ReMix: Sonic the Hedgehog 'Green Lane Avenue'

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Sonic the Hedgehog

Thanks to everyone who helped make the Voices of the Lifestream debut a success; we got quite a bit of traffic, a good amount of news coverage, and the reaction has been mostly positive. What I saw that was negative was largely anti-FF7 sentiment in general, or comments from folks who dismissed the album as being entirely comprised of techno, which suggests that they didn't even listen in the first place. Whatever; the Internet's a crazy place, and even doing something as seemingly altruistic as releasing tons of free music can apparently rub some people the wrong way. Most of you seem to have found at least a couple (if not a dozen) tracks that speak to you, and I think the release covers a lot of ground thematically and stylistically. I stand by my statement that it represents a milestone achievement for OC ReMix and exemplifies what we're all about; you'll be seeing and hearing more VotL in the days and weeks to come.

For a breather, however, and to interrupt what now stands as the largest single-game/single-album flood to date, I thought it'd be nice to get some non-FF7 stuff in. AeroZ and Tepid collabed on this Sonic Green Hill mix, and the result is very slick. This is one of those originals that is iconic, but doesn't lend itself to too many genre variations due to the melody/progression... or so I thought. I've always liked what Rayza did with this one, as it sorta opened things up for this particular theme to be taken in different directions, at least for me. However, I still couldn't see in my mind's eye how I'd approach it myself. The ReMixers in this instance went for a loungier vibe, not unlike po! and Morse stuff, but heavier on the synth, and not quite as much raw funk in the trunk. Tepid writes:

"Well, a few ideas can go a long way. I had a little set of jazz chords on the piano which I matched to the Green Hill Zone theme. Soon after I had made a backing track and it escalated violently into a decent start to a mix. I knew after 'Too Hot For Heatman' that Seb knew his Reason like Ray Charles knows his jazz, so I sent him the project file and he turned 2 minutes of ideas, into 5 neat organised minutes of mix.

The guitar .REX loops (as Reason users may know them by) were created from scratch by myself through Cubase and ReCycle, and that was a lot of fun, and even more so the ability to rearrange the slices at ease. Seb did the complex stuff, and added the 8bit flair, and phat drums, and many, many fine detailed edits.

Quoting from Seb: "I had so much bloody fun doing it. I was in a trance." His English, and knowledge of English expressions is far too good for a Swede...Also, I believe him to be the fastest Reason slinger in the North (of Europe), performing 978 controller changes in 2 hours. Fantastic."

Indeed. There was some concern on the panel over this being too liberal; at times, that seems nonsensical, as the main melody is right there in front of you, plain as day, and very recognizable. It's when the main melody disappears, however, that things do get more... impressionistic? You can hear fragments of intervals and rhythms, but nothing is as readily identifiable as the melody, by a longshot. I think the panel was right to question the arrangement's deviation - Jesse dismissed the issue outright, but if you focus on the non-melodic bits, it's definitely harder to get your bearings. However, I also think the panel did the right thing in passing this, as it's interpretive and most of the time can be linked back to the source in meaningful and creative ways. It's also a rough theme to tackle, in my mind, and focusing on the melody while politically skirting around the extended ascending and descending passages that bookend it is an approach I admire and probably would have resorted to myself. The ever-eloquent JJT sums this one up nicely:

"There's enough interpretation here, even if its not readily apparent 100% of the time. This is creative and well produced (I looooove the parts where the rhythm guitar is driving everything), and there's enough of a connection to the original for this to enter the ranks of OCR. The fact that it sounds awesome doesn't hurt either."

