ReMix: Ecco: The Tides of Time 'The World's Smallest Giant'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
Ugh. Weather has been ass lately, work's been busy, and I've also been coding some chiptune-related database improvements to OCR, hence no mixpost action... until now. We last saw Mr. Gerdt paying homage yet again to Jade Cocoon; this time he's setting his sights on some Ecco action, arranging the same song that SGX covered way back in 2003. The prolific one writes:
"I have a lot of ideas and influences but many of them often stay at WIP-stage because they aren't as easy to work with. With that in mind I set out to do something really trippy. I've been listening a lot to Plaid, Shpongle and Xploding Plastix so I guess it was only a matter of time. Since I've always loved Spencer Nilsen's fantastic ambient/tribal work for the Ecco games, Heart of the Giant especially, I decided to remix that.
While browsing through fun sounds I stumbled across a Thor bass-preset made by Plaid. I started messing with it and came across a very odd groove, and I liked it. From there the arrangement just grew into this huge terrifying creature slowly creeping forwards while making strange guttural noises, seemingly unaware of the underlying structure. To control this giant I attacked it with tinkly bells, glitches and minimal drums. The inner Skrypnyk in me was satisfied. The giant ate them all and surprisingly enough it now seemed smaller, almost minimal. The Worlds Smallest Giant was born and it soon consumed hours upon hours of my free time. Not working a lot with it, no, mostly listening to it. Amazed. This is by far the best thing I've ever done in my humble opinion. Maybe because I think it really captured the mood of the endless depths of the ocean. Maybe because it tries to challenge the listener. I don't know. I just know it gets to me."
The best thing AnSo's ever done? Interesting... we'll see about that. While everything Mattias does is one form of gold or another, I generally dig his funkier stuff a bit more - LSL was definitely a highlight for me personally. He's been progressing with electronica and diversifying/evolving his overall approach to the genre, though, this mix being a prime example of that development. Bassline here is indeed huge and very d'n'b, coupled with a syncopated groove that plays with the bass rhythm in a hypnotizing fashion. Thick kicks, short 808ish snare, and clippy hats covers the drums, with ambient bell timbres on the lead melody. The filtering work is VERY slick and well-executed; from a pure production perspective, this definitely *is* one of the coolest bits of trickery AnSo's worked into a mix, and it makes contextual sense with the undulating, aquatic arrangement. Sega could easily do a next-gen Ecco - go big with some HD/RPGish stuff or perhaps work in some motion-control Ecco minigame action on the Wii - and use this tunage to great effect. I think Mattias actually described the mix rather well in his writeup, and since I agree with his description, there's not too much more to say. Challenging, interesting electronica that meditates on a theme with subtlety and style.
- hobodactyl on July 21, 2010
- Less Ashamed Of Self on February 14, 2010
This really is a work of brilliance, I'm ashamed to say I didn't notice it sooner but me and Halc have both ranted and raved about how great this is via IM.
You're my hero! ^_^
- Emunator on December 22, 2009
really great job
edit: been on repeat. seriously, this is becoming a favorite really quickly
- halc on August 1, 2009
In terms of instrumentation, I love how the bells and pads contrast the more digital sounds of the bass and random other sounds. My favorite remixes tend to be ones that are able to blend the more complex, "real" sounds with the decidedly simpler blips, beeps, and other random digitized elements. The World's Smallest Giant does that and more.
I also particularly liked how, even though the melodies and themes in this mix are rather simplistic, they're woven together in the most complex ways possible. I've been listening to this mix at least once a day since its posting, and I'm still amazed at the little new things I pick up every time I play it.
And, thematically, you've done a fantastic job. This is a complete re-interpretation of the source...and yet, I can throw it into a playlist of songs from the game and it fits magnificently. It is, at once, beautiful and creepy - just like many of the themes Nilsen created for Ecco. On top of that, as Palpable said...2:44 is truly heavenly.
The only thing I could even possibly fathom changing, from a personal standpoint, is the percussion. I really feel that, although it still lended a positive touch to the song, it could have been more fleshed out and emphasized than it was. I also feel the use of "real" percussion (such as some of the samples from zircon's Groove Bias sample set), would have been an improvement, as opposed to the drum machine that was used. Regardless, I really want to emphasize that this criticism is an EXTREMELY minor one - even the percussion was done with extreme care and talent.
Overall, a truly impressive mix...and one I will be recommending to new listeners from now 'til the end of time.
- Winter's Wings on July 19, 2009
Beautifully done :-P
- Just A Listener on July 9, 2009
- Martin Penwald on June 24, 2009
As always, nice mood, nice atmosphere, nice... what's it called.. that new-fangled term that all the youngens are using today... soundscape! That's it, nice soundscape.
- Marmiduke on June 19, 2009
- Palpable on June 14, 2009
- Black Mage on June 11, 2009
- ChaosPlayer on June 10, 2009
Love those bells and the filtered drums
- Mtlbro on June 9, 2009
It's really laid back and has some great undulating textures. Progression is subtle, but overall the intent to create yet another soundscape has been achieved. Great textures, they really make this work.
- OA on June 8, 2009
Hah, maybe they got numb and speachless like me.
Therefore, all I can say is that I like it very very much.
- DramaNoMore on June 7, 2009
- yosefu on June 6, 2009