ReMix: Sonic the Hedgehog "Ocean View"
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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.
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