First of all, thank ALL of you for the donations that followed in the wake of my statements on AeroZ's (badass) FF6 mix; Sebastian himself even contributed, and 47 additional donations came in since the last mix went up. This month has become the single largest fundraising/support source for this site, it's been epic so far, and there's one week left to chip in, know what you doing, and launch every zig... for great bandwidth.
"Ok so this isn't the most uplifting or emotional source tune ever. It is however probably the most stereotypical representation of China in sonic form ever created. :) The beats were heavily inspired by ziwtra. I took one loop in Reason and then wrote some drums behind it. The volume of the drums I wrote are slightly automated by the volume of the loop. I then recorded both instances into Live where some massive slicing and dicing occurred.
Since there is really no melody in the source I tried to carry the song with a catchy groove. The bells and plucked sounds were from SteamPipe2 and the synths were done with feldspar. The dizi and erhu were free vsts from Kong Audio. Thanks for listening."
So, a little bit of background: Before the Bad Dudes had even started working on No Balls, No Glory (an amazing album you should check out), there was a Super Dodge Ball album project gestating here at OCR called Around the World. Murmeli Walan was the original instigator all the way back in 2005 (!), but after that the project hit some roadbumps, and Summoning of Spirits co-director Kyle Crouse has taken the helm to get things back on track. Things are looking good, actually, and this could be a project that sees the light of day this year. In the interim, however, with no bad blood or raging hatred or anything like that, Shaun and Brad decided to pull their tracks and submit them to OCR independently. Such is life, and such is the nature of organizing long, mulit-year efforts that sometimes ebb and flow, occasionally with way more ebb than flow.
K, context done, let's talk music. Shaun's got one previous mix on the site, in a totally different style, and this mix is considerably more elaborate from a production perspective. You've got Chinese market intro ambience, funky breaks, liquid pentatonic synth 'peggios, a whole lot of quickly-articulated chromatic percussion, and the afforementioned dizi and erhu riffing on the "omg it's Asian so it MUST be pentatonic!" stereotype that Shaun acknowledges and embraces. Larry says:
"Chorus section from 1:06-1:16 sounds pretty damn nice. Good sound variation, solid effects, solid enough integration of the SFX, slick production, nice use of the stereo field, and the groove was sweeeeet... in terms of cohesiveness, this was leaps and bounds over any of your other stuff. Plus, props for this being a solo piece... you had it clicking with this one."
Some of Shaun's submissions prior to this didn't make the cut, and so judges were extra-enthusiastic that Avaris had put together something so clearly improved, that they could approve. Jimmy even busted out his CAPS PROPS mode:
"You need to bring it like this EVERY TIME. This mix is flat-out AWESOME. No offense, but it's like you're not the same Avaris that's been submitting before. Not that your other stuff has been bad, but it usually ends up sounding like it's still not finished. But you've got everything ON POINT in this one. I don't think I can offer one word of "This needs fixing". Your mastering is clean, and the stereo balance--very nice. I'm a HUGE fan of Asian instruments, and you've selected the perfect arsenal to go on your palette. The groove is toe-tapping-inducing, and the general vibe really does sweep my brain off to somewhere in China..."
While Jimmy's brain compromises the sovereign borders of the Chinese mainland and unwittingly starts World War III, at least it'll be set to some kickin' tunes. I don't have much to add, really - this mix definitely proves Shaun has upped his game considerably, it embraces the cheesy pentatonicity of the source in an uncompromising and robust man-hug, and has an upbeat, slick vibe with production to match; great stuff.
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Super Dodge Ball (CSG Imagesoft, 1989, NES)
Music by Kazuo Sawa
- "Vs. Team China"
- Breakbeats, Electronic, Synth, Woodwinds
- Regional > Chinese
- 5,221,628 bytes
- Size: 5,221,628 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 65ed93df4f18822d1d1d9a6a533bfcf6
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