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Everything posted by Marmiduke

  1. My face melted and my brains turned to liquid. This is crazy, even by the standards of other crazy mixes. And that's a good thing. With a mix like this, it's important to not let a second be wasted, and to not allow the listener to stop and analyse exactly what you're doing and how you're doing it. That's totally incosequential to the purpose of this type of music, and I'm glad that purpose is fulfilled here. Of course, that's not to say is sounds bad. Because it's actually got a great sound to it, made even greater by impeccable production work and constantly shifting tempos and leads. This is probably the most hectic as they come, though I wouldn't describe it as too complex. It's a masterful slice of chaos that harkens back to the birth of progressive rock and beyond. A very impressive package and a great one for those really late nights.
  2. Ah YES! I've been waiting for this one to pop up in my random playlist so I could give a little review. Definitely a good sign if I think about a mix even when I haven't heard it for years. It's clear that it's eclectic sound contributes a lot to why it's so memorable and why it stands out so much, moreso though is the fact that it's so well constructed and works on so many different levels. This is tight stuff. The arrangement and structure are the main focal points of adoration for me. It's got a very simple objective of extensive building and climaxing, but goes about it in gloriously diverse ways. The instrument choices do a great job in presenting those ideas by sounding really cool yet alien, but also rooted in that classic nostalgia the music derives from. This is one of those mixes that marries the concept, sound and execution so well that its hard to believe it can be improved upon. Any OCR collection should have this in it.
  3. Kinda sounds a lot like this was a musical experiment that just happened to sound sturdy enough to be given some extra support. But not THAT much. As much as I enjoy listening to this, I always get that nagging feeling that it wasnt loved and developed as much as it probably should have been. There are slight problems with transitions and placements, that for me dont hinder the music too much, but I'd rather have seen them ironed out. It's got a rough quality, and it's got a more complex sound than most other mixes. It does a lot more right than wrong, so it's a winner in my book. The synths and the drums are below the ideal level nowadays, but nevertheless, they've been put to great use here. Solid enough to be able to ignore its flaws.
  4. I'm not surprised that Larry's quote isn't pleasing to everyone's ears, but you can weigh up the pros and cons of it all day. It's my opinion that saying "It doesn't sound bad, but it could have sounded better if they were removed." is a pointless statement. It's what the creators went with, and without their creative judgements, the mix wouldn't exist. The voicework is the sort of addition that may take a couple of listens to properly climatise to, but I really feel they eventually grow roots into the rest of the music as opposed to sitting on top of everything else as a garnish. The rest of the piece is a showcase of energy and slickness, with a dark element that cements it all together. This stands up with the other big mixes from VotL, but considering the calibre of the collab, that didnt come as too much of a shock.
  5. One of the more recent mixes that punctuate OCR's release history. We get a lot of remixes on the site, but few are as impactful as this. It's familiar territory genre-wise, but interesting the entire way through. A mix like this is all about production, and it is just overflowing with extremely high production values. The vocals take it up that extra notch. Usually when a mix is this good, I feel like it's someone showing off. With this though, knowing the story behind it, there's not a selfish thing about it. This is an undeniably stellar piece and an instant classic. I'm overjoyed that bLiNd was generous enough to share it with the world. I dare say that a trance mix has never sounded as good as it does here. bLiNd is the one to beat.
  6. Elegant sound complete with a floaty vibe. I have to say I like how things have turned out here, but I'm not totally sold on specific elements. I think the vocals were a real gamble. These could have cut the legs out from under this whole thing and made it a dispicable mess. Thankfully, that isn't the case. But it still leaves me with a jarring vision of how horrible this could have been. I think the problem lies with the narrow range of the vocals. DragonAvenger seems content at singing this in one specific way without chamging it up at all. Again, the instrumental aspects of the mix manage to make this work, and perhaps that was the intended reason for these vocals. The instrumental portions are fantastic and are the sole reason this is a success. I can hear the island influence, but also a fresh and very satisfying synth rhythm. Yes, the vocals do conjure up a J-Pop sensibility, but sometimes even J-Pop artists start to tread over the 'just plain flat sounding' line. This mix is as close to that line as I'd want to hear on OCRemix. I'm happy if people can make it work well creatively (as is done here, and with many other examples), but I think if you've got the talent to give those vocals more range, do so.
