ReMix: Silent Hill 2 'Halo of the Sun'

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Silent Hill 2

From newcomer Jake Simons, aka D.L. Infamous, comes a mostly downtempo piano-driven Silent Hill 2 arrangement with upfront acoustic drum work and some appropriately haunting background pads & synths. Going into the second minute, the drums get a little more syncopated and temporarily steer the style into more of a d'n'b feel, which is well-executed, and things outro with solo piano; Jake describes it better:

"I personally love this track "Promise (Reprise)" from the Soundtrack! I first played this game at a very young age and I was immediately mesmerized by the music. Silent Hill 2 is my favorite game of all time. Most of my music has a hint of Akira to it. I own all the Soundtracks of the series. As well as a lot of memorabilia. This song captures the true essence of the emotion that James and Angela feel when they encounter each other in the Apartment Building. I created this track with my Fantom X8! It was all created within the workstation. I stayed true to the melody which is now the most recognized song in the series. I applied my own sounds of chaos, macabre, and industrials at the beginning that reminisce of the more dark tracks Akira created. Than, it opens up into the that famous piano melody and atmospherics that create a feeling a space after the intro. Very complex drum patterns, unique sounds and synths are added and taken out through the song, then ending it with the beautiful piano melody by itself with little atmospherics and a heavy bass melody."

When the drums take off @ 1'45", that's definitely the highlight of the mix for me, as what was already a moody & dark track takes on a new dimension that gives it a little more depth, breaking out of its mold for a bit and giving the arrangement a definite arc, as things denouement into calmer seas afterwards. Emunator writes:

"Really interesting approach you've got here. Taking mostly-acoustic drum samples but sequencing them in the way that you'd normally treat electronic drums produces a pretty interesting result... It's melodically conservative but you do a pretty solid job of building up the rest of the track around that classic piano motif from the source. Your production, aside from the drum mixing nitpicks, is pretty great, and your sound design artfully brings out the feelings of discomfort and unease that everyone who has played Silent Hill should be familiar with. The mood created when the mix slowly drops out to solo piano, and then you bring in the original chord progression, is sublime."

Most of the judges felt the drums were a little too upfront - I personally like that they're so dominant, as I think they're a deserving focal point, so I'd phrase it a bit differently and instead say that the piano could have been brought up a bit more; it's almost the same sentiment, but not exactly. At any rate, this is a distinct & creative take on the source that leaves the melody intact but envelopes it in an interesting landscape peppered with intermittent bursts of percussion and atmosphere to spare. It's clear that Jake has a deep respect for the game and its music/composer, and I think many will appreciate his vision. It's also cool to see mixes done on ROMplers/workstations, as that's far less common these days than it was back when OCR started. Good debut from DLI, hope to hear more!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 5 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Crulex
on 2013-06-25 09:38:41
It's definitely more the piano than the drums, but I can hear why the judges said what they did. While I actually liked the drums weaving in and out of the piano, it did have a moment or two in the first minute and a half where it didn't seem to mesh as well as the rest of the song. When the drums pick up and then drop off to the piano, though, that was a great touch. I know some people don't like fade-outs (really don't know why) but I think it was good here seeing as how you was ending with a solo-piano. Not bad.
evktalo
on 2013-06-23 19:12:42
Very nice drums. Going to add to the choir and agree that the piano could've been a little louder in relation to them. The atmospheric pads & the static noise intro are really great.
The harmonic explorations in the end felt a bit undercooked - they were by no means unwelcome, but the shift to major feel was a bit surprising.. which can be a good thing, but then the piece didn't develop further. I was definitely expecting the piece to explore this variation more thoroughly. I do note that Emunator seemed to appreciate the ending in his judging call. For me it would've worked better as a whole without the coda.
Regardless, it did work as a whole for me. Very enjoyable mood, dark mood!
--Eino
timaeus222
on 2013-06-22 02:42:02
I agree that the piano should have come up a little bit more, but I'm not really a fan of the drum sequencing here; the rapid kicks are interfering with what the piano is doing. It's like mixing hip hop with solo piano. It even feels slightly bare at times.
The pads are quite nice though, and the bells are neat. Nice triplet at 2:54. D'oh! Fade out! x( Oh well, great job anyways!
Melbu Frahma
on 2013-06-21 20:27:57
I'm actually going to echo djp on this, and say that I think the drums are fine where they are, and that it's the piano that needs to come forward a little bit.
Definitely an interesting take on the source; I didn't think I was going to like it as well as I did, but it's definitely got a good atmosphere and concept going for it.
djpretzel
on 2013-06-21 17:00:20
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