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Crulex
on 2014-05-24 08:50:17
I find it interesting that some people barely hear any source and others can pinpoint it out. I don't have a problem at all hearing the source, but that doesn't mean anything. Just something I found funny for myself. And with that out of the way, the song's arrangement of funky electronica is terrific in it's own right. Well produced, liberal enough to expand and actually rearrange the tune while still maintaining enough of the original to truly make it a ReMix.
Haste2
on 2012-10-13 23:04:25
I know the thread is old, but...
Could that be a "Flight of the Bumblebee" reference at 3:55? The remix imitates the first 8 notes so of that piece's chromatic introduction. Whether that was intentional or not, it's very fitting and gives even more reason to love this mix!
tweex
on 2009-11-09 16:58:05
AeroZ review:
Very chilled sound! Love it. The "8-bit flare" is here full force from Seb! Sounds great. The phat drums are also AeroZ all over the place. Great drive and excellent punch. The jazz progression, while tepid's baby, works really well with the synthy sound here. The elements between tepid and AeroZ are seemless. This is a wonderful example of a collaboration that acts as though it's a track done by one person. Fantastic work all around!!!
WillRock
on 2009-05-03 10:49:38
haha nice remix.
I like the feel you have going on here, the production is good.
I think that the source is handled a little unusally, the changes don't feel natural, some of the changes to the tune and chords underneath left me a little confused.
I like the synths and guitar work, there's a good balance of instrumentations I think.
The only source part I can hear is the main melody repeated various times with subtle variations.... for example 0.36 - 0.59. Basically as far as I can hear there is a LOT more original material, which is fine but a little more source would have been nice.
However the original sections are nice and well done, but I don't think the remixed sections fit as well as they could do.
Still its worth the download in my opinion, its a good remix :P
OA
on 2009-03-17 19:30:32
ohoo, got an AeroZ collab to review on his birthday (Happy birthday buddy)!
These guys are the masters of seeing how far they can take an arrangement, and no matter which side of the fence things end up on, it's always a great journey, and this track is no exception.
Great mix of sounds and so many great motifs throughout. The main melody appears frequently and is transformed just enough to make people kindof wonder if they heard it right. I love this high-level arrangement style, and there are a ton of great effects and flourishes sprinkled throughout. Especially notable is that rocking fileter on the appearance of the kick- classy and cool, all in one.
Great mix- check it out if you have an open enough mind to hear something that isn't a midi rip + drums. :<
Vitor Machado
on 2008-11-05 23:38:13
Fact 1: I can barely find the source here.
Fact 2: Does anybody care? No.
This ReMix is one of my favorites, one of those I'll probably keep listening to regularly for years to come...
The guitar is sooo perfect, and the mix flows so smoothly and naturally. It can make the saddest person turn happy in a few moments with it's warm, and funky riffs.
The silence at the beginning as others have said, is the only thing that bugs me with this ReMix, otherwise it's just perfect. :-o
Liontamer
on 2007-11-27 04:25:32
MrBogus;347741 wrote: If I try to connect this song to the source material, I get annoyed.

The judges decision can help you with that.
MrBogus
on 2007-11-27 03:43:43
If I try to connect this song to the source material, I get annoyed. But taken as a standalone creation, this is freakin chill. You can add my vote for smoothest guitar chord riffing ever.
Antipode
on 2007-10-13 18:52:55
I've been meaning to comment on this track for awhile - the recent bunch of particularly good remixes has reminded me to do so. Now I was a bit so-so on the first minute (interestingly enough where you guys seem to have the most prominent use of the source material), but when you break into generally original stuff around 1:30 on and from there, you totally had me hooked. I really liked the guitar rhythms. Also from the latter half of 2min onward, I really loved all the chord changes and transitions and the groovy drums you break into. The subtle ways you include some elements of the source were excellent as well. The ending was a very nice way to finish it off.
In short - groovy, sweet guitar, catchy melodies and transitions, kickass.
PS - it suddenly occurred to me that Tepid, the mixer who made my personal favorite entry from the first Original VG Music Contest was involved with this track. So now I guess I'll be listening for you a little more closely!
Doulifée
on 2007-10-06 05:14:09
nice stuff that's awake the sonic nostalgia inside me.
Like Everyone said, well done with he guitar, i don't know why but i associate the mix more with spring yard zone or a marble garden-like zone.
metaphist
on 2007-09-28 05:08:19
While I heavily dig the liberation here from a musical standpoint, the oldskool in me can't help but pine for a little more theme recognition.
Having said that, this is sick, both creatively and technically. I was actually beginning to wonder if anyone could do something this liberal with such an iconic source as Green Hill Zone. Guess I got my answer.
Way to make 'em listen, guys ;)
adam2
on 2007-09-24 01:33:43
Great mix. I really like the melody at about 1:35 which is really brought to life here.
MisterBiggler
on 2007-09-23 01:32:24
sexy guitar work; im in for one.
Kizyr
on 2007-09-22 17:49:18
I see where the criticism about it being too liberal came from; I can't place where the original Green Hill theme comes in except for a few of the more obvious parts (though admittedly it's been ages since I played Sonic 1). But I'm not finicky, and you can't deny that it is a pretty smooth piece.
One more thing... That 4-second silence in the beginning still puzzles me. Why wasn't it just cropped off? It didn't sound intentional... KF
Geoffrey Taucer
on 2007-09-21 10:38:40
Nice mix, beautiful tone on the guitar.