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Everything posted by Marmiduke

  1. This review thread is interesting to say the least. It's a great lesson on ways to effectively misuse your review privelages. But to my views on the mix: I'm a guy that remains pretty sheltered from rap/hip-hop, intentionally. I just see it as far too broad a genre to penetrate, and I also find it dauntingly homogeneous. That's why I love hip-hop artists that send out a helping hand to guide me through the battlefield: a hook or lure, some kind of metaphoric utensil that allows me to enjoy the craft without getting bored or alienated. I recently discovered Lupe Fiasco's ridiculously awesome melodic hooks that are complimented by the rapid-delivery so well. From that, I can really see what all the fuss is about, musically. I also get the same vibe from this mix. Not that DCT and Just Us are much like Lupe Fiasco, but because they offer a great hook in the Ice Cap Theme. It's a great melody that doesn't intrude, is predictable but very co-operable, and it really works in providing a smooth track for the vocals to run on. Lyrics are cool, angst doesn't grate on me as much as stupid lyrics do, so this mix is in the clear on that one. I was also really overjoyed with the short break that offered a really serene moment, very rare in the generalised hip-hop scene. Great work, really impressive. I also want to say that OCR should not be about making music that should sound radio-esque. Nor should it aspire to people's beliefs that all songs with the basis of videogame music should stay attached to videogame status. OCR is about the appreciation of videogame MUSIC, not the celebration or representation of videogames. The site is about creative license; if someone wants to make a rap song out of a tune that didn't traditionally conjure up the rap mood, that does not make the mix unjustified. I've seen a lot of people condemn this mix because they don't appreciate or understand the creative decisions made in relation to the original music. Noone should ever be discouraged from percieving material in new and non-traditional ways just because it may not seem like a natural progression. OCR is about expanding on something we all love as a form of expression, and I fail to see why this, and every other mix, doesn't belong here.
  2. I've never heard the original source, but there is no doubt that it is a Sonic melody. It would make it one of the last classic Sonic songs before the series went into a different (not necessarily worse, but different) musical direction. I really like the vibe that is present in this mix. It's not something you'll ever get an urge for, but nevertheless, when you find yourself listening to it, you are very happy you are. It's warm, sweet-tasting Sonic tunage; a guilty pleasure maybe, but a great melody I wouldn't have heard or appreciated if it wasn't mixed. Nod of approval.
  3. You've just got to love when you find someone that just owns piano. Not plays, not uses, but PWNS the piano. Shnabubula's mixes have a lot of surface area and irregularity which really works in a more traditional jazz sound, like it was always made for it. Or more likely because it was influenced by it in the first place. I've never really noticed what an amazing duo piano and drums are. What an awesome audio relationship. And an equally awesome arrangement of the source. Great job, guys.
  4. This has a very strong Viewtiful Joe sound to it, what with the catchy speed music and the anime voices screaming various phrases. Very reminiscent, even though the mix precedes the game. I loved the mix, to tell the truth. The voices didn't grate on me at all, and they especially didn't do anything but enhance the melody for me. It's a great, fast moving piece that I always get a little surprised at when it appears on my playlist. It's also quite infectious, in the best way possible of course.
  5. I thought I'd revisit this mix seeings as Capcom is revisiting Bionic Commando (and a slew of other franchises) of late with remakes and sequel/reboots. I love Salzman's bombastic approach here and the old-school military march sound that really keeps a building energy as it proceeds. High production all round, but then, I'm even a fan of djpretzel's Bionic Commando mix, which has had its production disheveled by time. This is big, badass and bold, and a personal favourite from the site. By the way, did I hear a blatant cue reference to John Williams' Duel of the Fates in there?
  6. I've had this on my PC for a while, and my playcount tells me I've heard it a couple of times, but I honestly don't remember it. I think this is for a couple of reasons: It's hookless and it's very under the radar. Obviously, I've heard when my playlist was on random whilst playing TF2 and never even noticed it. Hence why people label it background music. It gets you to from A to B without thinking too much about it. ANYWAY, now that I've actually given it some attentive listening, it's pretty damn nice. A pleasant, mellow Doom track still refuses to make sense as a concept in my mind, but I guess that's what it is. No socks get blown off over this one. But socks on or off (socks on ftw!), it's enjoyable. Oh and keep representing Australia, TO. It may not be the greatest country, but together we sure can create the illusion of it being so.
  7. I like a title that really sums up what the track is about. Speedy guitar is what it's all about. As for the transitions, on my first listen I was totally thrown. Derailed, if you will, and it took my a fair amount of seconds to regain my composure. That's something you can't afford from your audience, really. That being said, on my second listen I wasn't concentrating as hard and I honestly thought it sounded smooth. Obviously, they aren't smooth transitions (and I would hope they weren't intended to be), I was just unfocused and didn't notice any abruptness. And when the transitions weren't part of the equation, the mix sounded amazing. It's not going to win any awards for production, or subtlety. But nor should all mixes need to aspire to such accolades. This mix is justified by its guitar-play alone. Which is just as well, because that's pretty much all there is to enjoy.
