ReMix: Cave Story "The Unbroken"
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Happy New Year!! Even though I've been busy spending time w/ family, I couldn't NOT post a mix on the first day of 2012, and this breakthrough arrangement from Nutritious seems like a great way to kick off the year, setting the right tone. I wanted 2011 to be a year of change for the site, but it instead ended up being a year of both increased quantity & quality - which I can't argue with too much, either. While we definitely want to continue posting more mixes and albums and make this new year even better than the last, I'm also at this point rather hellbent on instituting some more fundamental improvements & additions to the site itself. I'll need a lot of help - from the entire community, not just staff - as we start implementing new features, revisiting & revising existing policies, and expanding the idea of what OC ReMix, at its best, can be. It's going to require open-mindedness, new ideas, hard work, and perserverance, and I think all of those concepts are well-illustrated by this vocal Cave Story mix from Justin:
"This submission really is me coming full circle. The first mix I ever submitted to ocr was for this same source tune - which was given up on after 3 rejections. This is a completely different take on the source, going for some sort of orchestral/pendulum combination. Given my first few mixes, people seem to be taken back when I do something that's not straight orchestral. So I tried to throw in a bit of a surprise with the beat/synths & later vocals.
I spent a lot more time processing the vocals than I ever have previously. I used 4 different vocoders on and off throughout the mix, as well as autotuned harmonies for the pre-chorus and bridge. I tried to get as big a sound as possible (a la Pendulum) once everything kicks in - which I think I accomplished a LOT more effectively with this mix than my previous Return All Robots submission. Source-wise, this is admittedly a bit more on the liberal side than my usual. The intro and verses only really connect to the source via chord usage. Source should be pretty apparent, though, when the beat & synths kick in, as well as pre-chorus, bridge, & instrumental chorus."
Finally getting a chance to meet Justin in person for PAX Prime was one of my personal highlights of last year; it was interesting talking to him about how he manages his time between his job, OCR, and his family & children, a balance that is going to become increasingly relevant for many of us. We had fun checking out Seattle's Pike Place Market and chilling while the rest of the crew went back to the con for more swag & networking, and talked a lot about OCR and making music. This mix is pretty darn different for Justin, even from his previous arrangements that incorporated more electronic elements, and while it comes full circle in the sense that it revisits a previously arranged source, it definitely colors outside the lines & creates a whole new circle for him, stylistically. I think saying "orchestral/Pendulum combination, w/ vocals" does describe the mix pretty accurately, but the key thing is that he pulls it off with some very confident, high-impact execution. Unanimous praise from the judges is well-deserved - Deia:
"Gotta say, listening to this felt way faster than 5:10. It's probably because it's awesome. Love all the elements you have in here, and the vocals are incorporated well. I thought the source was clear, and approached appropriately. Great overall use of orchestral and more mainstream synths/instruments."
"Love it, keep improving, dude. Possibly your best yet, IMO."
"to keep it short, I think this should have been direct posted. great arrangement, excellent sounds and production, and kickass vocals to boot. I have no complaints whatsoever."
"Justin was showing me this periodically throughout the development and it was just always getting more awesome every time I heard it. Excellent work man, this will be a bit of a classic I think."
I certainly hope so; great, fresh, creative mix that shows a whole other side to an already-amazing artist - exactly the way I think we should enter the new year.
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