ReMix: Rollerball "Sky-High Rollers"
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- Game: Rollerball (HAL, 1988, NES)
- ReMixer(s): timaeus222
- Composer(s): Hideki Kanazashi, Hiroaki Suga
- Song(s): "Multiball", "Title"
- Posted: 2016-07-18, evaluated by djpretzel
- Album: Featured on Heart of a Gamer: A Tribute to Satoru Iwata
- Terms (BETA): electric-piano electro energetic funk funky jazzy piano synth timesig-4-4
Our first ReMix of Rollerball (NES) comes in the form of a superbly groovetastical, hard-hitting electro-funk arrangement from timaeus222 (Truong-Son Nguyen), off of our Heart of a Gamer: A Tribute to Satoru Iwata album:
"When I started out writing this, I didn't think I'd actually like it - I initially thought it would sound too similar to some of my other WIPs, but eventually I did find this to stand out amongst my other EDM tracks. It's got a hefty collection of layered, leaping/diving basses, "slippery" arps (e.g. 1:05), some obligatory Rhodes (Neo-Soul Keys), and yes, even a santoor, amongst other things. What I think distinguishes this from my other similar tracks is that I've written my first jazz solo (inspired by Nostalvania)! :D Going out of the key on purpose has never really been my strong suit, so it's kind of my attempt at sort of doing that for a change. Clear out some room, because it's time to DUEL - er, I mean... DANCE! Yeah!"
Explaining the tie-in / relationship to Iwata, album director The Damned writes:
"One of the first games Iwata produced as president of HAL Labs. Even though the title of "producer" is used to show a managerial position, Iwata wasn't content to just sit there and take the credit. He programmed the game along with his co-workers, including Makoto Kanai."
Amazing work from timaeus that takes his already impeccable EDM skillset and seamlessly blends in some serious funk/jazz components; reminds me somewhat of PrototypeRaptor's work, which is high praise. He completely nails the bass, which is crucial, and also throws in a menagerie of instrumentation and some rather delicious soloing. While *always* technically proficient, the artist's work can occasionally come off a little cold/clinical - and sometimes that's probably even the point - but this one lives & breathes and has a funky heart that it wears on its sleeve; Larry writes:
"Fun and funky stuff from timaeus222 honoring Iwata-san through one of his earlier pinball adaptation projects at HAL Laboratory. The arrangement does get pretty liberal, so thanks to Truong-Son for the breakdown he included; read the MP3's comments to better appreciate the intricacies and tradeoffs between the two sources. On the sound design front, there were tons of rhythms and instrumentation ideas by timaeus that were very reminiscent of zircon's works, so any fans of Andy will have a fun time picking out tracks that have similar sounds and techniques! Another highlight was the piano brought in at 1:33; very purdy and classy, so props there. Per timaeus's usual, the dynamics here were terrific; this is nothing but a smooth combination of beat-driven funk and chilled out jazziness. Thanks to The Damned's efforts, we have the honor of paying tribute to Iwata's career and legacy, not just through the blockbuster titles Iwata steered and oversaw, but the formative ones as well."
timaeus has definitely reached that point where every mix he does has a certain very impressive quality bar, and he's also been able to optimize so he can make things happen pretty quickly/efficiently, too. I'm jealous :) That being said, I hope this style isn't just a one-off for him and that he explores it a bit more in future mixes, because I think it really worked well and allowed for more substantive arrangement, in addition to just being funkier. Great, creative, addictive stuff!