From Carlo Demichelis, alias DHS, who like fellow Italian countryman N-Joy is also a member of The Soundwavers, comes this decidedly euro coverage of a relatively obscure C64 title called The Human Race. The company, Mastertonic, put out quite a few budget C64 titles way back when, including the tantalizingly-titled "Bionic Granny" and wonderfully instructive "How to be a Bastard"; Carlo writes:
"After being taking dust in my HD for at least six months, I released that remix of subtune 4 of Rob Hubbard's The Human Race. The track is reminiscent of Jarre, Vangelis, Deep Forest and.... Enigma :) The vocals samples are little pieces taken here and there from various sources, mainly sample cds. The Enigma drumloop has been taken from the record ("Sadeness Part 1"). The Djembe drums are from some sample cd. The other sounds are mainly from my Access Virus KC. Everything has been worked on Nuendo 2 on an Athlon 2500xp pc. Utilized plugins for the track and mastering are from my TCElectronic Powercore. Mixing has been done on a Yamaha 01x digital mixer."
Virus, Powercore, Nuendo... it's good to be DHS, at least in the gear department, and he puts it all to good use here. We had some initial concerns about the usage of the easily identifiable Enigma drumloop, but while we would've preferred it been original and more varied, there's enough action elsewhere to compensate. Plus it's a common enough beat and wasn't strikingly original even when Enigma themselves used it - just a good groove, very laid back and appropriate for this style, which is definitely in the same vein as the artists Carlo enumerates. The usage of vocal samples reminds me timbrally of Halcyon and On and On by Orbital, but there's definitely a Deep Forest quality to them as well. Shimmering EP-like synth textures intro, with a brassy analog sweep pad entering along with the diced-and-spliced vocal fx and djembe - it's weird to use words like "nostalgia" when talking about the 1990's, but this will definitely have you recalling the glory days of Enigma's monk-injected electronica and Deep Forest's pygmy and world music-flavored beats. Synths are strong, especially the lead, and the sound is very full and enveloping, just as it was with those artists; everything that was to like + dig about the type of music that inspired this mix is also present here. You even get a cheesy-but-cool "Ahhhh" vocal effect (think just-took-a-swig-of-refreshing-beverage-on-hot-day) around 3'10" to complete the atmosphere. Source melody really works fantastically with this specific genre adaptation, and the piece concludes with the same Blade Runnery analog pad that it intros with, albeit more exposed, for a nice round robin effect. Brandon Bush sayeth:
"This has a great clean sound throughout. The vocal samples are wonderfully used and the instrumentation is very engaging. It's euro stylin' all the way and some of the arrangement feels like something a favorite conductor/composer of mine Paul Schwartz would create. The composition is standard yet interesting, the arrangement is creative and the sounds are enveloping. Great work Carlo."
Fortunately the Sadeness influence wasn't a prohibitive factor and there was more than enough work elsewhere to compensate for the derivative percussion track, as Carlo's mix is soothing, an excellent study in genre work, accessible, and should be enjoyed by many - don't let the potentially obscure source material stop you, it was still composed by Rob Hubbard, a musical giant from the C64 era, and is a fantastic re-envisioning on DHS' part.
on 2017-12-26 13:26:10
This is eminently listen-able. I'm a softie for nostalgia-tinged pieces of-course, but it creates a nice, buzzy "mindspace".
on 2017-01-06 14:08:46
Wow, this is a killer mix! The beat is slightly repetitive, sure, and the chopped vocal clips in the intro may throw some people off (I like them, though), but other than that this is pretty nice track. Really love how light it sounds The subtle addition of some world instrumentation is a pretty cool touch. And the break @3:03 definitely helped to keep things interesting. Very good work!
on 2015-08-12 13:13:39
I do get the Vangelis vibe from this, but kind of mixed into an Indian vibe with those tablas. Nice listen!
