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OCR01416 - *YES* Sonic the Hedgehog 'Cryptic Marble'


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Email sub file DistantJ - Cryptic Marble.mp3

I apologise for attaching the file - I'm 'between jobs' and have no money for decent webspace. People have been constantly ugring me to submit this song, so I figured I'd just do it instead of waiting for someone to offer me some webspace to upload it to. I hope this isn't too inconvenient.

Here's the information:

Contact Info

Your ReMixer name: DistantJ

Your real name: Sam B.

Your email address: distantj@gmail.com

Your userid (number, not name) on our forums : 6272. (I think - that's what's on the end of the URL when I visit my profile.)

ReMix Info

Name of game(s) ReMixed: Sonic the Hedgehog (Megadrive/Genesis)

Name of individual song(s) ReMixed: Marble Zone Theme

Your own comments about the mix, for example the inspiration behind it, how it was made, etc.:

Aztec, ethnic sounding trance take on Sonic's Marble Zone theme.

Though I don't usually dedicate as much time and attention to my videogame remixes as I do my original pieces, I got a little carried away here. This is technically the third take on Marble Zone I've done, and goes a lot further than the previous ones did. I simply applied the genre-rule-bending nature of a lot of my original work to a vidogame remix.

There are quite a few original sections in here, too. People seem to like it, and I'm quite pleased with it too, since I've approached the theme at an angle I usually save for original pieces.

Whatever - the important part: Enjoy it.

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http://www.zophar.net/gym/sonic.rar - "Marble Zone"

The intro was very serene. Drums were a little fakey, but the texture was good. The cymbals coming in at :23 were pretty weak though, and were irritating throughout the mix. Starting to get on me; Too exposed. Some more powerful sounds arrived at :30.

The Marble Zone melody came in at :45, and the foundation was decent, but some of the added percussion and sounds were somewhat exposed, like the tambourine. I liked the shakuhachi at 1:14 of course, as we hit the original break section. There's the shaku AGAIN at 1:35 & 1;42; why are you overusing that sampled phrase like that? Don't rely on it like a crutch, as it's not THAT cool to use it as often as it's used here. Bring more ideas with it into the picture. The Marble Zone chorus was briefly reference before going to sitar-driven section at 2:15. Pretty cool stuff; I liked the source tune being referenced in the back there.

2:29 hit a more...pedestrian...original section that could have been more engaging. Cool new pad sounding instrument at 3:00 to give the track a bit more depth. Another hot riff section at 3:13 with some nice original xylo stuff (Xylo? Ah shaddap, Gray). The chorus at 3:45 felt too conservative, but the additions were good. More arrangement ideas at 4:15 to keep things changing and developing. Just liking the whole vibe for the last section at 4:43.

The ending/resolution was really weak at 5:10. The synths faded out too quickly at 5:13, without any significant effects on them for a smooth-sounding fade-out. The production and texture on this came a long way from some of your previous work, Sam. You really prevented clutter and clipping from being an issue for me, and I liked the result. The arrangement really changed up a great deal, so while some may be disappointed that this didn't stay in one place very often, and some of the melodic content deserved more personal flair and interpretation, but the end result got the job done.

Not necessarily superlative work, and that's certainly not to be taken as a bash, but I'm really pleased at the strides you've made with getting your material to sound more professionally put together. I hope you keep up this level of quality consistently in the future, and hope you keep improving. Nice work, bro!


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A few months ago, at Anime Remix some of us judges there complained about your overuse of the well known and overused enigma shaku phrase. Unfortunately you overuse it to ridiculous levels here as well. I think it definitely adds a nice element in the mix but when it's overused so much like it is here, it loses its impact and its cool factor.

Now as far as this mix, this is definitely the best I've heard from you. The arrangement is thought out and works. What I think really makes this mix is the good blending of all the textural elements. The synths, pads, drums and perc all fit.

Production is a big leap above what I've heard from you as well. I don't have many issues here that would be only nitpicking.

Good arrangement and good production overall. This mix works on those levels and more importantly, especially for this genre is an extremely enjoyable and catchy listen. Refreshing work. YES

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Shaka - Hatchi!

*crazy Chinese flute sound*

Gray, master of En Passant and King's Gambit, is right in siting the dramatic overuse of the *Waaadooooooooowwwww* effect. I wasn't a fan of how the percussion overpowered the main flute in the beginning. Nor was I a fan of the bridge section where it's just drums and a bass for a rather disconcerting amount of time.

But there is a nice texture here, phrasing, and some competant arrangement. The good stuff edges out the bad, but this is one of the rarer borderline YES's from me.

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At first, I thought this was going to be kinda lame, given the basic dance sounds and structure that I thought I heard right off the bat (plus that ridiculously overused E-MU Shakuhachi phrase). However, I was pleasantly surprised as the mix evolved and developed, especially at the halfway point. I have to say, this is quite an improvement over other stuff I've heard from you. It's got a nice interpretation factor, solid arrangement, and a variety of sounds that AREN'T JUST TRANCE SYNTHS!! Thank you! I have heard more than enough of those over the last few months and I'm quite sick of them. My main complaint would probably be that it's a little on the long side and it feels a bit stretched towards the end, but that's not even a big deal.

No good reason for this not to pass, in my opinion. Good job all around.


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