Posted 2017-06-23, evaluated by Liontamer
Last up, a freakin' brilliant return from zykO (Waleed Hawatky), who ends a five-year drought with an absolute opus & delivers probably my favorite track on Speeding Towards Adventures. There are good mixes, great mixes, and then as an entirely separate metric, there are mixes which feel like they NEEDED to happen... this hybrid hip-hop/world/middle eastern stew is a singular arrangement of "Oil Ocean" that also feels somehow inevitable, like it HAD to be made, and that Waleed HAD to be the one to make it. The artist writes:
"Sonic 2 was very easily one of my favorite games growing up; like a top three comfort game sort of "favorite." I played developmentally stunting, stifling, countless, repetitive, and obsessive hours of it. As you'd expect, a substantial part of that was due to the fantastic music and Oil Ocean Zone's track is near the top of that list. I always knew I'd eventually arrange it and flesh it with oud, duduk, darbuka, and ney - throw in a splash of groove and some acoustic guitar. Maybe some classical Western players like a piano or cello. Rolled it around in some wind-cured sand and ended up with "The Long War," a track about everything and nothing at all. Dig it."
Quintessential, distilled, unmitigated zykO, in the best sense possible. Waleed's always been on the looser side with his timing, which has worked pretty well, but here things sit in the rhythmic pocket *JUST* so, with a very precise imprecision that gives everything gravitas & flow. Beautifully mixed instrumentation, impeccable depth & width, and just a very rich & distinct musical aesthetic which is beyond reproach. STA director Black_Doom writes:
"Ah, Waleed! Taking this guy on board was a matter of course, since the album really needed something epic, something mesmerizing he is capable of. With this remix, Waleed takes listeners to the very far past of the place where Oil Ocean Zone now resides, and tells us the story of this place. Listening to this track, you can easily imagine ancient people crossing a desert on their camels. The sun is burning and the desert doesn't seem to have an end. Poor people. And, so, thousands of years passed by until the oil was found there, and now there's an ocean of this damn oil which flooded the beautiful desert."
It's too layered a mix to be pinned down to any single narrative, but we know from world events over the last several decades that oil has spelt the death of man & beast, divided nations, started & ended wars, and ruined lives, in additional to poisoning our planet. This is heavy material to incorporate into a ReMix of Sonic 2, and lyrics to ANY similar effect might have come off proselytizing or pedantic. Waleed shows instead of telling, making his piece about "everything and nothing at all," and it seems like the perfect equilibrium; as a listener, I choose to grant this my own weight & meaning, and the truth of it is in how it bears the load. Co-director Jorito writes:
"Time for to shift gears again with some epic ethnic music. Waleed brings out the Arabian vibes in "Oil Ocean Zone" and tells us a tale of battles long past, with lots of dynamics and movement. I didn't know what to expect when I first heard this, but the cinematic story of this track grows and grows on me the more I listen to it, and I get lost in the Middle East for a bit. A track that really stands out from the rest of the album, in a good way."
A standout mix on the album & a standout mix of 2017, and among zykO's oeuvre, as well. Highly recommended.
on 2017-06-27 01:43:27
Man, my expectations were through the roof for one of my favorite songs of one of my favorite games before I read djpretzel's review, and MAN am I happy to report that this mix somehow lived up to the hype and THEN some! I cannot, I cannot, describe how wonderful this mix is. It just keeps rewarding you as it goes along. The long opening is perfect for such a song, but I was floored by so many choices; the transition of 1:45-2:15 was breathtaking; the near shutdown and trudging on at 2:55-3:12; the different handling of 3:50-4:07, it's all just special and precise and unique. This remix has a quality and a touch to it that is once just out of the corner of your eye and yet hits you right in the face, like a mirage in the desert that keeps leading you on, only this one rewards you with the sweet touch of music to your ears. What a mix. I loved this so much. What a performance.
on 2017-06-22 10:40:02
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega, 1992, GEN)
Music by Masato Nakamura
- "Oil Ocean Zone"
- Hip Hop
- Chill, Dark, Funky
- Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Hand Drums, Synth
- Effects > Distortion
Regional > Middle Eastern
Time > 4/4 Time Signature
- 10,800,243 bytes
- Size: 10,800,243 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 9755de587e5dd2ba46b7835a56860ba5
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