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Liontamer

OCR01698 - *YES* Cheetahmen 2 'Livin' Large!'

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Yo! Yet again you read my submission letter. Isn't it funny? So here comes CHEETAHMEN 2 - LIVIN LARGE!

Now, prepare yourself for EXTENSIVE INFORMATION:

Contact Info

* Remixer name: Another Soundscape

* Real name: Mattias Häggström Gerdt

* E-mail: anothersoundscape@gmail.com

* Website CHANGED: http://www.soundscape.escariot.net

* UserID: 12912

[ edit ]

ReMix Info

* Name of game(s) ReMixed: Cheetamen 2

* Name of individual song(s) ReMixed: Song 2 (unnamed) - "Final Fantasy IX - You're not alone" as an additional source. For great justice.

* Additional information about game, if it has not yet been added to the site, including composer, system, etc: (source, wikipedia) System - NES, Year - copyrighted 1992, found in 1997, Developer - Active Enterprises, Composer - Unknown from what I know.

* Link to the original soundtrack, if it is not one of the sound archives already available on the site: http://akumunsf.good-evil.net/C/Cheetah%20Men%202.nsf

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

As always, I love this part. Buckle your seat belts people!

So here it is. The first Cheetahmen II submission to reach OverClocked ReMix (I hope, or something is terribly wrong). When Larry showed me the youtube vid with the song I wasn't that interested. It was simple and the game was so bad I couldn't really enjoy it. After he offered anyone who finished and submitted a passable remix of the theme a free OCR-shirt though, I felt I wanted to at least try. He actually offered this to Fishy but I raced him and since I had a lot of free-time finished before him. Doesn't matter though because he's getting the shirt anyway, I've got two already. Anyway, when I started to remix this tune it really started to grow on me. It's simply but man is it catchy.

Since Fishy also did this I expected a heavy rock version. I could see why, this remix screams "rock out" but I wanted to do things differently. I tend to do that. I started by laying down the intro strings and bubbly synth texture for a straight electronic remix but as always, it got out of hand. While browsing potential sounds I took a trip through the AMAZING Electro Mechanical ReFill (free for registered owners of Reason 3+) and started jamming with a Clav. My hands went like crazy and I had to do this funk-style. So it was late and I recorded a LOT of licks. Took the best ones and started re-recording. Improvised an organ solo and started to touch everything up. I was actually amazed what I did in two days and honestly, I don't think I could've done this any better. :) Everything in this remix is played by me on the keyboard except the tam, the shaker and some ghost-note programming. Everything was done in Reason 4.

A big thanks goes out to Larry for really sticking by me with this, providing constant feedback and helpful tips. He actually recorded himsle sining a part he thought I should use as outro, which I did. Also I'd like to give JJT some creds, he gave me some great feedback and helped me with some minor issues. Much love guys.

Kind Regards,

Mattias Häggström Gerdt (Another Soundscape)

(thanks to Escariot, as always, for hosting)

MUCH LOVE!

----------------------------------------------------------------

Aight, let's lay out the story of Larry and the Cheetahmen.

On October 29th, forum-goer Kenobio posted a thread about Brian Ashcraft's Kotaku article on Cheetahmen II (and its Japanese internet meme) put up 4 hours earlier.

A nice piece of reading, but something I would have been done with quickly if it hadn't have been for one fan of the site, Happywulf, making a comment: "This is totally awesome. Do the guys at OC-Remix know about this gold yet?" That sounded like a request! I immediately blogged about it on VG Frequency.

On my first listen to the music, via the YouTube video in the Kotaku article, I didn't think it was anything special. The in-game sound effects messing up the playback of the music (due to the bugginess of the game) didn't help. Once I listened to some of the crappy Japanese MIDI rips though, I heard some potential of the track and gave it another chance. Subsequent listens had me realizing the song actually DID kick some ass, with me saying "The melody is deceivingly good."

In #ocremix that day, I already offered a bounty of an OCR t-shirt, bought and paid with free shipping personally sent by me, to the ReMixer who gets the first passed Cheetahmen II mix on OCR.

Some interaction during the day with judges I showed the video to included zircon saying the track was "boring and lame" and this memorable exchange:

<JJT> i think that soundtrack sucks, btw

<Liontamer> I wouldn't expect an unskilled musician such as yourself to truly...CONNECT with the glory of the Cheetahmen II soundtrack

The next day, AkumuHau, maintainer of the authoritative NSF archive messaged me on Facebook and let me know he had heard of the Cheetahmen II deal through my noise and had obtained a copy of the NSF!