  7. Ah yes. I remember this one. Pretty fondly, I might add. A great blend of spacey tones on that sporadic sort of funk that OCR is no stranger to. I like the boldness of the direction; there is no ambiguity of what this piece was meant to achieve, and it's easy to appreciate the straightfoward approach. I can see a point of contention when it comes to percussion, but most of the time I coast over that anyway, so I don't think it's very fair for me to lambaste that. I don't think this is the style of mix that can get noticably repetitive, myself. And even if I did, I think this is a wonderfully varied ride through space with funky accompaniment. It's by no means the most potent or complex mix that djp has ever come out with, but hey, it doesn't have to be. I still regard it pretty highly.
  8. It's amiable listening today, but I can very much imagine that this would have been a much bigger deal when it first hit way back when. The samples are actually still pleasant to listen to, but they have dropped out of the 'realism' category long ago. The arrangement, whilst being reasonably flexible and delivers some nice touches, doesn't really say enough about the source that I haven't heard before. It's a great source, and indeed, I think this mix does it justice. However, with what's here and at the length that it is, I just can't get enthusiastic about it. Yeah, it's more than a midi cover with a drumline (and a great drumline, I might add), but this still feels like it wasn't fleshed out to meet its full purpose.
  9. It's refreshing to hear something so percussion based and for it not soar into bombastic regions. I find that pretty rare with orchestral styled mixes. And to top it off, there's an electronica influenced weaved through it. The very mannered inclusion of vocals is a real treat; never overbearing and always elusive enough to drive home that message of mysticism and otherwordly ethnicity. The piano and brass helped keep things moving into newer territories, while also sounding very welcome amongst everything else. Terrific debut and an exciting advancement on a genre that I thought I had worked out. It's not all there yet, but this specific blend of sounds is one that I really dig. Gets some very enthusiastic approval from me.
  10. Really love the chamber style approach, though it frustratingly lacks that chamber ambience. The arrangement is definitely there; it has all I'd ever want from a realistic, classical interpretation of the theme. The only thing that detracts is that it is so upfront about it's sound, flaws and all. Masking some of those mixing artefacts and the wear-and-tear that the samples have suffered could have fixed this. But if you accept the sound for what it is and focus on enjoying the way this melody has been arranged, I think it's a lot more rewarding. Don't think I'll ever get tired of classed up versions of VGM, this mix included.
  11. Wow, what a reinvention of the original tune. Takes what is probably the most memorable song it in the entire Keen franchise into a completely unexpected direction. Cool Euro krautrock sort of vibe going on. I think the voicework makes the piece myself, but it would work adequately enough without it too. The synths are excellent and are right where they need to be in terms of volume and pitch. What's great is that there is atmosphere without compromising coherence or variety. The diversity of ideas, sounds and textures is amazing. It's quite a unique track, and not one I would have thought would appeal to the vast majority of listeners. But this thread has proven me wrong, to my pleasant surprise. Good to see awesome music get some much-deserved respect.
  12. I have to say, despite it's flaws (of which there are bucketloads), I can creepily say that I adore this WAY more than it deserves. It's a paradox of epic proportions. The samples are just tragic, it's as sparse an arrangement as you could possibly have, and yet I don't hate it. Not only do I not hate it, I cherish it. I don't know, I guess for me this is a time capsule of a more innocent era where mixes like this could still come out of remixers who aren't just lazy. Goddamn it, it SOUNDS ambitious, celebratory and worthy of my attention. Even though it clearly isn't. But for that 1 minute 28 seconds, I'm under the illusion that it is, and that's all that counts. It's odd that I can see so much wrong with this, and yet have nothing to complain about. Keep it, flaws and all.
  13. Amazing melding of the very distinguishable Morse sound with an unexpected eastern flavour. It's definitely more of a stylistic departure from the more centric retro-groove that I'm used to hearing. That said, I think this outreach into experimentation has resulted in one of my favourite mixes from Joshua. It's as combustible as any of his other pieces, but it burns just that much more intensely because of the new air around it. All the staple ingredients of a classic Morse track are here; if you've heard anything else by him, you'll recognise his style right away. But that doesn't mean it wont be a pleasantly surprising earful of slick, sharp disco groove. As per usual, I love the crap out of this.
