ReMix: Retro City Rampage "Ignition"
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- Game: Retro City Rampage (Vblank Entertainment, 2012, XB360)
- ReMixer(s): Nutritious, OceansAndrew
- Composer(s): Jake Kaufman, Leonard J. Paul, Norrin_Radd
- Song(s): "Retro City Rampage Title Song"
- Posted: 2012-04-17, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): aggressive chiptune collab electric-guitar rock synth
Retro City Rampage!! I was first exposed to this game and its music when Larry & I served as judges last year for the IGF Audio award, and it's pretty damn awesome. With a soundtrack by Jake Kaufman (virt), Norrin_Radd, & Freaky DNA, it's basically an amalgam of all those "Wouldn't it be awesome if?..." scenarios we all thought of growing up playing the NES, with references, crossovers, insanity, and a chiptune soundtrack that completes the aesthetic. Suffice it to say, you should definitely check it out. Nutritious teamed up with OA to enter a remix contest that was held to arrange the game's tunes - Justin writes:
"This remix was created for the Retro City Rampage Remix Competition over at SoundCloud. It ended up placing third there. I initially wrote off entering this competition simply due to how complex and crazy good the original track is. I decided to take a second look, however, and had the idea to create a high energy movie score/rock song in the vein of the Iron Man soundtrack. Fortunately, I was able to secure the guitar work of OA pretty early on, who, like myself, is a very busy family man.
So, as mentioned before, the OST is extremely complex and, at times, chaotic with all the chip soloing (props to Virt there). I ended up focusing mostly on the non-solo portions of the original track, but also asked OA to lend some shredding on top of the chord structure. His contribution really brought the energy needed for this type of track. One note: 2:22 - 2:44 utilizes the lead synth from the original track, as the stems were made available for the competition. This is the only sampled portion from the original."
So yeah, arranging this type of track is always going to be... overwhelming; I think generally speaking it's more difficult to deal with highly elaborate source material, because you ultimately come down to a basic decision on whether to maintain that complexity or dramatically reduce it, and that decision point becomes defining. In this case, since it's for a competition, that choice was probably a bit easier, since minimalism tends to compare unfavorably in that type of context, but you still gotta give props to the chops, as Justin & Andrew do an outstanding job capturing the energetic nostalgia & nostalgic energy of Jake's piece. halc writes:
"good lord, I couldn't remix Virt to save my life. suffice to say, you guys took it on like a couple of champs. the mesh of synths and guitar is smooth as butter, and the sampled solo sounds awesome in the context of the mix. on that note, I didn't have any issue with the sampling, as it was pretty minimal, and given a bit of a mixing boost. felt very appropriate. :D killer collab, killer mix. excellent work, guys."
Keeping the original solo in would have been problematic if it weren't so well-integrated, and if Justin hadn't so much additional work to recontextualize & augment it. I agree with halc that it works, plus this way it's like OA is shredding w/ "virtual virt," which has a nice ring to it. Vinnie adds:
"20 seconds of sampling is a fair amount but I'll leave it to Dave or Larry to override if this is an issue. I think it falls below the level of substantial usage and I think it was used creatively, not just tacked on as an intro or anything. Not much to say here: you guys both brought your A-game to this and the result is creative and highly enjoyable."
Not really a deciding point, but it's also nice that the sampling in this case was facilitated & encouraged by the composers themselves. Awesome stuff - I use the adjective "high-octane" often, but I should have refrained a few times so it'd have more impact here, because it deserves it. The full Retro City Rampage experience is currently expected to be released in May, but it's the type of thing where "when it's ready" couldn't apply more - keep your eye on http://www.retrocityrampage.com/ for news, and enjoy the mix!
on 2017-02-27 11:24:30
on 2017-02-22 07:32:08
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