ReMix: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior 'The Masked Man'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
Mr. Medford - who, besides a lone Super Metroid mix, has stuck mostly to RPGs - sends us this catchy, hybridized rendition of the classic 'Vega Stage' theme. If for some bizarre, inexplicable reason you haven't yet seen the Flash animation (on YouTube, too) that Psycosis91 put together for José's arrangement of the same source, uh... please do, for it is awesome. But that is that, and this is this; Nutritious writes:
"This remix was created for the Street Fighter II remix competition at trackitdown.net. It was one of those mixes for me that just clicked very quickly - I think I ended up finishing it in 3-4 days. My intention was to keep a lot of the Spanish flavor from the original in the use of solo trumpet, acoustic guitar, and some auxiliary percussion; but also bring it to a more cinematic breakbeat-type style with orchestra and... er.... beats.
I tried to get enough realism from the guitar and trumpet (both sample-based) to be passable for a Spanish feel, since those tend to be prominent instruments in the genre. The guitar especially took some work to get both sustained strums and quick solo playing to the point I felt comfortable keeping them."
I remember when this competition was going on, wondering what the entries would sound like, so it's cool to actually hear one. Justin's usual style is more epic orchestral, so it's definitely branching out for him to do something like this, which blends orchestral elements with Spanish, adds some processed acoustic beats and gated synths, and comes out with something that initially sounds cinematic. Then there's a tempo shift that, well... really took me by surprise, actually. I'm not entirely sure I would have mixed up the tempo so much, as this particular accelerando (starting at 1'03") struck me as awkward, but afterward the mix picks up and further transitions are smoother. To nitpick, I think the mix's percussive needs might have been better served by more electronic drums; the castanets are perfect, but when the mix gets "synthier" with the gated stuff, it felt a little odd to have a normal acoustic kit under the hood, powering everything. Your mileage may vary, though: none of the judges had issues with tempo transitions, and some specifically complimented them, so perhaps I'm just a curmudgeonly old man. OA writes:
"Great breakdowns and pretty effective tempo changes, and though I am aching for some live guitar up in this, I certainly won't turn my nose up. Cool synths and orchestra, and decent beats, but I think one thing you should focus on upcoming tracks is making some natural fills and really making the drums come alive. You have a good ear for writing cool patterns, but having some one-off tom hits here and there, or a slightly altered rhythm for a split second before returning to your regularly scheduled groove would take it to the next level."
I definitely agree with the drum fills comment - of course, that's easy for Andrew to say, since he's awesome at doing exactly that. While I'll have to go on record that I did not think the tempo changes were as seamless or graceful as they could have been, what I dig about this mix is that it represents a stylistic departure for the artist, in more ways than one. Source material is different, instrumentation is different, genre(s) are different - this is Nutritious outside of his comfort zone, or at least his established oeuvre here on OCR, and it sounds good. I think with some development Justin could easily do great pieces in pretty much any genre he chooses, and I'm certainly looking forward to it if he continues branching out. Either way, it's a win-win, and this is a solid, enjoyable Vega mix.
It's good, I like it, but it just doesn't do a lot to leave a lasting impression on me. Really the only thing aurally interesting here is the tempo changes, nothing much else...
- 42 on December 2, 2009
You really expanded on a few good ideas and trekked through some uncharted waters, stylistically-speaking, so kudos on that! :-D
- Emunator on December 1, 2009
- Bahamut on November 24, 2009
- Martin Penwald on November 23, 2009
- metalsnakejuice on November 20, 2009
- Sir_Downunder on November 17, 2009
BUT - I do like this! I just am not as wowed as I'd like to be. Some pretty awesome stuff that is going on is the fact that Justin is really expanding his groove to new levels, and I can bet that in not too many mixes he will be rocking this out very well. Secondly, as usual, Justin really knows how to fill the entire soundfield well, and it really helps this mix have that epic feel that people are commenting on.
Keep them coming, Justin!
- DragonAvenger on November 11, 2009
- BorgMan on November 11, 2009
- Dhsu on November 10, 2009
Therefore this piece is awesome.
- Lucentas on November 10, 2009
- MechaFone on November 10, 2009
- OA on November 10, 2009
- Crulex on November 10, 2009
- djpretzel on November 10, 2009