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ambient dark duration-long electric-guitar electronic halloween industrial
Arranging the music of one song...

"Kâstleröck"

Primary Game: Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos (CSG Imagesoft, 1990, NES), music by Tim Follin

Posted 2008-03-14, evaluated by djpretzel


Children of the Children of the Monkey Machine! On Monday, March 3rd, at 10:51am, coming in at 6lbs and 13oz, Lauren Elizabeth Newman was born! Our heartfelt congratulations to CotMM, who's been with OC ReMix a LONG time and resurrects his ReMixing career (last mix in 2003!) with this Steve Pordon collab arrangement from Solstice. Matt writes:

"This collaboration was picked away at by me and Steve after conversing about what to do for a few weeks. Also, I mixed the whole thing on cheap ear buds, so I still really haven't heard what it sounds like on proper speakers, but I think I got it right (:"

I chatted with Matt on #ocremix a week or so ago and at the time he was actually working on using Lauren's sonogram recordings provided by the hospital in an ambient mix, which is just like him - he's got a wonderful ear for texture, and has put together some of OCR's more compelling and unique soundscapes. This mix was actually Steve's idea, and it's part of Dirge for the Follin, Larry's tribute abute to composer Tim Follin. Mr. Follin's had a really interesting and varied career as a game composer, so the project should similarly yield very dynamic and varied results. If this mix is any indication, that's almost a guarantee, as Pordon and Newman take us on a dark descent that mixes Matt's industrial ambient style with orchestral and lead electric guitar elements for a very distinct sound. There's some very Downward Spiral-esque distortion beds that clip in and out, thudding and pulsating percussion, and most interestingly, a definite sense of direction and progression that can sometimes be problematically absent from ambient pieces. Everything up to 1'09", segued into with a piercing shriek, is essentially an ambient intro, but at this point structure and melody emerges, buttressed primarily by lead guit but supported by drums and bass. 2'45" takes things up another notch with intense drumming, intro'd by a big ole orchestra hit. The break at 3'36" gives listeners a chance to appreciate the underlying percussive textures in an exposed context, then things get busy again, culminating in an ending that goes back to the more ambient intro, albeit with aggressive electrical feedback hums.

What I like about this piece is that it's literally bathed in distortion, hum, and other means of sonic cacophony, but there's still noticeable structure and melody. Some of Matt's previous work tended towards more impressionistic interpretations of arrangement, but this one seems to straddle the sweet spot between identifiable compositional arrangement and otherworldly audio malevolence. Steve and Matt work well together, and this ReMix illustrates both of their strengths effectively; to some of our newer listeners who may not have traveled back to the mixes of 2000-2003 yet, this piece should hopefully serve as both example and gateway. Unique, fresh stuff - many congratulations to both artists for their respective comebacks, and especially to the entire Newman family on the birth of Lauren Elizabeth!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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Necrox
on 2015-12-09 00:23:10

I agree that the mix of chaos and melody is delicate on this one. 2:46 is primal. The kick is a nice release to end the section, abstract but effective given the context. The grimy static sounds so alive, gotta love it. Good mix.

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tweex
on 2010-08-24 21:06:52

Steve Pordon review:

WOW! 5 years from the last time Steve sub'd anything. The intro was worlds above anything that we've heard from Steve and it works much better. The grainy distortion wasn't doing it for me on the whole. It felt really distracting and pulled away from the mix. I have to say that I'm kinda disappointed in the sound of the guitar. With a five year break, I was hoping that production value of the guitar would have gotten much better, but it still has the same tone that lacks much high end frequency. The bleeps and blips were a cool idea, but they sound soooo muffled in the mix that they don't express themselves well or have any color to them. The build up at 4:30 sounded great. The low end was rising and sounded great and then it goes into nothing. No low end (which the track is plagued with all the way through) and it lacks any intensity. If I had to break it down, I would say that Steve and CotMM are so focused on the textures of tracks that they tend to forget the production value of the mix. It's an interesting piece, but I don't feel it explores much and is very similar to the work that was done on their Silent Hill track. With a 5 years hiatus, I have to admit that I'm disappointed in the way this mix turned out. Sorry guys!

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Emunator
on 2009-12-22 03:10:03

This is creepy as all hell, which is exactly what I'd expect from the remixers involved! The insanely-crunchy guitar feels perfect here, though I think the mixing could have been a bit better on it.

Overall, just about what I've come to expect from CotMM in terms of ambient soundscapes and trippy effects, but the guitar was a nice surprise too! Good work all around :-)

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ella guro
on 2009-12-04 23:27:17

Nice! I had no idea Cotmm or steve did another mix.

There are some parts that work really well texturally, some that I don't like as much (I don't like how that distorted synth just cuts on/off). It seems a little messier than past cotmm/pordon mixes, but there are a lot of cool things that keep it from becoming a bother (I love when the guitars are mixed really low in high-end distortion like they are towards the end). There's also an enormous amount of subtlety and nuance in the sound, the kind of stuff you really don't hear much of these days. And that's a real shame, cause that's the kind of stuff that's easier on the ear and makes repeated listens so rewarding.

