jnWake takes on one of my personal favorites from the Sonic series, "Chemical Plant Zone," and surprises by going with a fusion style that amplifies the original and funks/rockes/jazzes it out even more:
"So, this'll be a slightly weird thing to say for a Sonic tribute album, but I've actually never been a Sonic fan. Well, I guess that's because I never owned a Sega console, so I didn't get many opportunities to actually play Sonic games as a kid. Despite that, I do have vivid memories of playing Sonic 2 and failing spectacularly and frequently at the Chemical Plant Zone stage. While the memory itself isn't particularly pleasant, it also comes with awesome background music!
When the opportunity came to participate in this album, I immediately thought of covering one of Sonic 2's most obscure and less remixed tracks: "Chemical Plant Zone"! Uh, something's wrong with that affirmation... I tend to like covering tracks that aren't that popular, but I couldn't help myself this time, since this track is simply phenomenal. So, when I started doing the mix, I listened to the many (many) remixes of it that exist both here and on YouTube. To my "surprise," a large percent of them were what some people would call "technomanga." OK, that isn't really surprising, but this song is actually pretty funky, so it surprised me a bit that nobody (that I could find) actually had done a more "conservative" remix, style-wise. With that in mind, I went for a more conservative take on the track inspired by its jazzier/funkier roots instead of the dance-oriented approach most other remixes went with.
Talking about the remix, I also settled on a small goal: using FM patches. To get a bit of that Genesis feel, I tried my hand at crafting some patches with FM8 for this remix. The bass patch and the two synth leads were born this way! I'm no expert at using FM8, but I like how they came out!
On the arrangement, I didn't go for anything really complex, but I'll detail it here anyway:
- 0:00-0:30: Pretty straightforward take on the first section of the source.
- 0:30-0:45: Based on the second melody of the source. Chord progression is "original."
- 0:45-1:27: Synth/guitar solo duel! Backing chords are an alteration of the first section. Also, drum solo!
- 1:27-1:43: Straightforward take on the second section of the source.
- 1:43-2:09: Based on the melody of the previous section.
- 2:09-2:34: Based on the third section of the source (the transition that ends the loop).
- 2:34-end: Based on the first section of the source, taking some liberties here and there.
Hope you like it!"
I do! It's a really strong original that can be taken in many directions, but playing it (a bit) closer and reinforcing the funk/fusion elements certainly works well enough, especially in capable hands; album director Black_Doom concurs:
"When jnWake told me that he wanted to claim "Chemical Plant Zone," I knew it would be something very interesting, but I didn't expect this at all. Unlike most of his tracks, this one is heavily inspired by various fusion bands, which is quite an unexpected approach to this popular theme, but it works very well. I'm really glad I asked this guy to be a part of the project. :)"
Co-director Jorito dittos that:
"Another Sonic track that has been remixed to death, making it hard to come up with something fresh. I really love what jnWake did here, the rock fusion style he chose is reminiscent of T-Square and works really well with the source material. Filled with crazy solos and breaks, it makes for a very cool and original take on the track and an overall very cool listening adventure that has me nodding to the beat in approval."
This one did hit the panel, but the judges were unambiguously unanimous & enthusiastic; Sir_NutS digS:
"Just great. Excellent adaptation, production and performances. It was awesome how much you managed to get out of the source here, spinning and expanding it in so many different ways and they all make sense. Kudos."
Even LARRY couldn't find any nits to pick:
"Nice job always keeping the source tune in play, even when your original writing ideas took the forefront. Awesome!"
Panel evaluation very much a formality, here; this is a difficult genre to do so well, and jnWake nails it, kinda outta nowhere since his other mixes are more of a rock/metal affair. He does this style JUST as well, so I'd certainly love to hear more where this came from, and while the arrangement may have seemed conservative to him, I think it's ultimately pretty durn transformative and offers up a familiar melody that I know & love in a brand new suit, with swagger, funk, & flow. Can't ask for much more than that; brilliant stuff & one of my faves on Speeding Towards Adventures!
on 2017-06-26 21:12:10
WOW what an impressive track. Great work!
on 2017-06-23 00:21:47
I knew this was familiar... Glad to see this on the site! As always, your chord progressions are great!
on 2017-06-22 23:48:34
This isn't usually my style, but damn, by 0:47+ I was really beginning to waver, and the buildup to 1:45 is just plain fun. MAJOR props to the remixer, who obviously did their research and took the established remix track of remix tracks and took it in a new direction. I thought it wouldn't work. I was wrong. So happy that I was!
on 2017-06-22 23:04:43
Really digging the Casiopea feel of this one. This takes real talent.
on 2017-06-22 10:38:44
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega, 1992, GEN)
Music by Masato Nakamura
- "Chemical Plant Zone"
- Energetic, Funky, Jazzy
- Electric Guitar, Electric Piano, Synth
- 6,055,120 bytes
- Size: 6,055,120 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 7326870a81892a07c274fa54c759cdb8
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