ReMix: Mass Effect "Nova Siberia"
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Ladies and gentlemen, after a good chunk of time that was indeed worth the wait, I'm proud to announce that we've published our community interview with the Mass Effect 2 composers, from Wall of Sound!
It's worth noting that while some of the artists involved in the ME2 soundtrack have done individual interviews, this is the first time they've been interviewed as a team - which is how they worked, after all, under the leadership of the mighty Jack Wall. Of course, we already shared the news that the judges' own Jimmy Hinson, aka Big Giant Circles, worked on said team, but we also tried something a bit different: for this interview, we solicited questions from the community, which we then selected, edited (just a tad!) for consistency, and presented to the men responsible for the soundtrack to one of the biggest sequels of the decade. So do read the interview - it's filled to the brim w/ compositional insight, background details about the team's collaborative process, ALIEN SEX, and the story of how one of OCR's own got involved in a truly epic project.
On top of THAT, we've got not one but TWO mixes from the first AND second game in the series, neither of which have been mixed before. With a multi-composer interview and a one-two ReMix combo punch, I think it's safe to say that today Mass Effect has taken over OverClocked ReMix. Up first is BGC himself, mixing the first game:
"A lot of people have asked me how I got to work on Mass Effect 2. It's sort of a long story and it's told in the interview that corresponds with the posting of this remix, also hosted on OC ReMix, so definitely give it a read if you want to know the full deal. But to summarize, Jack mentioned he'd enjoy some remixes from his work on Mass Effect 1 and I sent him this remix a few days afterwards. He loved it so much, he called me to ask if he could submit it to BioWare to see what they thought, thus beginning a pretty cool relationship with Jack that ultimately led to me becoming a part of his Wall of Sound team."
"OC ReMix Lands Some Random Punk Scoring Gig for A-list Major Video Game Soundtrack"?? That's a headline I can fall in love with. Of course, Jimmy is far from random, and has a well-earned reputation as probably the nicest guy in the community. His ego-to-talent ratio is downright incredible, too, since he's got mad skills and is constantly upping his game - and his sample library. Jimmy's far too full of music and kindness and ridiculously bad jokes to ever be full of himself, and I'm thrilled this opportunity came his way.
Of course, that's all truly great... but what about the mix? Jimmy introduces OCR to the world of Mass Effect with style, executing an atmospheric & cinematic arrangement that blends myriad synths with a rock beat, embellished by cross-panned electro stutter hats, while also working in some orchestral components. This mix sounds BIG - fills up my headphones and paints a picture of an interstellar ecosystem, bustling with activity. With a name like "Big Giant Circles," you can't make no small tiny rectangular music, you gotta bring it, and Mr. Hinson does.
This mix isn't huge in the "catchy melody" department - there's definitely melodic & harmonic "goings-on," but the real star is the aural habitat engineered through layers upon layers of ingredients. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, perhaps, but even the sum itself is pretty impressive when there's this many addends. Making all of that work is what takes the skills, otherwise you've got a meaningless stew. Chef Jimmy blends with care, and instead we've got a great Mass Effect mix from one of the Mass Effect 2 composers. Awesome stuff!
PS. - As a side note, Jimmy's been contributing to the Wall of Sound Twitter - be sure to follow it for even more WoS info!
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