ReMix: Sonic the Hedgehog 'Clockwork Criminal'
5,245,109 bytes, 3:28, 198kbps
Streaming preview on YouTube
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."
"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!
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 :)
- Rexy on January 8, 2012
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.
- PROTO·DOME on June 28, 2011
- Arceace on June 18, 2011
- gandalf0987 on June 11, 2011
- Klemon on June 1, 2011
- Bamahut on May 29, 2011
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."
- halc on May 27, 2011
- Transmogrificational Tune on May 26, 2011
- Crulex on May 25, 2011
- MechaFone on May 25, 2011
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
- Benjamin Briggs on May 25, 2011
- Brandon Strader on May 24, 2011
- djpretzel on May 24, 2011