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djpretzel

*NO* Fröhn 'Remastered Gabber Mix'

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Hi, my name is Max Levin, and this is Fröhn by The Cheesebakers:

I recently changed name on the group from The Cheesemakers to The Cheesebakers since it was already taken, and with that change I decided to release this remastered version of me and Lman(Markus Klein)'s remix of the game Fröhn on OC ReMix.

original >> http://www.c64.org/HVSC/GAMES/A-F/Froehn.sid >> song 1

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i can't say this is much like the gabber i've heard.

the gabber i know is much harder and darker than this,

though i do hear the influences.. thick trance leads, annoying high pitched voices, loud kick from drum machines and abuse of amen breaks.

though, how does one turn the happy-go-lucky source material into gabber? not simply, i suppose.

i'd place this into not-so-hardcore happy hardcore, myself.

production-wise it's pretty good. everything is nicely balanced and mixed.

arrangement is kind straight-forward but the not-so-gabber genre adaptation is good.

the moments like 1:20-1:30 and 2:35-2:45 where things break down are what push this over the edge for me.

this mix is so damn goofy i really have to swallow my pride to give this my approval, even if it is only borderline.

yes (borderline)

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http://exotica.fix.no/tunes/archive/C64Music/GAMES/A-F/Froehn.sid - Subtune 1/3

Meh. I hate that generic synth lead at :40. Nothing creative in the synth design. Is the track really supposed to sound this cluttered? Maybe it's just me, but I honestly wasn't hearing anything sounding well-balanced. Whoa, 1:20-1:31 was nothing but clutter, before going for another iteration of the melody. Some new stuff came in at 1:43. Heh, the cheesy chipmunk SFX at 1:54. Wow. Another iteration of the melody at 2:05 in a higher key. The clutter is just putting me way off. I'd like to thing there was a way to make something full-sounding and fast-paced without it sounding too smooshed together. The generic sounds and textures weren't helping either. It just prevents the track from sounding unique.

Nice transition at 2:39-2:45 going back to the source melody. The melody came back for one last run at 2:45 for the finish. Wish more was going on with the melodic content beyond the speed-up and genre adaptation. A lot more could have been done with it. Too bad too, I've been looking for LMan to submit something for the longest time, but I don't think this is anywhere near his strongest work. Don't wanna take away from Max & Markus doing this fun collab, because what it has in energy and fun and all that, it's just lacking everywhere else.

NO

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Is the track really supposed to sound this cluttered?

Yeah I completely agree that this is cluttered but in the mix’s defense, that’s about like saying that a minimalist piece is sparse. In my limited experience, gabber is all about phat sounds, distorted kicks and weird SFX; just about what we have here. The arrangement is pretty conservative but as analoq said, the genre adaptation is well done so no gripes there.

Production quality is good. Panning keeps things separated as much as they can be, leads are clear and cut through the other elements, SFX sit in the back where they should, and I think excessive clutter is avoided for the most part. The exception comes at 2:17 when the Amen break is thrown under everything without dropping the snare fills. Way too many mid-range percussion things happening there. When the same break is layered under everything again at 2:50, the snare fills are left out which makes for a more effective cluttered sound.

Key changes keep things fresh, the break at 2:39 is hot, love the intro and this is short enough to not get annoying. I can see the NO vote, but I think this mix slides by without any major problems or without dipping below the bar. An enjoyable mix for me, and I’m sure fans of the genre would agree.

YES

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Hate this kind of beat. It's definitely that gabber sound, but it's such a sorry excuse for music to me.

Anyway, I'm in agreeance with Larry on that generic synth lead that comes in at 0:40. It's so hissy and bland. The sound of most of the samples in this are pretty dry and basic. I think a mix like this could have used some better effects work. Since the overall sound of these "Gabber" mixes are pretty ugly, they need good synthwork and a unique sense of style to make them enjoyable to listen to.

This one sounds generic to me. Overall the quality of the mix is acceptable. There's some nice panning in there on some of the synths. Nothing distorts, even though it's so cluttered. The sound effects sit neatly in the back of the mix. The little vocal clips through it are panned and pasted nicely. If it wasn't for the good overall sound of the mix, this would be an instant rejection from me.

The arrangement sounds like a very smooth transition from source to happy-"hard"core to me. The usage of the source melody is apparent all the way through the remix, however the difference between the two genre's gives this mix an extra edge.

