Posted 2002-01-21, evaluated by djpretzel

Stephen Malcolm's latest treads into drum'n'bass territory - a speedy but not overly-spastic Sonic & Knuckles ReMix. Everything's going along nicely - good sounds and a simple groove with some nice fills, and the lead synth taking most of the spotlight. It's at 1'30" where the track really caught my interest, though, with an extra layer added to the drums that makes all the difference in the world. The syncopation of these dueling drumlines, with one doing an occassional reverse loop, is definitely what makes the track. Sure, you've also got some respectable choir pads going, and a rather non-invasive bassline, but as it should be, the percussion and how it capitalizes on its environment, is the focus. Cool foray into new genre territory for Mr. Malcom.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2010-12-12 13:14:19

I remember hearing this remix when it came out all those years ago. It was awesome then, and awesome now, though it has aged a bit. Still, kudos.

on 2009-09-25 10:56:38

I like this mix, but I have a problem with this song in general, and that's every time I hear it, I put in pixietricks and zircon's lyrics.

Still, this is cool mix, if a little to... safe? I guess that's the word I'd be looking for?

on 2008-01-11 12:54:00

Pretty nice mix here, I really like the textures in the synths; they arent super high quality synths, but they are well-used.

I thought the drums were a bit loud, and repeated too much, thus distracting from the nice synthwork going on in the background, though I admit the lead was a bit too mechanical for my tastes.

Great source though, I love the theme.

on 2007-01-29 03:53:52

Too remixy.

on 2006-05-12 08:51:32

The title of this remix wasn't kidding, this really is hot stuff. It's fast-paced, have alot of stuff going on and has nice samples used in it. I don't think there's much left to say than great job Malcolm.

Great job Malcolm. :D

Pip is uh.....
on 2005-03-11 13:50:31

This track is an excellent example of Malcos at his best. I love the percussive instensity of the track. It moves so fast! Compared to Rayza's mix its on the other side of the spectrum. This is an all out percussive brawl. And my ears enjoy the beating! Good stuff Malcos!

Julio Jose
on 2004-04-23 18:35:37

Overall its a pretty good track. 1 10 an impressive synth solo comes in, i especially like it. What was mentioned above in the previous note about the drums, i beleive is correct. And at some points the drum's snares and rides are a bit overpowering.

My 2 bits.

on 2004-04-23 12:37:46

I have to say that the Lava Reef Zone music is my favorite from all of the games. However, I didn't really feel completely into this track. The drums may do it for some people, but I just think it takes away from the "underground" feel. I like this song, but the parts where the overly-lound drum were missing were the best. Keep up the good Sonic work!

on 2004-01-28 14:36:58

This song was a nice one to listen to. I was a little unsure of what was melody and/or secondary in the beginning. The song was a bit slow, unnessarily. The song does build a bit on itself, only a bit slow.

The drums are another story. They are repetitive and loud. Precussion adds to music, it never makes it.

76.3% Good!

on 2003-03-01 09:42:36

THIS IS SOME NICE STUFF!!!!!!!!! but what would be nice, if u get another bass (pref. synthbass1dark. might be dfferent for those using other sound cards.). other than that, the drums are mean, the chorus is bangin. and the synths are perfect. mad outs to malcos

Unbiased Reviewer
on 2002-12-01 23:24:19

the unbiased reviewer gives this selection a 8/10.

i own sonic and knuckles and the game is one of the many joys of sega's later years. the most significant change present is the drumming. the original song did not have nearly as complex drumming as malcos put into his remix. it really gives the song some beat. but i also don't remember choir voices in the original music. i thought this was a awesome addition by malcos. when the choir voices pop in (1:05), the drumming stops and the melodies sticks out.

don't expect anything far out with this remix. it stays awesomely true to the original piece. with so many remixes going their own direction and distorting the song so it is nice to listen to this.

on 2002-09-25 02:40:21

this remix always makes get up and dance with my glowsticks. I like what he did with this remix.

on 2002-09-12 22:36:06

Heh, the other guy said alot of stuff. I think what it boils down to is this remix captures the feeling of good old lava reef zone very well, a dangerous and beautiful place. The sort of twangy syth can be a little grating untill its matched by the drums and the 'other layer'. Togeather its a treat. Recommended

Antonio Pizza
on 2002-06-10 01:08:27

(originally posted Feb 03, 2002 6:28 pm)


Hot Stuff (Sonic Knuckles)


by Malcos. You may remember him from such remixes as Sonic the Hedgehog 2's "Mystic Cave" and Chrono Trigger's "Broken Pendulum."

