Posted 2011-04-12, evaluated by djpretzel

The Star Light Zone hasn't gotten enough love; save for JAXX's sole mix from ten years ago, it's gone unarranged in these parts, and for my part I don't see why: popular game, catchy theme, seems like you could do a lot with it... Well, whatever the reasons, Harmony and DrumUltima are just the men for the job. This mix literally & figuratively slows down The Sound of Speed and turns the source into a super-mellow, smoky, emotive instrumental jam that even injects some vocalized 'Spring Yard' references to Brandon's previous mix, AND artists shoutout solo intros. Yes, both "DrumUltimA" and "Harmony" are part of the "lyrics"... you two are some very saucy, talented bastards. You know that, right?? Director halc writes:

"DrumUltimA and Harmony... first to claim, last to finish. By some crazy coincidence, I actually got to harass Doug IRL about how long it was taking. :P But I jest; I've always been mindblown by Brandon's highly intelligent and polished arrangements and Doug's incredible prowess for improvisation. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with. I'll let the track speak for itself, but major props to the both of them for putting together what may be personally one of the best remixes I've ever heard (and I mean that :P), and certainly a highlight of the album. *DRAMATIC THUMBS UP*"

Scary bit is, they're both really forces to be reckoned with on their own. It's true - I've reckoned with them, and I was subsequently schooled in the true art of reckoning. Something fierce. So when these guys collab, you don't even WANT to reckon - just tuck your tail, crawl away, and live to mix another day. What I dig here is that this is a serious piece of music - fantastic performances, supple arrangement, and some awesome improvising - but it's also got a sense of humor, fun, and, dare I say it, whimsy. Whimsy CAN be manly, dammit. This track also adds an organic, human element (times ten) to an album that leans a bit more electronic, and while it fits right in, it also expands the texture and "scope" in a great way.

A wrong has been righted, an injustice corrected: Brandon & Doug have given Star Light the attention it deserves, with an arrangement that works on multiple levels, shows off their formidable talents as musicians AND love of music, and just plain old makes you smile. Awesome.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-09 00:54:42

This is a really awesome song, probably my favourite from SoS. I'm big fan of such jazzy arrangements, and this track is no exception. Everything is so smooth here! Especially love the vibes, they really help this mix shine :) And yeah, gotta love the vocals as well, they're pretty mesmerising. I would really love to see a live performance of this song. Great collab!

Angry Ancestor
on 2012-03-04 21:03:38

The vibes solo in this song is amazing beyond belief. I dream of making a music video for this song.

on 2011-05-22 14:40:34

Uh.. Great song... but. what's with the maraca in the first half?.. could be a brush on a cymbal too.. but it feels. Rather out of place, like it was just added so both people could have one "background" instrument playing.

And that end vocal.. aside from sounding kind of drunk.. it practically annoyed me. (probably because my little brother yodels around the house like that sometimes.*sigh*)

Other than that it's nice to listen to, I'll probably try to get people I know who aren't as... uh.. "opinionated" as I am about it to listen.

on 2011-04-26 13:21:26

Man, this song is incredible! What's crazy is that this was the first song I chose to listen to when I downloaded the album because these two guys by themselves are musically gifted. I don't even see how it's possible from going to the sound of the original to going to a sound like this. I get choked up listening to this, great work yall =D.

on 2011-04-23 20:15:04
It starts off with a great soundscape of the mind with what I'm guessing is a vibraphone patch
Thanks for the thoughtful review. I've heard a few people make assumptions about what the first sounds on the track are and since no one has guessed correctly, I'll clarify here. Those are acoustic guitar pinch-harmonics. Everything was recorded live, so no patches except for the drums, which were patches that were played live. I think that's an important point because in recording/mixing for this I tried to give the listener a bit of the sense of the actual jam session at Doug's house that eventually spawned this track. Good times, and I'm glad at least parts of it were appreciated.
on 2011-04-22 05:19:24

This is really awesome stuff. Loved the acoustic work here.

on 2011-04-22 01:48:26

Just amazing. Everything about this is beautiful. I esp. love the vocals. 3 you both!!

Benjamin Briggs
on 2011-04-16 14:55:13


this remix clearly needs more your mom

on 2011-04-16 12:25:05

I don't often listen to the mixes of OCR as I used to, but I saw DrumUltima and Harmony on here and I had to check it out. DrumUltima has always impressed me ever since his Cave Story remix with his mom (definitely one of the best mixes on the site), while Harmony's Dragon Song has the distinction of being probably the best Secret of Mana remix, with the vocals on that track creating a great atmosphere and tension along with superb percussion.

I skipped most of DJP's write-up and dove right into listening to the mix. It starts off with a great soundscape of the mind with what I'm guessing is a vibraphone patch and guitar slowly teasing and building up to the melody of Star Light Zone, one of my favorite vg tracks when I was growing up. The evolution in the first two and a half minutes is natural, as it turns from this wandering chilled out melody into a nice snap rhythm groove, and it is truly exquisite. Then the track transitions to Spring Yard Zone and the vocals kick in at 2:35...and seem totally out of place and weak compared to the strong arrangement and overall sound established up until that point. This is a bit harsh but I think they actually ruin the track. I think if vocals were to work, they really needed to be established earlier because they hit you and all I could think was "Whoa, why? Where did that come from?" It's not just the timing but the sound of the voices, they simply do not fit the music in this case.

It's an excellent track that could have been an undisputed classic, but it's tarnished by the vocals.

on 2011-04-14 15:59:39

Very peaceful and catchy as hell. This is a real smooth piece that ups the level from perfectly chill into the world of too cool. The lyrics and easygoing smoothness of this just makes me think that this could be the theme of someone whose day is just going so fucking fantastic that words can't express it. Bright and badass. Well done, good sirs.

prophetik music
on 2011-04-13 15:41:45

holy CRAP. this song is incredible!

broke my top five for tracks from OCR. incidentally, harmony and drumultima were already on the list. go figure.

on 2011-04-13 12:25:36

Hell yeah! This mix takes the listener on a soulful, meditative journey. The arc of the mood is perfect. I wasn't crazy about the vocals at first, but they grew on me quickly. Easily one of my favorite mixes ever.

on 2011-04-13 11:39:21

Perfect with coffee on a rainy Spring morning :grin:

Samuel Rockingham
on 2011-04-13 06:48:47

"sonic lullaby"!

Power Smoothie
on 2011-04-13 05:36:33

Since the album was announced, this is the track I've been looking forward to the most. Can't think of a more fitting combo of remixers than Harmony and DrumUltima :)

manly. :

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega , 1991, GEN)
Music by Masato Nakamura
"Spring Yard Zone"
"Star Light Zone"

Tags (7)

Acoustic Guitar,Singing,Vibraphone,Vocals: Male
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Origin > Collaboration

File Information

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