ReMix:Sonic the Hedgehog "Marble Dash" 6:20

By Joshua Morse

Arranging the music of one song...

"Marble Zone"

Primary Game: Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega , 1991, GEN), music by Masato Nakamura

Posted 2005-06-17, evaluated by djpretzel

There's nothing like finding out you're wrong about something you really *wanted* to be wrong about to begin with. Recently I finally sat down and watched Aquarion, after initially visiting the website and dismissing it as another Voltron/Evangelion rip, but it turns out it's fairly unique and has an amazing soundtrack to boot. In a similar vein, the Pistons have now handily tied things at 2-2, proving that it'll at least be a series. In the case of Mr. Joshua Morse's latest submission, hot on the heels of his DD3 mix, however, I had high expectations to begin with - which were met and exceeded. I'm close to the source material, Sonic's Marble Zone theme, because it yielded one of my own mixes that I am most satisfied with. Morse has provided his own version with some similarities - funky, electric piano-driven, with a lot of emphasis on the bassline - but many differences. The genre I suppose would be house, but there's clearly disco and funk being fed intravenously in dangerously groovy quantities, as well. Actually, it's worth mentioning that this piece reminds me largely of Neostorm's material from 2002 and 2003, which was similarly watertight and rifftastic. Right off the bat, funky electric piano comping enters with an upbeat groove and acoustic piano, but when the so-70's-it-hurts bassline comes in at 0'14", the deal is almost virtually sealed. Yes, already at the fifteen second marker, things are slick and funky enough that you just KNOW everything's gonna click comfortably. I'm a sucker for a good bassline - so often, it's an afterthought, or gratuitous, but when done right - just interesting enough to warrant focus, and just reserved enough to not be consistently distracting - well: awesomes. And like Jean Luc Picard instructs, Morse has made it so here. Let's see, there's more to cover - bells, old-school short-release dry string stabs, some interesting percussive fx, slick piano soloing throughout (3'10", for example), and a plentiful amount of original melody and harmony towards the end of the fourth minute. Joshua keeps it going for 6'20", which works largely due to the Herculean strength of the underlying groove, which is good enough to anchor the extended duration. Nitpicks? Just two - with so funky a bass patch (which like in Love Hurts has some wah applied to it) I would have given the bassline a solo in the fifth minute rather than dropping it out to highlight what's on top. That could just be "bassline bias" on my part, though. More importantly, the "chorus" at 1'13" feels a little off, if only because the rest of the mix feels so dead-on - might have used a different instrument here, and the percussive sample that fades in at 1'21" sounds out of place. Honestly, especially because this particular passage is never referred back to, it sounds like the ReMixer felt obligated to throw it in, rather than motivated to. I'd say Joshua was may more into the verse than the chorus, if you can divide the piece up that way, and should have just axed the latter in favor of the former, which he handles so damn well here. Essentially, he does that, with the exception of maybe twenty seconds, roughly 5% of the mix, so it's no biggie. The strength of the foundation, multiplied exponentially by the solidity of the soloing on top, results in a product that's ultimately extremely head-bobbable, toe-tappable, and other-body-part-movable in all ways. Morse's best to date; an excellent, interpretive, ubertight sonic mix that's funky enough to be in one of them fancypants iPod adds with all the silhouettes and bright colors.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2016-10-07 15:24:24

Halfway in I was worried the song was going to wind down. Then I checked and was pleasantly surprised that the song was long enough to give me my fill. I'm definitely coming back to this one!

on 2015-12-11 09:01:10

Yeah, boy, this is a classic Morse thing! Funky and smooth as hell. The piano work is pretty nice, the groovy beats are pretty nice as well. And, damn, bass is certainly the name of the game here. It actually sounds a quite boring sometimes, but the piano improvisation @ 3:11 actually helps to refresh everything a little and the moment @ 4:53 was also pretty cool. Nice work, Joshua!

