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Everything posted by Marmiduke

  1. I remember back when this mix first dropped, I came away thinking it was too similar to the original and didn't have enough to say. It just goes to show that initial impressions can be strange, confusing and flat-out wrong. This is a hugely impressive treatment of the equally impressive source track, and definitely justifies itself tenfold. Despite the guitars in the rock section of the mix being slightly soft, I really don't have much to complain about. I will say that upon listening to the track five times, I'm still unclear on what the mixers were attempting to do. The original was an obvious elaboration on world music and tribal hymns. This track though... I'm not sure what it wants to be. Christian rock? Celtic rock? I think it sounds more like imitation supergroup, which is an interesting and suitable direction to settle with. It should be known though that people who adore the original may not find the same qualities here... just expect all new ones and you'll enjoy it. I'm also a fan of the new time signature. Great work all around.
  2. Holy ass. Street Fighter 2010. Holy ass, metal medley. Holy ASS, it's awesome. It's extremely difficult for me to specify a favourite part of this terrific medley; it's all so wonderfully complementary and almost organically arranged. Transitions are not just economic, but are actually great to listen to as well. It's mixes like this that justify the medley genre for me. I love everything about this one.
  3. Man this is muddy. Don't know what the particular issue is; low bitrate, uneven compression or both, but it's like listening to it through pea soup... I get the feeling there is a lot more detail I'm not hearing because of some unfortunate production Which is a great shame because I really do love the arrangement. This is an extremely typical guitar mix, but a damn good one. I particularly like the solo, and even though it has to battle somewhat with the noisy, dodgy technical issues and the seen-better-days samples, I still think it triumphs. A very impressive feat. I'm even a fan of the mellow epilogue, though it seems I'm in the minority on that one. I think a change in pace is a much better way to end a mix than a fadeout. In all, there's lots of things holding this back from top marks, to be sure. But there's still plenty of talent and great music here, if you are willing to strain our ears to make it all out.
  4. A strange Metroid song, that's for sure. Definitely a stark contrast to the dark, subterranean mood electronica the series is reknowned for. Overall, the mix is pretty solid stuff. It's got a poppy vibe that's well married to the retro-tinged synths, and there's much appreciated depth to the backing tracks. The arrangement itself failed to grab my attention all that much, but it's got that nicely implemented, methodical intro that sets up the melody to come. While that melody is very centric, varied and apparent... I personally think it lacks the punch needed to carry the full mix. A firmer presentation of that main melody would have improved the entire package. Regardless, this is sweet. Light, soft and airy doesn't come to mind when thinking about Metroid soundtracks, but the mix does it well enough. Somedays, you just need triumphant end credits music to pull you through.
  5. Lots of people have said it before me, but I'll say it once more. This here is some fantastic shit. Zircon is king of electronic/orchestral integration and while it's becoming a more and more popular style of music, only zircon manages to integrate several types of electronic and orchestral styles together in the one frigging mix. It's a beautiful beast to behold. Things go from retro chip music, to sci-fi synthpop, to chamber music, to baroque, to grand orchestral. It's a whirlwhind of genres that are blended really seamlessly. I guess it's to do with the perfect arrangement of the main theme. The inclusion of several cameos keeps things fresh for the most part, but the continuous inventions that fill out the mix do most of the work. The main melody plays often, and yet we never get sick of it. That's a sign of a good mixer. This is a mix that makes you look forward to what it around the next corner. I honestly did feel cheated by the fadeout, but 5 seconds of the mix doesn't change my opinion on the rest of it. Highly recommended.
  6. Really enjoy this. The samples stick out a little, but it surprisingly doesn't get in the way of the emotion in the piece. It comes through quite strongly; the strings and brass aren't the best sounding things in the world, but they are used extremely well. The arrangement of the themes is top-notch... though transitions were notably neglected. Honestly, I don't think To Zanarkand was needed at the end at all, definitely not as developed as it is. It's a much weaker tail-end of the mix, with much less interesting arrangement going on that I think lets the rest of the track down. Still, it's a solid and at times stunning piece of music, even though it suffers from some unfortunate compartmentalisation. Truly great work, regardless.