There's enough creativity here to overlook the dryness of the lead and some of the other samples in this mix for me. As I said, not my type of music at all, but I can appreciate that it's certainly listenable and a good mix for it's genre.

MAYBE

Edit: Vote changed, check post further down.

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Ha, this is so off the wall. There's a lot going on, but I think everything meshes pretty well. The production is pretty clean, which is hard to do when you've got so much stuff all over the place.

I like the little interludes with the crazy retriggered breaks; it changes things up nicely.

It's a pretty good genre adaptation with a decent arrangement. I like how it's only 3:17; any more and it would be nauseating, but the length as it stands is just right.

I like it, so YES

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5Y please, since the style is so unorthodox. Don't want anyone coming out of the woodwork late saying they would have NOed.

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I wuld have gno'd, but I wuz busy putting spermatazoa on Larry's mic. lawls. Epona ftw.

The first reaction I had was, "WTF is this unholy bucholic [sic] crapulence?"

And that reaction pretty much sustained itself for much of the piece, though it was tempered with an open-mind about such... radical usage of sound waves.

To articulate what I like and don't like about this piece is something beyond me. But I'll tell you one thing, it's too damn weird for me NOT to pass up.

YES

and I garun-damn-tee you, if this gets passed, it's going to be the #1 sited reason why the panel is falling apart. I set my watch and warrent on it.

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and I garun-damn-tee you, if this gets passed, it's going to be the #1 sited reason why the panel is falling apart. I set my watch and warrent on it.

Exactly...

5 Yes so far and the majority... You guys aren't serious about yesing this mix are you? This is like fun and entertaining on some levels sure, but passing this mix? I can not think of a mix of this quality that we've passed since I've joined the panel. I don't say this as a slight towards this mix, but I don't think we've passed anything this questionable in a long time. This sounds like something that we would have passed 2-3 years ago, but certainly I don't see it passing now.

Considering this, I want to request a thorough consideration or full panel vote with zircon and I want to request djp to weigh in/consider overriding - if only for the record. With all avenues pursued, I will respect the ultimate decision on this mix, but at this point, I can't agree to letting things go without further evaluation of this.

I'm imploring the panel to reconsider this. It's not that the mix is horrible, it's pretty fun for what it is... but I don't see under what context this has earned OCR placement with respect to our bar, with respect to what we have rejected in the last year or two.

I would describe the mix as basic. It goes through the cliche motions of the genre. Basic, cheesy plain synths. I can't stand the high pitched vocals. The era of chipmunks is over. I don't wanna make blanket statements about genres, but I don't see what kind of draw chipmunk vocals add to a mix. There's lots of other sound fx here that help supplement a basic mix. The arrangement I thought was ok. On the positive side of things, I did like how he turned a fairly simple source material to something with the happy driven nature as this mix turned out to be.

Production was alright in my book. There was good usage of panning and the mixing and mastering was adequate, but beyond that both the samples and synth designs were basic and vanilla, if not below average for me.

Goofy and fun are the terms of the day, but where does this stand out in the quality department? The arrangement is basic, as is the production. This is not there yet in my book.

NO

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I'm changing my vote over. After having a proper listen through, the quality of the mix is quite basic. There are plenty of clever idea's in this, and I don't want to look like I'm genre-bashing either, but as I said before this type of mix really does need to have good synthwork moving beyond the basic dry sounds to be acceptable.

It's clever, and I like some of the ideas a lot, but yeah after more consideration, it's not the kind of mix that should be accepted through to the site.

NO

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if the kids who've never been to a club in their life want to complain about this crappy "techno" music then that's fine with me.

admittedly this mix does little for me but i couldn't have possibly done it better,

so i'm at a loss as to how this could be considerably improved.

it's certainly the best gabber/happyhardcore attempt i've seen yet on the panel.

my yes may be marginal, but i'm sticking with it.

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the production is fine. I just dont think this has any artistic merit. Sure you can dance to it, but we've many times decided that dancability is not and should not be enough to get a song passed. there is very little depth to this song, and very little keeping my interest.

NO

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I really don't feel that there is anything outright wrong with this mix. The production is good, the execution/synth design is good (though lots of the sounds are quite generic and overused), the drums fit the style, and the arrangement is solid. However.. stepping back and looking at the entire package I just don't feel that it passes our guidelines. Yes, it's enjoyable. But it's also about as cliche as you can get in many ways. Detuned saw leads, very simple and repetitive structure, distorted 909/808 drum sounds, cheesy vocals. We have rejected stuff like this in the past, though they were usually not quite as strong as this one. I don't feel comfortable going with a yes vote here.