on 2010-09-02 12:16:29

really nice stuff, I love the semi-closed hihat swish sample as an unintended hook, and the piano work is beautiful. The arrangement has a lot of twists and turns, and the variations on the theme are really nice. The bass sounds great, and this would be great background music to a night out on the town with a beautiful lady or two. :-D

Stay classy, JM, this is great stuff. :-)

on 2009-10-30 09:57:13

Very remeniscent of the Joshua Morse sound, actually I'd go so far as saying there is arguably more Morse in this mix than any other, given the unusual length. Concerning the length, I liked it and prefer it to something directly to the point, in the door and out again style. As it is now, it crams a whole lot into its running time and does it with patience and consistency.

Musically, it's basic groove fare. Fresh sounding and piping hot, but nothing that is going to turn my aural landscape upside down. The piano and strings do an excellent job of introducing new threads to inject some crucial variation into the piece, and as a result the mix runs smoothly and never bores.

Perhaps not as interesting and lively as what would come from J Morse a while later, but it still fills its 6+ minutes with a lot of funk and ultra-laid-back disco vibes. It's a little light for my selective tastes, but there's still a definite time and place for this on my playlist as well. A mix that is nothing if not ambitious in the world of mellow videogame mixes.

on 2009-01-17 23:32:17

So delicious :

It's like rocky road ice cream with Hershy's syrup for the soul. :-)

One of my favorite parts of the mix is the introduction, how it just lets the listener down into the mix.

An absolute must download.

Less Ashamed Of Self
on 2006-11-16 07:24:58

What a damn good song.

Aquas Magus
on 2006-11-13 23:18:16

I'm listening to it right now. =D

Anyway, I really really liked this one. It's so easy on the ears and yet I can't help wiggling around in my seat while listening to it. The tune was catchy in the game but this remix has become my #1 on my iPod.

Keep up the good work, Josh!

on 2006-07-15 11:55:31

This is pretty cool, reminds me of Jamiroquai. Especially that string part around 1:27. Not much to say. Good stuff.

on 2006-07-14 10:42:55

Heh, this remix got the groove, I'll give you that. Bass synths along with some classic beats makes a good concept, and it seems like J Morse tried many different combinations with his sample equipment to get some variation in this arrangement. I guess I can't complain about this remix being too short, after like 2 minutes I checked how long this mix was, and when I saw that it had whopping 6 minutes and 20 seconds on its track, well.......holy crap. :lol:

The piano sample might be my favorite thing about this one, it handled the melody well and gave this remix a happy go lucky feel that hits the spot about right.

To sum it up in one word: Nice. :wink:

on 2005-08-14 09:45:57

House? This is what I'd call electro-boogie, or disco. Or white-people-who-think-it's-still-the-seventies.

Except it doesn't have the depth or bass which made that music great...

Neither does it keep me interested for more than five minutes...

Although I don't deny that this song was created from scratch and probably took a lot of work, the result sounds to me like someone pulling out a yamaha keyboard, choosing a disco 'style' setting and just playing the Marble Zone theme song over it in a quite badly chosen piano vox.

Nothing else really happens in the song... And sections we've already heard repeat themselves with no real changes made.

In the words of Mr. Horse from Ren Stimpy - "No, Sir, I don't like it."

With no offense intended to the creator of the song.

on 2005-08-04 05:14:34

This song has 110% of my daily recommended intake of vitamin AWESOME :o

on 2005-07-31 01:20:30
what kind of music is this called?


I thought it was House? Anyhow this is a GREAT remix!


on 2005-07-30 21:49:54
Josh Morse is beyond awesome; don't sleep on him.



Its funny you say that DCT.. he's only getting better and better.

on 2005-07-22 02:57:38
what kind of music is this called?


on 2005-07-14 14:56:19

You have some talent here...this song is probably the most calming yet exciting song on OCR

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega , 1991, GEN)
Music by Masato Nakamura
"Marble Zone"

Tags (4)

Time > Duration: Long

File Information

6,165,523 bytes


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