ReMix: Marble Madness 'raMble and Mess'
4,502,120 bytes, 3:05, 192kbps
Streaming preview on YouTube
This one's an interesting electronica track that's definitely gonna rub some folks the wrong way. Why? Well, it's very repetitive. Sure, so's the source, but newcomer Justin Tense has crafted a 3+ minute mix where, the majority of the time, you've got the same octave-jumping 16th-note synth motif going on. Obviously, if it literally just repeated verbatim, we wouldn't be having this conversation and the panel wouldn't have passed it. Justin modulates the motif quite a bit timbrally, and the texture and accompaniment both evolve over time. In a weird way, it's like Philip Glass meets perky electronica meets Marble Madness. The artist writes:
"I grew up with the NES and the music of it’s gaming era as well as that of it’s big brother the SNES helped shaped my mindset into loving electronic music as much as I do today. I wanted to remix a track that was originally produced by the one man that has influenced me the most in my electronic music productions, David Wise. I wanted to stay faithful to the original production as its simplistic yet hypnotic tune will be forever remembered as one of the tracks to the soundtrack of my youth."
I did find myself Zenning out a bit, getting lost in the constant, incessant pattern and hypnotically following the subtle variation. I think, if you left this mix on loop for too long, you could go quite insane. In the membrane, even. Personally, in single doses, I dig it - it's a good example of taking something short, simple, and straightforward and maintaining that purity while adding depth and subtle gradation. Shariq writes:
"Source is pretty simple, so I figure this will primarily be a groovy-oriented mix. Ah, pretty cool old-school sound. I don't mind the 16-notes that much; they go just far enough and change just in time before things get annoying. Pretty good job with the variation, considering the source."
"Aight, let's see what can be done with an 8 second loop :) Gotta admit, despite my skepticism I'm leaning on the same side as Shariq on this one. I'm a minute and a half into it, and Justin's actually done a pretty good job varying it up so far. Changing up the groove and the textures, which is pretty critical with such a ridiculously short source tune."
I think having some nostalgia for the source material helps, digging electronica certainly won't hurt, and having the patience to observe and appreciate small change over time is key. If you do have those three things going for you, chances are you're gonna dig this, otherwise maybe not so much. Either way, it's a distinct and - dare I say - challenging bit of electronica VGM action, mixing a classic NES score. Nice title, too!
- Crulex on July 18, 2012
I like discovering the subtle variations in each iteration of the loop.
- Cash and Change on June 2, 2012
But from what I'm witnessing, there's enough consideration to the chord timings in the opening pads that do help, as do the subtle rhythm synth modulations throughout. It does help to break the monotomy a bit by going into a nice little breakdown before aiming for the ending - nice move there. The production quality is definitely up there for the pitched instruments used as well, so that's definitely a plus.
People have already had the arrangement thing bang on the head, but if you're going for an electronic mix, then I'm not really sure if a muffled drum kit is the best way to go about it. In mixes like that I generally have a preference for my snares to be sharper at least, but if the intent is to take it into this more laid-back setting then I can live with it.
So I guess I'm kind of torn over this one. It does well to break the monotomy at times, though even then there's not a right lot that can be offered after those first few listens. It's still a decent debut, and I hope you'll come back to OCR with something else one of these days :)
- Rexy on December 7, 2011
- DragonAvenger on December 10, 2010
- Martin Penwald on January 26, 2010
- atomicthumbs on January 7, 2010
Overall though: Very nice and enjoyable. Quick and bubbly. And a reminder of game with more play in mind than music. I may go find the source to see the inspiration.
- Mini-Mal on January 7, 2010
On first listen, I felt like this song was pretty repetitive from about 0:33 and on. I know the variation is more subtle in the song, but perhaps the volume on some of those aspects should have been brought out a tad more for the perfect balance the way it's arranged.
It's certainly not your everyday song to appear on OCR though, that's for sure!
- Bahamut on January 7, 2010
I'm still a little torn on this one, but I think that the people can decide! Power to the people! I'd enjoy it more if those 16ths were more subdued, and possibly if there were some more legato passages to mix it up.
- OA on January 6, 2010
- Johnny B on January 6, 2010
Then... meh. It's not bad, the instrumentation is solid, and I'm sure it's very loyal to the source but frankly... considering what DOESN'T pass the panel these days I'm a little surprised this one did. I just find it pretty boring.
I can deal with repetition if it's subtle... repetitive doesn't seem to be as fitting a word as obnoxious.
But hey, some mixes grow on you and at 3 minutes and change I bet I'll be eating my words soon enough.
- Less Ashamed Of Self on January 6, 2010
- Hollidayrain on January 6, 2010
...AND THIS TUNE ENTERED MY HEAD AND NOW IT WON'T LEAVE GAH
Actually, insanity aside, this is quite good. The nostalgia factor is sadly lost on me, but I still enjoy this a great bit. Nice job, Justin!
- HitoriJaNai on January 6, 2010
- GCMdawg on January 6, 2010
- djpretzel on January 5, 2010