ReMix: Fittest "Morse's Morsecode" 4:16

By Joshua Morse

Artist Links
funky jazz piano synth
Arranging the music of one song...

"Morsecode"

Primary Game: Fittest (Microsoft Game Studios, 2009, XB360), music by zircon

Posted 2010-01-24, evaluated by djpretzel


Well, this is quite a cool moment. As OCR has persisted over the years we've seen plenty of artists improve their craft, branch out, and even make headway into the game industry. It's both humbling and rewarding to know that OCR played some part, however small, in that development, and to see people fulfilling their potential while still actively participating in the community. Right at the end of 2009, Andy stepped down from his role as judge, but remains a musical force-to-be-reckoned-with and a trusted adviser. One can certainly understand why he was unable to judge as frequently as called for, since he had a very busy couple of years. Among (many) other things, in 2008 he scored the soundtrack to Fittest, an XBLA shmup that was later released in June of '09. You may not have played it or even heard of it, but hopefully the sheer fact that it's got a kickin' soundtrack by zircon is enough motivation for you to check it out. At any rate, Andy drew on some community influences when scoring the game, including the music of Mr. Joshua Morse. He explains:

"For years now I've been a fan of Joshua Morse's music (both originals and remixes), in particular his slick production style and amazing sense of harmony. However, it wasn't until the end of my college career, after taking classes in jazz theory, improvisation and playing in a jazz fusion ensemble, that I was actually able to emulate that harmonic sense. I put those skills to work on the Fittest soundtrack, where I had to do music for a level where all the art was food-based. I thought that setting would sound somehow funky and "cool", so I decided to make a track that really paid tribute to JM and even named it "Morsecode" as a subtle nod.

Once it was done, I sent it to Josh and was relieved to hear that he enjoyed it. Imagine my surprise when, on my 22nd birthday, I get a message from him saying that he had remixed the track! I still can't help but smile every time I think about it; talk about an awesome birthday present. As for the remix itself, all I have to say is that I love it. LOVE IT! I really couldn't have asked for anything more, and hope you all enjoy it as much as I did."

Pretty neat story, that - sorta like a big musical karma boomerang - influence breeding expression by homager, homage then being reinterpreted by homagee. Story at eleven. Things intro solo piano, then a haunting, bitcrushed/reversed motif segues into the super-funk bassline that gets the whole mix jumping. It's pretty hyperactive, a little faster than jm's usual tempos, and I like that he employs some different lead textures, like the calliope-ish patch that trades riffs with piano. There's also really deliciously funky clean elec guitar going on, a boatload of synths, disco-fabulous unison string runs, and a nice cymbal crash fade ending. It's classy, funky, super-effective, and very flamboyantly sequenced. Of course, from a certain angle, since it's Morse mixing source that he himself was the original inspiration for, there's a strange level of meta-narcissism afoot... but not really: the original was Andy havin' some good clean fun, and this is Joshua doing the same.

It's awesome that our first XBLA mix was from a game scored by an artist who's been so involved in the community, and ReMixed by an artist who inspired the source material to begin with. It's the type of thing I never could have anticipated back when I started the site, and seems almost like an elaborate soap opera plot twist... DID Andy know, after five years in a COMA, that Joshua Morse was actually his COUSINS' MOTHER'S LONG LOST UNCLE? And a SPACE ALIEN!?!? etc. Run a site like this long enough, and I guess you'll see a bit of everything, but this is definitely the good (I'd say great) side of that equation. Awesome mix from jm, awesome original by zircon.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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timaeus222
on 2015-05-28 22:33:50

This is one of my favorites of yours, man. Loved the jazz solos, and DAT CHIFFY LEAD. Really makes your "sound" distinct.

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Crulex
on 2012-07-23 15:11:12

Probably my favorite Morse ReMix so far. Just love the piano intro that dives right into a nice jazzy little beat. When it comes to funky groovy ReMixes, who better than Morse? The breakdown and outro were done terrifically and the whole ReMix just ties itself up nicely.

