ReMix: Clystron "Orbital Space Junk"
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One thing I love about Sir_NutS (Paul Michael Molina) is that he arranges popular classics like Sonic, Mega Man, DKC, etc., but ALSO covers tons of less common stuff like Supremacy, Flimbo's Quest, and the recent System Shock mix we posted for Halloween - tons of variety, in other words. Today marks the 16th birthday of OCR, so it's nice to be posting something from an unmixed game & which represents the diversity and wide appreciation for the field of VGM that we strive to emphasize. PMM continues his love affair with the C64 with our FIRST arrangement of Clystron, in an upbeat, chippy EDM style:
"Sup, guys, NutS here with another track. So, Thomas Detert. Not as well known as other C64 legends such as Jeroen Tel, Rob Hubbard, Rowlands, or Follin, but a legend in my book. I love his style, and many of the soundtracks he composed are on my best-of-video-games playlist.
Clystron is an obscure game (I have never played it myself) with a soundtrack that I love. The title theme in particular caught my attention immediately years ago. I've always wanted to remix it for a while, but only recently I felt I could do something good enough with it that I would feel proud of showing to Detert himself, which I did, and happily, he liked it.
So here's my take on Clystron's title theme. As with a lot of the great C64 themes, the original takes things slowly to create a mood and then hit you with the catchy theme. I decided I wanted to take that route as well, so I take my time introducing several grooves and motifs along with the driving beat before hitting the chorus section. Modern EDM dictates that you should drop the meat of your track around the first minute, but I was more worried about making a good tribute than following conventions, even if that may seem odd to some listeners.
This also complements my genre decisions, as this is done in the style of big beat with modern EDM flair on top. Think those late 90's to mid-00's big beat songs that were mostly based on establishing a catchy groove and hard-hitting beats and bass (Meat Beat Manifesto, Propellerheads, etc.), but with the modern gritty synth and bass sounds, drum-sampling style and unpredictability of modern EDM. I tried to blend the styles equally and I am happy with these results.
Arrangement-wise, I decided to keep the chorus melody mostly intact because it's just that good. Everything else is modified in some form, and accompanied with layers upon layers of modulating synths, glitched vocals, effects, beloved C64 arps and extra stuff, all of my own design, as always. I did manage a little solo improv section in the breakdown that modifies the original chorus, but, IMO, the original catchy chorus can't be topped. :)"
Love the background/context provided on every aspect of the mix - not just the production, which many artists solely focus on, but also the game, composer, genre, etc. Very cool that Detert appreciated the mix, too - easy to see why, since it's 4'40" of solid, approachable EDM that retains the chiptune aesthetic & pairs it with big, modern beats. Chimpazilla writes:
"Cool source tune! Never heard of the game but I see why you wanted to remix this. The remix is very cool, awesome low beefy kick and great groove. I'm loving all the gated arpy stuff going on."
"The adaptation to EDM was awesome, and the original writing sections that weren't from the actual source tune were seamless, sounding more like rhythmic changes or tweaks rather than Mike doing his own thing. Everything locked together perfectly there. Love the energy here as well. If you didn't know any better that this was from a C64 title, this could fit in well in Streets of Rage Remake. Props to Mike for a great tribute to Thomas Detert and his music!"
Ditto that; I also dug the sampled, low-bit exclamatory vox/fx, which further solidifed a 90's aesthetic. Catchy melody from a game & composer that very much deserved the attention - thanks to Mike for making that happen AND for continuing to help represent the C64 on OCR!!