volume level issues.

So can you cite those other mixes rejected with "significantly better arrangements"?