ReMix:Mass Effect 2 "The Sound of the Galaxy" 4:41

By Mattias Häggström Gerdt

Arranging the music of 5 songs...

"Freedom's Progress", "Garrus", "Jack", "New Worlds", "Tali"

Primary Game: Mass Effect 2 (Electronic Arts , 2010, XB360), music by Big Giant Circles, Brian DiDomenico, David Kates, Jack Wall, Sam Hulick, Wall of Sound

Posted 2010-05-20, evaluated by djpretzel

The Mass Effect invasion continues! AnSo gives us our first coverage of Mass Effect 2:

"Mass Effect is one of my favorite series of games of all time. I mean seriously, it's sci-fi by BioWare, it's an engaging story, it's filled with moral choices and amazing characters, heck I'll say it, it's got alien sex. But above all this, it's an incredibly cohesive experience. This is much thanks to the brilliant soundtracks composed by a bunch of extremely talented individuals including our very own Jimmy Hinson. This arrangement is made in tribute to these people who scored some of the most engaging hours in my gaming life.

The track itself is actually a medley, if you will, combining music from the tracks 'New Worlds', 'Tali', 'Garrus', 'Freedom's Progress' and 'Jack'. Opening and ending the track is 'New Worlds', the track I've spent the most time listening to in any game ever. Simple but effective, the mysterious tone and warm analogue sound is to me the essence of Mass Effect and it serves as the base "sound" for my entire arrangement. I then proceed to cover the intense part of 'Tali', working my way towards the distinct bass from 'Garrus' layered with melodic material from 'Freedom's Progress' before I settle into an energetic part of 'Jack'. My thought with this was not only that they fit together but to cover one theme from each composer in my own style, making their parts of a whole... well, parts of a whole. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it."

On first read, one might be concerned that Mattias has tried to incorporate too many themes, but they all flow very naturally. Things intro more ambient but the groove materializes at 1'07" as a cymbal roll and crash lead us into a melodic gated synth motif that modulates a few times before the somewhat-more-obvious transition @ 2'16". Because instrumentation and general construction remain similar, however, even this shift comes off as a continuation and not a reset. It's hella cool that Mattias intentionally worked in material from the multiple composers responsible for the game's music - it's a testament to both that team's musical cohesion and AnSo's arrangement skills that everything gels together and works as an integrated track.

Honestly, I'd be pretty stoked right now JUST to be posting our first Mass Effect OR Mass Effect 2 mix - definitely love to see modern games getting more love - but the fact that Jimmy was one of the COMPOSERS for ME2, and that Jack, Brian, David, Jimmy, and Sam all chipped in (thanks guys!) on our first community interview, well, that's the type of thing that makes our 10th year of operation our best yet... and it's only May! Great mix from AnSo that complements BGC's own ME1 mix quite naturally, so kudos to him for getting in on the action, too. Read the interview, check out the mixes, and visit for more on Jack Wall's collective of game audio badasses!



Latest 14 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2012-08-23 11:43:13

The ambient intro works really nicely in building up the more electrifying parts of this ReMix. I'm a sucker for ReMixes that are able to incorporate a lot of tracks into one solid piece with smooth transitions and arrangements, and this sounds expertly applied here. And god, I love that area around 3:00 up to the end. As many great ReMixes as Mattias has, this has got to be one of my favorites. Sweet.

Martin Penwald
on 2010-06-04 16:04:40

Every source used here has been arranged nicely. Furthermore, very good choice of instrumentation; especially the synths stand out. Transitions work very well, too.

Personally, though, I think that the remix suffers from medley-titties. I find it kinda hard to follow it without having my mind wander off, not paying attention to the music anymore. Something that connects the different pieces and can be found in all of them might have helped.

Still, very nice track.

Level 99
on 2010-06-01 08:57:23

Opening is VERY Deus-Ex-y. Love the added chimes, and the vibe you immediately create is awesome. You always pick your synths and instruments well, and there is no change from that habit here. The subtle pads are unbelievably deep, here and throughout the rest of the song. Only thing is I wasn't a fan of the snare you picked for the build, but chalk that up to personal preference.

