ReMix: Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance 'Central Park (Metal Mix)'
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Get your weekend started off RIGHT with some Last Ninja 2 rock/metal action from newcomer Commando 64, aka Aki Järvinen:
"Here is my version of the ingame music from Last Ninja 2. Artist name is "Commando 64". Original composed by Matt Gray. All instruments and programming by me. Watch out for the solo in the end. Equipment: V-Amp 2, FL Studio 9 Producer edition XXL, Sonar, Sound forge, Jackson Soloist guitar."
Some side trivia: Composer Matt Gray went on to great success in the mainstream music industry and was part of the team behind Cher's autotune-popularizing "Believe" single, back in the day. Crazy, eh? So let me begin by saying that we don't get enough C64 and Amiga ReMixes. We don't get enough C64 and Amiga ReMixes. You too, Atari ST, I wouldn't forget you either. The Commodore systems sorta have their own scenes, and maybe that's part of it, but I'd love to see more artists submit mixes of games from those and other less-represented platforms. Judges were unanimous; OA writes:
"Pretty nice arrangement, and definitely a logical jump from the source material. Nice playing, with some really excellent soloing, and some tasteful use of synths as well. I wish the ending wasn't a fade-out though, as it just sounds sortof cheap compared to the rest of the quality of the track. The synth breakdown was nice, and transitioned well. The song plays it somewhat close to the original, but there are a good deal of minor interpretations, drum writing, and of course the soloing. I really like it, and it's an excellent source."
Agreed on the fadeout ending; I'm not 110% anti-fadeout across the board like some folks, but this one felt a little limp compared to the rockage-outage of the rest of the arrangement. Ultimately it didn't bother me too much, and the general chutzpah & aggression more than compensated. Mr. Wheeler concurs:
"not much to add here. I didn't have any big complaints with the mix, the performances and production were both solid (loved all the guitar slides and harmonics), and the arrangement is easily recognizable. never heard of this game, but great choice of source; reminds me of the Earthworm Jim soundtracks. nice work."
The whole Last Ninja series are pretty epic, and have some of the best music the SID was ever graced with, so check 'em all out when you get the chance, and in the meantime enjoy this epic metal jam from Commando 64!
- Crulex on November 5, 2012
- WesternZypher on March 23, 2012
I'd love to hear more though!
- Bahamut on December 15, 2011
Overall, a great track, and some powerful playing- I'm definitely excited to see what Matt comes up with next! :-)
- OA on December 12, 2011
Jest aside, this is actually a strong arrangement provided within the realms of the C64 community. Oftentimes when coming towards sources like this one may be expected for something almost entirely close to the source due to their complexity, though while there has been some change-ups here and there in regards to melodic progression it retains that familiarity with those familiar with the Last Ninja source material. The harmonics work at 2:10, though a little sour sounding at one point, can be seen as a key element for expansion, as was the more down-beat section at 2:35 set to offer a slight builddown towards going towards the rest of the track. The sweeps coming in at 4:50 were also very sublime, based around the last 30 seconds of the source; and it goes to show Commando's colors as a lead player as well.
This might've been a rambled paragraph, but to cut it short: C64, well personalised, nice playing chops. :wink:
Production-wise we have clear recording values for the guitar, though I can't help but notice the drums felt a little flimsy and didn't quite match with the quality of the synth instrumentation. But for what they are they fit the tone of the track appropriately. What seems to be the splitting decision more than anything though, and I believe it's been said already, is the weak fade-out ending which also involves the solo in it as well. I can understand the artistic direction given the nature of the source material, but in a genre like metal you've got to find more of an explosive way to finalise it.
As it is though, we've got a huge amount of promise from Commando 64, and I really hope he returns to OCR some point in the future with a stellar followup. I'll be keeping a hold on this one!
- Rexy on December 12, 2011
Gar23;802165 wrote: For some reason I get a strong 80's vibe from this mix. Makes me want to put on a red headband a denim jacket and watch some Van Damme movies.
- Martin Penwald on September 10, 2011
- Fridge on September 5, 2011
For some reason I get a strong 80's vibe from this mix. Makes me want to put on a red headband a denim jacket and watch some Van Damme movies.
- Garpocalypse on August 15, 2011
- eshman on August 7, 2011
- Swanky on August 7, 2011
Freakin...heavy...metal. It's got solid riffs and some seriously blistering solos - I could easily have seen that on the soundtrack for Brütal Legend. Very good stuff indeed. If you're a metal fan, it's certainly worth the download.
- DominusVita on August 6, 2011
- KyleJCrb on August 6, 2011
- Subz1987 on August 5, 2011
Good clarity and tone overall, very deft solos.
- Brandon Strader on August 5, 2011