ReMix: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior 'Ryu Next Generation (RNG)'
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Once upon a time, in November of 2004, jdproject (Joe Darwish) unleashed upon us the glory that is 'The Ken Song' - in my mind, an unarguably classic rock vocal arrangement that I've literally listened to hundreds of times. It's really, really good.
Fast forward almost eight years later and, just as we posted the first ReMix from FFmusic Dj after an even longer drought, we've finally got a follow-up! As we near ReMix milestone OCR02500, it's great to be posting tracks from artists who've been gone so long; we're going to release an updated torrent w/ consistent ID3 tagging across the board AND higher quality versions of tracks, where we could obtain them, in the next couple months. It is long overdue, but will be awesome, and I'm glad we could fit Haroon & Joe in. Mr. Darwish again returns to the rock vocal world of SF2, this time focusing on Ryu, to make the red vs. white, American vs. Japanese, blond vs. brunette, married vs. single fist-bumping rivalry complete. OA writes:
"Is it the twin song to the Ken song?! Mixing starts out pretty solid, with a good vocal take, though the rhythm section wasn't 100% rock solid with the rhythms; maybe like 95%. Once the chorus comes in, it feels like it really clicks. Very cool part there ...this is really great stuff, cool lyrics, and a really nice feel. The layered vocals added extra interest, and the synths used throughout were tasteful."
The mix has many of the same traits as its predecessor, and in my mind that's a great thing - catchy vocal hooks, nice layering & vocal processing, crunchy guitars, and a heavier rock production aesthetic to give the pop sensibilities some teeth. The lyrics & overall tone are a little more serious & angstier, which actually fits with Ryu's personality (as contrasting with Ken) when you think about it. Of course, as a flowchart scrub Ken player myself, I can't abide the smack talk about running faster than Mr. Masters, but Joe again did a good job crafting lyrics that are contextual but also accessible to those (blasphemously) unfamiliar with the world of Street Fighter. Run-on sentence. Judges had some beefs with production that were largely addressed in an updated version, and from an arrangement perspective I think the artist has done a fantastic job shoryukening the source into a believable modern alt-rock package.
In fact, about the only criticism I can come up with is that, while I do love this mix, I love 'The Ken Song' a bit more. Something about the rolling, carefree nature of that melody seemed a slightly more natural fit to Joe's style, but don't mistake preference for grievance - I'll gladly take a whole ALBUM of mixes in this vein, and would LOVE to hear jdproject take on Guile, for instance. Or Claw; I think that could work, too. Ultimately, what matters is that this mix is a long time coming, and again works some rock vocal magic on a classic SF2 theme, feeling both new & comfortably familiar at the same time. Great stuff from Joe, who I'm damn happy to be posting another mix from!
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