on 2015-08-12 08:12:50
"Invitation to Saws"? That's an interesting title (or rather, that's what I got via Google Translate). Bits of the bass in the beginning and during the breakdown sound like muted gulps - they're just contagious and "yummy" enough to make me a little bit hungry. Regarding the chopped-up vocal samples, I'm most attracted to the last one introduced (at 0:30) due to how its vibrato inflection adds an extra lively bounce to the beat. When I'm not chilling out to it, the flute-like lead at 1:26+ sometimes beckons me to whistle along with it (which I do). It sounds more spotty and fleeting at 3:11, which gives it a mythical quality (before returning to "normal" at 3:49).
on 2009-12-05 01:17:13
Pretty cool beginning with the sequenced synth. I'm a bit torn on the voices at the beginning, probably because they're so exposed. Once things kick in at :48 with the beat and bass, though, it suddently all seems to come together. Nice smooth bass underneath an early 90's (?) beat. Nice production throughout... the word smooth comes to mind again - I'm just really digging the general vibe. I thought the delayed flute-ish lead during the breakdown was a nice contrast before everything came back in. Definitely a keeper.
on 2009-12-04 11:58:33
great panning vocal synth chopping to start out, and though the beat remains pretty static throughout, it's interesting enough to not be completely dull.
The bassline and other tuned rhythmic instruments overcome the loop's curshing sameness.
Nice celebration of just having a refreshing beverage at 3:10.
Overall a pretty well done mix with some good ideas, but it's brought down by that single drumloop. Still very listenable though.
on 2009-07-09 02:22:26
I love this remix! It has a groovy, funky feel to it that i could put on while driving in my car.
It's different and original. Very, very well done!
on 2007-04-22 22:53:29
reminds me of paul lansky's "idle chatter" works
this is not bad
a little too new-agey for me
but very well put together
on 2005-10-10 20:59:47
Exactly the same situation for me, I do not know how this one skipped me, for gods sake make more remixes sirHeard this on VGM, and immediately fell in love with it--this is easily one of the better songs I've heard in a LONG time. Excellent work.
on 2005-08-19 06:10:59
I have to say I never downloaded songs from games I'd never played before, let alone heard of, but I decided recently to start doing so and I'm glad I did. This tune is truly awesome. When the beat came in at about 0.48 I immediately thought of Enigma, gave my skin a heat rash from the adrenlin pumping throuh it. Its funny how music can do that to you sometimes. Excellent track.
on 2005-08-12 09:40:42
I love this piece. It's got just the right amount of laid-backedness to make a chill arrangement, yet it's not without a good melody (one that I hum randomly a lot now). The voice work at the beginning was/is pretty sweet as well.
on 2005-08-10 00:01:43
This sounds like Enigma's style, only better!
on 2005-08-09 19:14:12
Wowza. This is a really great song, the first I've bothered taking the time to post about. Every element seems to just ... fit, even the the sliced-up vocals (which remind me of a track from Age of Empires II).
My only complaint would be regarding the simpler part of the song, around 3:02, but it's almost worth it just to hear the song kick in again, full force, at 3:49. Man, that flute...
on 2005-08-05 00:02:51
The first 90 or so seconds really get on my nerves, but then the main song kicks in and tears my ears a new asshole. This song fucks me in the ass -- in a good way.
on 2005-07-29 22:01:04
I will admit this, that when I first listened to this piece, I greatly disliked it. I had actually told the person I was talking with at the moment that I found it rather sad what some people passed off as music nowadays. But...
That was... in error. I listened to it, and something made me listen to it again. I don't know what, or why, but I desire to hear it again, and so I repeated it. The second time through, I again thought it was a poor piece, but I started liking some of the parts which I thought were out of place at first, and by the end of it, I actually thought it was a relatively acceptable mix, though perhaps not quite a style I preferred.
I repeated it again.
It was odd... That is the best way to put it. I've stopped listening to it as I do with many mixes, stopped turning a critical ear towards it to listen for the good and the bad, and have simply let myself hear it, which is something I find difficult to do with music.
The music, the vocal samples, even the "ahh" at 0:45 and 3:10, which I at first thought to be a terrible addition, especially as the music seems to nearly stop, it all flows so well together.
DHS, you've put together a wonderful piece. It is both simple and complex at once. There are so few different vocal samples in it, but I feel that there is nothing which could replace them without, at the very least, changing the piece in its entirety, if not ruining it completely.
DHS, excellent work.
Be Well, and Blessed Be.
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