ReMix: Tails and the Music Maker "Picolescence"

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Tails and the Music Maker

Sega Pico... probably not the first system that comes to mind when you think of classic video game music. Or even classic video games. In fact, the Pico probably doesn't come to mind at all for most people, on any list, since it's a relatively obscure, primarily educational platform that, at time of writing, isn't even represented on GameFAQs or Mobygames. Nevertheless, Sega (or more specifically Sega's Twitter presence) recently called us out on our shocking, apparently shameful lack of Pico mixes. Tongue-in-cheek? Sure. Sarcastic and not at all serious? You bet... but leave it to Larry to organize, ala 'Hurry!', a serious musical response to a passing comment made on Intarwebs. So yes, we're going out of cycle for this one and giving you the panel's own zircon with his take on everybody's FAVORITE source tune... uhh... 'Travels with Tails: Invitation Screen'... from the unforgettable... uhh... Tails and the Music Maker. Definitely brings back the memories. I can feel 'em... those memories... just a' comin' back... the nostalgia almost consumes me...

Alright, maybe not so much, but if anyone can make lemonade, it's Andy. He writes:

"When SEGA threw down the gauntlet and Larry made the challenge for ReMixers to create arrangements from the Sega Pico platform, I couldn't resist. However, I also didn't have much free time so I had to really get in the zone. After selecting a source (which was hard enough, given the lack of Pico videos on YouTube) I created this track from start to finish in about 3 hours - a personal best. I took some liberties with slowing down and shaping the very basic source melody and setting it to heavily atmospheric chords and downtempo beats, then speeding it up later for a drum n' bass section. The hardest part here was just getting all the instruments to sit properly in the mix. That alone took about an hour.

Anyway, I'm really proud of this one, especially given the time constraint. Maybe now people will stop saying I never remix obscure stuff :P"

He and Jill are actually in Japan right now (JEALOUS), but it's cool he had the time to birth this creation before his departure. Three studio hours for zircon is like nine hours for the rest of us, as he's polished his Fruity workflow down to a science. That sounds somehow inappropriate... At any rate, this definitely wins all sorts of obscurity points, although the context of its creation feels more like Flick being double-dog dared to lick the icy pole in A Christmas Story than, say, being inspired more organically by an obscure source. But you know what? Actually sounds pretty damn hot... there IS a substantive melody, Andy's production has a nice Asian-infused electronica thing going on, and slowing the source down was 110% the right thing to do. Most of the game's music is public-domain/classical stuff, but this little theme is for real, and at half-tempo it really does work as a legit, usable source, resulting in a great ReMix. So THERE, Sega: We've got a Pico ReMix! Back at ya!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Black_Doom
on 2015-01-12 14:35:39

Hmm... This doesn't sound like a typical zircon mix. It's more reminiscent of Radiowar's "Quicksilver" - it has the same cold, glassy vibe too. That's cool. But when I've almost drowned in ambience of this mix, that moment at 2:17 actually kicked me a bit. Quite groovy piece.

timaeus222
on 2013-02-08 13:42:06

I can't resist either.

After reading this:

"When SEGA threw down the gauntlet and Larry made the challenge for ReMixers to create arrangements from the Sega Pico platform, [zircon] couldn't resist..."

I feel like Andy actually said to himself... "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED."

Crulex
on 2012-09-26 11:45:08

Tails had a game? Wow. Anyway, an impressive ReMix in a span of three hours. I wouldn't have believed it if it was Zircon. And once again, Zircon creates something with an amazing beat and I have to say that this is probably the best Pico ReMix I've ever heard. And I mean ever.

urdailywater
on 2011-07-27 21:30:33

So listening back, I think throughout 2011 so far, this still tops as one of my favorite remixes so far this year. What I especially love about this mix is the the airy sound that comes from all the reverb mixed with the pads. The whole song sounds so elegant, but at the same time it still has a beat to it that pumps me up. It just sounds like the song shouldn't have ended where it did, though. I really thought a lot more could have been done, IMO. But it's nothing I'm complaining about too much, really.