  7. Just what I needed today. Nowhere near the dense, dark entangled epics that Shnabubula is famous for, this is actually pretty light, fluffy and chipper. It is of course imbued with the improvised jazz sensibilities that I love, but I really appreciate the change in tone and mood. I find its a lot harder to convey upbeat or light material and also make it complex, so I see this as a rare and remarkable achievement. My favourite thing about Shnab mixes is that he always makes it sound so easy and this one, while not technically or conceptually his strongest effort, is definitely his easiest to listen to. Brilliant.
  8. I have to say that I agree with the criticisms on this one, despite enjoying what I hear. I don't think the lo-fi elements necessarily mesh with the more serene, natrual elements in a particularly successful way. I also think that the intro tends to stagnate long before the main thrust of the mix. The ending is also notably underdone and sounds completely unconcieved, to tell you the truth. But hey, like I said, I still enjoy it. A good tune is a good tune, and there's still some pleasant (if a little minimal) times to be had with it. A lot more could have been done with this mix, but I still appreciate its merits and the work that did go into it. By no means a technical or substantial powerhouse though.
  9. Well, this has given me my prescripted amount of complex riffage for the day, thank you. I believe the lead and backing could have been a lot richer, but I'm really loving the thematic approach nevertheless. It's a bit of a slow-burner in terms of metal mixes, but eventually the tempo, the structure and the arrangement align and I get a much clearer idea of where this mix is coming from. At the beginning, I am merely an admirer of the craft, but by the end I'm a total fan of the mix. It may be a hard sell to some, and it's a mix I would greatly prefer to listen to with proper headphones, but there's a lot to love tucked within the chaos if you award it a little patience.
  10. Wow, okay. Kinda caught me off guard. Terrific style and production going on here. I'm really loving that this is a who's-who of Sonic tunes, sound effects and those miniscule motifs in the Sonic series that everyone overlooks but really contribute a lot to the soundtrack. This is a brilliant construction and, on top of it all, its wonderfully tuneful too. Everything sounds super fresh thanks to a signature synth-funk sound, carefully placed cameos and a constantly progressing arrangement. Definitely liking this one a whole lot.
  11. High on energy, high on pop sensibility, and just plain high. Nice amount of speed with this one. It just tears from one segment to the next, from one decade to the next. Everything sounds in order. Yep, there's a smidgen of Pendulum throughout, but I love that it's got a sound all its own. The 8-bit flavours are well-pronounced, suit the breakneck pace and gives some good articulation on those great melodies and the additional interpretations thereof. This is a lot more poppy than most Drum and Bass skewed mixes on here, but that shouldn't be mistaken for a negative comment. I like the fusion of melody and speed, and I think this is a great example of why that is. Really cool stuff.
  12. I would have loved to hear that epic theme break through a little more than it does. Not quite enough of a dominant melody for my tastes, but the mix captures a spacey, celestial sound in a pretty interesting way, so its a decent trade-off. Percussion is impossible to ignore in this one, as it tries to hog all the attention. I would say that it is too bright, to be honest, and that the same mood could have been achieved with slightly less caustic sounds. The balance is a bit all over the place in terms of foreground and background, chaos and calm, however overall its been managed into a pretty cohesive track. This is far from my favourite Blind mix, but I can appreciate its technical merits all the same.
  13. So far removed from Zelda music as you can get; all the shrill highs that made Link's Awakening's score so iconic and memorable for me have been melted way down by EXTREEEEEEEME mellowness. And by extreme mellowness, I mean... just copious quantities of mellow. The result does border on saccharine at certain times, but I personally think it sidesteps that whole vibe by being so technically profound and committed to its approach. It's smooth, rich, warm and sounds like it belongs at the tail-end of a 80s cop movie. A great, collaborative take on a difficult and unremarkable source.
