ReMix: Sonic the Hedgehog "Clockwork Criminal"

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Sonic the Hedgehog: The Sound of SpeedSonic the Hedgehog

Annie... are you OK?? While the late great MJ gave us criminality of the smooth persuasion, WillRock offers up his clockwork-flavored take on 'Scrap Brain Zone':

"I was a little late to finding out about the sonic 1 project and as a result all the tracks were taken when found out about it. However, due to some fortune scrap brain zone was put up for claiming and halc came to me and asked me if I'd like to claim it. This remix started when I grabbed alot of Sonic sfx samples and started to mess around with them to form a basis for my drum groove. From there I just let the music flow out and came up with something pretty funky compared to the original which is probably something between Michael Jackson, Streets of Rage music and added chiptune elements."

You just can't go too wrong when combining those three components, especially when you've got the telepathic ability to manipulate synthesizers at will, using only the power of your own brain, as WR has been rumored to possess. Like more than one mix off of Sound of Speed, in-game fx are used heavily, and again like more than one, there's a funky electronica/chiptune vibe. Deia writes:

"I think that despite the low amount of source in here, this comes across pretty instantly as Sonic music. Some of it is the sound affects, but a lot of it is the style you approached it with, and how often you return to the source. I love the funky feel throughout."

Shariq adds:

"Really diggin' the SFX usage. Very smart. Melody and beat is sufficiently groovy. I love those major key sections. I usually associate Scrap Brain with a very dark sound, but this feels bright. Rock out."

Really sweet solos towards the end; yeah, there's a lot of original material added, but there's a lot of source, too, and what's cool is how well they blend: this easily sounds like it could have been an extended cut of the original, by Nakamura himself. That's high praise, in my mind, but deserved - awesome cut off an awesome album!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 14 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Black_Doom
on 2015-02-20 22:54:38

Ok, I don't find it liberal and have no problems with recogizing the source. I love how Will handled the orginal source tune, which sounded dark and gloomy. Will made it shine. It's still dark a bit, but has a unique flavor. It's badass. It's groovy. I love how he used various sfx. My most favorite moment here are drop-off at 1:32. It gives this mix some charm. Awesome!

Rexy
on 2012-01-08 16:55:02

Heya Will :)

I remember this track fondly from The Sound of Speed, namely for all the creativity placed behind the accompaniment writing. And to see there was indeed some inspiration from Michael Jackson's 80s/90s pop work involved was a good direction to take for what seemed to be a more blander source tune from Sonic 1.

I enjoyed it a lot back then because it managed to capture this more industralised nature of the zone to a T, and is emphasized equally when compared to the other tracks on the album which for the most part tended to use more organic instrumentation (or in halc's and Ben Briggs's case, playful chiptune elements). Even the arrangement was marked as recognisable and plain fun, and with all the Sonic sound effects thrown in, what we have here as a result is something that is both quirky and accessible, and can be seen as a huge draw for Will's work.

The judges may have been talking about "low source" here, and even so it barely makes it by only just hitting the 50% mark from what I've been noting down (unless they were counting the Sonic sound effect solos which may account for more time?), but what he did with the source was that he managed to handle it in a very respectable fashion, from the instrumentation choices down to the detail writing to even fitting in a Final Zone reference on the accompaniment at 2:04 - very appropriate given that it's the last fully-fledged zone in the game.

Can't find much to criticise about the production; for the most part it's very clean and easily identifiable. The synths are well modulated and neatly expressed, everything feels well spaced and we have great means of expression elsewhere to really shape the track's progression. Only real qualm that I seem to have may have been the loudness of the snare in comparison to the drums, or maybe that the acoustic tone may not quite seem to fit quite so well in a track of this kind of genre, but they may be seen as nitpicks for what can be seen as a great track overall.

So yes, great track from TSoS, and I am hoping that you will keep up providing the pseudo-80s flavor for 2012! Keep representing us Brits :)

PROTO·DOME
on 2011-06-28 08:42:45

SFX perc. FTW.

You make a bad source so freakin' funky, some of the off beat, complex rhythms are some of your best dude. Love love love it.

Arceace
on 2011-06-18 00:22:17

The intro is simply ingenious. I have always thought that it would be cool if someone were to make a remix using the sound effects from the original game. You have some pretty crazy skills.

gandalf0987
on 2011-06-11 12:18:30

Your talent is amazing. Thank you for giving us this remix.

Klemon
on 2011-06-01 16:36:47

One of my favourites in Sound of Speed, glad to see it get front page exposure. Unlike many previous posters, I actually like the Scrap Brain music, and this track is an amazingly awesome take on it.

Bamahut
on 2011-05-29 12:58:17

An awesome remix of one of my favorite music from Sonic, the FX at the start fit in well!

halc
on 2011-05-27 15:26:23

2:9 And when halc doth heard the garbage now become gold,

and didn't know where it came from (but the servant who had delivered the remix knew),

halc called to his adherents,

2:10 and said to them,

"We hath been Rocked."

Transmogrificational Tune
on 2011-05-26 12:58:54

Now there's a relatively untapped source for music: work the very sound effects of the game itself into the tune then go crazy. *Applauds

Crulex
on 2011-05-25 12:29:35

I always hated the original tune to Scrap Brain Zone. You know you have an awesome ReMix when something great can be made from a tune that....well, isn't that great. The SFX were a really good addition to the mix and the the melody fit right in with the original pieces. I'm really impressed and it has a nice groovy sound to it. Nice job!

MechaFone
on 2011-05-25 11:10:24

Wonderfully funky and full of fun sounds that blend together and make this remix awesome. Well done!

Benjamin Briggs
on 2011-05-25 02:12:03

this is my personal favorite track on the album... I've gotten used to and learned to HATE the original track from the OST, this remix has become a kind of testament-- in my mind, at least-- to the audacity of the "profession" we choose as arrangers:

sometimes we have to take utter shit and turn it into gold, but don't ever doubt that one of us (probably willrock or protodome) can remix it with flying colors

Brandon Strader
on 2011-05-24 23:39:42

I like the implications of the Clockwork Criminal title in regards to stopwatching, and the many original bits in here. Solid mix, good work Will! :-)

djpretzel
on 2011-05-24 23:20:22

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.