ReMix: Silent Hill 2 'Halo of the Sun'
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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!