ReMix: Mega Man X6 "Shield of Legend"
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- Game: Mega Man X6 (Capcom, 2001, PS1)
- ReMixer(s): Omni-Psyence, Phonetic Hero
- Composer(s): Naoto Tanaka, Nittoku Inoue, Nobuhiko Kashiwara
- Song(s): "Shield Sheldon Stage", "Volt Catfish Stage"
- Posted: 2014-07-07, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): aggressive brass chiptune cinematic collab compo electronic epic orchestral strings synth
Phonetic Hero & Omni-Psyence team up for an epic, symphonic/electronic, & chip-infused MMX6/MMX3 collab from the Grand Maverick Remix Battle 2012: Round 1 (X Bracket), pairing "Volt Catfish" against "Shield Sheldon" in what sounds like a mashup between a culinary offering & The Big Bang Theory; pH writes:
"Been a while, I've been meaning to sub this for a while, and I just released this track on a solo remix album through my Bandcamp (and also my first original album!). First of all, I'll try to keep things as short as I can, though I've got quite a bit to say about this remix. Secondly, very proud of this one. Thirdly, to summarize a few things, Omni's an awesome guy, love his music (http://omnipsyence.com), and I'm excited to work with him again sometime. Got started on the arrangement at work on the first day of the round, wrote that neato music box progression and a bit more (orchestrations, chips, etc.), and then stagnated till about Thursday... was FINALLY able to finish it up and send it to Cory on Friday, leaving him all of 2 days to work. I had what I thought was a pretty decent arrangement (I did the music box thingy, all the chippy stuff and melodic synth work, and pretty basic horns and strings as far as sequencing is concerned), and was only expecting the massive, badass cinematic percussion that Cory has a way with, though I told him he could add in whatever he wanted to (and was secretly hoping he'd do... well, exactly what he did). The guy went above and f*%king beyond; added a LOAD of additional orchestration that the arrangement was begging for, including amazing horn work, lots more strings, all the effects. The best part is the complexity it all adds; my progressions weren't very simple to begin with (at least I'd like to think :P), but all the extra tonality, personalization, and ex
pression it all adds blew me away (was literally giggling at work when I got the first MP3). Had to convince him after getting the first MP3 from him to write a groove for my weird-ass synth solo at 3:07, but I'm glad I said something, because the gritty, proggy groove he added really tied it together and made my strange syncopations into something with some firm complexity instead of just an odd meandering lead synth. Overall, I'm really, really pleased with the way this turned out, and I hope y'all guys are too. And keep your eyes peeled for Omni-Psyence's album The Great Divide when it drops!"
Right from the start, what strikes me is the immediate blend of VERY strong electronic components with EQUALLY strong orchestral parts, in particular the brass - dem legato trumpets, quite nice. Tastefully bitcrushed/lofi epic drums enter, and later some intricate, fluttering chip bits round out the instrumentation. We've seen plenty of superb orchestral/electronic hybrid pieces, but I'd say the distinguishing characteristics here are the additional presence of chip elements and the emphasis on brass parts, which actually get MORE focus than strings. These two aspects definitely lend a different feel than other arrangements I've heard in this vein, and it's always neat to hear something familiar-yet-distinct. Some judges observed what they felt was a lack of overall development and dynamic contrast, but Palpable disagreed:
"We can call it a matter of taste, but I felt this had a strong direction and more than enough build. It reminded me of certain film scores that climax with these really smooth sections without strong melodies, like the song you'd hear as you first take the tour through the superhero headquarters. Certainly the dynamic difference between the strongest sections and the quietest ones was pretty big. I really enjoyed the arrangement, and it fully captured my attention the few times I played through it. The seemingly random drums were great - a very unique element."
That's actually yet a third element that I'd agree was pretty unique; the mixed drums, with lofi/DSP applied to some hits and not others, present a partially-mechanized arsenal of BIG percussion. Fishy was a little more reserved, and adressed some additional concerns with source usage with his overall approval:
"I think I side with the YES-ers on this one in that I do hear the sources being there in sufficient quantity. It's close - borderline, even - but it's obviously a remix of Sheldon at least, with Catfish being mostly a suggestion inside the mix. I'm not sold on the horns, strings, or the piano, but the fact that it's a very synthetic mix kinda allows them to get away with the un-realism. The piano, in particular, lends itself well to the more processed sound of an electronic cinematic piece.
I don't take any issue with the mixing - it's clean and I can hear everything plenty fine. I especially dig the electronic percussion stabs, as they're well-placed and hit good and hard."
There's certainly a lot going on, and I actually did think that a PURELY orchestral breakout section, sans any electronic elements whatsoever, would have provided a calmer & more contrasting respite, but I dig that Pete & Cory put together a hybrid piece that has a different sound to it, and on short notice, too. Distinct & exciting stuff from two artists who are BOTH very skilled in BOTH styles!