ReMix: Sonic the Hedgehog 'Green Lane Avenue'
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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."
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