ReMix: Deus Ex 'Siren Synapse'

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Deus Ex

Whew! This took some real coordination, but it was worth it: I'm proud to present OC ReMix's first composer-mixer collab, featuring VGM legend (and Deus Ex composer) Alexander Brandon and the panel's own Big Giant Circles! What's more, we've got a complete interview with Alex for your reading pleasure! Alex, Larry, Jimmy, Fishy and myself all worked hard to make this happen, but most of the credit of course goes to Mr. Brandon and Mr. Hinson, for being extremely badass individuals, coordinating a fascinating interview, and putting together an awesome arrangement & our very first mix from Deus Ex! Alex writes:

"John Romero introduced me to OCR about five years ago. Since then I've been continually amazed by this whole “remix” thing, and to collaborate on this piece was a hell of a lot of fun. I'm so proud of it (with the little that I did, BGC deserves a huge lion's share of the credit) that I'm going to tell BT about it and see what he says. It's the first electronic piece that really feels like it'd be right at home as a major release. So Jimmy and David, thanks for bringing so much awesome music into the game industry and giving me the chance to be involved."

The irony of having Alex thank me for pretty much anything is not lost on me; this is a man who's done tons for VGM, whose music I find myself humming constantly, and who's accessibility and attitude really show how much he cares not just for music, but for video game music specifically. Do read the interview, it's really quite epic. Even as I'm writing this, I'm still 110% stoked that we're posting our first composer-mixer collab along with a full interview, and that it's Alex, someone who really knows the industry & the art form. How'd this all happen? Big Giant Jimmy's the one who got things rolling:

"So I've been following Alex's blog for a while, and since he seemed so down to earth and approachable, I kept thinking how cool it would be if I could get him to collaborate on a remix. When I purchased Era's End, I actually had a brief e-chat with his wife and told her as much, and she said he'd probably think it was cool, so I should just ask him. So long story short, I did, and Alex was mad cool about the whole thing, even in spite of my initial lengthy, gushing, fanboy email, haha. For the remix, I knew it had to be Synapse (Hong Kong Streets) from Deus Ex - that entire OST is amazing, but it was that track in particular that turned me onto the game a few years back when a friend emailed it to me like "Man, you gotta check this song out". It also seemed appropriate since Alex once said he was partial to that particular track. All in all, this was a truly humbling (and exciting!) experience for me. Alex was not only very cool, but also very humble, and that in turn was humbling for me! I can't thank him enough for the collab, and I earnestly hope that perhaps we'll see more of this sort of thing (collabs with actual game composers) in the future. And down the road, I'd sure love to do another collab with Alex as well!"

Now, what about the music, eh? Well, Deus Ex DID have a bloody fantastic soundtrack, and even if Alex wasn't involved at all it would still be great to be posting our first ReMix of it. When the composer himself digs the mix, it does lend it a certain shroud of invincibility, at least with regards to the guessing game of whether or not the piece honors the original, etc. I've never liked that particular guessing game, because it usually involves projecting one's own opinion onto the original composer, who is usually unavailable/unaware of such discussion. Nevertheless, people do it... but not this time :) The arrangement is a great, mellow blend of electronica and articulate, zheng/guzheng lead, with stutter effects, multiple synth leads, percolating synth accompaniment, and entrancing pentatonic melodic riffs. It reminds me of Koshiro's 'China Town' given a more futuristic, bustling metropolis sort of vibe. Bottom line, I love the original, and this upgraded, 2.0 collaboration is even better, maintaining the catchy, melodic source and setting it to a re-envisioned, organic electronica. Awesome work by Alex and Jimmy, making great music AND OC ReMix history in one fell swoop!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Tables
on 2013-06-22 11:38:30
Uh, hey... is there any reason this song's main page isn't working anymore? I'm getting a bunch of 'Warning: DOMDocument::loadXML() [domdocument.loadxml]: Entity 'nbsp' not defined in Entity, line: 17 in /home/ocremix/public_html/includes/php/classes/BaseView.php on line 192's. Could it have anything to do with Sonic Augmentation? [edit: nevermind, it either got fixed or was never an actual problem *shrug*]
Anyway this song is terrific, I just wanna drive through city streets blasting this!
timaeus222
on 2013-01-31 15:55:16
That is awesome, I love Alex's Jazz Jackrabbit soundtrack. :D
Crulex
on 2012-04-09 11:29:15
First off, I really like the little vocal intro. That beat is hot and the instrumentation really does bring on images of a futuristic Hong Kong, which altogether makes this ReMix pleasant to the ears. Gotta love it when you can throw in a bit of electronica with some worldly flavor.
WesternZypher
on 2010-12-01 17:47:41
One of my favorite games of all time. My favorite track from the game. I used to run around the Hong Kong level just so I could listen to this on repeat. And that dragon nano-tech sword was the shiz. GREAT WORK!
Alastran
on 2010-06-17 17:21:43
a incredible remix, awesome. excellent work.
[LEFT]a massive magical ReMix
[/LEFT]
OA
on 2010-05-03 14:24:11
Really excellent panning synths and an overall cool feel with a slick vibe. There are some really great hooks in here, but I almost felt like they were pushed aside in favor of style- the best melodic part was at the very very end for the last 20 seconds, and personally, I'd have loved to hear it blasted out as an anthem. Of course, that's just how I roll, and maybe if I ever find time to remix this track myself, that's exactly what I can do. :-)
Still really good stuff, densely layered and very interesting stuff. Also cool that it was a collab between two very talented guys. :-)
Jenga
on 2010-02-26 04:42:15
Jesus Christ, aural orgasm going on here
trinsic
on 2010-02-12 07:39:02
OverCoat;603234 wrote: I almost forgot one very important thing:

LOL Awsome :lol:
trinsic
on 2010-02-12 07:26:05
Very well done mix from one of the base tracks in the game.
It's the new Deus Ex Anthem. - trinsic
Emunator
on 2009-12-21 18:20:40
Whooo, the remastered version is killer :-D I thought that aspect of the song already sounded great from the start, but every element of the song feels clear, defined, and full. The whole soundscape is full of action so I like to listen to this one multiple times in a row so I can pick out the individual instruments and appreciate the work that went into them.
This is a really stellar collab - the fusion of organic and synthetic instruments was completely seamless and ultimately places this track squarely in the middle of my preferred genre of music. Killer work! :-D
big giant circles
on 2009-11-09 00:36:34
I am most flattered Torley! True to your motto, you have amplified my awesome! The remaster sounds great! :-) :-)
Torley
on 2009-11-08 22:58:52
This is SUCH a enticing melodic rush! Lovely take on a classic. It made me smile so much I remastered it to bring out the sheer gravity of the mix — let your subs feel this:
» Download Siren Synapse Remastered MP3
Martin Penwald
on 2009-10-27 17:21:22
Love the voice clip in the beginning.
Interesting choice of instruments; gives the track a very distinct sound.
Overall a very enjoyable remix.
MrBogus
on 2009-10-27 01:10:43
Everything is awesome here, but I have to point out that the minute that begins at 2:24 is just so very, very supremely sweet.
Flare4War
on 2009-10-26 20:01:22
Instant favorite. I like it all the way through but then I like pretty much everything by BGC.
Excellent colab guys.