  8. This is hot! And not just backup dancers on a music video hot. I mean more like back up dancers on the surface of Mercury hot. If anyone tells me they dislike or god forbid LOATHE trance music, this is the track I'm going to give them to broaden their tastes. Quite an achievement, but then again, this is bLiNd we're talking about here. He's been doing these amazing pieces for years. And we're all the better for it.
  9. Offers a great soundscape during the softer parts. Really beautiful to listen to. And yeah, the guitar parts are slightly head-tilting, however the bell sample backing for the heavy parts TOTALLY REDEEMS IT. I really enjoyed the bells for some reason. Mix would have been great without bells, but with them it's GOLDEN. Saved by the bells, as they say.
  10. I wouldn't class myself as a Sonic music diehard (Mario was more my bag) but mixes like this make me jealous of people with Sonic nostalgia. Stuff like this can be and has been attempted with Mario material, but it will never sound as fitting and thus as good as this. People get divided over synths. Whether they are good or bad synths is irrelevant, people will always either love them or despise them. I'm in the love camp. What happens past 2:30 causes this mix to skyrocket. WIN!
  11. For me, early Sonic (read: not the drastically modified soft-rock moods of the 3D games) were always about catchy 90s electropop. So the lesser quality samples in this mix are totally redeemed by the fact that they suit the source material. Whereas if you did the same thing to something like more traditionally inspired music like Super Mario Bros., it would seem more out of place. However, I'm not a sample freak. If it is arranged well, then sample quality shouldn't come into it. And the mix is arranged more than well enough. Never boring, very Sonic, very Hydrocity. The break in the last third might have seemed completely tacked on if it wasn't so charming. Nice work all round. I'm a fan.
  12. The transition between the two themes here is orgasmic. Well maybe not that sexual, but pretty damn impressive nonetheless. Transitions are make or break in a musical environment, with a stronger tendency to break. Thankfully, the transition was trained to make, and does so swimmingly. I really love the orchestral workout at the beginning, moreso than the further two thirds simply because there's more melodic territory to explore with Cid's theme and with the great string and percussion work. Techno and the Ocean Palace theme just don't have that strong backbone to keep it from meandering. Still, I loved the entirety; everything makes sense musically and none of it becomes redundant. A stellar mix, overall.
  13. I never realized how many piano pieces were on OCR. And all the better for it, I feel. Slow, contemplative piano arrangements can very easily be cliche, contrite and uniformally dull, and it's just a show of the talent pool here at OCR that that is never the case. Another superfine piano piece here, covering some emotive Xenogears tunage. The concept is almost too obvious, and done time and again because of it, but rest assured it's more a pleasure than a chore to add another one to the pile. Nice work.
  14. Ah, the Vaffe. My head LITERALLY exploded when McVaffe staged his resurrection earlier this year. I wish I could pull off something half as dramatic. Anyway, it's my opinion that early McVaffe is as good a McVaffe as any, and this is a fine exhibit for that point. While it is basically a remake, I feel that it exemplifies the treatment of the song; that is, a very mechanical, automated sound, structure and pace. The thing that I think is most standout here (not to take away from other aspects) is the real robotic progression the mix has. It feels very non-manmade. Slow but also very precise; almost as if it were off a production line: perfect and oiled and working. Obviously, there are negative connotations to production line imagery which I didn't mean to imply. Nor did I intend to imply that McVaffe is a cyborgic arm making thousands of identical 'DevilSLAB' day in day out in a factory somewhere. What I did mean to imply, however, is that I enjoyed the mix a lot. It's not terribly deep, admittedly, but who needs depth when you have novel, boppy industrial mixes like this.
  15. It is only recently that I discovered how amazing the F-Zero soundtrack really is. I overlooked it because it didn't seem like a game that would produce such an incredible and dynamic set of melodies, but I think this mix just proves that I was so so so stupid to do so. I, like a few other reviewers, got a massive The Sims vibe. That's not the mixer's fault, mind you, solo piano pieces were around long before Will Wright unleashed his god complex on us all. Nor is it a bad thing by any margin. If there is one way to showcase both musical talent and melodic expression simultaneously, its with a Sims-style solo piano piece. In any matter, I'm just glad the game mixing community isn't as asinine and naive as I was and actually recognized the perfect music of F-Zero. 'Silent Progression [Remastered]' is an excellent way to show it off, as well. Good job.
  16. When Kondo and Pretzel react, magic happens. That has been consistently true since the beginning. Not without a lot of effort on DLP's part, I'm sure, but there seems to be a special relationship between the master of game tunes and the master of game remixes. Gerudo Valley has always seemed to me one of the hardest pieces of gaming music to remix. Simply because Kondo pretty much said everything that could be said about the melody in-game. It's such an epic tune and it goes through so many phases and tiers that you are surprised every time a new submelody emerges, despite the fact you may have listened to the song for over 10 years. That is my experience with it anyhow. 'GerudoInterlude' does a lot of things that I think make it a standout remix of the source. It doesn't reinvent the wheel musically. And it also excluded some chunks of the original. In other words, we never have any doubts that this is 100% desert Gerudo-style mixage. And on the other hand, the mix is smart enough not to tread all of the ground from the original, because let's face it, when you really get into the particulars of the song, it is a huge risk to try and remix sections that could totally destroy the mood or the structure of the song. You can really hear the payoff of the selected core melodies in the ending. Great decisions on DJP's behalf. A 5-star mix.
