Posted 2015-02-17, evaluated by djpretzel
Our first Sonic the Hedeghog mix of 2015 comes in the form of a mellow, easygoing R&B instrumental jam courtesy DCT (Duane Thorpe), who we last heard from back in 2011 with the epic mega-collab "Nairobi Hob" from our Super Dodgeball album. Collaborating this time with his friend Chris on guitar, Duane writes:
"This mix, originally started for an Urbanizm Music-produced Sonic remix album that never got off the ground, was sitting in the to-be-completed pile for a little under 3 years before I finally wrapped it up. (Ideally, it wouldn't have been that long, but laziness and mounting health problems kinda made the decision for me.)
I wanted to give the source a chill feel, one that could possibly bring to mind images of Sonic saying "I ain't going in that maze" and instead chillin' on the beach with his beverage of choice. My buddy Chris, a.k.a. guitarman, is responsible for the guitar work (naturally), and zircon was kind enough to do the final mix when my mixin' hands became uncooperative; this song would be nothing without them.
If this song does make it on the site, I'd like it to be dedicated to the memory of Ryan Risco, who, like the hedgehog of our story above, should have been able to just chill on the beach on a sunny day in July 2011 without Fate having other plans. Peace."
Tragic dedication gets me feeling down, but this mix is more about letting go, feeling the breeze, etc. - essentially, taking the time to just enjoy life, while you can. The arrangement strikes a really nice balance between being laid-back but still having some pretty sweet runs and soloing; acoustic guitar is gorgeous, piano equally so when it starts cutting loose @ 1'38" - smart writing that plays effortlessly around the source, maintaining the vibe but breaking out of it at the same time. Persistent water effects and ambient pads create the perfect, open space for the front-and-center instrumental performances, and I love the cross-panned, bubbly descending line that gets exposed at 3'25" - guitar and piano alone were enough to carry this mix, easily, but the background writing & production are spot-on and serve to embellish every moment. Larry writes:
"Very chill, contemplative imagery. There were some areas where the arrangement seemingly did its own thing away from the source melody for extended periods, but if you listen closely the bassline anchors this piece to the original. Chris's guitar performance was lush and fit so well with the smoothness of Duane's beats. As great as the live guitar was, I also have to give big props to the original, comping-style piano section from 1:47-2:18. Wow. Everything here was just super-impressive in terms of the arrangement ideas. I didn't know I needed "Labyrinth Zone" in this style, but I do. You all do too. :-)"
110% agreed; great stuff from Duane & Chris that provides a much-needed tropical oasis of resplendent musicality when it's freezing out, it just snowed a few inches, and I have to go walk the dog... again :) Would love to hear more collabs from these two gents as this is absolutely stellar and one of DCT's best arrangements, made better by live guitar. A perfect getaway; highly recommended.
on 2015-12-29 14:30:00
I love it. The intro really threw me into it -- I'm a big fan of your choice of instruments (the guitar, the snaps, etc.) All those instruments blended together very well, and the overall atmosphere was great and relaxing. Sweet arrangement, nice production, I enjoyed it a lot. Nice work!
on 2015-03-04 14:21:56
Aaah...the guitar threw me off a bit at first, and the finger snaps caught me, somehow, strangely in a part or two, but this is a chill track. Great interpretaion.
on 2015-03-02 11:36:30
Transporting. I can practically feel the ocean breeze on my face as I listen to this. Makes me smile Thank you!
on 2015-02-23 00:06:49
Real slick stuff, Duane. At first I was a little bit off-put by some of the unrealistic-sounding instruments and a few production things, but I was quickly swept away by the overall vibe of the track and found that the mood alone really carried this piece, and I stopped noticing any of the things I initially nitpicked in my head. Now, I can just listen and float away into sonic bliss...
on 2015-02-22 15:00:50
Really nice. I'm not just saying that; this is quite tranquil. The imagery is very easy to see.
on 2015-02-22 02:48:45
Yeah... The original is definitely not my favorite from the game, but I like how it's handled here. I especially love the piano. Sounds very fresh and juicy. Awesome, man!
on 2015-02-21 15:10:58
A beautiful mix. I love Sonic The Hedgehog, but the Labyrinth Zone is one of my least-favorite themes, so to take that and turn it into... into.... this is an even more impressive accomplishment. I turned my head and was surprised not to find a drink in my hand! Man, you can feel the tension drain out of you if you kick back and close your eyes during this mix... how many songs can say that??
A quality entry here. You have done honor to the passed with the dedication.
on 2015-02-19 17:33:18
You all are so incredibly kind. =)
on 2015-02-19 16:31:19
Man, if this came out of my television speakers instead of the original Labyrinth Zone theme, I may not have wanted to throw the tv out of the window while trying to make it through that zone the first time I played Sonic. It's calming and gorgeous and I could really picture a skyline meeting a vast ocean on the beach while this plays. I think I can agree when everyone said that this was a take on Labyrinth Zone we all needed to hear. This is aces, guys.
on 2015-02-18 16:35:55
Just 10 seconds in, I was in love. I actually sighed out loud to myself, "Oh **** yes."
I've been in love with Labyrinth Zone for a while now largely thanks to Benjamin Briggs' and halc's ReMixes. For me, those both always brought out the chill, "letting go" qualities of the melody in their own ways.
Ever since then, this is exactly the kind of Labyrinth Zone ReMix I've been waiting for. The kind of chill where Sonic's on the beach, not drowning for once.
Fantastic work and a huge thank you. This went straight on to my OC ReMix "beach mix" playlist that I've been adding to over the years. Can't wait to watch some pink sunsets to this music. Love for Duane, Chris, and you friend Ryan. Peace.
on 2015-02-18 11:41:02
Everything about this yo. All around awesome work.
on 2015-02-17 12:16:56
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Easy Listening, R&B
- Acoustic Guitar, Flute, Piano, Sound FX
- Origin > Collaboration
Time > 4/4 Time Signature
- 5,634,965 bytes
- Size: 5,634,965 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: a7ff8565ed83746a2b4b60a1e8ae06f5
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