ReMix: SimCity 2000 'SimFunkadelic'
4,160,980 bytes, 2:50, 192kbps
Streaming preview on YouTube
Yes! We've been posting some excellent mixes of console games, older and newer, lately, but there's a veritable ocean of awesome music out there from the old DOS and earlier Windows era - not to mention Amiga, Atari ST, and Mac - just waiting to be explored. Far from obscure, SimCity 2000 was a huge hit at the time, had some funky OPL3 (and S-YXG50) tunage, and is well deserving of a modern update. Newcomers HALO_ZERO and Dr. Velvet (Cody & Adam Walton) are just the brothers for the job. Cody writes:
"This is my first submission. I've been a fan of OC ReMix since nearly the beginning, but never really thought I could participate until recently. My foray into remixing came after Trent Reznor started releasing his tracks in Apple GarageBand format. A little over a year ago I created a NIN+FFVII mashup/remix album called F1N4LF4NT4S7Z3R0 (http://codywalton.com/ff7z/). I received generally positive feedback from people on both the OCR forums and the NIN forums, and that just encouraged me to keep trying new remixes (though I still work in GarageBand... for now).
The inspiration for this particular track came from my realization that music from one of my favorite games ever, SimCity 2000, was not represented on OCR. A tragedy! This had to be rectified. After a few unsuccessful attempts at doing something in a Grunge theme I settled on Funk (an easy transition from the Jazz influenced original soundtrack). This particular arrangement is a combination of original performance, midi, and loops. Arranged and mastered by me (amateur musician and remixer) with some additional guitar tracks from my brother Adam (Dr. Velvet, professional musician and guitar maestro)."
For a first submission, after years of visiting, I'd say Cody hit the nail on the head. Also, just as an aside, I love the nick "Dr. Velvet", because it sounds like a form of generic Dr. Pepper that's trying to get as close to the brand name without trademark infringement. I've actually seen Dr. Fizz, Mr. Flavor, and (my personal favorite), Dr. Smooth out there in the real world, and I think some grocery store out there is now obligated to release Dr. Velvet, if they haven't already. I remember when Cody posted about F1N4LF4NT4S7Z3R0, and it's cool that he's been able to follow that up with an individual submission that's more in line w/ OCR's focus. Judges initially took issue w/ some brass that was faky enough to negatively affect the track, but Cody swapped that out for organ that maintained the funk and sounded much better. Vinnie writes:
"I remember this ditty from when I was a kid playing this game on my Mac, using the cheat code to put up arcologies within my first month as mayor (good times). This kicks life into that simple little track, instantly recognizable as a remix of it but much more colorful. Man, that brass is wrecking what is otherwise a delicious track. I've half a mind to pass this anyway... but alas, I can't.
Edit (3/20): Brass replaced with an organ that sounds much better than the brass. I can't help but wish we could get some live brass there instead, but the organ definitely does the job keeping the funkiness. It's a little longer now too, with some synth-y stuff going on towards the end."
I don't know about you, but I for one am shocked and chagrinned that Vinnie used CHEAT CODE (!) as a kid - for shame. The brass-organ swapout was a plus, and overall the mix of slap bass, clavinet, and wah guitar is hard not to get into; there's a bit of repetition, but it's broken up by breaks & pauses that fit the funk mold nicely. I respect and admire the restraint in NOT throwing a James Brown shout sample in here, but I think when I listen to this mix I'm gonna do so myself. In my mind. Great stuff from the Walton brothers, mixing a source that should have some nostalgic resonance with the "older" crowd and be funky enough for everyone.
- Crulex on August 29, 2012
So I got to say I'm loving the funk-driven take on this one, given that the original was already kind of bass/groove heavy. Velvet's recorded guitars were extremely tasteful and have shown a great amount of precision and expression towards them, not to mention those are some sick wahs :D
I could've even mistaken the bass for the real thing, given that there's no mention of any bass recording in the description; that's a very strong tone being given out towards it. The additional electric parts accompanying it were definitely well spaced and added to the atmosphere.
To be fair, I don't really understand why it kept getting conditional/NO votes from the panel. Going by the assumption that the organ part originally had brass I could understand, but as it stands I felt it's an extremely well polished contribution towards a more underlooked game. Really digging the approach a lot, and I hope you guys come back soon :)
- Rexy on December 28, 2011
Arrow;687281 wrote: I can never get enough of funk remixes, so this was particularly delicious to me.
Seconded. As someone who loves songs like El Lagarto and the music from the very first GTA, the remix at hand is a treat. The choice of instruments is perfect, particularly the guitars and the organ. The sound of the guitar coming in at 0:37 is awesome; same goes for 1:05.
Not much to criticise; the ending is a bit abrupt, and the volume is rather low.
- Martin Penwald on July 1, 2010
Or perhaps you thought that would be tacky? I must know: was "to add samples or not add samples" a question you grappled with?
- bjnartowt on June 28, 2010
I have to echo the TOO SHORT criticism. You really could have gone on for at least another minute or two with what you had without overstaying your welcome, because the groove you mustered up with this makes me salivate for more. The guitar and bass riffs are so tasty, shaft-style. Love the stereo you used on the guitar hard-panning. You processed them very very well, just like the rest of the mix. Nice use of percussion too. This is one of those mixes that keeps my attention just because of how it is layered.
Kickass song, dudes. Keep it up, I can't wait to hear more.
- Level 99 on June 16, 2010
That's my only criticism - this brings the funk big time! Keep it up!
- LuigiFan on June 16, 2010
Thank you for sharing this, it's awesome.
- luhny on June 15, 2010
- Giolon on June 14, 2010
If I *had* to be critically constructive about anything (only because you asked!), I'd say the very short intro made me stumble a bit. Maybe it's the pause. But then it picked right up and never stopped. Great!
- Thrull on June 14, 2010
Mad props, I can't wait to hear more! :-)
- OA on June 14, 2010
- halozero on June 13, 2010
- Ramaniscence on June 13, 2010
- Dafydd on June 13, 2010
- Arrow on June 13, 2010
- djpretzel on June 13, 2010