Yeah, I like this. I like this a lot, actually. I'm gonna save it and listen to it some more times so it can sink in.

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Martin Penwald
on 2008-04-12 16:19:28

Who would have thought we'd get to hear more Cotmm remixes. I didn't, but I'm very pleasantly surprised that I was wrong about this.

Very dark and gritty piece. I like how the remixers play with the distortions, and the ending is simply brilliant. It feels like the last, most horrible shock of a terrible nightmare, which finally makes you wake up again.

That's not to say that this song is a nightmare, hehe.

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OA
on 2008-03-18 12:10:50

This one took a lot of listening to really get into, and even then there's a few stylistic choices I don't quite agree with. Some of the distortion is a bit too apparent, or more likely the wrong frequency center. i think some of the distortions should have been a bit darker.

The single kick hit? You lost me there.

HOWEVER!

The balance of experimental noise and structure is great, and the presentation of the melody is superb. I normally wouldn't be drawn to such a sparse melody, but I've been singing it all morning (in my operatic tenor)forcing my coworkers to appreciate it's brilliance. The use of the low strings to keep the track moving along rather than typical percussion was nice, and overall it's probably one of the strongest and most cohesive CotMM tracks i've heard.

Nice work.

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Wicked
on 2008-03-16 03:26:57

I have to say, I nearly shit myself when I saw that CotMM was back on this mix. I'm pretty pumped up now. The mix is exactly what I wanted and expected, which is to say it's awesome.

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Liontamer
on 2008-03-15 23:14:06
My vision consisted of me putting 8-9 different game tracks in a zip file and asking Matt if he liked any of them for remixing purposes. :P

-steve

That's fucking TEAMWORK! [/Tenacious D] :lol:

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Legion303
on 2008-03-15 23:12:09
I've got Steve to thank for his vision for the track and getting this one going.

My vision consisted of me putting 8-9 different game tracks in a zip file and asking Matt if he liked any of them for remixing purposes. :P

-steve

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artemisjaeger
on 2008-03-15 19:57:20

Holy fucking shit. I might dare to say that this is the best remix on this whole site. I can honestly say that I never expected to hear such crazy experimenting here - seriously. Drone doom makes my heart get all warm and fuzzy.

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Manablast
on 2008-03-15 12:52:49
8OHOLY CRAP. the Mix actually made me physically dizzy and nauseous.. but not in a bad way. it gave me the feeling of getting lost in a very evil dungeon. pretty awesome!. The only issue i have with it is the Intro. it's too melded.. kind of like sonic pudding. Other than that A+
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DrumUltimA
on 2008-03-15 11:27:03

this is really cool. Texturally speaking it reminds me a lot of the work of my computer music teacher, McGregor Boyle. I'm really digging the combination of ambient space with driving METUL rhythm. Nice!!!

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Jaybell
on 2008-03-14 15:08:03

CHILDREN OF THE MONKEY MACHINE!!!1 Didn't think I'd see you back on the remixing saddle!

This is sexy. I have a thing for ambient distortion, so this is a million kinds of awesome.

Yay!

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SomeCrazyGuy
on 2008-03-14 15:03:47

I wanted to like it (having played this game for who knows how long as a child), but it was a bit annoying to have to put up with such a long set-up before the actual song, and when it eventually DID get to the theme, it sounded like it was coming out of a pair of bad speakers (for lack of a better word, 'fuzzy', but it was more than that). I'm not expecting pulse-pounding realism or anything like that, but I do expect a bit more sound quality. I do like the idea, and really, if the 'intro' and fuzziness was cut out, I might really like this, but while these sound like small complaints, I can't enjoy a song when it constantly reminds me of its own flaws, even if it is built on good directions and ideas. In short, no, I don't like this song, but I might like it if its few flaws were fixed.

On a lighter note, though, congratulations for the birth! I hope for many years of good health and happiness in her future! n_n

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Platonist
on 2008-03-14 15:02:52

this is definitly awesome!

i might be biased, because i hardcored this game as a child - it's right here on my shelf of fame :D

anyway, great track and congrats to the birth of your child Matt!

the only thing that made me "hmm" was the low volume levels, but as the end noise reached me i got that it was on purpose .. nice approach in the end! :nicework:

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos (CSG Imagesoft, 1990, NES)
Music by Tim Follin
Songs:
"Kâstleröck"

Tags (7)


Genre:
Ambient, Industrial
Mood:
Dark
Instrumentation:
Electric Guitar, Electronic
Additional:
Time > Duration: Long
Usage > Halloween

File Information


Name:
Solstice_Demnos_Inquisitor_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
5,913,572 bytes
MD5:
861546893fe14d2e2a29665adbdb0ac3
Bitrate:
122Kbps
Duration:
6:19

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