  14. Cool, cool, cool. Definitely has it's own little thing happening. Quirky, sombre, ambient. A pretty eclectic combination, and yet the effect it creates is contant interest and enjoyment. Slow music is fantastic, but often predictable. I like that this throws a few anti-stereotypical sounds in there to blow away a few potential cobwebs from the same old melancholic formula. I wouldn't go as far as saying it's quirks make it exceptional on a memorable level; this won't blow anyone's mind or change the way people approach this plodding style of mix. But it is a nicely executed track with a few interesting irregularities in sound and tone.
  15. Okay, so it's almost too easy to pick on this for being repetitive. And make no mistake, I'm giving this one low marks because of it. But I'm also here to defend it. I can understand this mix in the way I can understand other examples of ultra-repetitive loops (I'm a fan of videogame music, which should speak volumes). The amount of time spent droning on that same loop actually pays off once the small amount of variation starts to enter in at the end. It's like light at the end of the dungeon, so to speak. There's meaning to the madness in this one, I believe, and I think it belongs here on OCR. However, it is such an annoying song. It is more annoying than the source, because I find the source much easier to set aside and lose focus on. There's something about the loop that seems awkward and unfitting that the original seemed to avoid. I didn't like the looping cycle at all, and that's pretty much what this mix is about. So I'm not a fan. I think it's more than a straightforward remake, but the margin is quite tiny. Lots of room for improvement.
  16. This was a really nice surprise for me. Not a track I remember much at all from the last time I listened through the full OCR catalogue, but one that now makes me wonder how that can be. I love this to bits. There's a few critiques about this being messy and a bit lost and I know the points people are referring to, but I can't help but see them in a 'glass is half full' perspective. It's not mess, it's organised diorganisation. It gives it a beautiful human element that the samples might not have been able to convey on their own. It's also a skillfully broad transition between the acoustic and electronic sections. I can't really fault this. It nails everything I look for, and does so with an under-the-radar grace I really appreciate. Won't be forgetting about this again.
  17. Without a doubt, one of my favourite mixes on the site. It's one of those songs that goes far and beyond what you would come to expect from a mixer creating music for an unpaying fanbase. A medley at heart; but you'd almost never know it. McVaffe uses polar opposites in approach (contemporary and classic instruments, flowing consistancy zagged with time signature switches, and the titular light and shade in sound) to draw us into every new section and to redesign our memories of these pretty familiar tunes. The three themes are married so well to eachother and to the distinct concept of the piece, it makes it hard the mix to beat in terms of medleys. I think the most important aspect of the whole thing is that it eventually comes full circle and brings us back to the initial context from the intro, cementing the mixes identity and ensuring that this isn't just a scrapbooking of three ideas McVaffe had while listenig to the LttP soundtrack. Each section bleeds into the other, further enriching the already top-notch arrangements of classic LttP tunes. In particular, the credits theme struck the strongest chord with me, accentuating the original's nuances with that equisite McVaffe piano performance. If I could give this more of a glowing review, I would. Mixes that surpass this one are pretty rare(although it does still happen, so there is still a reason to keep on listening).
  18. A spiffy, tropical hotel lobby rendition on the theme. The instrument variation and clarity keep this from losing altitude and entering elevator music territory (although the cameo of 'The Girl from Ipanema' was probably too much, seeings as it is THE elevator song). It's the little touches that make this such a success, though. Updated samples are one thing, but the small flourishes of arrangement really sell this. The overall piece doesn't sound that dissimilar to the original in terms of direction and flavour; instead it has been built on with some real nice subtleties and deviations. Probably overshadowed by a lot of other tracks on VotL, but still a great, laid back listen.
