ReMix: Retro City Rampage "Retrohead Five"
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- Game: Retro City Rampage (Vblank Entertainment, 2012, XB360)
- ReMixer(s): Mazedude
- Composer(s): Jake Kaufman, Leonard J. Paul, Norrin_Radd
- Song(s): "Retro City Rampage Title Song"
- Posted: 2017-02-16, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): edm electronic experimental extended-soloing funky fusion lo-fi organ quirky synth
Mazedude (Christopher Getman) + Retro City Rampage / Jake Kaufman = GOOD. Larry Oji writes:
"This is an arrangement of an American composer's work, so we need to encourage you to also get Mazedude's great new VGM arrangement album, American Pixels, which is available from many fine digital music stores and strictly focuses on tunes by American VGM composers! :-)"
American Pixels is incredible; so glad to have contributed to the kickstarter, and if you dig VGM - and really, who doesn't, right? - you NEED it in your music collection. Chris took it up SEVERAL notches, and the incorporation of live instrumentation & brilliant attention to stereo imaging make it an absolutely transporting, otherworldly experience; cant say enough good things! While this RCR compo submission is older Mazedude, it's aged like a fine wine & deserves your attention. Chris gives us some nice backstory:
"So, the "Ignition" remix already on the site already addresses the original remix competition from 2012, which, incidentally, I was also a part of... and, yeah, I didn't win. In fact, my track was a little too old-school trackery to really get the attention of the contestants and judges... but, darn it, years later, I still like my version, and want to share it. And, if I may, I paid ridiculous attention to detail in matching all of the notes and solos/leads from the original, so, maybe that'll count for something.
I've known virt since '98... and in all this time, this is actually my first (completed) remix of his work. Good stuff. So, while being a Jake Kaufman remix, this is also another homage to a famous tracker by the handle Basehead. He was a major influence to me as I was learning the art form, and was one of the members of a legendary group back in the day known as Five Musicians in the tracking scene. (Piece it together and you'll see why the remix is titled as such.) My arrangement deliberately uses a lot of Basehead's own samples and tracking nuances. Since this is a retro game, I thought it'd be appropriate to go a little retro with the style.
Fun fact: I met Basehead live in person, once. And, it was at a live performance in Los Angeles of Jake Kaufman himself, doing live chiptunes (before he moved there, I might add). Serendipity, eh? And... oddly enough, it was also the first date I had with my wife, Julia. I was introduced to Basehead, and, while at any other time it would have been a huge honor and a valid cause to drop everything and spend the evening with the guy, my attention that night was on my future bride. So, cordially, I said something along the lines of "It's a pleasure to meet you, Basehead. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to my date." And the time of writing this description, Julia and I have been together for 10 years now. And, we still remember that night fondly. :)
So, long story short, this silly remix holds within all its various references quite a story, and subtle mental ties that signify a lot in my personal life. I don't know if that will make the music more enjoyable, but, regardless, enjoy the story."
Small world; neat that this mix incorporates so many autiobiographical tangents, and VERY cool to be hearing Mazedude ReMix virt, either way. While Chris's more recent work has refined his style further, this is still the quirky, creative, & meticulous MZD you know and love. Jivemaster writes:
"Sly and dirty mix, great transformation of the source tune to a slow groove with original personality. Some great lead work and generally trippy synths throughout, creates a nice contrast through the track. I enjoyed the production elements you have dotted through the mix, such as the delay signal panned to alternate ears. Leads and percussion nicely fill the upper register, as the bass grooves below."
Judges did note that the dynamic contrast & development were more static than some of the artist's other work, but everyone was generally digging the groove. It's fun to see a consciously-retro tracker aesthetic applied to Retro City Rampage's consciously-retro chiptune aesthetic - war of worlds! Fun stuff from Chris & a part of his personal AND arranging history that I'm glad to have on OCR!