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djpretzel

OCR01393 - *YES* Sonic & Knuckles 'Catapult'

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Nice. - djp

Hey Dave,

Long time no submit :D Anyway, I've got a remix here for ya that's a shoe-in to be my huge comeback after having not had anything posted for so long. Check it:

It's a remix from Sonic & Knuckles of Flying Battery Zone. Felt like pulling out my breakbeat skills once more after that DDR remix awhile back. This one completely sapped my computer for everything it had.

--

-Dain

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http://www.zophar.net/gym/SK+SONIC3.RAR - 18 "Flying Battery Zone 1"

The track was pretty sharp from the outset, but that doesn't mean it didn't have any problems. I felt the track was too loud and cluttered in places. Particularly at :42-1:11, you can't really distinguish the melody very well. We finally got into the meat here at 1:27 with some overt rearrangement of the theme. I don't feel instrumentation of the melody possessed enough distinction from the other sounds in play, but it gets better for my ear over repeated listens. The sounds choices were too samey and the sounds themselves smooshed together from :42-1:11 & 1:28-1:55, but the chorus at 1:55 fixed that up and brought the melodic content into focus.

Nice beats at 2:25; that's bound to be a hit-or-miss idea. Continuing onto 2:39, we're getting a lot of original freestyle stuff. The saw wave deal is the most prominent sound, but I was disappointed in the supporting synths playing Flying Battery being so shunted to the back and not really playing a significant part from 2:40-3:07.

Oooh, nice stuff with a new synth finally getting in there at 3:22 and throwing some personal flair in the source tune, that's what I'm talking about. The melody sounds kind of on it's own and the supporting synths and beats don't seem to really gel with the lead; maybe some of the rest of you will feel what I'm hearing there. The ending also seemed to kind of run out of steam after 4:18, going for a few more bars of beats before the last (NON-tacky!) cymbal shot with some nice effects at 4:33.

Ultimately, I'm slightly borderline but can safely go YES, because this definitely plays around with the source material well, and the premise of alternating sections with some original ideas was good. The arrangement was solid stuff and makes a good companion piece to "Deep Damp Sandcastle."

Some of the mixing choices here may simply be what my personal preference is going against, like with Dain's most recent DDR mix, because I'm not a fan of sounds overly bleeding together when in my opinion they detract from the listening experience. Works in more ambient material, but doesn't seem to work here where it tends to simply sound messy. Luckily that doesn't hurt the mix too substantially for my ear. Glad to still see you in the game, Dain! Keep 'em coming!

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2:11 was the highlight of the track for me. The bass drums pound each beat into my head almost knocking me over but the tight-as-hell synth catches me leaving me bouncing back and forth to the groove. Later at 2:39 when the additional distorted synth joins in by emphasising the off beats, the entire dance apparatus has finally been constructed and it does what it's supposed to.

After all the HARD-core sounds the sweet talkin' synth that shows up at 3:25 hit's the spot. It's like "I only hurt you cause I love you baby!" Right right, so we got tight rhythm work [not just drumwork since all of the instruments get in on forming the backbone of the beat] some nice occasional contrasts and a not-all-that heavily interpreted source with a good amount of original material mixed in.

YeS

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good to see beatdrop back for some more action, and certainly he delivers the action.

lots of hard, fat synths.

might give you ear fatigue if you listened on loop,

but enough to keep one entertained throughout.

nice interpretation, nice execution.

not much more to look for...

yes

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I was starting to wonder whatever happened to beatdrop.

First some minor complaints: When there's so many loud elements as this mix has, there's always the possibility of the wall of sound and cluttered sections and indeed this mix has some of those problems, but in this case they'd probably be nitpicking. I think there's too much high frequencies here personally, a lot of the sounds are overly bright. I wish there were more instrumental or compositional aspects in the middle frequencies that could have sat in between the drums, lead, bottom end. I don't care for the lead too much either. A little too brittle for my tastes...but

Slight gripes aside, this is very well put together and has a distinct quality in the level of polish. There's also a good amount of energy running through the mix, which for this style of music is key. Cool. YES

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