  19. This is pretty excellent, harmless material put together slickly and with some warmth as well. It's your typical chill vibe for the most part, but if you scrutinise, you'll find it ventures a little more on its own path. I wouldn't say it represents the source in the best way possible, but the production is top notch, everything works like clockwork, and I didn't even have a problem with the ending everyone else has an issue with. It's the bitter twist at the end of a sweet cocktail. Overall, I could definitely see myself listening to this a lot more. I like it a lot.
  20. Booooo for shortness. But Hell Yes! for everything else. This would be awesome as an energiser for a NIN album, as it has the grit, the nerve and the edge of genre down pat. But what I really love is that it retains a sense of fun uncharacteristic of the industrial genre (though not totally unprecedented). It's tough, but playful at the same time, making it a great listen on multiple counts. It's always good to catch up with some of Mazedude's later offerings. Wish this was a more substantial meal for my ears, but it will still hold me over nicely.
  21. Holy ass. This covers a lot of ground in an irresistably chaotic flurry of nicely selected instruments. You've just got to love the ride this takes you on; you can almost feel the sonic environment blazing by. You can really hear Nase's talent here, as the approach could easily result in an ugly mishmash collection of instruments. And yet when listening to it, the possibility of that prospect doesn't even come to mind. I guess what I love most is that it is a constantly evolving, fluid entity that is something distinct every few moments, but still adheres to the same consistent design throughout. It gives us a taste of a whole range of flavours; a musical buffet if you will. Coupled with the insane arrangement, its an extraordinarily good formula. This is one I need to remember for when I get a craving for pure, awesome production bliss.
  22. You can throw me on the "I liked it" pile. I've always kept an extra-open mind when it comes to CotMM, because I know it most certainly does not pay off to tackle some of his material with heavy expectations. That being said, the accessibility here isn't as strained as some of his other works. It plays like a haunting eulogy in the shadow of the original and that alone is bound to not be everyone's ideal listening experience, but I think it's the vocals that must be throwing a lot of people off. Admittedly, the first time I heard them I thought they were a very hard sell and didn't think they belonged. They have grown on me after a few runthroughs, but they aren't quite right and fail to convey the amount that they could have. You could say they sound creepy because of it, but I think it's just that they are askew to the mix's design. It's adequate sombre stuff, and both a successful and imperfect experiment with monologue. It deserves props for being different at the very least. I really didn't mind this at all.
  23. Awesome Bob's Pizzeria commercial. It's one of those things you can't get out of your head, until you catch yourself pointlessly muttering the words for no good reason and suddenly all you can think of is getting a slice of pizza to silence the maddening jingle circling around and around inside your skull! It's marketing 101. Musically, the source is pretty basic, and this mix doesn't stretch it to any new bounds at all. The faux-jazz, lounge pop direction suits it pretty well, but I think most of the legs are in the back end of the piece. The beginning is a flood of low tones, overwhelming on my headphones (but I'm sure is less of a problem on speakers) and threw me off slightly. But by the end, and with the vocals as an especially nice touch, things resolve decently and the I think the intended sound of the mix is achieved. It has distinction, and is wisely brief. A small, fun track from a master of versatility and family restaurant plugging.
  24. Nicely toned down, emotive work with a truly beautiful arrangement. It's both heart-rending and peaceful at the same time; a great dual role piece. Being an early mix however, there are technical shortcomings that pop out when listening microscopically through headphones. Some of the samples seem stark and it's not the tidiest of songs, but frankly that's stuff I couldn't care less about. As far as achieving beauty through simplicity, this one knocks it out of the park. And it has, quite possibly, one of my favourite climaxes of any mix. Stunning example of OCR: The early years.
  25. This mix works a lot better once you know all of the ingredients. A first time listen can be a bit dicey, as it comes very close to selling itself as a repeating trance line. I don't have anything against that, personally. But compared to what this eventually develops into, it would have been disappointing. Thankfully, things become much more varied and expansive about midway through and things sound nice and punchy. There's a lot of power put into the beats, which I like, and the sound effects (unmistakably from Starcraft) are adequate punctuation and bring some extra heat to the limited arrangement. It's not the most developed mix out there, but its full of a dark sort of energy and gets fuller in diversity as it goes along. There may be some trouble in the balance of the piece, but there's plenty of traits here that excuse any misgivings.
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