The following day after that, I saved the information on the Cheetahmen and Cheetahmen II from being deleted from Wikipedia by merging the information with the game's developer Active Enterprises. Mattias, having started this track after I first pimped the game on the 29th, finished up this piece and submitted it on Halloween night. He named the track after this piece of work from the overly ambitious Cheetahmen comic, shamelessly ripping off the Ninja Turtles:

cheetahmen-comic-livin-large.jpg

And here we be.

http://akumunsf.good-evil.net/C/Cheetah%20Men%202.nsf - Track 2

http://tzone.org/~llin/psf/packs2/FF9_psf.rar - 409 "You're Not Alone!"

The strings in particular really opened the piece in a strong way. Good funky writing at :13, before introducing the drums at :26 and seguing to the meat of the arrangement at :33. Some people are gonna complain about the synth lead being grating, but I've learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. The opening in particular was pretty liberal but still derived from the source.

Cool mallet percussion at 1:01 to keep the source grounded in the track while the djp-esque funk soloing kicked in. 1:29-1:56 brought in the chorus of FFIX's "You're Not Alone!" (from 1:07-1:34 of that source) in the background during an otherwise original section. Good sneak, then dropping it out to give some dynamic contrast to the eventual move back into the source verse at 2:10. Liked the tense strings in the background from 2:10-2:23 for a slightly ominous feel.

Having loved the strings in the intro, I was disappointed when the near-final WIP had nothing else like it in the song and also ended fairly abruptly. With Mattias fielding comments, I suggested he extend the end of the track a few bars to both pimp those lush strings and allude to the :51 section of the source tune again. Like Mattias mentioned, I even fired up Cool Edit Pro and mocked-up the string and lead writing I thought of for the ending, with Mattias modifying it to suit his needs. All in all, glad to help on a small level. I thought it closed the track out well and enhanced the replayability, but I'll let listeners decide.

A pretty syrupy arrangement, but fuck it. Being both creative and interpretive, I was having a lot of fun listening to this. You punks out there should too. Sure, the piece could be fine-tuned or improved in various ways, but what's here is a fun, funky, fresh, cheetahrific piece o' ReMix goodness. Hercules, Aries and Apollo would be proud.

YES

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anso, anso, anso.

an admirable effort, granted, but i still think the soundtrack sucks.

you've got a great feel for songwriting. case in point: you're working with a dumb melody. despite its inherent dumbness, you've managed to make this track interesting. i'm never bored, even after several listens.

i still hate that lead, but what are you gonna do? its exactly what you're going for, so i'll just shut up, finish the vote, and go listen to sufjan stevens.

YES

also, clavinetbias

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I was pretty impressed with this even just from the WIP. I'm not actually a big fan of the original either, but I think Anso really did a GREAT job transforming it into an interesting synth-funk remix. Just about every element is performed/sequenced very well, and the production is quite polished. The soloing is great, the arrangement really expands on the (rather basic) source, the original melodic/harmonic additions fit perfectly, and perhaps most importantly, there's a killer groove created by the drums & keys. My only complaint is the fadeout; I would have preferred a 'button' ending, but no big deal.

Every new remix I hear from AnotherSoundscape surprises me, as he seems to be able to pull off a wide variety of styles with ease, and he consistently improves with each new track. Great job!

YES

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Very fun track. Excellent personal take on the awesome source (that's right), funkifizing the drive from the original into some sweet groove.

The main melody is all over the mix, but you've got all sorts of twists on it throughout to keep it fresh, as well as additional supporting writing, like the organ in the chorus repeat at 1:15-1:28 and mallets in that repeat and the one at 2:23-2:37. Even during the original organ solo at 1:01-1:14, the bassline is arranged from the very beginning of the source, so you've still got the original in there. I don't think I ever would've realized that you snuck in some FF9 at 1:29-1:56 if you hadn't said anything in your e-mail. The melody just fits in with the rest of the material perfectly. Great overall arrangement.

I'm mostly fine with the fadeout ending, which the exception of the bass just rapidly dropping out at 2:49. It goes away far too abruptly without really sounding like it finished its phrase. Better closure on that would've improved the ending.

Production is pretty slick. Your sounds are all clear and well balanced. I thought your drums could use a little bit more kick at 1:56-2:09 when they're exposed. Through the rest of the mix, they're fine, but right during that one section, I didn't feel there was enough anchoring the track. Some bass would've also done the job. Other than that, this sounds good to me.

YES

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