  17. I like that this mix is short and compiled, so that you know that every section is crammed with goodness, rather than it being spread evenly throughout. Generally with pieces like this, I find if they overstay their welcome, they get a bit too sickly sweet and I just don't enjoy it anymore. That's definitely not the case here. This mix really succeeds in making one of the catchiest gaming tunes ever even catchier, despite being dated somewhat production-wise. But you know, I still like listening to Gameboy chiptunes, so I'm definately not phased by dated production if the melody and nostalgia is done justice. As it is in 'GenosWoods'. Awesome mix, and one of earliest standout tracks from the OCR catalog.
  18. Joyous is probably the most fitting word in my vocabulary for this mix. It's pretty damn joyous. The source tune is one of the infamous greats of gaming tunes, so it would have been a shame to mess it up with unnecessary technical padding. I think this is a terrific, varied piece that offers the source melody in spades, while also presenting new ideas and branching sub-melodies without being too intrusive. I absolutely love the interpretation that begins at 2:30, and then another at 4:30. Great moments of musical exploration, heightened even further by the guitar. Also of note is that despite a lot of variation, the mix has some great pacing and momentum. Nevertheless, it's not the sort of mix that is going to standout or top any of my favourite lists. It isn't the shiniest diamond in the rough, but I still find it valuable, and I have a great time listening to it. Hopefully, that's exactly what the remixer intended.
  19. Yeah, the intro to this mix is where the spotlight spends most of the time, since it is where most striking of the melodic ideas and variations have been congregated. As a result, it throws off the balance of the mix. The latter portion isn't exactly barren of good, chewable meat, but to open so strongly and then transform into a subdued version of the opening disrupts an hypothetical equilibrium that the listener expects. Whether that is the fault of the listener or the remixer has more to do with your own personal philosophy. That being said, I still think this is a really cool and involved listen. Excellent.
  20. I'm a sucker for these incredibly well crafted piano pieces that are scattered throughout OCR. Wind Scene, as many people would acknowledge, has been interpreted almost to death and is one of those forcibly memorable melodies that you couldn't forget even if you wanted to. While people seem to love it a lot more than I do, I am always interested to hear new takes on the theme. I strongly doubt there is anything about the actual source melody left to be discovered by me or anyone, but with mixes like this one, you can sustain an illusion of discovery. It is familiar and yet suddenly fresh and complex with added depth. An actual relationship between the source and the remix is the sign of a great mixer. Nice job. Oh and the length and the ending didn't bother me one bit.
  21. Sort of like Doom meets Mega Man, a combination that works surprisingly well. While I think this mix is a great listen and an improvement over the original, it really sounds more like game music than a remix of game music. And not because of instrumentation. The tempo, the repetition and the lack of development really give it an 'awesome background music to a sidescrolling game' feel. Which I guess is unsurprising. But that's not to say that's a terrible thing. Not all mixes should be obligated to redefine a certain tune or expand on all the potential that reinterpretation allows. Simply put, if noone here likes listening to game music, then just what are you doing here? There is still a ton to enjoy about this mix, regardless.
  22. You know, if I had the near-impossible, heartbreaking task of saving just one genre of remix in a hypothetical fire scenario, I would probably save the entire 'badass/insane uber guitar shredding' catalogue over the rest. And this mix is why. You don't just listen to a mix like this; subconsciously or not, you concentrate on every intricacy and layer it has. And at the end, subconsciously or not, you always say "That was... awesome!".
  23. The forest theme is a standout tune in a soundtrack of very awesome tunes, so it's a leap of faith when trying to interpret something that sounds amazing on the SNES chip into different territory. I guess that's the point of OCRemix, but in this case, I still think this song belongs on the SNES. Regardless, this is infectious fun and I won't deny that I get very kinetic when it starts. But I think its strength is its source melody; if it were an arrangement of a song that was a quarter of the insane fun of the SMRPG Forest Theme, you may have been in trouble. At the very least, it succeeds in supplying unadulterated joy and nostalgia. And that's pretty awesome, in my mind.
  24. This is one of those mixes that doesn't let go for its entire duration, which are my personal favourite types of mixes. Especially ones that have a lot of interesting aural substance like this does. I am addicted to the synth play that takes place just past the 2:00 mark. While I appreciate mixers that take a source and put a surprising, against type/genre spin on it, a mix like this one definitely makes more sense on a superficial level. High-octane ball-grabbing retro-rock FTW!
  25. It is my opinion that it would take a cruel and uniquely untalented bastard to manage making a Motoi Sakuraba score sound terrible. Thankfully, that special someone has yet to grace OCRemix. Nice orchestral piece with a ton of variety. And the ending, ah the ending. Superb, well-paced climax to an equally superb and well-paced mix. *loves it*.
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