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Martin Penwald
on 2010-02-08 15:07:16

The gentle piano in the beginning makes you think that you're in for a relaxed remix, but then it suddenly picks up speed and turns incredibly funky. Faster than JM's usual stuff, but just as enjoyable.

Great remix, and hilarious story behind it.

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Nase
on 2010-02-07 12:59:55

Pretty fun, though not my fav Morse piece. All the soloing over the frantic groove is very smooth, but it lacks memorability to me.

What really stuck in my head though is the disco strings hookline. hella infectious. I would've loved to hear more variations of that in the mix.

Ah well, still a solid tune, constantly high levels on my funk-o-meter.

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Bahamut
on 2010-01-31 13:57:49

This has a pretty nice groove to it - pretty much on par for the course for JM's stuff.

I don't really have much to say except keep on grooving!

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yosefu
on 2010-01-29 09:10:50

This mix sounds strange but in a good way i love it.

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DiggiDis
on 2010-01-28 07:00:14

Face.

Excellent dude.

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zircon
on 2010-01-27 01:51:05
This is REALLY smooth, yet very upbeat, reminds me a lot of Castlevania: Sonata of the Damned, no huge surprise of course with the same man behind it! I basically saw Joshua Morse and was like, ok, this is going to own, and bam, it does just that.

This is my favorite style of remix, and I haven't even heard the source, speaking of which, anywhere I can hear that? I do love comparing mixes to the source, not that there's anything that could make me dislike this mix.

I really hope most people don't let the fact that this is from a game they've never heard of stop them from checking this out, this is smooth goodness to the max, and what a great story to go with it!

You can listen to the source here:

And if you want to hear the rest of the soundtrack, it's available on my site (click sig) :-)

Glad you all are enjoying this tune as much as I did. Awesome stuff JM!!

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OA
on 2010-01-26 09:34:33

Great percussive textures on this one, the bit crushed section at the beginning is great, and it gets even crazier as the track progresses. I don't think anyone on OCR uses a clavinet as well as Morse. Excellent stuff. :-)

I loved the breakdown, and all the funkiness.

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ZealPath
on 2010-01-26 05:36:24

This is REALLY smooth, yet very upbeat, reminds me a lot of Castlevania: Sonata of the Damned, no huge surprise of course with the same man behind it! I basically saw Joshua Morse and was like, ok, this is going to own, and bam, it does just that.

This is my favorite style of remix, and I haven't even heard the source, speaking of which, anywhere I can hear that? I do love comparing mixes to the source, not that there's anything that could make me dislike this mix.

I really hope most people don't let the fact that this is from a game they've never heard of stop them from checking this out, this is smooth goodness to the max, and what a great story to go with it!

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ilp0
on 2010-01-25 04:43:35

Insane amount of groove. This is great stuff!

You've got vintage/classic sounds

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Clavus
on 2010-01-24 17:27:07

I bought most of zircon's albums, so I remember the original. Great remix! The story behind it makes it even more fun.

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Elsewhere
on 2010-01-24 13:20:11

Amazing mix. I really enjoyed it.

Probably one of my favorites I've heard by you too actually.

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Geoffrey Taucer
on 2010-01-24 12:05:12

So this is morse paying tribute to zircon paying tribute to morse.

Is this some sort of twisted musical masturbation?

At any rate, awesome mix, and the story behind it is awesome on so many levels.

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Hollidayrain
on 2010-01-24 07:53:42

Aside from a kickass mix, this whole story is just amazing....gotta love OCRemix!

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Fittest (Microsoft Game Studios, 2009, XB360)
Music by zircon
Songs:
"Morsecode"

Tags (4)


Genre:
Jazz
Mood:
Funky
Instrumentation:
Piano, Synth
Additional:

File Information


Name:
Fittest_Morse's_Morsecode_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
6,232,547 bytes
MD5:
0f2c9b8d6df3a82e1a8a0ea8f3c87894
Bitrate:
192Kbps
Duration:
4:16

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