Everyone has a unique voice when they speak. If you're an artist and you're lucky, this carries over in your work. This applies to remixers as well. You know a Jivemaster track when you hear one. You know a McVaffe when you hear one. You know an AE when you hear one. You know a JAXX when you hear one. Malcos is no different. You know a Malcos track when you hear one, and this is definitely a Malcos track. If you're not a fan of Malcos' work, then "Hot Stuff" is unlikely to change your mind. But if you are a fan of Malcos, then jump on board for a 7 slice track.

In this Lava Reef Zone ReMix, the first 11 seconds set the pace; that is smooth, melodic, easy-going kinda. You get the feeling that if it was slowed down a little, the tempo is reminiscent of early 90's West Coast hip-hop. These 11 seconds are filled with the original theme's secondary melody and improv from Malcos. Next he brings in the ticking drum loop along with the song's bassline. At 0:22, Malcos doesn't waste anytime getting to song started. He trades him improv in for the zone's main melody and fierce paced drum loop. The quick tempo of the drums and laid back pace of the support melody don't neutralize each other, but rather compliment. How? I don't know (maybe I should learn a little more about music theory).

At 0:45 Malcos follows SEGA in dropping the support layer for a few seconds to concentrate on getting the bridge across. Once you've crossed the bridge, you got someone on the other side to meet you. Or should I say someones because at 1:08 the remix seems to start over, this time with a choir of "ahhhhhhhhhh..." voices backing up the intro.

The changes are subtle this time around, but that's okay because the ahhhhh choir brings a sort of air of freshness to keep the mix from getting to repetitive and stale. At 1:35, Malcos adds something that you're only likely to catch 3 or 4 times unless you're really listening for it. Hell, I didn't even notice until I was writing this review! It's nothing really big. Just a quickie effect. You'll hardly notice it, but when you do, you'll be surprised how often it pops up throughout the rest of the song. What is it? I'lllll neverrrr teeeeelllllll.

When the bridge comes up for the second time (@ 1:52) he drops the drum loop but only for ten seconds, after which he picks it back up to lead you into the beginning of the original theme (not the beginning of the mix, mind you), where he drops it again. At 2:25, it returns only to be dropped for the bridge again at 2:38, only to return again at 2:48. As tedious as all of that sounds in text, it actually makes the last minute of the song pass much quicker than you'd think. It's a good technique. least I think so.

At 3:00, Malcos begins to fade the song out and loses the bassline, the ahhhhhh choir, and the 2nd melody layer. Our buddy, "the hyper drum loop" rears his head a few times throughout the last 11 seconds just to let you know he hasn't went anywhere.

This is a good mix of the Lava Reef Zone. Initailly I had set for 8 slices on this mix, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Something was...wrong. I realize what it is now. It's the drum loop. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing really wrong with the loop itself and it's totally appropriate for this mix. My problem is that it sounds too similar to the drum loop used in Sonic Knukles' "Dirty Beta", (9 slices) which is also by Malcos. It made me feel like it was...kinda/slightly processed. Like it was formulaic. Now I know that's not 100% fair since it's only in those two songs of his and not 50,000,000 others, but it still bothered me a little and that's why it lost a slice. Regardless, this is a ReMix worth getting. Malcos, if you're reading, I hope you use a different loop for your next project. That's a good drum loop, but you don't want to wear it out to soon.

Folks, these opinions are just that. I ain't a remixer. I'm a listener. But if you've been a regular visitor to the message boards since July 10th of 2001, you already know that. Please, listen to this more than once before you make your own opinions. Listen to it through decent speakers. And keep comin' back.

Kudos to Malcos.

Well done, sir. Well done.

on 2002-05-22 00:23:51

Sonic Knuckles 'Hot Stuff'

Above average techno here. Drum work is nice - doesn't loop too much. Sounds minimalistic at times, but for the most part is really fleshed out quite well, and the minimalistic bits are used appropriately. Other than that there's not much to make it stand out from the crowd, but it's still an enjoyable listen.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Sonic & Knuckles (Sega , 1994, GEN)
Music by Howard Drossin,Jun Senoue,Masaru Setsumaru,Masayuki Nagao,Sachio Ogawa,Tatsuyuki Maeda,Tokuhiko Uwabo,Tomonori Sawada,Yoshiaki Kashima
"Lava Reef Zone: Act 1"

Tags (8)

Drum and bass
Time > 4/4 Time Signature
Time > Tempo: Fast

File Information

3,154,400 bytes


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