Nice first section, and the string pads really hold it as it goes soft again before the next section. That high chime...I can't get enough of it. The whole arrangement is fluid and smooth. The "factory" noise you used for the snare after the second section runs is something I am fond of. There's quite a lot of layering, delay, and variation throughout, but it all holds together as one great song.

Your other songs have been mostly great in their own right for uniqueness, but this one is an absolute showcase to attention to detail and subtlety. Easily one of my favorites of yours so far.

*smacks dat ass*

on 2010-05-31 12:39:19

I haven't gotten to play this game yet, but this song really sounds fitting given the type of atmosphere that the first portrayed through its visuals and music. The relentless spacey industrial feel of the general environments shines through here, and I can envision it being used in the game as an original.

Nice work! :nicework:

on 2010-05-29 11:26:35

I can so imagine this playing in the upcoming Mass Effect movie credits. Just amazing.

on 2010-05-26 19:35:07

hands down, my fav AnoSo remix

on 2010-05-26 08:37:05
The Mass Effect Soundtrack never really did have any standout tracks, from either game. Both were just "solidly good," which is the way most modern music (with some notable exceptions such as JRPG fare or Shadow of the Colossus.)

Wha? I absolutely disagree. You can easily distinguish countless features between the themes of races in ME2. Samara is vastly different from Jacob whihc is vastly different from the Collector suites which...and so on. Standout tracks? Try Crash Landing, Illusive Man, or the tour de force Suicide Mission.

From ME1, the Citadel theme, Spectre Initiation, and Noveria were favorites. M4 pt 2 was my favorite, but I don't think that counts, per se.

My point is that there are absolutely stand-out tracks, and just because the tracks work to tie together an ambiance doesn't mean that they can't also stand out as fantastic singular pieces of music.

Oh, and I love the remix. Flow and transition between themes is smooth. The over-emphasis on synths seem to make the battle portion of Tali's theme more languid, bereft of the urgency of the original. It's like Anso was looking to turn a ME2 theme into a Metroid Prime theme. It's cool, too cool possibly. Chill electronica isn't my favorite, although it's a nice slice on some great cuts.

on 2010-05-26 02:53:05

The Mass Effect Soundtrack never really did have any standout tracks, from either game. Both were just "solidly good," which is the way most modern music (with some notable exceptions such as JRPG fare or Shadow of the Colossus.) Well, either that or it is "Solidly Meh." Big Ol' block of meh. Sure, you can always tell the difference in ambience from zone to zone, and events are usually punctuated, but you don't really get the same feel of disjointed musical tracks that you do from older games.

That said, you've done a nice job of segregating the more awesome highlights of an already great score, retooling them and then packaging this all very nicely.

Also, your sample use has really gotten a lot better, the production in your last few musical outings has really gone up a notch, just shoring up the gap between your prouduction and stellar arrangement.

on 2010-05-25 11:25:48

Great transitions between the themes, and some really good sound choices make this a track that has a lot of replay value, and the constant evolution gives it good direction. It does feel like a medley, but it's very capably done, and has a distinct Anosou feel to it.

Good stuff. :-)

on 2010-05-23 18:41:05

I very much enjoyed this although I've never played the game. It has the AnSo trademark sound all over it :).

Bra jobbat! (= swedish for Nice work)

on 2010-05-21 21:20:58

I loled when I saw it was the music from the galaxy map. All of my roommates and I systematically beat mass effect and mass effect 2 all at the same time, so anywhere you went in our house you could here the damn galaxy map song over and over and over... Too bad this wasn't playing instead, I really dig it. The end of the intro at 1:08 is fantastic :D I love long build-ups, great work!

on 2010-05-20 18:58:19

Seriously solid stuff. I loved the intro especially.

big giant circles
on 2010-05-20 18:19:07

Anso knows I 3 him. This remix makes me 3 him more. In all seriousness, I was really flattered/honored when he said he wanted to do a remix of Tali's theme :)

on 2010-05-20 17:25:29

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (5 Songs)

Primary Game:
Mass Effect 2 (Electronic Arts , 2010, XB360)
Music by Big Giant Circles,Brian DiDomenico,David Kates,Jack Wall,Sam Hulick,Wall of Sound
"Freedom's Progress"
"New Worlds"

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