One thing that's sad about this remix is the fact that just because it's not from a Zelda or Chrono Trigger mix, it will probably be overlooked by a lot of people for no good reason. This is an amazing remix. Definitely worth a download.

Nonamer
on 2011-04-16 02:49:31
OK, I am the composer of this little piece of overlooked (and rightly so) video game music from the 90s. I composed 10 or 15 of these kinds tracks. For this game I was told that the end sound in the game was basically just a very short synth blip, so I composed on a synth with a square wave with a short sustain. Memory was very expensive back then. I mean like $50 a megabyte. Anyway, it was just the one or 2 voices as I recall and so I decided the only way to keep things "interesting" was to write with a lot of counterpoint. I was quite happy with my results considering the limitations. But low and behold when I went into the office to hear the final product it was worse than I could have ever imagined. They had actually edited out notes of the composition because of limitations in memory and limitations in melodic range without ever consulting me on the final result. It was absolutely horrible sounding.

Reason #2 OCR is awesome: Actual VG artists comment here.

Do you think that ever since this remix, people's interest in the game (or even game system) has spiked?

EDIT: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Zircon you are awesome for making this mix!

muzikmakur
on 2011-04-16 01:57:58

OK, I am the composer of this little piece of overlooked (and rightly so) video game music from the 90s. I composed 10 or 15 of these kinds tracks. For this game I was told that the end sound in the game was basically just a very short synth blip, so I composed on a synth with a square wave with a short sustain. Memory was very expensive back then. I mean like $50 a megabyte. Anyway, it was just the one or 2 voices as I recall and so I decided the only way to keep things "interesting" was to write with a lot of counterpoint. I was quite happy with my results considering the limitations. But low and behold when I went into the office to hear the final product it was worse than I could have ever imagined. They had actually edited out notes of the composition because of limitations in memory and limitations in melodic range without ever consulting me on the final result. It was absolutely horrible sounding.

Martin Penwald
on 2011-04-06 16:15:31

It took a while, but now I finally remembered which other OCRemix this one reminds me of: Bando alle Seghe

Both are very relaxed, Enigma-esque songs. For the most part, that is; after all, the remix at hand picks up quite some speed in the second half.

Awesome stuff.

DeepChild
on 2011-04-04 07:23:04

I threw this into a playlist at work along with a bunch of newly downloaded remixes and hit play. It was a few days before I really caught on to this mix. It ended and jumped to the next track and I thought to myself, "what was that? That was sweet."

I stopped what I was doing and really concentrated on the music. Wow, what a beautiful piece!

ffian1
on 2011-03-31 18:46:31

Wow....

Shouldn't have expected anything less, but man....

I love this stuff

EtherEel
on 2011-03-27 05:24:29

The game cover is absolutely silly - quite a stark contrast to how awesome that song of yours is.

WesternZypher
on 2011-03-08 14:07:51

Beautiful, man, just amazing!

ProjectSpam
on 2011-02-20 16:47:19

Absolutely amazing.

This is probably one of my favorite tracks from you. The production is incredible, but this is just... super-pretty to listen to. But at the same time, I feel like a badass. I'm not sure how often I get those two feelings at the same time.

Skinner3D
on 2011-02-19 23:06:46

Dude Zircon I have a bone to pick with you.

:razz:

I can't stop listening to this song and its your fault. It was running through my head just now so I had to get on the computer and listen to it again.

Anyway that is all I have to say. :mrgreen: Amazing work. :)

zircon
on 2011-02-16 09:09:30

Thanks for the very kind words, all! I wasn't sure if people would like this or not.

Sir_Downunder
on 2011-02-14 07:40:52

Not familiar with the source, or the system, but I know that I love this track!

This seriously took you only three hours from start to finish though? Damn, here's hoping I gain talent like that eventually...

Anywho, solid mix Zircon!