  14. Sounds pretty retro. I really enjoy this because it pulls no punches, it decides what it wants to do and it does it. Whether intentional or not, the deteriorated samples exude that classic 80s synth action movie score vibe, which fits the Metal Gear universe to an absolute tee. What's really cool is that it not a brisk medley, and yet it stays quite varied despite its unremarkable samples. I wouldn't say this is a landmark in remixing by any means, but it's epic for what it is. I had sections I liked better than others and transitions that could have made a little more sense, but that's part and parcel with these sort of long-winded medleys. I enjoy the old-school sound of this old mix, and I'm convinced that this is the ideal way to listen to Metal Gear tracks.
  15. There's no denying the insane quality of this mix. While it pretty much deconstructs everything the source tune stood for, what it rebuilds with the same materials is pretty astonishing. I suppose I'd expect nothing less than professional sounding music from a professional musician. You've just got to love those awesome orchestral elements fighting through the barrage of synths and rapid trance. Everything acts as a very fine tapestry; I really love Kaufman's attention to layered detail. Even though I think Baal Bhaagna showcases more of his technical prowess, you can't go past this one for that pure, adrenalised buzz. /badpun.
  16. Surprisingly, I like this a lot. The comments for this one negate to mention that there actually is a decent amount of arrangement going on beneath the 'generic' techno structure of the mix. I actually disagree that this has a generic sound, because for me generic indicates that something was sacrificed in order to stay conservative with the sound choices. I don't believe that's the case, especially since this is a revised edition. What's here is quite standard techno, but in no way is that a drawback. It supports the melodies quite suitably and it allows for an energetic arrangement. I will say though that the drums are unremarkable and the whole low-tone choir with xylophone thing is a little worn out on me (must be those thousands of hours of Goldeneye multiplayer). But hey, this is still way above the usual techno fare. Much more melodic than generic.
  17. I'm going to repeat what most other people have said; it really could have used a conceptual backbone bringing this out of "best-of medley" territory. It does sound like a sampler of sorts, which is distracting and doesn't really serve the music at all. But since the music is what really counts, it's pretty easy to ignore the segmentation of the mix. Each segment is a knock out and represents an authentic appreciation for a wide range of prog rock. Lots of complex guitar work and infused jazz. That's kinda my thing, and I got a real kick out of the extensive showcase of both homage and freshness that was put into each individual track. As a collective, I have issues with the presentation. It's not where it needs to be as a fully realised medley. Instead its a sequence of ridiculously good, well-produced, well-performed rock tracks. And that's more than enough to satisfy me. Well done.
  18. So, even though I haven't listened to this mix in possibly 4-5 years, I'd still say it is my most listened to mix. I remember just looping this for hours and hours, doing various school assignments and editing projects. It's got that unobtrusive, building progression that is perfect for sustained listens. Listening to it now, I hear a lot of small issues I couldn't hear back then. The brass sample at the beginning jars my memory quite a bit. It also veers quite close to Titanic-association with the fusion of the drum sample and pop sensibility with traditional Irish instruments. Nevertheless, listening to it now, it's pretty clear why this has always been a firm favourite for me. I loved the source tune, and this accentuates it in every way I'd want. Most samples still sound incredible; the pipes are a great addition. I really love layered, delicately arranged pieces like this... and I'm sure I'll be playing this a lot more from now on.
  19. Way too liberal in terms of arrangement. Trying to connect the dots between this and the Mega Man 4 score is a complex amount of detective work, and it shouldn't be like that. The music itself is amazing, but I really think that a large aspect is missing here: The videogames. It's a stretch to call this a mix... its more Music Inspired By Mega Man 4. But like I said, it's GREAT music. I recognise the percussion from one of the earlier Bjork albums, and its used to very good effect. It definitely gives the mix gravitas. The strings and synths serve the mix well too, and it all equates to a terrific, moody piece of music. But it obviously had a lot more focus on being produced well than representing the game it's meant to be derived from.