NO

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Apparently we agree that the source is used well (unlike similar Liquid Neon subs), and the production is at least adequate. Then the only real issue to address is the generic synth design…and oh is it generic. I agree that there is nothing creative about it but that is not entirely relevant in this context. The creativity comes in the form of the synth’s use in the molding of the theme to this genre. As defaulty as they sound, they are effectively used to a specific musical end. Like analoq, I don’t see how this genre in the context of a remix could be pulled off much better. If this is true, and I’ll admit I’m no gabber/hardcore aficionado, then rejecting this mix for the reasons cited thus far would leave me wondering how this or mixes of similar genres could ever make it onto OCR.

As for the vox, I respect your opinion Gray but I think it’s inappropriate to condemn pitch shifted vocals or say that their era has passed. Very popular hip-hop producers like Kanye West and Timbaland have relied heavily on this technique for years with great success. Within the genre, it also seems to be a popular way of breaking up a potentially repetitive instrumental piece with rhythmic, energetic vocals. I generally like them, but their use is a matter of personal preference that shouldn’t be as large of a factor in votes on this and other subs as some members of the panel appear to have made it.

The concerns that have been brought up definitely push me towards a more borderline stance but I can’t find enough to warrant a NO. I find myself asking “what’s wrong with basic if it’s done well?”

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Continuing my guest series, I've invited one of the community's more well known experts on this genre, Xelebes to chime in as he did before with the previous gabber mix.

Alright, I think I have listened to this about 30-40 times so I think I have a good enough grasp on the song.

Let's get this straight - this is not gabber but rather happy hardcore. Gabber = aggressive, happy hardcore = happy and glee and all that stuff. Aside from that, this covers the happy hardcore sound very well, dated around 1995 and 1996. That is to say, this is not the best happy hardcore around but emulates a vintage styling when "rave" was breaking off into it's numerous genres. And it does a good job of that.

However, we've all grown from that and happy hardcore has grown to a more refined sound, abstaining from the shots of hoovers and strings, cheesy Korg M1 piano, Korg Poly800 lead and whatnot. However, this remains true to the style and that should not be a deterring point. I mean, this site has death metal on this site - so why not happy hardcore?

The music is not all that bad, infact it is quite enjoyable. The only thing that gets me is the vocal shots - especially that countdown sample. Just how it sounds just grates me. Not quite a mastering issue but maybe a different sample (as I am quite sure that the original sample is just as annoying) with the same thing. I am sure there are plenty of samples to be done.

For me, this is still borderline. As opposed to the other true gabber mix I commented on before, this does have all the cheese that can be contained within a happy hardcore song - which I believe is the point of the genre. Just like punk is meant to offend, metal is to be loud noise and industrial is meant to be destructive sound. I'm taking analoq's borderline yes as a good step here, I will definitely need to see djpretzel's response on this one.

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Alright.

From what I've heard of gabber and happy hardcore and similar genres, this is above average i.e. "good" for the genre. However, WHILE REMAINING OPEN-MINDED WHEN IT COMES TO ALL GENRES, what I think we have to take into account here is that certain musical genres are inherently less conducive to fulfilling OCR's requirements of production and arrangement. Certain genres are going to inherently favor verbatim repetition more than others, reuse of the same riff ad infinitum, etc. The cheesiness of the high-pitched vocal samples here, and the spastic, repetitive riffs and late key change all seem to me to be hallmarks of the style, indicators of competent arrangement and not "mistakes" or in (relative) poor or misguided taste. However, it's entirely plausible and possible that not every last genre is going to regularly yield results the panel (or myself) are cool with, based on our criteria. Hypothetically, if a musical genre involved nothing but a sitar playing the same note and someone smashing their head with a rock, in rhythm, we wouldn't be close-minded or biased in rejecting mixes in that genre. It's an extreme example, but... the same holds true for Gabber and happy hardcore imo - only the best of the best of the best might be satisfactory to fill production and arrangement requirements, and even then it might be because those mixes color outside the lines and twist the genre(s) itself beyond its traditional boundaries.

This is good stuff - an improvement over the vast abundance of happy hardcore & gabber mixes we've received to date. However, given the repetition, both sonic and compositional, inherent to the genre, I still don't think it's "there". It's not being close-minded or genrebiased to assess as objectively as possible the inherent qualities of a given genre and make decisions accordingly, and my decision here would thus be a No.

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