ReMix:Hotline Miami "Who's There?" 5:32

By DarkSim

Arranging the music of one song...

"Knock Knock"

Primary Game: Hotline Miami (Devolver Digital , 2012, WIN), music by Jasper Byrne, Perturbator, Phlogiston, Scattle

Posted 2014-10-09, evaluated by djpretzel

OCR02999 - last of the OCR02XXX legacy!! The 2XXX series has been absolutely freakin' incredible, with too much music to really characterize with a single adjective. DarkSim hits us up with our FIRST ReMix of Hotline Miami, featuring some heavy-hitting electro/EDM prefaced by an extended narrative intro that sets the stage & draws from the game's mysterious & surrealist answering machine mechanic:

"In a return to my normal MO, I'm remixing a previously unremixed game. This time, it's the fast-paced 80s top-down romp Hotline Miami. Aren't all games made better just by setting them in 1980s Miami? The game sees you receive mysterious answerphone messages essentially telling you to travel to a location and go on an ultra-violent killing spree with any weapon you can find to hand, including bottles, knives, shotguns and power drills.

In my remix, I've tried to tell a story of how the voices on the phone haunt the protagonist to the point where he snaps and goes insane, then seeks revenge. It is a bit loud, especially in the first build up, although to some extent that is an artistic choice, intended to convey some discomfort to the listener and further put them on edge before the drop, or in the story I'm trying to tell, the 'snapping' of our protagonist. And yes, that's actually me on the phone!

I have a version without the phone messages. I'm not sure which I prefer, honestly! I liked the idea of reading out the phone messages from the game, although I feel it serves to slightly distract from the atmosphere. Plus I hate the sound of my own voice, even if it is masked by some dodgy American accents and pitch shifters. ;)"

I think the intro adds context and makes this much more of a Hotline Miami mix, fully embracing the game's aesthetic; wouldn't have it any other way. The glitchy, ominous backdrop and alternating messages builds this weird tension so that when the beat drops and it becomes more of an EDM affair, it's a more dramatic shift, but one that works quite well. Larry writes:

"Way to knock it out of the park, Jack! :-) The intro got a bit loud/crowded, but nothing that was problematic, and I get the conscious choice there. DarkSim's VO here was excellent; the callers all sounded distinct from one another, and he made the barely-hidden truths behind those messages drip with shadiness.

It was cool to find out after approving this mix that Scattle's an OCR fan, because I could loop Scattle's "Knock Knock" ALL DAY. I love its chill, deliberate pace, beefy beats, and wubby goodness. With this arrangement, DarkSim ups the tempo at 1:35 after the extended intro, and it's full of wild energy. 3:05's dropoff allowed for a reset and gradual rebuild at 3:19 that I dug, especially since it allowed Jack to reference another part of the theme before hitting the core melody again at 4:05.

Special props to Jack for all of the excellent sound design choices here; the female voice SFX, industrial-like whirring stabs, and even the rain SFX during the slow sections all added up to something that sounds unsettling if you know the piece's premise. And even if you don't, it makes for quite the club joint, if someone wanted to make a club edit. Awesome work from DarkSim of a modern classic game not only known for it's gameplay but how integral the music is to the experience. Hopefully both Scattle and the community are feeling it! :-)"

Agreed on all counts; really slick way of incorporating both narrative elements and sound-fx into a more aggressive electronic context, something you don't hear too often. I remember looking at Hotline Miami as part of judging on the IGF's audio jury; Larry & I both really dug how spot-on the audio was in terms of matching the atmosphere. It's a game and soundtrack that are well worth experiencing, but I also feel like the artist has done a really good job condensing a lot of the appeal into a 5'32" ReMix. Great stuff as always from DarkSim (the "other" DS!), who clearly had a distinct vision for this mix, executed it perfectly, and came up with something creative, transporting, & enjoyable! See you in OCR03XXX!



Latest 6 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2020-04-11 10:53:01

Version without the answerphone up on my soundcloud. Thanks for the comments :)

on 2014-10-11 17:59:23

Hm... yeah, the opening is a touch long, but it doesn't bother me. Actually, I like the creative processing on the phone calls, radio static and all. The rest felt shorter than it actually was, which is always a good thing, because it makes you want to listen again. My only gripe is that the drums are weaksauce compared to the thick and gritty basses. :lol:

OverClocked PodCast
on 2014-10-09 22:23:22

Hotline Miami has one of those rare soundtracks that I just don't get. No matter how many times I listen to it, I can't get anything out the dance beats. This ReMix, however, managed to punch up the source and cast the music in such an atmospheric, uncomfortable light that I ended up digging it. Very well done!

on 2014-10-09 16:42:27

Really cool ReMix here. The use of the SFX, especially the rain and opening everything up with the answering machine was great, and the melody blended together well with the gritty electronica going on. I really enjoyed this one. Opening did get a little loud, but it set up that insanity tone nicely and did it's job well enough, so overall, awesome stuff, man.

on 2014-10-09 15:30:53

The mix is awesome.

on 2014-10-09 15:20:05

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Hotline Miami (Devolver Digital , 2012, WIN)
Music by Jasper Byrne,Perturbator,Phlogiston,Scattle
"Knock Knock"

Tags (8)

Electronic,Sound FX,Synth,Vocals: Voice Acting
Effects > Glitching
Lyrics > Lyrics: Existing

File Information

9,875,119 bytes

"Hi, this is 'Tim' at the bakery. The cookies that you ordered should be delivered by now. The list of ingredients are included. Make sure that you read them carefully!"

"Hello, it's 'Mark' from Miami Dropoff. Looks like you missed your delivery last night. Please drop it off at SW 107th Pl. Our clients will not tolerate further delays."

"This is 'Thomas' from the methadone clinic. We've scheduled a short meeting for you tonight. We're at NW 184th St., Apartment 105. And, uh, don't worry, we know that discretion is of importance to our clients."

"Good evening, this is 'Blake' speaking. We have a job for you. There's a power outage over on 24th NE St. We want you to take care of it. We already sent someone over a while ago, but it seems he didn't do a very good job. Head over there right away, they're expecting you. Keep it quick and clean."

"Hi, it's 'Ben' from Miami Funeral Parlor. I'm just calling to tell you we have the tombstone you ordered done and ready to be delivered. With a little luck, you should be getting it before the weekend..."


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