  20. I'm very partial to mixes like this, and that is of course in spite of it sounding incredibly dated in terms of instrumentation. However, compared to a lot of these aged mixes, this has a specific focus on the simplicity of its chosen melody, enhancing it nicely with the percussion and choir pads. While this does veer more to the "midi with a drum track" approach, the end result is a surprisingly effective one. I'm not familiar with the source tune at all, but overall, I think this sort of treatment is actually beneficial to what it is. It's accentuated in all the right places, and doesn't trample the delicate simplicity by mining the material for gold which may or may not exist. I can't give this full marks, because it does so many things that bad mixes do... but to also lump it in with those isn't right either. Concerning my dislike for midi mixes with an added drum track, this is an exception that proves the rule. But I do despise that bird call sample, guh.
  21. How is this not a cult favourite? It's a remarkably strong gem buried in the archaic drum-looped MIDI wasteland of the early OCR catalogue. And one of those VERY rare beasts that could even pass off as a modern mix. Dare I say it might pass the judges...? (No. No, I would not dare.) Technically, its a pretty basic package, but it's adorned with so much personality and surprisingly interesting expansions of the source tune. I'm actually pretty stunned that something like this came so early. Very enjoyable stuff. It's a tragedy that I had forgotten this thing existed for so long. It should be one of the greats.
  22. It's kinda astonishing how the least remarkable track from the DKC2 soundtrack could become something as grand and developed as this. It embellishes absolutely everything about the original in order to transform the utterly trivial into an accomplished composition. Quality of sound is pretty high, naturally. Lots of cinematic flair helps a great deal. It's got the right amount of range and scope (lots!) to both convince me of its merits and entertain me. Of course it is impossible to remix a source like this without doing some major arrangement legwork, but even with that in mind, I feel that this goes beyond the call of duty to deliver. I'm glad this didn't turn out to be an overlooked throwaway, like the source track probably deserved.
  23. While not being as dynamic production-wise as I'd expect, this mix knocks it out of the park when it comes to arrangement. Superbly creative, Guile's theme is established really early so we can be introduced to original material which gradually blooms back into Guile's theme. Quite a nice way to tackle the rock infusion that's happening here. I do love myself some slow, emotionally driven guitar rock. The original material does far outweigh the source material, but I wont tell if you wont. Like I said, production is a little underpar. Things sound a bit washy listening on speakers, some samples are a bit on the nose, but overall, wow. Impressive use of the material to create something completely separate altogether. Creative stuff.
  24. Really could have benefited from a building intro. I know that the original version of this mix had a more substantial intro, and I also realise that there is a stylistic advantage to just rocketing straight into the hard stuff (ala a high-speed jet-bike race), but ultimately my brain gets overwhelmed in the early confusion. Once I get recover from my discombobulated stupor however.... there's some broad, inoffensive trance here that does everything you'd expect and not a thing more. It sounds great, and I don't think it overstays its welcome at all. it's trance. It does what trance does. And does it very adequately. This is quite a straightfoward piece from Blind; very technically focused and I'm guessing a lot more suited to people that know and understand the ins-and-outs of electronic musical production. For me though, its lack of hooks make this just a slick, harder-than-average trance mix. Still, kudos for the skill involved (and representing the N64).
  25. More Morse-brand candy! So smooth, so mellow... and yet so filled with the chaos of pop-rocks. God, I love this. It's the usual, just-below impossible level of quality you'd expect from Morse, but one thing I noticed with this piece is that the background and overall soundscape was much more developed and pronounced than in his other mixes. As good as they are, earlier mixes just assaulted the front end of the mix with as many instruments as possible. This seems a lot more refined to me and it still captures the crazy solos that we are used to as well. I have absolutely no knowledge of the source music, but I sure did like hearing this version of it. I'll never get bored of this brand of music.
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